Three Pines season 1, episode 3 recap – who is the main suspect in the Marc Fortier murder case?

December 9, 2022 (Last updated: December 28, 2022)
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Another slow installment, plagued with pretentious motifs. The hunt for another killer is intriguing, but this crime drama is starting to head in the wrong direction, becoming slightly repetitive, driven by an unusual, alienating tone.

We recap the Prime Video series Three Pines season 1, episode 3, “The Cruellest Month Part One,” which contains spoilers.

Armand Gamache’s (Alfred Molina) time at Three Pines doesn’t appear to be over just yet. After solving the unusual killing of CC de Poitiers, the Chief Inspector is sent back to investigate a second murder case. As always, this specific murder investigation runs alongside the hunt for Blue Two-Rivers (Anna Lambe), with Isabelle (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) uncovering a new piece of information that could lead to the reopening of that specific disappearance case. Episode three, “The Cruellest Month Part One,” is another slow affair, with the suspects steadily coming to the forefront once again.

Three Pines season 1, episode 3 recap

Our new investigation kick starts with a little bit of late-night arson. The locals head to CC’s old home to set the place on fire. They start to pour gasoline into the bushes and enter the building. They soon hear voices and find teens partying in the abandoned home. The locals scare off the teens, and they decide to check all the rooms before starting the fire properly. Marc Fortier heads into the basement, where a hooded figure kicks him down the stairs. Another day at Three Pines, another death.

Armand and his faithful colleagues are quick on the scene. There are no signs of a struggle and no unique pieces of evidence to over-analyze. But Armand finds the gang a clue almost immediately. He spots fingerprints in the dust and swiftly uncovers a hidden door that leads to a hidden room. CC’s home was an old school for indigenous students, and this particular room was used to lock in and torture students. Armand finds Marc’s bloodied corpse in another compartment within this room. The victim’s head was bashed in with a rock, which is placed beside the body. As they leave, they sniff the gasoline in the bushes, Armand has two crimes to solve now, both occurring within minutes of each other.

Marc had no relatives, so they go to question his closest friend, Hayden, and his daughter Sophie. Marc and Hayden were friends since college and both helped each other out in their time of need. Both lost their wives and at the time of Marc’s death, he was living with Hayden and Sophie. Hayden believes Marc had no enemies and was a well-liked individual. The authorities find alcohol in Sophie’s room and a photo album that reveals a link between Marc and the old school – Marc’s father was the caretaker there.

Isabelle investigates Blue’s case further and discovers a piece of key information that all the other officers missed. Blue was photographed at a party, yet this was clearly photo-shopped. She was never at that event, but somebody wanted it to look like she was. Isabelle goes to tell the family the news. She apologizes for their loss, Missy committed suicide at the end of the previous episode. Isabelle is suspicious of Kevin and inspects his house next.

All the locals are interviewed once again. They deny any involvement in the murder or the attempted arson. It is revealed that CC’s house was going to be bought and turned into a hotel, which could be seen as competition for the Bistro owners, thus a possible motive for burning the place down. The owners talk of the building being haunted and a ghostly caretaker roaming the halls. Armand realizes that Marc’s father was the caretaker.

Jean-Guy and Armand are invited to dinner at the Morrow’s, but the invitation isn’t just a harmless gesture, they have ulterior motives, and they want info on Marc’s death. Ruth blurts out the question as soon as Armand has sat in his chair. They want to know how he died. Armand tries to change the topic of the conversation and asks for details on Marc’s life. He was an amateur painter and a psychotherapist. The locals bring up the haunting again and an argument erupts. Bea is extremely defensive about the predicament and states that grown men tortured children in that place, it is no laughing matter. Is Bea now a possible suspect?

The series likes to use dream sequences and an odd motif involving a blue jay on numerous occasions. Here the dream sequence works a treat, as Armand has a horrifying nightmare that he is locked in the torture room, but the blue jay sightings are really starting to grate, it feels overly pretentious and for the time being, totally unnecessary.

Three Pines season 1, episode 3 ending

Further digging reveals that the caretaker was the main abuser at the school and his son, Marc, wanted to make amends for all that suffering. He proposed a memorial for the survivors and Bea opposed it. Bea’s tattoo matches the symbols found in the torture chamber. Armand questions her and she confesses, she was locked in that room for two days straight as a child. There is a lot of bad energy and many disturbing memories intertwined with that place. She hated Marc for two main reasons, firstly his connection to the torture and secondly his misguided publicity stunt.

Jean-Guy thinks Sophie or the Morrow family are more likely suspects than Bea. Then Yvette finds hidden keys that belonged to Marc and a goose key ring connected to the chain. They pay Ruth a visit. She was renting out her cabin to Marc so that he could do his paintings in private. They rush over to the cabin, in the dead of night. Jean-Guy notices that the place has been inhabited lately, then they hear a noise. A chase ensues and they manage to force the intruder into a dead end, the mysterious figure is revealed to be Peter Morrow – our latest suspect.

What did you think of Three Pines season 1, episode 3? Comment below.

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2 thoughts on “Three Pines season 1, episode 3 recap – who is the main suspect in the Marc Fortier murder case?

  • December 11, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    I have watched all 4 episodes and will watch any future edisodes. I love Molina in his role and like this show a lot.

  • February 8, 2023 at 10:42 pm

    I’m really enjoying the series.

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