'Baptiste' Season 2, Episode 4: The Hero Of The Guilty

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


Last week's episode of Baptiste closed on the big twist everyone probably saw coming. Not only was Emma's son Alex not dead, but he was also in deep with the right-wing extremists led by political candidate Kamilla Agoston and was one of the snipers murdering helpless immigrants in a massacre directed by the mysterious Gomorrah. Poor Emma has now lost the use of her legs and seen her son die, not at the hands of a terrorist, but Baptiste, who shot Alex dead to protect the living. But she's not the only one left staring into the middle distance in shock, as Baptiste is also stunned, having shot the very child he was supposed to be rescuing.

Emma: I'm British... You know our insatiable desire to remain polite in the face of Armageddon.

In the world of 14 months ago, Emma's long-suffering assistant Nadeem brings flowers and receives abuse in return for having already buried the story as a matter of course. Emma now must nod along at all the sympathetic tongue clicking, pretending to mourn her son's death instead of being allowed to deal with the horror her child perpetrated against a population she was supposed to be serving. Nadeem also notes the press are clamoring to know who shot the "nameless" gunman, calling him "the hero of Józsefváros," and it is obvious he plans to name Baptiste.

In the confusion of the massacre last week, I thought the shop Baptiste hid out in was that of Zsofia's good-hearted father, but no. Mehmet doesn't live long, though, as the violence has already inspired Balazs' buddies. Ringleader Viktor (David Z. Miller) films beating Mehmet to death. It's not a fun thing for Zsofia to come home to, having just been fired by Kovacs for failing to stop the massacre, despite Kovacs threatening her should she leave the speech. Meanwhile, Emma fires Baptiste from the case, telling him his guilt for his daughter's death is not her responsibility. Baptiste attempts to go home to Paris, only to dive into a bottle, as his reputation as the hero of Józsefváros grows.

Tcheky Karyo as Julien Baptiste in 'Baptiste' Season 2
(Credit: Courtesy of (C) Two Brothers Pictures & All3Media International)

And with that, the series wraps up that timeline. We rejoin the present day with Just having just been kidnapped by Kamilla, but all Emma cares about is she lost the only link to finding Will. Kamilla also catches Baptiste in the basement, having discovered the Gomorrah mask, and calls the cops. Baptiste doesn't quite go full "do you know who I am?" but he doesn't have to, as her husband, Michael, recognizes him as the "hero of Józsefváros." Baptiste and Emma think their mere identities will be enough to sway the cops into believing their story. But the cop who shows up is Kovacs, and Zsofia immediately knows it's hopeless, as are their claims about Juszt's kidnapping, the moment Kovacs says she and Kamilla are friends. 

As Kovacs convinces Kamilla to drop it, Emma tells the myth of the Busójárás mask, that a stranger came to town and inspired the locals to chase away the Ottoman invaders by convincing their attackers the city was full of demons. Kovacs dismisses them, saying to thank their lucky stars she's burying all this and to stay away from Kamilla. Not that Emma thinks that applies to her, showing up at Kamilla's house the following day. She claims she's there to apologize, but in reality, she's come to retrieve Baptiste's phone he left recording when the cops arrived. Kamilla doesn't believe her, so Emma gets the chance to ask her, face to face, about Will. Not that she gets an answer, but at least she asked.

While Emma and Baptiste transcribe the illegal recording, Zsofia tracks down Balazs, who reveals Mehemet got him in the foster system, wanting to help the kid the way he was helped when he came to this country. He also reveals the video of Mehmet's death got Viktor noticed, and Gommorah met with their gang. Shown a picture, Balazs identifies Kamilla's husband, Michael, as the guy who contacted them. The phone recording seems to confirm Balazs' story, as part of it includes Kamilla reading Michael the riot act over something she says she absolutely cannot risk being attached to, lest it wreck her political career. 

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

While Zsofia confronts Viktor and beats him unconscious when he laughs at her father's death, Celia calls Baptiste and tells him to stop sending his paperwork to the house. Baptiste apologizes and tells her he is now nothing without her; perhaps he always was. She tells him he's a fool; he's Hercule Poirot. The talk does him some good, as it inspires him to go back to his tiny flat, toss the booze, and shave the beard. (I suppose since we no longer have to tell timelines apart by the length of Baptiste's beard, it was now superfluous.) 

With Emma no longer the British Ambassador, Nadeem has been promoted. But he's still loyal to the boss and quietly slips her the file on Michael. Kamilla's husband has been busy over the last 14 months, buying up the ruined Józsefváros district and gentrifying. Convinced they have their man, Baptiste and Emma head to Michael's construction HQ to meet with him. They accuse him of paying for the attacks to drive down prices, and when he insists they are wrong, they produce the paper trail to prove it. But when Baptiste says Balazs fingered him as Gommorah, Michael denies it, and, surprisingly, Baptiste agrees. If Michael *was* Gommorah, he'd have been much more careful.

That leaves Kamilla. Michael demands to know what they want in return to keep his business out of the press. Emma says they want Will. Defeated, he says, once a week, Kamilla wakes at the crack of dawn and goes somewhere mysterious, which Michael does not allow himself to know about. He tells them to follow Kamilla next time she leaves so early because that might tell them the answers. The drive takes Baptiste and Emma off the beaten path to a farm. Leaving Emma in the car, Baptiste follows her down to the farmhouse and enters it once he sees her car take off. The bag she dropped off contains hundreds in cash, and Baptiste chases down and captures the figure who comes to pick it up, dragging him back to Emma in the car.

It will surprise no one that when Emma turns around to see who Baptiste threw into the back seat, she comes face to face with her only living son, Will.


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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