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Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989–2013): Season 1, Episode 5 - The Third Floor Flat - full transcript

Hercule Poirot is bored to tears and with three weeks since his last case, is worried that his little gray cells will stop working. Captain Hastings suggest a evening at the theater to see the latest murder mystery but even that doesn't help when Poirot finds the plot to be absurd. On their return home to Whitehaven Mansions, they learn that the new occupant of the flat two floors below Poirot's has been found shot. She had only moved in that very same day and was an unknown. Poirot puts his little gray cells to good use and assists Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard in identifying the murderer.

You can pour that cup of tea
now, darling!

This is the last bit!

Right you are, dear.

Wouldn't mind having your job,
mate --

standing there,
doing nothing all day.

No, easy, now.

And mind the paintwork!

Oh, you and your
bloody paintwork.

Leave it there, thank you.

And could we have a signature,


Oh, mon Dieu.
Ca suffit.

Ah, Mr. Poirot.

You've only done seven minutes.

You'll never cure your cold if
you don't obey the instructions.

I can't imagine a method
so undignified

can cure anything, Miss Lemon.

And now once more I have
the backache, eh?

Has the post come, Miss Lemon?

Yes, and I'm afraid
there was nothing for you.


It's only been three weeks
since your last case.

Three weeks is an eternity
to a brain like mine.

Without the constant

my little gray cells
will starve and die.

Already you can see
I am suffering the effects.

There's a letter for you.

Read it.

"Dear Miss Matthews,
I am the new tenant of 36B,

directly below you.

I wonder if I might have a word
at your earliest convenience.

Ernestine Grant, Mrs."

It sounds a bit ominous.
What could she want?

Lord knows.

Have you clapped eyes on her?

Probably a complaint about
the gramophone or something.

How's the cold, old boy?

And now also you're trying to
give me the heart attack?

I wouldn't be surprised
if riding in that car

was not responsible
for my present malady.

She's much too much of a lady
to give anyone a cold.

She's running like a bird since
I fitted those new gaskets.

Birds do not run, Hastings.

When you were little, you
should have paid more attention

to your lessons in biology.

You're really in a bad way,
aren't you?

Well, my friend
as one approaches the end,

one begins to see life
as it truly is.

Don't worry.

I've got something
that'll cheer you up.


A couple of tickets
for "The Deadly Shroud."


You know, the new murder mystery
at Wyndham's.

Oh, my dear Hastings,
that is most kind,

but how can a mere stage play
be compared

to the real-life cases
of Hercule Poirot?

Tell you what --

I'll wager you 10 quid you can't
solve "The Deadly Shroud."

You on?

Well, the money, of course,
is of no importance.

But I find your challenge

I accept.

Oh, it's you.

You better come in.

Are you all right?

Oh, my God!

Help her, someone!

Lady Muriel?

She's dead.

It was the sherry, of course.

What was?

That killed Lady Muriel.

The sherry -- it was poisoned.

Oh. Do you think so?


I think that Mrs. Sadler
is looking pretty suspicious.

No, no, no.



No, thank you.

Now, don't open this now --
only at the end.

What is it?

The name of the murderer,
of course.


It's Mlle. Matthews.

Over there, Hastings,
the girl in the red dress --

she lives in the flat below me
in Whitehaven Mansions.

An enchanting mademoiselle,
n'est-ce pas?


The question of motive has had
me worried, I can tell you.

Why should anyone want to kill
Lady Muriel?

Who would gain by her death?

The answer, ladies
and gentlemen, is nobody.



Because Lady Muriel
was never the intended victim.


The person who should have drunk
the poisoned sherry,

the person for whom
it was intended,

was the missing son and heir

who stood to inherit
Lady Muriel's fortune --

Major Sadler.

Only one other person
in this room

knew of this well-kept secret

and stood to gain from
the major's death -- his wife.

Am I not correct, Mrs. Sadler?


Oh, but that's -- that's absurd.

The writer is an imbecile.

Oh, yes, Mrs. Sadler,
your plan was clever --

so clever that it
almost had me fooled.

But I noticed that...

...what did happen
to the missing glass.

Perhaps it is time I retire,

I say, Poirot, you're beginning
to make me feel badly

about all this.

No, no, no, no, not at all.

Hercule Poirot
is a man of his word,

even if the playwright is not.

We were not given all the facts.

It was only at the end
that we discover

that Major Sadler
is Lady Muriel's son.

And that theater has made
my cold even worse.

Of course I did.
I got it at the end of act one.

I knew it was that Mr. Sadler
right from the beginning.

Takes one to know one,
I suppose.

It was that dress she wore
in the first act.

I mean, it was so -- Ugh.

Oh, I can't find my key.

Perhaps you just forgot
to bring it, darling.

Of course I didn't.

I'm not a complete nincompoop,

I always bring my key.

Actually, I saw her put it
in her bag before we left.

There, you see?

The point is,
how are we going to get in?

Well, the night porter
will be off duty now.

Donovan, darling, you wouldn't
care to be a cat burglar,

would you?

No, Pat.

I think even among cat burglars,

a fourth-floor flat
might be regarded

as rather
a reckless proposition.

Is there a fire escape?

No, but there's a coal vent.

That's a point.

It's loaded
in the basement of the flats

and goes up to a hatch
in the kitchen.

We put the dustbins on it,
as well, and send them down.

Won't the hatch be bolted?

I never really bother
to bolt mine.

It's too stiff.

Well, it's worth a try,
wouldn't you say?


Oh, really, my dear chap,
it's not necessary.

Only a bit of fun, you know.

No, no, no, no, no.

10 we agreed.

10 it shall be.

Qui est-ce?

The carrier?
It is late to put out a dustbin.

Hastings, be so kind
as to extinguish the light.

This'll be it.

Are you sure?

Of course I'm bloody sure.

Put the light on.

No, they won't work.

Try the sitting room.

All right.

Looks like burglars.

No, no, no, I do not think so.

They are wearing
the evening dress.

Un moment.

What on earth's Pat been up to?

Everything's in the wrong
bloody place.

This isn't Pat's flat.


"Mrs. Ernestine Grant."

Oh, Lord, we're in 36B, not 46B.

I suggest we get out of here
before she finds us.


Good God.

What are we going to do?

I don't know.

Pat! Mildred!

Something's happened.

What is it?

There's a dead woman down here.

Oh, my God.


Uh, this is Jimmy Faulkner,
M. Poirot.

Ah, bon soir, M. Faulkner.

Not the M. Poirot?


Yes, he lives in the flat
above me.

Oh, gosh, I didn't know.
This is an honor, sir.

Well, thank you.

You see, Hastings?

I am still a force
to be calculated.

So, the doors were unbolted.

You walk across the kitchen.

And you say the light
did not switch on.

No, the bulb had gone
or something.


How very odd.

Maybe there's
a loose connection.

Or perhaps the bulb
has been replaced.

We heard that sound before, sir.

It is the domestic, the maid.

We will let her sleep
for the moment.

You better watch your step,

This is where
the famous private detective

Mr. Hercule Poirot lives.

So, Donovan and I came in here.

I mean, we still thought we were
in Miss Matthew's flat.

And then we put the light on
and realized we weren't,

and then we saw the body.


She has been dead for some time.

What, hours, do you mean?

What is that on your hand?


Oh. What's that?

My God, I think it's blood.

Did you touch the body?


So, the crime was committed
at the table...

and then the body was moved
to the window.

It is blood.

Hastings, be so kind
as to go downstairs

and ask M. Dicker what time

the last post was delivered
this evening.




Ah, my dear
Chief Inspector Japp.

You'll be having murders in your
back bedroom next, Poirot.

Who's the victim?

Mrs. Ernestine Grant.

Apparently, she only moved in
to the flat today.

And how was the body found?

Well, I'm afraid that's rather
a long story, Chief Inspector.

It would be.

I shall want statements
from everybody.

Omelet for you, Mildred?

Oh, I couldn't.

I suppose you're inured to this
sort of thing, M. Poirot?

No, no, no, on the contrary.
I think it is very nice.

You know, Mlle. Patricia,

I once loved a very young,
beautiful English girl

who resembled you greatly.

But, alas, she could not cook.

And the relationship withered.

No, I meant -- Well, you know,
poor Mrs. Grant and everything.

Mlle. Patricia,
a little bread, perhaps?


It is essential
to keep up the strength

of my little gray cells.

You seem a little better, sir.

Thank you.
I am feeling better.

Doesn't seem real at all.

It's like a little play
or something.

A better play, I trust, than
the farrago we saw this evening.

Oh, didn't you like it?

Oh, we all thought
it was terrific.

Ah, I beg to differ --
on the contrary.

We were not given all the facts.

The facts, as presented,
pointed to Chivers, the butler.

Oh, do you think so, sir?

There's no question.

Consider his position.

He was the only person who had
the motive and the opportunity

to poison the sherry.

And then the writer

has this character
of a simple, plodding policeman

speaking a windbag
of the summing up

and resting his whole case
on the infantile subplot --

The door was open.

Come in, Inspector.

Well, it looks like
a pretty cut-and-dried matter.

Not worth your while,
I'm afraid, Poirot.

But that woman's Mrs. Grant,
all right.

The maid identified her.

She was shot at the table

with a small-caliber
automatic pistol.

She fell forward, which accounts
for the blood on the cloth.

So, somebody actually
shot her in cold blood?

That's the way it looks, sir,

How dreadful.

And the time of death?

The doctor estimates
between five and six hours ago.

None of you noticed
anyone unusual in the flats

around that time, I suppose?

Mildred arrived
just after lunch,

and we didn't go out until Jimmy
and Donovan came to collect us

for the theater at about 7:00,
wasn't it?


And you got back at what time?

Oh, 10:30 or so.

What does the maid say?

Ah, Miss Trotter.

Excuse me.

I assume she had
the evening off.

She went out at 5:00
and got back about 10:00,

letting herself in
with her own key.

She noticed nothing unusual?

She thought her mistress
was in bed --

never thought to look
behind the packing cases.

That's very curious.


To try and hide the body.

Didn't want the crime discovered
until he made his getaway.


Well, mm, but...

Oh, pardon.

Please continue,
Chief Inspector.

Well, we found this
on the floor,

dropped in his haste, I expect.

Take a look at the corner,


That's right -- "J.F."

Now take a look at this.

This was found in the pocket
of the dead woman's dress.

"If it suits you,
I will come this evening.

Shall we say 6:00?


An incriminating document
for this Frazer.

Oh, I think we may take it

that J.F. and Frazer
are one and the same.

A John Frazer, perhaps.

We'll get a line on him
in due course.

Chief Inspector, sir?

Miss Trotter here was wondering
if she can go home now, sir.

I'm going to stay at my
sister's, if that's all right.

I couldn't sleep here,
not tonight. I couldn't.

Yes, that'll be all right
for now.

Oh, thank you, sir.

Excuse me, mademoiselle.

Yes, sir?

Permit me, if I may,
to ask you the question.

Yes, sir.

When you returned to the flat

belonging to Mrs. Grant
this evening,

did you enter the sitting room?

Oh, yes, sir.

I collected the evening post
on my way up,

and I left the letters for Mrs.
Grant on the sitting-room table.

And you noticed nothing strange
in that room?

No, sir, nothing.

Thank you very much,

Thank you, sir.

Good night.

Ah, Poirot.

Apparently, the last post
arrived at 9:00 this evening.

Thank you, Hastings.

And according to Dicker,

nobody out of the ordinary came
in and out of the building

all night.


Inspector, please.

A little favor, if I may.

Here we go.

I would like to examine the flat
belonging to Mrs. Grant.

There's nothing there, Poirot.


I've put out a call
for this John Frazer.

We find him,
that's the end of it.

As you say.

Well, then.

Oh, examine it
as much as you like.

You all right?

I'm all right.

You're shivering.
You must be cold.

It's just this terrible thing
with Mrs. Grant.

I know.

We were having
such a lovely evening.

And we'll have lots more
lovely evenings.

Do you see that?


They're taking her away.

Shocking business.

And she only moved in
this morning.

Let us, my friends,
consider the facts.

First, the letter, which was
found at the scene of the crime

and with the name John Frazer
written on the bottom.

Then the handkerchief

with the monogram "J.F."
marked on one corner.

So, it would appear --
Would it not, my friends? --

that this man, John Frazer,
was careless, n'est-ce pas?


Poirot, why are you rummaging
around in the dustbin?


I thought so.


I have a cold.

Would you be so kind,
M. Donovan?

Thank you.

Oh, no, no, no!

Why did he take off the lid?
That is stupid!

Jimmy, fetch some brandy,
if you please --

in the sitting room, I think.


What happened?

Here. Drink this, my friend.

You are fortunate, M. Bailey.

It could have been worse --
even poison, perhaps.

You must be more careful.

It kicked like a mule.

Feeling any better?

I think so, thanks.


Oh, mon Dieu.

Hastings, take him upstairs
to the flat, huh?

Perhaps prepare for him
some coffee.

I'm sure I'll be fine now,

No, no, no, no, no, no,
I insist.

You are still weak, yes?

I suppose I do feel a bit wonky

Better come along, old chap,
take it easy for a bit.


Hastings, make sure M. Bailey
is very comfortable,

because, Hastings...
I am anxious for his health.


So, what now, sir?

Now, Jimmy?


The case is finished.


Oh, yes, my friend.

I now know everything.

I don't understand, sir.

Have they arrested
this Frazer chap already?

There is no Frazer chap.

He is the name only,

the name carefully marked
on a handkerchief,

the name written on the bottom
of a letter,

which was placed in the pocket
of the dead woman,

where we would find it.

Good lord.

But who changed the light bulb
in the kitchen, then?

No one. The light --
it works to perfection.

It was a ruse to get you
into this sitting room.

Come. I show you.

You see, Jimmy,
with the light on,

it is obvious at once

that this is not the kitchen
of Mlle. Patricia.

You would have had no reason

to go into the sitting room,
would you?


Jimmy, what is this?

The key to this flat?


It is the key
to the flat upstairs,

the key
to Mlle. Patricia's flat.

M. Bailey stole this key, Jimmy,
from her bag,

and I presume sometime
during the evening.

Donovan stole it?


What on earth for?

To prevent you all from going
into her flat

when you came back
from the theater.

But why would he want --

Mon Dieu!

To drive you
into this flat instead!

To drive you, my friend,
into the service lift.

But where did you find the key?

Where I expected to find it --
in the pocket of M. Bailey.

You see, Jimmy, I only pretended
to find this bottle

in the rubbish bin.

I had it in my pocket
all the time.

But I hand it to M. Bailey.

He sniffs it and -- Pff!

In this bottle
is ethyl chloride,

a most powerful
instant anesthetic.

So, for the few moments,
M. Bailey is unconscious.

But it is time enough,

while you are in this room,
to fetch the brandy...

for me to take the two items
from M. Bailey's pocket

that I knew I would find there.

Yes, but --

Now, now, now, now, patience,
my friend,

and you will learn everything.

I ask myself,

"Why hide the body
behind the packing cases?"

To gain time?


But for the very special reason.

You see, Jimmy,
earlier this evening,

the murderer entered this flat
in order to take something, huh?

But that something was nowhere
to be found,

so it was necessary for him
to return,

but only after the last post
was delivered.

So, he had to hide the body
behind the curtain.

Then Mlle. Trotter,
the domestic, enters,

sees nothing unusual, places
the last post on the table,

and retires to bed.

And what's that letter then,

Ah, this letter, Jimmy?

This was the second item I took
from M. Bailey's pocket.

It was this letter that he was
so desperate to find.

Are you saying, then, that
Donovan murdered Mrs. Grant?


But why?

He didn't even know Mrs. Grant.

Why should he want to kill her?


Jimmy, before I tell you,

allow me to ask you a question.

It is a most personal one.

Are you in love
with Mlle. Patricia?

Oh, come on, come on, come on.
Don't be shy.

If I were your age, monsieur,

without doubt, I, too,
would be in love with her.

Well, yes, as a matter of fact,
I care for Pat damnably,

but of course
she's engaged to Donovan.

Well, she will need you
once his trouble is known.

How do you mean?

Once this case becomes public,

it will be very difficult

to keep her name out of it

You see, Mlle. Patricia
was the motive for the murder.



Poirot, he's made a dash for it!

Constable, stop that man
in the lift. Hurry.

And you, Jimmy.

Well, there's not a sign of him
out there, sir.

That's dashed odd.
He can't have got far.

Ah, your friend is not a fool,
M. Faulkner.

He presses the button
inside the lift,

but does not descend himself --

Quick -- the basement!

He's down there.

Nothing here.

Must have been something else
we heard, M. Poirot.

I think we'd better go back
upstairs, eh?

Nothing around the back, sir?

Not a thing.

He just disappeared,
disappeared altogether.

Grown men do not vanish
into thin air, mon ami.

Well, he did.


Oh, my God, Donovan!

M. Bailey!
M. Bailey!

I'd better call an ambulance,
sir, I think.

Is he badly hurt?

Oh, my God.

That front axle's just sheered
right through.

Oh, mon pauvre Hastings.

But you must not brood.

You must occupy yourself, eh?

Go and telephone
the Chief Inspector Japp

and tell him we have caught
his fish, eh?

What's happened to Donovan?

It'll need
a whole new front end.

M. Bailey, please give me
the letter you have just taken

from the table.

Thank you, monsieur.

Jimmy, be so kind

as to read us this letter
written to Mrs. Grant.

Well, it looks as if it comes
from a solicitor's.

"Dear Madam, we return the
document you forwarded to us.

It is quite in order,

and the fact of the marriage
having taken place abroad

does not invalidate it
in any way.

Yours truly,"
et cetera, et cetera.

So, Jimmy,
you ask why Mrs. Grant, huh?

Et bien -- voil.

The marriage certificate

between Donovan Grant and
Ernestine Trapshaw, dated 1930.

Who's Donovan Grant?

He now calls himself
Donovan Bailey.

I wanted a divorce.

I begged Ernestine,

but she refused,

said she'd never let me free.

After I fell in love with Pat,
Ernestine started hounding me,

telephoned me every day,
held it over me,

threatening to tell Pat

Drove me mad.

And she suddenly announced
she'd taken a flat here,

right underneath Pat's.

I couldn't believe it.

By then, I knew she was
crazy enough to do anything.

So, what happened yesterday,

Ernestine called me
in the afternoon...

...said she'd written to Pat

to arrange to see her
to tell her the truth about us.

Well, I naturally assumed
the worst.

I knew I had to do something
once and for all.

I called around to her flat
around about 6:00.

Oh, it's you.

You'd better come in.


You've absolutely no right
to go hounding Pat.

But I'm not hounding her,
my darling.

I'm simply telling her
what a rotten bounder you are,

promising to marry her when
you're already married to me.

We got married in Switzerland,
Ernestine, if you remember.

It doesn't count
under British law.

So you keep telling me.

But I thought I'd test
your little theory,

so I sent my solicitor a copy
of our marriage certificate.

He's telephoned me to say
it's completely valid.

And he's written back to me
to confirm it.

Show me.

I haven't received
his letter yet.

It'll arrive in the evening
post, I expect.

It's going to be quite a shock
for poor Miss Matthews.

I'm warning you, Ernestine,

if you approach Pat,
so help me God, I'll kill you.

I swear it.

Oh, Donovan.

Don't make me laugh.

Now, run along and try and
impress somebody else, will you?

Poor Miss Matthews.

You really have let her down,

I warned her, you see.

But she wouldn't listen.

Afterwards, I went back home
and changed for the theater.

I couldn't let her hurt Pat
like that, could I?

Ah, my dear Chief Inspector.

I came as fast as I could,

No, no, my friend,
you came just in time.

The case is closed.

Jimmy, go to Mlle. Patricia.

She doesn't want me.

She wants him.

No, no, no, no, no, mon ami.
She needs you.

Go on.
Go to her.

Hanging's too good
for some people.

Basically, what you've got here,

is some very expensive
scrap metal.

Hastings, my friend, Poirot
is as magnanimous in defeat

as he is modest in victory.

Ah, yes?

In view of the fact

that you are going to need
every penny you can get

to restore this beautiful
machine to health,

I have decided to pay up...

...and be content.

I say.

Thanks, old boy.

Think nothing of it... old boy.

Good morning, Miss Lemon.

Good morning, Mr. Poirot.

And what a beautiful morning
it is.


I hear you've been having
all sorts of excitement here.

No, it was nothing --
a case like any other.

I got your friar's balsam
for you.

My what?

Your inhalant for your cold.

Poirot does not have colds,
Miss Lemon.

It is well known

that Poirot scorns all
but the gravest afflictions.

But yesterday you were --

Miss Lemon,
yesterday was yesterday.

My tisane, if you please.