There was a stunning revelation on Monsieur Spade Season 1 Episode 5 that we should have seen coming a mile away.
We also got our first true glimpse into the monster that is Philippe Saint Andre as we said goodbye to a character we’ve come to know well.
Let’s dig into a jam-packed episode and everything that came to light.
When I have been snooping on social media about reactions to Monsieur Spade Season 1, many people call it slow, which escapes me, and many others say it’s difficult to follow.
This is the episode where things start to make sense, even if to an average person like me, making sense of it doesn’t make it any more palpable.
Fitting the pieces together could have been done without too much backstory, but using backstory to do it gives us a little more skin in the game, to use a football reference (hey to everyone who arrived late because of the Super Bowl!).
Even with everything coming to light, there is still much that will likely never be explained. That’s life.
We walk through it, getting slips of information that don’t always add up in the end.
But even after watching this episode twice, it was hard to nail down everything that was offered, so let’s see what we can make of it together.
The idea that Philippe isn’t a match for Sam Spade crumbled as Philippe’s viciously cold nature was finally revealed.
Before this, he was more of a clownish criminal. His humor fell short; he fell short. It was easier to imagine him in Fargo than in Goodfellas.
That was an error in judgment on my part.
Gazala: You are like the hunting dog; well-trained for the hunt, but when the hunt is over, no one wants you in the house.
Philippe: [grabs her throat] Except that the kinds of hunts for which I am ordained are never over.
Gazala: You confuse skill with value. And one doesn’t get to simply declare one’s own value.
The opening scene made those coming later edge-of-your-seat stuff, especially when Sam was nearing his door and then, ultimately, when Jean-Pierre pushed Philippe a little too far.
Hunting for information by making a game out of a man’s life says a lot about the cold and calculating nature of Philippe Saint Andre.
Philippe came from a broken home where his mother may have entertained gentlemen callers if you will, while he was nearby. It’s easy to imagine that’s where he found an affinity for nothingness over emotion.
Philippe readily admits his shortcomings, relying on them to keep him moving in one direction — a direction that follows the money, no matter what he has to do to get it.
The scariest thing about Philippe is that he’s not stupid or bumbling. That he cares so little for himself and others will probably be his eventual undoing, though. You cannot adequately assess all of the risks if you have no aversion to them.
You need to be able to consider what you could lose with one wrong move to ensure you don’t make that move.
Still, too much emotion and holding onto the past can have the same effect.
If Philippe is dead inside, Jean-Pierre is a hive of emotion, and for him, every dot between aspects of his life all share the same space. His love for Marguerite crossed his pain from the war, and his decision to hand Zayd over to the devil himself proved to be too much for Jean-Pierre.
Zayd is safe in Philippe’s hands, not because Philippe cares about him or his wellbeing but because he’s worth big bucks. Gazala’s safety is assured by being the only person alive able to positively identify Zayd.
Not that anyone cares about Gazala.
She got her sister (apparently her twin?) into the situation with Zayd. Angelique was in over her head, and she failed to do the only thing asked of her, which was to keep the convent safe.
If Jean-Pierre had been thinking about things clearly, he might have realized that his best course of action, should he want to free Zayd from the game of hot potato his life had become, would’ve been to intercept him after he left Philippe’s arms.
Jean-Pierre hoped to make up for what happened with the woman in Algiers by saving the boy. In allowing those two events to converge, Jean-Pierre underestimated Philippe.
Ending Jean-Pierre’s story right there made him unnecessary to the overall story being told. At least we know more about the pain he’s been carrying; I’m still unclear about his relationship with the woman.
Didn’t we see a photo of her with tears on her face on Monsieur Spade Season 1 Episode 4? It was very similar to the look on her face when the men sped past him to begin assaulting her in front of her children.
He could have visited her after failing to protect her a second time and grown closer, but we’ll never know, and it doesn’t really matter in the long run.
Zayd’s importance comes down to far more than being a potential Mahdi, which I should have known given that geo-political endeavors trump anything as faith-based as the end of the world and its savior.
Zayd’s scribblings are messages of his own making. The world wants to tear him in pieces, not to save it but for each viable entity involved to ensure their success should WWIII begin, among other things.
World governments want him because whoever is in possession of him will know all the secrets. The Church wants him because he can mathematically prove the existence of God. Other religions have their own agendas.
Some Shiite scholars have come to the conclusion that the boy is the Mahdi, a spirit close to Allah who can disappear and reappear whenever he chooses. Evidently, this particular Mahdi’s arrival could announce the end of times. Of course, the Sunni Ahlus Sunnah believes the child has come to earth to restore the purity of the faith.
That this whole thing came together in Bozouls, of all places, is almost ironic, except squirreling Zayd away there makes perfect sense. It’s the last place you’d think to look — unless Sam Spade was involved.
Zayd may have remained hidden, and Philippe may have already sold him to the highest bidder if not for Sam’s connection to Teresa.
The Fitzsimmons spies couldn’t believe that a detective like Sam would be connected to Teresa, the kidnapper’s daughter. They were totally off base until the deaths in the convent, which suddenly thrust him into the middle of a conspiratorial investigation years in the making.
Sam: That George guy. Does he look like he knows Kung Fu?
Teresa: Kung Fu? No.
Sam: Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
Who woulda thunk?
The most stunning revelation of all is that Marguerite has pieced together the real puzzle, which is exactly how Teresa and Sam are connected. Sam and Teresa are the duo at the center of all of this; without them, the story ceases to exist.
It was mentioned in the Monsieur Spade Season 1 Episode 2 Review that Teresa absorbed quite a bit from her time with Sam, even though they lived apart. Why wouldn’t Sam’s own daughter be a chip off the old block?
Teresa being older than we thought makes things with Henri a little less icky, for starters. It also helps explain why she was so cut off from the younger girls. As a girl’s hormones kick in, she can become a young woman well before her friends.
As she changes, so do her interests. Pretty clothes and boys take precedence. They get smarter and sassier. These are all things that set Teresa apart from her peers and also made her such a handful for Sam.
Sam: Should we get a drink?
Sam: Just one. A really small one.
Teresa: [excitedly] Are we going to a bar?
Sam: That’s where the drinks are.
Marguerite also pointed out that Sam Spade is not a stupid man and had probably already worked this out for himself. He just wasn’t willing to admit it.
But when Teresa was in danger from something other than the boring life of convent living, his instincts kicked in. Everyone could see it but him.
Teresa has her father’s inclination for investigation, and if they put their heads together, they could have a thriving practice in France.
So where will all of this end?
Zayd’s fate must be secured, but it’s more important that Teresa is let in on the secret of her birth. Will Sam have it in him to welcome his daughter with open arms?
How could anyone so smart be so stupid? She doesn’t belong anywhere but with you.
I can’t imagine another outcome. Teresa has already been leaning heavily into her feelings for Sam. Maybe she’s figured it out, too.
Sam thought that without Gabrielle, he would live out the rest of his years enjoying the peaceful solitude afforded him.
He wasn’t interested in his health and was just happy to take a daily swim in his pool.
Something tells me that’s all about to change.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.