Episode 2 presents the power of indoctrination as the focus shifts to Marie-Andrée — a woman who is madly in love and ends up delving into a world that is extremely dangerous.
This recap of the BBC and Netflix series The Serpent episode 2 contains spoilers. The drama is already out in the UK on the BBC, but it will be released on Netflix on April 2, 2021.
In the first episode, we learned about Charles’ sinister world, but the second chapter gives a slice of how he slowly manipulated people in his life to follow him, including the woman who loves him — Marie-Andrée.
Episode 2 begins on 1 March 1976 in Bangkok, and Herman is checking out the dead bodies of the Dutch travellers at the morgue; the staff describe how they were hurt before being set on fire. It then flits to three months earlier, and Marie-Andrée looks over Lena and Wim in bed. They are still extremely sick, and Lena asks Marie-Andrée for help.
Marie-Andrée fell in love with Charles
5 May 1975 – Kashmir, India – ten months earlier; Marie-Andrée wrote in her diary about Charles and how she wishes she was not in this beautiful place with her partner Jules. She’s falling in love with him. Charles is hailed as a photographer that has been a war correspondent. Jules becomes sick but tells Marie-Andrée to enjoy her holiday. Charles takes photos of her and notices the scar on her leg; he tells her she deserves someone who knows her. It’s abundantly obvious that Charles made Jules sick to get closer to his prize.
Episode 2 shows what Herman was up against to investigate the murders of the Dutch couple.
3 March 1976 – 10 months later; Herman checks out photos of Lena and Wim. He tries telling the police that this couple were guests of the country and not revolutionaries. The general tells him that their resources are not limitless but gives Herman consent to continue his investigation. There are politics at play here, plus a suspicion that these police are paid off. Herman is consumed by this killer, and his wife is strongly interested as well.
It’s a difficult but a yearning love
The Serpent episode 2 eventually delves deeper into Marie-Andrée’s mindset; how her intoxicating love reeled her into a different life to what she imagined as she became absorbed by the mind of Charles.
Eight months earlier; Charles and Marie-Andrée are writing letters to each other. They are well and truly and love. After meeting him, Marie-Andrée is lacking the intimacy and care that she expected but is finding it hard to leave. She’s torn emotionally. Charles buys Marie-Andrée a dog and reels her back in as they enjoy romantic times on a beach. He tells her to call herself Monique and to get close to a nearby couple on the beach. Episode 2 is showing how Charles used her feelings to indoctrinate her.
Later on, they find the couple collapsed in their bedroom. Charles calls them rich arseholes and that when they wake up, they’ll still be rich arseholes. He uses it as an opportunity to steal from them.
The French gem dealer
Eight months later; Herman has caught a story on a gem dealer that has been linked to the Belgian Embassy, so he meets Paul Seimons. After reading letters from the Dutch couple, he learns that they met a French gem dealer.
Seimons introduces him to a Belgian man named Jurion, who knows of this gem dealer. Herman learns that there have been accusations of murder and robbery from this gem dealer, and there’s a witness (a French woman). Seimons talks about defending Belgian interests.
The theme of the burdens of diplomacy and governance shines through once again in this series.
Charles takes what he wants
Six months earlier; Marie-Andrée wants to know Charles’ real name as she delves deeper into his world. Charles explains that everything he’s ever wanted he’s had to take for himself — the couple then has passionate sex. Despite knowing who he is, she was in too deep. Corresponding scenes show the couple at work; deceiving, drugging and burgling. Eventually, they meet Dominique and Nadine. Charles drugs Dominique and tells Marie-Andrée to keep him drugged, so he does housework for her.
Dealing with Teresa
The Serpent episode 2 demonstrates how torn Marie-Andrée is; while complicit, her feelings muddle the waters in her head. She feels powerless and dismantled by someone she loves deeply.
Four months earlier, Ajay brings in Teresa at a party, and Marie-Andrée has a keen eye on her. She sees Charles and Ajay take Teresa away in the car. A woman asks Marie-Andrée if she gets jealous. Marie-Andrée explains that she doesn’t want him to change. Later in the night, Marie-Andrée asks Ajay and Charles where they have been. Charles tells Marie-Andrée not to worry about Teresa and that they are safe. It’s dawning on her how bad this is getting. They take Teresa’s traveller’s cheques and process them as their own.
Meeting the British diplomat
Four months later; Herman meets British diplomat Mr Cartwright about the French woman’s claims about the French gem dealer. Herman shows him photos of the Dutch couple burned alive to prove that they are not doing enough to prevent this. He asks the diplomat why they don’t care for one another. Later on, Herman rings Paul Seimons and tells him that he may have found the French woman.
Gems and protection
Three months earlier; Charles is getting deeply involved with a woman named Suda for her gems, and Marie-Andrée is heartbroken. Charles tells her he has no feelings. Suda is related to a colonel, so they have protection from the authorities. Charles continues to be persuasive with her, bringing her under his spell. At one of their parties, Charles drugs a man and then he and Marie-Andrée pretend to “help him” with condensed milk. Marie-Andrée writes in her diary that she is terrified, but “Monique’ has to stay calm. She wonders how long she can play this fantasy and share Charles with other women.
Lena begs for help
Episode 2 shows how Marie-Andrée started to see the evil she was partaking in, and her hesitancy puts her in danger.
Scenes flit to the sick Lena and Wim; Marie-Andrée speaks to Lena about her love for Wim and vice versa. She explains how it’s natural love. Lena asks Marie-Andrée for help. Marie-Andrée asks Lena why she didn’t buy the gems as he told them. Charles then enters the room and asks why they haven’t drunk their medicine. He asks Marie-Andrée to leave while he sorts the couple out with Ajay. Marie-Andrée slightly showed her true colours in this scene, and Charles can sense it — she wants to help them.
Three months later; Herman and Paul Seimons head to Kanik House. Seimons gives Herman a gun for protection — he asks what he’s going to do if the French woman is there; he reminds Herman that he’s got a good career ahead of him. Herman refuses to go in with a gun and knocks on the door — Nadine quietly lets him inside. As the episode ends, Marie-Andrée cries and plays music to drown out Lena and Wim’s screams.
The Serpent episode 2 presents the power of indoctrination as the focus shifts to Marie-Andrée — a woman who is madly in love and ends up delving into a world that is extremely dangerous.