Culprits Season 1 Episode 3 Recap – Take me back to London

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: November 8, 2023 (Last updated: November 11, 2023)
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Culprits Season 1 Episode 3 Recap
Culprits Season 1 | Image via Hulu/Disney


Things get a lot more personal in Culprits, and all roads seem to be converging on the same place — London, where it all began.

It’s probably safe to say at this point that the heist didn’t go especially well. Just like in Episode 2, the third episode of Culprits Season 1, “Pflegedienstleitung”, opens with the whole thing going terribly wrong — this time from another angle. What we see in Episode 3 are the moments before Officer was shot, and Joe dragged her into a car to be taken to Doctor.  The team was overrun by heavily armed goons, relying on Specialist’s marksmanship — and obvious psychopathy — to buy them enough time to escape.

This isn’t just an action scene — it’s a tease for worsening circumstances still to come. And many of them come in this episode, which brings Specialist and Officer into the present-day fold, and forces Joe to open up to Jules in a way he hoped he’d never have to. This clearly represents a turning point in the series, with everyone’s cards on the table, and Joe himself heading back to London to reunite with the gang and figure out who’s trying to kill them.

Culprits Season 1 Episode 3 Recap

This episode also gives us another angle on the call from Officer that Joe received at the end of the previous episode. We see how she spent that evening — ripping someone off, naturally — and the moments leading up to the call when she saw the news of Doctor’s death on her phone. Immediately after calling Joe, she packed her bags and left, but the killer was waiting for her outside. She manages to stave him off with pepper spray for a few seconds, but it doesn’t seem like she gets away.

NOW — Kyle Bedrosian makes a move

Following the call, Joe is in a bit of a panic. He shoves Bud and Frankie into school without much talking, then heads home, posts a job listing in a German magazine, and litters the house with surveillance equipment that he can monitor through an app on his phone.

There is domesticity to keep up in the meantime, though. Frankie and Bud want an explanation for why their grandmother — their mother’s mother — isn’t keen on Joe, and he gives a fair answer. And Jules is trying to plan a wedding, which Joe forgot to pay the deposit for, so a bit of music and dancing are in order.

But Joe’s right to be suspicious. There’s a black Toyota parked outside, and when Joe approaches it, he’s tased, knocked out, and kidnapped by two men working for Kyle Bedrosian. They ball gag Joe and threaten to do some rather unpleasant things to him if he doesn’t retract his police statement, but they don’t account for Joe breaking free and beating them both up, which is exactly what happens.

How fitting, that Bedrosian’s goons are as overconfident as he is.

Joe, feeling much chattier, returns home and tells Jules why he was taken. He also tells him that he “fixed” the problem, though wants to go to sleep before elaborating any further. Bedrosian gets up the next morning to find the Toyota parked in his garden with the word “Stop” painted on the side and his goons gagged in the back.

Off the Grid

That’s in Washington State. In Norway, Specialist is bow hunting, showing more empathy for wildlife than she does for human beings, though she ends up slitting the throats of both either way, so it hardly matters.

Specialist is living completely off the grid, but it turns out the magazine ad Joe posted was for her. In the secret message contained therein, he asks if Soldier, Driver, and Doctor’s deaths were her doing. From her response — and the fact she loads her entire arsenal of firearms and sits staring at the door after sending it — it’s clear she’s just as much a target as anyone else.

Someone breaches Specialist’s perimeter, and it turns out to be Officer. She claims to have escaped being attacked by the masked killer, and Specialist recognizes his description, though she doesn’t go into detail about who he might be. When you steal over £100 million from someone, they’re bound to come looking for it, after all — though £100 million is significantly more than Dianne suggested was in the vault in Episode 1. Either way, Specialist drugs her to keep her out of the way for the night. They leave the next morning and Specialist burns her cabin down.

How does Culprits Episode 3 end?

Joe, having just promised Jules he’d talk to him later about the night before, decrypts the message from Specialist. It insists on breaking protocol for an emergency meeting in London, so he immediately packs his things, takes some of the money from the store floor, and buries the rest in a shallow grave.

Joe does keep his word with Jules, at least — he tells him everything, even switching to his English accent mid-conversation like Keyser Soze leaving the police station. Jules is understandably aghast at the news that his fiance is an international criminal being hunted by assassins. Joe explains that he needs to go and fix the problem he’s currently in, or the two of them — and the kids! — will never be safe. He hands Jules a duffel bag with fifty grand in it, handguns, fake IDs, and burner phones, with instructions for him to head immediately to a house he owns in Canada if he finds himself in any danger. Jules, in a bit of a sulk, claims he’ll just call the police and tell them everything instead, but we know that isn’t true.

The next morning, Joe leaves for London, with big hugs from the kids, who are none the wiser, and an encouraging “Be you” from Jules. It’s nice to see so clearly what Joe is fighting for, and why he’d be so determined to keep it. But will he be able to?

RELATED: Culprits Season 1 Episode 4 Recap

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