Baptiste Series 2: What Does the Toy Elephant Mean?

Warning: comprises spoilers for Baptiste sequence 2 episode 1.

As a lot as they want eager instincts and a signature coat, TV detectives additionally want private tragedy. In The Missing, Det. Julien Baptiste’s was his daughter Sara’s heroin dependancy. Collection one confirmed Baptiste peeling himself away from the case of lacking baby Oliver Hughes to go to his personal baby, hospitalised by an overdose and in over her head with the sellers she’d been working for to fund her behavior. 

Baptiste felt answerable for Sara’s dependancy and – as he advised one other addict he was serving to to get clear in The Missing sequence one – had nursed her by detox a number of occasions.  Rising up, Sara (Camille Schotte) had felt side-lined by Baptiste’s dedication to his work, and ignored compared to the lacking kids her father devoted his life to discovering. 

By Baptiste sequence one, Sara was clear and a brand new mom. She and her associate Ron (Omar Baroud) had moved from France to Amsterdam, the place they have been elevating their toddler daughter. When Julien and Celia have been visiting her there, Julien grew to become concerned in a lacking individuals case that briefly required the household to enter hiding for their very own security. Sara didn’t cover her displeasure at being pressured out of her house, and as soon as once more resented the ripples made by her father’s work as a detective. 

Quick ahead to the beginning of Baptiste sequence two, and Sara is 4 months useless. How she died is among the new sequence’ mysteries, as is why Julien feels such guilt about her dying. We meet Julien 4 months after the lack of his daughter, when he’s separated from spouse Celia and residing in a dingy resort. The background photograph on his cellphone is of Sara and his granddaughter. Julien is refusing to take Celia’s calls, and finishing up his investigations with an uncharacteristic lack of emotional involvement. We see him chase down a younger runaway, who says that he received’t return to his dad and mom. Baptiste walks away uncaringly, telling the boy to do what he likes, and that everybody will make their very own errors, however a minimum of now his dad and mom will know that their son is alive. Did Julien make a mistake that led to Sara’s dying? Or was the error hers?

Baptiste sequence 2 episode 1 screengrab (BBC One)

In his resort room, Julien watches a TV information press convention that includes British Ambassador to Hungary, Emma Chambers (Fiona Shaw), whose household has gone lacking. Upon listening to her enchantment to witnesses for info, Julien glimpses a knitted blue toy elephant on his resort nightstand. When he seems a second later, it’s now not there. 

Later, having travelled to Hungary and pledged to assist Emma Chambers discover out what occurred to her lacking sons, Julien sees the toy a second time. Within the resort rest room, as soon as once more, it’s there one second and gone the subsequent. The blue elephant clearly signifies the lack of Baptiste’s daughter, and the grief and guilt he’s experiencing. Maybe it was a childhood toy of Sara’s, maybe it as soon as belonged to his granddaughter, whose whereabouts – together with these of her father Ron – are at the moment unknown. Maybe it really figured in Sara’s dying, or is just a reminder of her loss. 

Eighteen months after Sara’s dying, and fourteen months after Baptiste took on the Chambers household case, he’s in a horrible state. Unkempt, bearded, drunk and disorderly, he’s picked up by two law enforcement officials whereas battering on the door of a French townhouse, screaming that its occupant is a coward and for them to come back out. Who’s inside that home? Is it anyone related to the Chambers case, or maybe Ron, his granddaughter’s father? Is Julien being refused entry to his granddaughter after Sara’s dying?

What killed Sara? The obvious guess could be a heroin relapse, maybe provoked by the shock of discovering that she had a half-brother. Baptiste sequence one launched Dutch cop Niels, son of the Amsterdam chief of police Martha Horchner, who’d hid Niels’ delivery from his father Julien. Niels was uncovered as corrupt and dealing for a people-trafficking gang. Now he’s in jail for corruption and for the unintended deadly capturing of his mom. When Celia meets Julien after he spends an evening within the cells, she berates him for his “cussed Gallic bullshit” and for silently torturing himself  “about what occurred to [their] daughter”, then offers him divorce papers, which he indicators. 

Not so way back, Baptiste had a spouse, daughter, granddaughter, and a brand new son. Now, he has nothing besides a heap of guilt and the persistent, torturous picture of a toy elephant to signify his loss. As he advised Emma Chambers (who, like Baptiste sequence two’s protagonist Edward, additionally misplaced a daughter), he carries Sara’s dying with him. If he succeeds in serving to Emma to search out her lacking son, may it lighten that load?

Baptiste sequence two airs on Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.  

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