Three Pines season 1, episode 4 recap – who killed Marc Fortier?

December 9, 2022 (Last updated: December 28, 2022)
Adam Lock 13
Amazon Prime, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
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This is a well-executed detective story that has now clearly settled into its groove. Unfortunately, it just seems to be rather a tad too formulaic for its own good, rehashing the same beats over and over again.

We recap the Prime Video series Three Pines season 1, episode 4, “The Cruellest Month Part Two,” which contains spoilers.

Three Pines has settled into a rhythm now, each week, viewers are given a two-part murder mystery. The first installment usually focuses on the actual murder, and then the subsequent investigation looks further into the case, with certain suspects coming to light. The second episode continues the case and reveals the killer. It’s formulaic but quite satisfying in its delivery. Following this structure, in “The Cruellest Month Part Two”, we find out just who killed Marc and why they did it.

Three Pines season 1, episode 4 recap

The old school, St. Anthony’s, is intricately linked to the history of Three Pines, a place where indigenous students were tortured and kept prisoners for years. The episode opens with a flashback, showing the horrors of this awful place. A young Bea watches as her brother and two other young students leave for brighter futures, while the evil caretaker apprehends poor Bea. In the previous chapter, we found out who the caretaker was and how Bea was linked to it all but is she just a distraction, a red herring if you will?

Armand thinks it’s all connected, the murders and the school. He interrogates Peter Morrow, who they arrested in the previous (literal) cliffhanger. The police have uncovered his deleted phone conversations with Marc, it seems they had an intense relationship that verged on a romance. Peter says they didn’t have an affair though, Marc was just his therapist. He traded painting lessons for therapy sessions. Peter went to the cabin to find Marc’s laptop to delete the therapy notes. Another local with secrets they want to keep hidden.

Isabelle manically checks Tommy and Kevin’s house again and this time she finds some evidence. There are huge chunks missing from the rug and underneath, the floorboards appear to have been tampered with. Later, forensics uncover bleached floorboards and Blue’s blood. The missing person case continues to build some momentum adjacent to this week’s murder mystery. Meanwhile, Isabelle receives a visit from Youth Protection. A complaint has been made about Isabelle’s parenting and they must follow it up appropriately.

Yvette looks into the teenager’s cell phone that they found at the murder site. She discovers incriminating video footage. Firstly, it shows Sophie at the building, drunk and joining in with the vandalism. Secondly, it shows Bea in attendance on the night of Marc’s death, something she previously lied about. Armand confronts her about this, but Bea is antagonistic as always.

Jean-Guy researches the school and finds out about the story from the opening scene, Bea’s brother ran away from home but drowned. He also points out an intriguing name on the school’s register – Mary Two-Rivers, she is now known as Arisawe. She was a pupil at St. Anthony’s – our first major link between the two stories. Jean-Guy and Isabelle stake out the building that night and hear strange noises inside. On investigating these spooky sounds, they find a raccoon in the basement, this leads to the uncovering of a secret passageway that takes them to another room in the house. They assume the killer used this hidden crawlspace to escape unseen. In the tunnel, Isabelle finds a mobile phone.

Armand and Isabelle visit the Two-River’s household, to ask about the school’s history. Kara admits to phoning the child helpline, she was the one who set up Isabelle out of anger and for some of her own revenge. Then Arisawe talks about the night her brother escaped. She believes the caretaker killed him and the other boys. Armand takes a shovel and gets to digging. He soon finds human bones in the torture chamber, she was right all along.

Bea is informed of this bittersweet finding. She can now put her brother to rest. Bea blames herself for his death, she was the one that got caught. All the signs point towards Bea being the killer, but she denies killing Marc again. Bea directs Armand’s attention back to Hayden, who was arguing on the day of Marc’s death. This inter-cuts with Hayden and Sophie arguing in the present. Hayden knew about Sophie’s teenage rebellion and admits that he lied to the police for her. Sophie just wants her space and storms off.

Three Pines season 1, episode 4 ending

Armand’s team start to deliver on the more pressing evidence. Jean-Guy says that Marc wasn’t broke, but he was deceiving Hayden. Marc bought a plane ticket to New York in Sophie’s name. And then Yvette finds the voice notes between Marc and Sophie. He was trying to help her escape her father’s controlling stranglehold. They race to Hayden’s house, but there’s no one home.

Hayden drives Sophie to an unknown destination. The police tail him and he refuses to pull over. The only thing that stops him is a ridiculous altercation with a bear. Hayden and Sophie’s argument is cut short when he suddenly brakes in front of this deadly animal. The police coax Sophie and Hayden out of the car and Hayden is arrested. He confesses immediately, stating that he was only protecting his daughter, it was just an accident. But Armand isn’t being fooled. Hayden is the killer. In the final moments of the episode, Armand is informed that there is an incident at the school, and someone has finally burnt the place down. Bea looks on with a smirk on her face. Did the locals finally get their way?

What did you think of Three Pines season 1, episode 4? Comment below.

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13 thoughts on “Three Pines season 1, episode 4 recap – who killed Marc Fortier?

  • December 10, 2022 at 2:38 am

    Why the hell was A CGI grizzly bear inserted into the end of this episode let alone into a place where grizzlies do not exist??? This mistake has damaged the credibility of this series. Up to that point, this series was very good. I have read and reread Penny’s books and really enjoy the storylines. I live not far from mythical Three Pines…. grizzlies do not exist here….a big mistake.

  • December 11, 2022 at 3:01 am

    Heartily agree with Donna Sanderson re head scratching appearance of a grizzly bear! Come on people, keep it real. Embarrassing for Louise Penny fans everywhere. Had such great hopes for this series…..

  • December 11, 2022 at 5:36 am

    So true, I told myseft ” There ain’t no Grizzlies in Québec” as soon as I saw the bear. An oversized black Bear would have been alright. That just Lazy researching, lack of general knowledge and/or a plain lack of communication between the production team and the hired CGI team. LOL The only “acceptable” explanation would be “Heeee, must be an escapee from the nearby Granby Zoo’, but that’s kind of far fetched.

  • December 11, 2022 at 8:14 am

    Agreed! So dumb. Quebec is far from the Rockies. Where’s the credibility here. That’s just embarrassing…. LP must have cringed through that one.

  • December 11, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Yes, a black bear would almost make sense (although they are pretty shy and would only be in the middle of a road at dusk). Or an escapee from a wildlife park. But honestly, that close in you do not tell anyone to get out of their car!

    I found 3+4 more bearable (sorry) because I decided the series is the series and the books are the books but I still have problems with some of the casting and what’s with the transfer of names between Gabri and Olivier???

  • December 13, 2022 at 2:10 am

    I see it as more of a group hallucination…like Chief’s blue jays…as if the bear was looking directly at him and then stood down…”there, I stopped him for you…”

  • December 13, 2022 at 9:39 pm

    that grizzly scene was just mindblowingly stupid in every possible way. It might not be a CGI, might be a trained bear a la BART (may he RIP).

  • December 14, 2022 at 12:26 am

    The whole grizzly scene was ridiculous. How did that get past the editors, doesn’t anyone check for accuracy? I had been enjoying the show up to that point.

  • December 14, 2022 at 5:06 am

    I just recommended this series to die hard LP fan who has listened to every audiobook. I now regret doing so having seen the imbecilic grizzly bear scene.

  • December 15, 2022 at 4:38 am

    I totally agree. First they change the sex of the characters and then they throw a grizzly into Quebec. I really liked these books but I am tired of the repeated over dramatized residential school topic and AGRIZZLy!!!! .???

  • December 18, 2022 at 4:06 am

    it’s about the facing up to real human tragedies and secrets and not the murders. Nothing formulaic about it. Heartbreaking human problems tenderly and wisely portrayed. All you see is the bears the wrong color?

  • December 25, 2022 at 7:57 am

    I agree with Michael T. Duddy, plus some. This tv series isn’t trying to re-create an
    experience of reading the books the stories are based on. It uses the stories to re-create an experience like watching Twin Peaks. Inexplicable, impossible, charming moments of fantasy are essential to that goal. And to character arcs. Imo.

  • December 28, 2022 at 2:41 am

    Please add a bit more gray to Armand’s hair and brows! He’s older than Jean-Guy and needs to look it for this relationship to mature as in Penny’s 18 books( all of which I have read)
    Yeh, the bear was awkward.
    Hat’s off to Ruth character. Looking forward to quotes from her poetry.

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