This recap of the BBC and Netflix series The Serpent episode 4 contains spoilers. The drama is already out in the UK on the BBC, but it will be released on Netflix on April 2, 2021.
Episode 4 begins on 23 December 1975 – Nepal. A young boy sees burned bodies in the mountains. Episode 4 then moves to three months later in Bangkok; Angela, Remi, and Herman look for Nadine, but they can’t find her. Remi returns to Kanik House to look for her. When he returns to his room, Nadine is there and acting normal. Before they leave, Charles gives them a commission for the clients they have provided. The tension rips through the scene.
Nadine and Remi are undercover
With the embassy involved, everything is now high risk, and episode 4 presents a tentative approach that was opted for.
Herman and Angela tell Nadine and Remi to leave, but Nadine doesn’t want to; she feels she needs to stay to owe it to the victims. Herman tells them both to act normal and to use a camera to take photos. Nadine is furious, as she’s unwillingly an accomplice. There’s guilt, which is why she wants to spy.
Charles loses a lot of money
Three months earlier; Marie-Andrée, Ajay and Charles take a flight to Nepal for a vacation, but there’s some business to be done. While playing poker, Charles loses a bad hand in poker and loses a lot of money. He tells Marie-Andrée and Ajay not to worry about money, but the hotel puts pressure on them to pay for the hotel suite.
Marie-Andrée has a panic attack and tells Charles that she wants to stop. She brings up the crimes he has committed and the money lost. She doesn’t want to be an accomplice anymore. Marie-Andrée is a difficult character to judge; you can understand that she is an accomplice, but you can also understand that she was manipulated by a man she loves; she flits between looking upset & lost to enjoying the love she feels when she helps Charles out.
Nadine, the super-agent
Three months later; Nadine asks if she can take photos of everyone near the pool. Ajay threatens Nadine when she tries to take a photo of him. Charles is suddenly suspicious, but Marie-Andrée tells him to leave Nadine alone — Nadine continues to take photos around Kanik House to collect as evidence. At the Embassy office, the Ambassador threatens to relocate Herman for his persistence to investigate the dead Dutch travellers. Nadine brings Herman and Angela a camera roll, and there’s relief all around. Their ready-made investigation appears to be working.
Ajay finds a woman he likes
The Serpent constantly presents Charles as pure evil, and episode 4 presents that theory again.
Three months earlier; some travellers are heading to Shangri-la. A woman gives Ajay a drink before taking a drink herself. The drink is psychedelic, so Ajay starts tripping, and the woman calms him down — she reaches into his feelings, and they nurture each other all night.
Charles gives Marie-Andrée an ultimatum — she is either Monique or Marie-Andrée. He gives her a drink and asks if she trusts him. Marie-Andrée drinks. She’s soon unconscious, and Charles strips her and then snuggles up to her. Charles finds Ajay with the woman he’s spent the night with, and Ajay tells him he likes her. Charles tells Ajay that this woman thinks he is a slave. He tells Ajay he has been colonised, and he presses his thumbs against Ajay’s eyeballs. Charles walks off, saying they are no longer brothers because no brother of his are slaves. This is an extremely f****d up moment.
Nadine proves to be useful
Three months later; Nadine has drawn a map of Kanik House. She offers to go back if needed. After looking at more evidence, Herman concludes that Charles and his company were in Nepal.
Marie-Andrée finds rubies
And this is where the lines become blurred for Marie-Andrée — what life did she truly want? It’s almost like she was addicted to the thrill as much as Charles.
Three months earlier – Kathmandu, Nepal; Marie-Andrée is touring the place on her own. She befriends a woman, and she talks about her husband — she explains that Charles is very good to her. Her new friend explains how love used to make her powerless, but love should be about power. The friend invites her on a bus and explains her partner has rubies. Suddenly, Marie-Andrée is excited, and she calls herself Lena. She introduces Charles to Connie-Jo and Laurent — a new couple. Charles examines the rubies and tells them that they are glass. Connie-Jo is devastated, believing they are fake. Marie-Andrée offers to buy them dinner. She’s reeling them in for her husband.
Burning the bodies up the mountains
Charles offers to take them up the mountain, but Marie-Andrée backs out as she suddenly gets anxious. Up the mountain, Charles drugs the couple with Ajay. For the first time, we see a violent Charles stabbing away at Laurent. He then asks Ajay to stab Connie-Jo; it’s almost like he wants Ajay to prove his loyalty again. Charles takes the rubies for himself for cash. Afterwards, Charles settles his bill at the hotel. Suddenly, the police turn up and want a word with Marie-Andrée and Charles.
The evidence gets more compelling
Three months later – in Bangkok; Herman meets up with Paul Siemons. He shows him his latest evidence and reveals he sent Nadine to spy. They later meet up with Laver, who gives them a crime report; it describes an Australian couple who got very sick after meeting a couple with the same appearances as Charles and Marie-Andrée. The couple describes them as having a dog; the same dog in the photos that Nadine took.
The Serpent episode 4 proves Charles had a close shave and his crimes were not all smooth sailing.
Three months earlier; the police ask Charles and Marie-Andrée what they do for work, and they make up lies. They deny meeting Connie-Jo and Laurent. In the next room, they are introduced to the woman who slept with Ajay — she was friends with Connie-Jo. The woman does not know if she saw Connie-Jo with Marie-Andrée and Charles. They are allowed to leave the station, but they are not allowed to leave the country until the matter is resolved — of course, they will not follow that rule. Charles returns and asks an officer for his pen back. Afterwards, Charles and Marie-Andrée intimately kiss — it’s a vicious cycle.
As Herman pieces together Charles’ and Marie-Andrée’s timeline, the series montages scenes where the deadly couple travelled with Ajay. Country to country, heinous crime after crime. The episode then moves to March 9, 1976 — Bangkok as Charles, Marie-Andrée, and Ajay return.
Due to Herman’s persistent work, he’s been told that Kanik House will be raided. He calls Nadine to get her out, but there’s no answer.
Episode 4 shows the truth international extent of Charles’ evil as he presents to the viewers a vicious circle that Marie-Andrée was truly absorbed by.