‘Van der Valk’s “Freedom in Amsterdam” Ends with Addiction & Jealousy

Picture shows:  Citra Li (Django Chan-Reeves) and Eddie Suleman (Azan Ahmed) at work. They're both looking at a laptop and have found something significant.

Citra Li (Django Chan-Reeves) and Eddie Suleman (Azan Ahmed).

Courtesy of © Company Pictures, NL Films & A3MI

After the abrupt ending of "Freedom in Amsterdam," Part 1, Part 2 of Van der Valk's premiere episode returns to the case set among the Freerunning community after champion Casper Yuliani was shot on his way to Paris for an international match. We left Van der Valk’s team and the case in chaos at the end of the first episode. Marian, Lenny’s ex and (for a short while) Casper’s girlfriend, who knows far more than she has shared with the detectives, has disappeared after a warning shot was fired into her room. She was then kidnapped after escaping from the hospital.

Citra; They don't teach you *that* in Traffic.

Van der Valk insists Lucienne seeks medical attention for a bullet that scraped her wrist. (Warning for the squeamish––there are stitches). An awkward encounter between Lucienne and Lena takes place, two women who each in their own way love, and feel protective of, Van der Valk. Lucienne clearly blames Lena for Van der Valk’s unhappiness, and she’s ambivalent about their break up, but notes she did not actually marry the person to whom she was engaged when she and Van der Valk were together. The man himself interrupts, checking to see if Lucienne is okay, clearly concerned but seeking comfort for himself as much as for her. After he’s left, the two women have a significant moment of heated eye contact. 

Van der Valk’s new team members — impulsive, outgoing Eddie Suleman and reserved, efficient Citra Li — acquit themselves well. Eddie introduces Citra to the team’s alternate office, the cafe run by Cliff Palache (Mike Libanon), where Homeless Frank (Peter van Heeringen) takes quite a shine to her. She and Eddie find footage on Milton’s phone that shows Casper demonstrating a move,  a number that will identify the shipping container, and metro station footage from the time of the murder that shows a man with a limp. Armed with this, Van der Valk and Lucienne interview Milton again, only to get a terrified refusal to talk.

Picture shows: Piet Van der Valk (Marc Warren) and Lucienne Hassell (Mamie McCoy) stand in a doorway, holding up their police identifications.

Piet Van der Valk (Marc Warren) and Lucienne Hassell (Mamie McCoy).

Courtesy of © Company Pictures, NL Films & A3MI

Van der Valk checks in on the Freerunners, but only Lenny's younger brother, Gert, is there, who provided everyone alibis the last time they spoke. Gert praises Lenny for raising him but feels out of place in the Freerunner community. He's scared of heights; he's a gamer, not an athlete. Van der Valk asks him if he knows who killed Casper just as Lenny and his entourage arrive. Van der Valk takes the opportunity to rile him up by starting a dialogue about his injury and how the younger generation is taking over. Lenny loses his cool when Van der Valk accuses him of killing Casper, threatens to lawyer up, and denies having seen Marian.

Poor Marian's tied to a chair, with her captor, face hidden, looming threateningly but then strokes her face gently. Back at the station, forensics report that the bullets and weapons used in the attacks on Casper and Marian are the same, and a local shooting range distributes them. Proprietor Titus van der Beek (Sieger Sloot) provides Van der Valk with a list of members and sales. Lenny and the Freerunner with a criminal past, Finn Jonker, are members, and it's clearly where our shooter has been shown practicing. Van der Valk gets an idea of what's happening and decides to stake out the shipping yard.

As they sit quietly in the dark car, Van der Valk brings up Lena, having guessed she didn't get married. Lucienne says he's been different since they broke up. Citra and Eddie, in the other car, are getting to know each other. Citra asks why he joined the department; apparently, it was the only unit that would take him. She thinks he's joking, but he's serious. He asks her to tell him about her, and she suspects him of flirting. Van der Valk checks in on them both, and Eddie says, "She's fine," which results in Citra giving a quick lecture on gender pronouns and him claiming to be vegan.

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When the Freerunners arrive, one performs that tricky maneuver we saw on Milton’s phone, opening the shipping container to distribute the cocaine inside. At that point, the police move in to make arrests, but Van der Valk holds off leaving the car. He’s waiting ... for a lone figure who comes over the fence from the opposite direction. Finn Yonker thought he outsmarted his captors, but not these two, and he’s arrested along with everyone else. Meanwhile, Lenny is at home and very definitely using. (Warning for the squeamish: Needle.) But when Van der Valk and Lucienne arrive, Gert is sobbing, kneeling by Lenny’s body, holding his dead brother’s hand. Lenny has been shot.

Lucienne interviews Gert, who is still shocked, blaming the police for his brother’s death on the police. Van der Valk and Lucienne speculate the dealers are behind everything, including Casper’s death and Marian’s disappearance. But when they ask Finn about it, he’s too shocked to learn Lenny’s dead to be of use. Van der Valk visits Sanne, Marian’s friend and Milton’s girlfriend, prepping for a vigil for Casper. She mentions Marian liked Gert and felt sorry for him, insisting Casper and Milton weren’t into drugs; all they cared for was Freerunning. Van der Valk asks if Marian was using, and she hesitates before saying she thinks that Marian is clean... now, anyway.

The team convenes in the cafe; Eddie is there already, treating Homeless Frank to breakfast, and Citra, seeing Eddie eating bacon, realizes he lied about being vegan the previous night. But Henrick is not there; he’s visiting Titus at the shooting range, not that he’s not a member: “Not my sort of thing. I tend to get them after they’ve been shot.” However, they talk shop, and Titus confirms Henrik’s suspicion that a handgun bullet could not go into a brick wall after penetrating a human’s skull, as happened at Lenny’s death. Henrik calls Van der Valk, announcing Lenny’s death was staged. 

Picture shows: Pathologist Hendrik Davie (Darrel D'Silva) ponders the case while Piet Van der Valk (Marc Warren), seated at his desk, Eddie Suleman (Azan Ahmed), and Lucienne Hassell (Mamie McCoy) await his findings.

Pathologist Hendrik Davie (Darrel D'Silva), Piet Van der Valk (Marc Warren),  Eddie Suleman (Azan Ahmed), and Lucienne Hassell (Mamie McCoy).

Courtesy of © Company Pictures, NL Films & A3MI

Eddie and Citra show Milton a photo of Lenny’s corpse, which drives Milton to talk. Marian was a user who fell under Lenny’s spell; he involved her in deals and sometimes used her as a mule. That’s why Milton was reluctant to tell the police anything; he was afraid she’d be arrested and jailed, and she’d suffered enough. Lenny asked Casper to show him how to access the shipping container in exchange for Marian being able to walk away from the business. But when Milton showed Lenny the footage on his phone, he refused to let Marian go, threatening to kill them both. But with Lenny’s death staged, it looks like he was being framed.

Henrik, Van der Valk, and Lucienne search the Freerunners’ warehouse, finding the room where Marian was held, a gaming console, and blood on the floor. Gert, jealous of his brother’s success, fell in love with Marian. He impersonated his brother’s limp for the CCTV, killed Casper, and set up Lenny to be jailed for it. Marian insists she and Gert were only friends, but he insists it was more. Van der Valk’s team heads to the vigil, where Gert brings Marian, preparing to jump, taking Marian with him. Van der Valk claims there are sharpshooters, but Gert doesn’t believe him. He’s right; there is no team, just Eddie, who is a crack shot and hits Gert perfectly. Lucienne grabs Marian to stop her from falling.

Back at the station, Eddie finds Van der Valk gazing at the reconstructed chess game from the premiere on his desk. Van der Valk says Eddie reminds him of himself as a young, impulsive officer. They resume the chess game, and Van der Valk confesses that having a team member who is four steps ahead is no bad thing. Citra leaves the office, and we’re unsure if she’s going for good. Van der Valk haltingly tells her they will be here if she needs them. But when they arrive at the bar, they find Citra already there, having promised her newest buddy, Frank, to buy a round. Van der Valk almost smiles.

Janet Mullany

Writer Janet Mullany is from England, drinks a lot of tea, and likes Jane Austen, reading, and gasping in shock at costumes in historical TV dramas. Her household near Washington DC includes two badly-behaved cats about whom she frequently boasts on Facebook.

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