Father Brown (2013) s06e10 Episode Script

The Two Deaths of Hercule Flambeau

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
Et in lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiescat in pace.
- Amen.
- Amen.
Does anyone want to say a few words? Then I will ask you all to join with me in a moment's silence to pray for the departed, that his troubled soul may find peace.
Good riddance, if you ask me.
God be with you all.
Well, I don't see why I can't take it to the woman on Croft Lane.
Because any self-respecting young lady should know how to fix a ripped seam! I can fix a broken fan-belt, and I can fix an excellent martini.
There's nothing wrong with my self-respect.
It's bound to be another of his tricks.
I'm not so sure.
Flambeau was holding some sort of bomb when the police opened fire.
Oh, spare us the gory details! Not to speak ill of the dead .
.
but why spare that wicked man a second thought? Flambeau and I crossed paths a number of times.
He was a thief and a troublemaker.
Exactly why I fear for his soul.
I had hoped to lead him to redemption.
Now, it is too late.
You did your best.
And now he's got his comeuppance! Oh, he wasn't that bad.
Oh, yes, his morals left a little to be desired, but he was terribly charming.
And one could never accuse him of being boring! Well, much good did it do him! Enough talk of Flambeau.
When are we going to Gloucester? Gloucester? To the Cathedral.
To see the crown everyone's talking about.
Page three.
Ooh! "The Iron Crown is so called "because of the single band of metal that holds it together, "supposedly forged from one of the nails "at the crucifixion of Christ.
" Sounds a little bit morbid as far as head-wear goes.
But a day trip would be fun, wouldn't it? How about it, Father? Take your mind off Flambeau being flambeed.
It will go on display in the Lady Chapel tomorrow, before continuing north on its tour next week.
To think that this very piece of metal pierced the flesh of our Lord and Saviour.
The crown is ancient and fragile.
We've been asked not to touch it.
Naturally.
It must be treated with the utmost care.
Oh, don't worry, they're your lot.
Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Been guarding it all the way from Italy.
I imagine you must be expecting quite a crowd.
Oh, yes.
The hoteliers of Gloucester are doing a roaring trade.
All the more kind of you to offer me a bed in the Bishop's Palace.
Will you be staying for the duration? Oh, while the crown resides here My Lord.
.
.
so shall I.
As it is only on loan to the Church of England, Bishop Reynard wishes for the local Catholic diocese to be represented at all times.
Excellent.
We always welcome guests from across the great divide.
"11:25am, 27th December.
"Dear Father, "I may be known as the king of thieves, "but uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.
"There is reason to believe I am in mortal danger.
"I send this key, "in the hope that you will do me the honour of looking after it.
"I pray to God that it, and I, may be safely delivered.
"In haste, F.
" Goodbye.
Ah! Delighted to see a new face at Mass.
Have you recently moved to Kembleford? Actually, I came here looking for you.
You are just as he described.
He? Oh, sorry, I should introduce myself.
I am Lisandra Flambeau.
Hercule was my husband.
Hercule said he entrusted the key to a friend.
Only he didn't have any friends.
Except, perhaps, you.
What is the key for? A safe in Hercule's study, containing his most recent will.
It should secure my inheritance against any counter-claims.
I believe there is a daughter Ah, yes.
Marianne.
Forgive me for asking .
.
but Hercule didn't seem the marrying type.
Our love took us both by surprise.
We met at a party, and three weeks later we were married.
Hercule wished to put his criminal past behind him .
.
but the authorities had other ideas.
Let's explore! Explore where? The city.
You've lived here for years.
But I am no longer Lisandra Perenze.
I am now Lisandra Flambeau.
So I'll be seeing everything for the first time.
Why would I go sightseeing .
.
when I already have the perfect view? What? Get dressed.
Meet me at the statue in the harbour in one hour.
- Where will you go? - I'll give them the slip.
I've a couple of tricks up my sleeve.
I want to stay with you.
Do as I say.
It's me they're after.
One hour.
I promise.
Gelato! Gelato! Hey, stop! Hold your fire, or we'll all be blown to kingdom come! Hercule! - Mrs Flambeau - Oh, Lisandra, please.
I don't wish to upset you any further, but your husband made no mention of you in his letter.
So he did send you the key.
Yes, but Forgive me again.
How do I know that you are really his widow? I I don't know.
I should have brought our marriage certificate! I've come all this way, and Sorry.
Come with me.
I will find whoever did this, and In here! They must have broken in while we were at Mass.
The police are on their way.
The key has gone.
What key? It belonged to Flambeau.
Ladies, this is Lisandra Flambeau.
Hercule's widow.
Flambeau was married?! Did you tell anyone about the key? Not a living soul.
Seen anyone loitering in the area? Now that you mention it .
.
Harold Slow was seen peeking through the window yesterday.
Blind Harry? He was waving at you! The poor man's smitten! Yes, well, even so The culprit is not from Kembleford.
How would you know that? A hunch.
Er, no sign of forced entry, no footprints outside, no witnesses.
Thank you, Sergeant! Opportunists, no doubt.
Realising the place was empty during Mass, they were looking for any valuables they could pilfer.
No valuables were taken, only the key.
Maybe they were disturbed in the act and snuck out the back.
And naturally you'll be using all resources at your disposal to apprehend them? I'm sure the Inspector will do his job.
Now, I must do mine.
Come on, Sergeant.
Let's decide which of our resources to deploy first.
Yes, sir.
I fear that it is no coincidence that the key went missing when the Crown appears nearby.
But how are they connected? Flambeau was killed near Monza Cathedral, the home of the crown for centuries.
And, a few days ago, I received this.
"Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.
" You think Flambeau was planning to steal the Iron Crown? And now that he's dead, someone else is picking up the pieces - where he left off! - No! My husband did many bad things, but he had changed.
Our marriage was a new start.
Nonetheless, I feel it is my duty to go to Gloucester and warn the Bishop.
What about the key? My future depends on it! If my suspicions are correct, the key is already on its way to Gloucester.
For your journey.
He's only going to Gloucester.
They do have food there you know! You are generous to a fault, Mrs McCarthy.
I made you some tea.
You know, Hercule thought very highly of you.
I shall see you at the Red Lion as soon as I get back.
Good luck.
You're going to miss your train! Now, you be careful.
If one of Flambeau's associates is behind this You know me, Mrs McCarthy.
Always careful.
If only that were true! Good afternoon.
May I have the cassock back after you've finished with it? Pity.
I think it rather suits me.
You've hurt my feelings, Father.
How so? Your occupation involves going to baffling lengths to celebrate a miraculous resurrection, yet you don't seem at all impressed by mine.
I deem that rather unfair.
In my defence, I had a clue.
- Clue? - Your letter.
Dated December the 27th, yet it only arrived a few days ago.
International postal services -- so infuriatingly unreliable, don't you find? And why be so specific as to the time, 11:25, when you were supposedly writing "in haste"? One must always make time for correspondence with old friends.
After the key was stolen, I realised December the 27th is the feast day of St John The Apostle.
And 11:25 refers to Chapter 11, verse 25.
John 11:25.
"I am the resurrection and the life.
" "He that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live.
" Bravo, Father.
So .
.
did you miss me? Ah.
I'm surprised we Anglicans have been entrusted with the Iron Crown, even temporarily.
You should thank the Archbishop of Milan.
He used his influence on the Holy See to arrange the tour.
To what end? Ever since the days of the Holy Roman Empire, the crown has been a symbol of unification.
The Archbishop is keen for our two churches to put historical conflicts behind us, and work towards .
.
common goals.
You don't share this ambition? Of course I do.
I'm merely concerned about the repercussions .
.
should anything go wrong.
Fear not.
The safe was commissioned specially.
Impregnable, apparently.
And the Maltese guards will be watching the crown day and night.
I pray that you're right, Bishop Golding, else relations between the Church of England and the Vatican may be set back .
.
hundreds of years.
Why fake your own death? It became requisite to rid myself of some unwanted attention.
So I tipped off the police as to my whereabouts.
All that remained was to rig the alleyway with explosives, along with enough pig's offal to make them think I'd been sent to face my eternal damnation.
I hopped down a manhole before the smoke cleared, and voila! Did it not trouble you to leave a grieving widow? Double-widow, actually.
Poor Lisandra's first husband joined the choir invisible when she was 19.
So why marry her if that was your plan? I can think of a couple of reasons.
Very well! Shortly after we met, I had an unfortunate encounter with Lisandra's father.
Que? Que? Sta qui? Would you believe I'm looking for moths? Roccu Perenze, current head of the Corsican mafia.
To call it a shotgun wedding would be the grandest of understatements, yet the debacle proved advantageous.
I persuaded Roccu to apply a little pressure, in the way that only a notorious sadist can, and we were awarded special dispensation to get married in Monza Cathedral.
- The home of the Iron Crown.
- Exactly! A delicious opportunity to acquire the blueprints for the safe designed to house the crown during its tour.
I was able to recreate the key.
I even had a replica safe built to ensure it worked.
It's surprisingly useful.
I keep my paperwork in it.
So, in order to steal the crown, you married a woman you hardly knew? I know a great deal about Lisandra.
Such as? Well How did her first husband die? What's her favourite music? Such disapproval! Although our marriage was brief, I'm sure she'll have some fond memories.
I know I certainly will.
Poor woman is heart-broken.
She'll get over me.
Eventually.
Do you really have the audacity to steal the most famous crown in Europe from the Pope, while it's under the protection of the Church of England? Every single Catholic and Anglican in Europe would come after you! Would I have the audacity?! Sometimes, Father, I think you barely know me at all.
Of course I'm going to steal it.
That crown has decorated kings and emperors from Charlemagne to Napoleon! It will be the piece de resistance of my private collection! So what's to stop me warning the Bishop of your arrival? Nothing.
I rather hope you will.
That's why I left a clue.
You know I enjoy a challenge.
Anyway, now I have the key, there's no way they can Forgive me.
I suddenly feel some Flambeau? Are you unwell? Sorry, Father.
But needs must.
Father? Father? End of the line.
Thank you, Captain.
Father Brown.
To what do we owe this dubious pleasure? Canon Fox, forgive me.
The Iron Crown .
.
will be on display to the public tomorrow.
Return then.
.
.
is in danger.
I must warn Bishop Golding.
Danger? Someone wants to steal it.
All right, I'm listening.
Who's the thief? Hercule Flambeau.
Flambeau is dead.
I read his obituary in The Times.
It's my fear that may have been published somewhat prematurely.
Flambeau has a copy of the key.
Impossible.
I have the only copy.
Please, Your Grace.
For my peace of mind.
If you insist.
Follow me.
How do you know Flambeau has a key? He sent it to me, to keep safe.
Only .
.
he's stolen it back again.
If the crown isn't still there, I'm holding you personally responsible! Even if this Flambeau did have a key, he'd need the combination.
I hope that puts your mind at rest.
- Please accept my sincerest apologies - Oh, no need.
I'll warn the guards to be vigilant .
.
just in case.
Now, you'd be very welcome to stay for the night.
We have lodgings available in the Bishop's Palace.
- Thank you, that is very kind.
- Come.
Ever considered becoming a hermit? "He would need the combination.
" Ever considered becoming a hermit? Who the blazes is she?! She is Mrs Flambeau.
The crown! You and Father Brown take that woman to Bishop Golding.
You, come with me! Move, move! I'm sorry, Father, I tried to stop him.
Where is he? Gone.
He took the crown.
If you hurry, you might still catch him.
Father, could you? Admit it, you were only trying to stop him because you wanted the crown for yourself.
- Er - This is a crime against God! I had my reasons.
Avarice! My husband's motivation, not mine.
My cause is nobler.
Cause?! My father wishes to use the crown to inspire a revolution that will reunite Corsica and Italy.
I planned to wait until Flambeau had taken the crown, and then steal it from him.
But he died.
Or I thought he died.
So I decided to carry out the heist myself.
Oh, no! The key alone is not enough.
Oh, I should have killed you on the train.
I take it our honeymoon is over? My father will tear you limb from limb.
Perhaps, but until then you promised to love, honour and obey.
So give me the key.
Where will your husband go? He'll vanish.
I doubt I'll ever see him again.
Pity.
The authorities may have been more lenient if you'd assisted in his capture.
Please! Oh, get up.
Forgive me! Look, this won't help.
The police are already on their way.
Oh, but I deserve to face earthly justice.
But it is God's rage I fear.
Be truly repentant, child, and God will forgive you.
- Thank you.
- Oh, no, there now, there.
Hmm.
If it's absolution you're after, you're better off speaking to my Catholic guests.
Er, take her to a cell and keep a close eye on her.
Oh, forgive me.
I didn't take your warning seriously enough.
Now it will take a miracle to avoid a major diplomatic incident between the Church of England and the Vatican.
With your permission, I'll attempt to retrieve the crown.
You? Haven't you done enough already? Flambeau only got hold of the combination because of your interference, and you heard the woman, he'll be long gone by now.
I fear Canon Fox is right.
All we can do is work out how to break the news to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Return to Kembleford and wait to hear from me.
You might wish to start packing.
The guards tell me you want me to hear confession? No time.
You need to break me out.
And why would I do that? Without me, you'll never find him.
And the crown? Right now, I only want revenge.
Not something I could condone.
Not even if it meant getting your precious crown back? I'd trade it to see Flambeau in chains.
You know the police will never catch him.
I thought you didn't know where he was.
I lied.
He has a safe house in London.
He'll lie low there while the authorities search the major ports and harbours.
But we have to be quick.
Hercule will make a dash for the continent as soon as possible.
What if you're lying now? Then you can leave me here to await my judgment.
It's up to you.
I'm doing this only to retrieve the crown.
And as for judgment, God will take care of that.
Help! Help! Medico! Medico! Hands up! I am most terribly sorry about this.
For a man of the cloth, Father, you're an excellent liar.
This is the quickest way out.
I left something in the vault.
What are you still doing here? Other than admiring the architecture? - I'm stealing the crown.
- I thought you had.
No, it's still in the safe.
We acquired the combination, thanks to you.
And now we've got the real key thanks to you.
- We? - Yes.
- So you were working together after all? I needed to get in front of the Bishop - Oh, thank you.
- Oh, now - Thank you.
.
.
so I allowed myself to get caught.
So the key you sent me was a decoy.
More like bait.
So you didn't come to Kembleford to get the key, you came for me.
Without me, the plan wouldn't have worked.
Exquisite, isn't it? My father will be delighted.
You're giving it to him? Selling it, to be precise.
At a discounted rate for family, of course.
I'll call the guards.
I wouldn't.
Actually, go ahead.
I doubt they'll hear you anyway.
Don't worry, Father.
It's almost dawn, I'm sure you won't be here long.
You were magnificent! I could just say the same about you.
Hold this.
Throw me the crown and I'll pull you up.
What are you doing? I don't think I'm ready to settle down.
Stop fooling around.
Perhaps we should just be friends? Or pen-pals? - I'm warning you - Anyway, an ignoramus like your father would never fully appreciate the crown.
Pearls before swine.
But thank you for a wonderful honeymoon This is your last chance.
.
.
and I swear, whenever I gaze upon the crown, I shall think of you.
Hercule? Hercule! Hercule! HERCULE! HERCULE! Gloucestershire Constabulary has decided that no further action will be taken against you.
Thank you.
Don't thank me.
Bishop Golding persuaded them that you were acting under duress when you let the woman escape.
I did my best to convince them that you're an inveterate troublemaker.
- Any sign of Flambeau? - Not yet.
But apparently they've circulated descriptions of Mr and Mrs Flambeau throughout the country but Oh, fat lot of good that will do! Flambeau could pass himself off as the Duke of Edinburgh and Scotland Yard would be none the wiser! Perhaps the Force would have better luck catching criminals if they weren't aided and abetted by members of the public.
Good day! I played right into Flambeau's hands.
Well, you weren't to know.
And at least you're back with us safe and sound.
Not for long.
If Canon Fox has his way, Bishop Reynard will transfer me out of his diocese.
Excuse me.
I thought you would be halfway to Corsica.
I was betrayed.
Life imitating artifice.
I was fortunate to escape the police.
So why are you back here? To ask you to help me retrieve the crown.
If you have any sense, you will leave the country before the authorities catch up with you.
Together we can find him.
Very well.
If that's your decision, I'll leave you in peace.
Poison? If Flambeau brings the crown here by eight o'clock tomorrow night .
.
I'll give you the antidote.
I have no way of contacting him.
You're a resourceful man.
You have 32 hours.
One hour for each day we were married.
You really loved him.
More fool I! Yes, I loved him.
And I believed that he cared about me .
.
but I was wrong.
Now let's see if he cares about you.
Canon Fox? I wasn't expecting Congratulations on your new position, Father.
My new? Ever heard of Witherly Island? Off the north-west coast, somewhere.
A few fisherman's cottages, not much else.
The previous incumbent, Father Protheroe, has passed away - so his flock are in need of a new protector.
- Ah.
You have one week to put your affairs in order.
You can't do this! Father Brown is needed here! I must go where the Church feels I am most useful.
Good man.
And don't worry, Mrs McCarthy.
We'll find you a replacement in no time.
I'll get straight on the telephone with my uncle.
He can pull some strings.
I have more pressing matters.
What can be more pressing? I'm dying.
Mrs McCarthy, I wonder if you'd do me a kindness? Anything.
I need something typing.
Any luck? Not yet.
The symptoms are so vague it could be anything.
You need to keep your strength up! I can't face it.
Has the newspaper arrived yet? It's rather hidden away, I'm afraid.
Due to short notice.
Um, read it, please.
"Urgent -- collector of religious artefacts needed.
"Much beloved possession of St Mary's Church, Kembleford, "available for one crown.
"In need of repair due to accidental damage by a distressed widow.
"Deadline, 8pm today.
" Even if Flambeau sees it and realises it's from you, what's to say that he'll come? It is a long shot, yes.
- I want to call the police.
- No.
Oh, let us take you to the hospital at least.
No doctors.
And no police.
All we can do is pray.
Hello.
St Mary's Presbytery? Hello, do you still have the item listed in the classified? No, I'm afraid that item is no longer available.
Goodbye.
If it's about the advertisement, I Is it true? Penelope! Help the Father down here as quick as you can! Yes, it is true.
He is dying.
Thanks to you! I want to speak to him.
And he's coming.
Though he's not as light on his feet as once he was, what with all that poison in his system! Spare me your indignation.
I'm trying to help.
Oh, and you expect me to believe that, do you? - Flambeau? - You're getting careless, old friend.
Is it too much to hope that you are bringing back the crown? Evidently.
Lisandra is making quite a name for herself.
A woman like that wouldn't want to leave any loose ends.
If I hand her the crown, she'll kill me and let you die anyway.
You cannot be sure of that.
Actually, I can.
You were wrong about me, Father.
I do know her.
Her first husband went down with the Bismarck.
Her favourite piece of music is Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue.
And she is entirely without conscience.
Then why are you calling? To say sorry.
And good luck.
There's always hope.
- Flambeau?! - He's gone.
Now, now, Mrs McCarthy.
We have been delivered from evil before.
He really is without a heart.
Well .
.
it's not yet eight o'clock.
And I believe that somewhere in Hercule Flambeau there is a tortured soul waiting for redemption.
And you must believe the same .
.
or you would not have thought that this plan could work.
You and I thought too highly of him and he let us down.
But don't worry, I will avenge us both.
"To refrain from imitation is the best revenge.
" Don't spout your Scripture at me.
Actually, I think it's Marcus Aurelius.
Lisandra .
.
why would your first husband have been on board the Bismarck? - What? - The battleship.
That's how he died, isn't it? My husband was shot during the occupation of Corsica in 1942.
Ah.
My mistake.
Do you like Gershwin? Not particularly.
Why? No reason.
"There's always hope.
" Lisandra, would you like me to hear your confession now, before it's too late? You're the one running out of time, not I.
Lisandra Flambeau What is this? I'm arresting you for the attempted murder of Father Brown and stealing the Iron Crown of Lombardy.
You're not obliged to say anything, but anything you say may be given in evidence.
You fool! Perhaps I would have given you the antidote anyway, but now you'll never know.
My father will break me out, while your beloved Flambeau has left you to die! Actually, he's already saved me.
How did you know that she had poisoned you with thallium? Ah, Flambeau told me that Lisandra's first husband died when the Bismarck sank, a ship named after the most famous Prussian of all, and that her favourite music was Rhapsody In Blue.
Both lies.
Or rather clues.
Because the antidote to thallium poisoning is Prussian blue.
Ah.
Even when he's saving my life, he's talking in riddles.
Don't give him too much credit.
If it wasn't for Flambeau, - you would never have been in danger in the first place.
- Hmm.
Well, we must be off.
Visiting hours are nearly over.
We'll come back later.
Is there anything you need? An atlas? I probably should find out where Witherly Island is.
Oh, yes.
I'd rather forgotten about all of that.
Don't you worry about that for now.
Just concentrate on getting better.
Thank you.
Ah, Doctor.
Everything all right Doctor? I'm afraid not.
I've been running some tests.
With a magnet.
A magnet? The metal strip inside the crown, it isn't iron.
Oh.
So it wasn't forged with a nail from the crucifixion? How disappointing for you.
Nevertheless, it still has immeasurable historical and financial value.
It will sit well enough amongst my other baubles.
I doubt you've come out of hiding to tell me that.
I require a favour.
I did save your life.
Nevertheless Hear me out.
Lisandra managed to get a message to her father.
He put a bounty on my head.
Not a man to be trifled with.
Has a reputation for using thallium to dispose of his rivals.
So your tip-off was an educated guess? Like father, like daughter - I was right, wasn't I? - Still .
.
I don't see how I can protect you from her father? Protect me? You're far too late for that.
Nothing as subtle as poison, I'm afraid.
No.
No message.
What do you need from me? I would consider it a great honour if you would conduct my funeral.
On one condition.
Does anyone want to say a few words? Then I will ask you all to join with me in a moment's silence to pray for the departed, that his troubled soul may find peace.
In light of recent events, the Bishop has decided that you are to .
.
remain at Kembleford .
.
for now.
Thank you, Canon Fox.
And may you pass on my deep gratitude for the Bishop's leniency.
What now? The crown has been returned.
The assassins are off my back.
I believe that makes us square.
I concur.
A clean slate.
A new beginning.
But what will you do with it? The possibilities are endless.
By the way, I think you might have been a little more effusive with the eulogy.