'Baptiste' Season 2, Episode 3 Recap: Predictability

Tcheky Karyo as Julien Baptiste and Fiona Shaw as Emma Chambers in Baptiste Season 2

MASTERPIECE “Baptiste”, Season 2 Episode Three Sunday, October 31, 2021; 10-11pm ET on PBS As Julien and Zsofia investigate controversial politician Kamilla Agoston, Emma finds a lead on Alex’s computer that takes her and Julien to a shocking and bloody discovery. Shown from left to right: Tcheky Karyo as Julien Baptiste and Fiona Shaw as Emma Chambers For editorial use only. (C) Two Brothers Pictures & All3Media International

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The good news about Season 2 of Baptiste is that it is far more engaging than Season 1. That's almost entirely due to the guest cast, led by Fiona Shaw. Shaw's Emma Chambers is a complicated woman. She's someone desperate to be loved by her family while ignoring them for her career. She wants nothing more than to love and protect the people around her while being a genuinely terrible snob and generally treating other people as disposable when she's not outright abusing them. But though the characters this season are far more interesting, their story cannot claim the same.

Juszt: I drew you... like one of my french girls.

After being mentioned in passing on TV last week, the show's finally introduces the main antagonist, Kamilla Agoston (Gabriella Hámori), currently struggling with fertility treatments. A right-wing politician for the Hungary First party, Emma's initial take on her is that she's a laughable hypocrite, decrying immigration as the root of all poverty while living large on the funds provided by her uber-rich British husband Michael (Peter Sullivan). As this week proves, that's an underestimation and then some. It is not unlike Celia's underestimation of how hard it will be to convince Baptiste to give this all up and come home. Like Sara, he's an addict and one playing a dangerous game with his life.

Baptiste believes the video of Alex's death was fake. Zsofia already suspected as much, one of the reasons it hasn't been publicized. Despite Emma's insistence that this is all wasting time when Will is still missing, Zsofia has more to show Baptiste: the video of Gomorrah (As in "Sodom and," not Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise) in the Busójárás mask. The group has been coordinating for a while now, and Agoston is believed to know who Gomorrah is. More immediately, though, the politician is about to hold a rally in Józsefváros.

Fiona Shaw as Emma Chambers in Baptiste Season 2
(Credit: Courtesy of (C) Two Brothers Pictures & All3Media International)

Zsofia has concerns there will be violence and is already on thin ice after Emma's little release party for Juszt last week, as her superior Katalin Kovacs (Éva Magyar) is displeased with all of this. She's desperate for Baptiste to step in and help; she wants to hire him as a "consultant," the same word Martha used when bringing him aboard the Natalie case. Triggered, Baptiste refuses, insisting he's just working to find Will and perhaps Alex, who he thinks may still be alive. Moreover, there may be a lead, as Zsofia has returned Alex's laptop to Emma, which we all assume will have the big break Baptiste is looking for.

Back in the present day, Zsofia is selling her father's building, and the pile of mail on the floor suggests it's been closed up probably for about 14 months. While the real estate agent pokes around, she finds a bank statement showing Mehmet has been posthumously sending money to Balázs Dobos via the foster system after trying to take the boy off the streets. But when she shows up to meet him, the kid bolts. He seems afraid she blames him for Mehmet's death, but even more afraid his former buddies (who have moved up the Gomorrah chain) will think he's working with her. I guess he doesn't know she's been busted down to Zsofia Arslan, Mall Cop.

After chasing down Balázs, Zsofia heads to Juszt's next rendezvous, already in progress. This time we see who Juszt is meeting with to get connected to Gomorrah: It's Agoston. She's already suspicious of his behavior from the night before, suspicions not made better by Emma demanding Juszt ask about Will's whereabouts. But he goes to her house that evening anyway on her invite to find out where Will is, even though it is obviously a trap. While she's distracted by her hoodlums dragging him out to the van, Baptiste breaks into the basement, looking to see if the cracked window that matches the one in the Gomorrah video is a coincidence. Considering the Gomorrah mask is also in the basement, we'll go with "Not a coincidence."

Tcheky Karyo as Julien Baptiste and Fiona Shaw as Emma Chambers in Baptiste Season 2
(Credit: Courtesy of (C) Two Brothers Pictures & All3Media International)

Let's go back 14 months again to Alex's laptop, which Zsofia claims had nothing of interest in it. But, of course, they also didn't know Alex. They wouldn't think twice about an email string from what looks like a girlfriend. Except Emma knew Alex didn't have one. Moreover, a google search for this "Amy" brings up a blog of an Australian twenty-something who isn't dating some sad teen in Budapest. 

Honestly, the idea Zsofia's people deal with terrorist attacks all the time and didn't flag their super-obviously phony email string of meeting dates and times is laughable but sure. Emma calls Baptiste in to show him and ask what it means. He immediately recognizes the final email between Amy and Alex is to meet in Józsefváros, near the Agoston rally while it is peaking, suggesting this is where the violence will hit. In short, Alex (and maybe Will) were deep in with these right-wingers, and their mother never knew. Baptiste demands that Zsofia send squad cars to the location, but she only sends one since he can't explain why. So much for respecting him as a consultant.

But of course, Baptiste is correct; the rally is a distraction to put Zsofia's people in the wrong place. The market where Baptiste and Emma show up to see if "Amy" is there becomes a scene out of Squid Game, as snipers take out immigrants left and right, along with both cops Zsofia sent, and shooting Emma Chambers square in the back, paralyzing her for life. Another body falls on top of her, saving her life when the shooters come through and add a few bullets to make sure the fallen are dead. But the biggest reveal is when Baptiste exits the shop where he hid out and takes out a sniper before he can shoot -- and the mask comes away, revealing it to be Alex. 


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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