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Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989–2013): Season 3, Episode 5 - Wasps' Nest - full transcript

At a village fête, Poirot runs into an old friend, John Harrison and his fiancé Molly Deane, a fashion model. Harrison invites Poirot and Hastings to tea the following week where Poirot learns that Molly had once been engaged to a local artist, Claude Langton. Poirot is puzzled by a number of apparently unrelated incidents but concludes that someone is being untruthful and that a murder is being planned. Courtesy of Hastings' new hobby, photography, Poirot knows exactly what is going to occur. Insp. Japp is hospitalized with a case of appendicitis.

News, please.

Sorry about this, Poirot.

I thought, as she was here
visiting with her sister,

it'd be a simple matter for her
to meet us at the station.

Hold tight, please.

The trouble with Mrs. Japp is,

once she gets nattering
over a cup of tea,

she loses all track of time.

Perhaps you two better run along
and we'll see you there.

Oh, no, we wouldn't dream --

Yes, Chief Inspector, that is
a suggestion most sensible.

Come, Hastings.
We look for a taxi.

Ah, you know what he's like

when he hasn't had a case
for a few weeks.

I thought a nice afternoon
at a garden fete

might cheer him up a bit.



About the only thing
that's gonna cheer him up today

is the discovery of a body
in the lucky dip.


Stomach still giving you gyp?

That crab mayonnaise sandwich
I had for lunch, like as not.


Be a fine way
to spend my afternoon off

if I end up
contracting food poisoning.


You go on, Captain Hastings,
and we'll see you both later.

Marble Hill Park,
if you please, driver.

-I say. Isn't that --

That fashion model?

The girl driving the car.

I'm sure I've seen her
before somewhere.

On a magazine cover.

-Anyone at home?

Mmm! Careful.
You'll mess up my clothes.

What do you think?

I think
I'm a very, very lucky chap.

Come on. Let's get inside
before we're stung to death.

You know, there are wasps
all over the place.

Oh, who was that man?

-Rather odd-looking.

He was just leaving
as I arrived.

Drove off
in a rather wonderful black car.

Sorry. No one called 'round
that I'm aware of.

Only you.

How's your car, by the way?

Remind me to check
those brakes of yours.

You said they were feeling
very spongy.

Boys and girls, this cactus

has not had a flower
for 200 years.

200 years without a flower.
What can I do?

-Keep watering!
-Keep watering!

Of course!
Keep watering!


Ah, Chief Inspector.

Mme. Japp, she's still
not with you?

Her sister's got flu,

and she doesn't want to
spread the germs.

Ah, the old fortune teller.

You gonna have a tanner's worth?

I think not, mon ami.

Although it is a subject
most intriguing for the study.

There she is again.
It is her.

Molly, um...
What's her name?

The fashion model.

I wish I'd brought the 150
with me now.

The new toy.

I give it two,
perhaps three weeks.


I missed her.

She's gone.

How much are these?

What are you playing at?


Claude, will you get away --

Oh, darling.
Why, I thought you'd got lost.

Look who I just ran into.

Is that you under there, Claude?

Didn't tell me you were
going into politics.

You know, you're just the man
I wanted to see.

You know that nest of wasps you
cleared out for me last summer?

They're back again.
With a vengeance this time.

Thousands of the blighters.

Driving me absolutely potty
in that garden.

Oh, right you are.
I'll see what I can do.

All right if I pop 'round
Friday morning?


Better get back
to your next show.

I think the audience
is getting restless.

Now, who wants to go
to a dentist?!

Let's have some tea.

-Thank you.
-Yes. Bye.

He hasn't been bothering you,
has he?

Claude Langton?

Of course not.

-Two teas, please.

All he wants now is for
the two of us to be happy.

What's past is past.

Thank you very much.

Enjoy your tea.

Well, I'll be jiggered.

What is it?

I'd know that egghead anywhere.

I see also arising

the problems where the matters
of health are concerned.

You're right.

I've had these pains
in my stomach all day long.

-Been absolute murder.
-Did someone say "murder"?

M. Poirot, how are you?
As well as ever, I hope.

Mon Dieu!
C'est M. John Harrison!

What an unexpected pleasure.

It seems an absolute age
since we last met.

I suppose it must have been
at Father's funeral.


Forgive me.
This is my fiance, Molly.

Molly, may I introduce
M. Hercule Poirot,

the famous detective?

-How do you do?

Enchant, mademoiselle.

Ah, Hastings,
the father of M. Harrison

was my first and dearest friend
in this country.

M. Harrison is himself

the writer of some repute,
n'est-ce pas?

No, no, no, no, no.

You've had published now,
combien, three books?

Oh, really?
What were they called?

I might have read one.

Well, let's see.

The first
was "Dualism and Determinism --

an Exploration of
Classical Platonic Philosophy."

Then there was "Aristotelian
Ethics -- A Short Guide

to the Metaphysical Works
of Aristotle."

Oh, M. Poirot,
you read tea leaves.

-How exciting!

-But you must read mine, please.
-Oh, bien sr!

Allow me.

Please to sit.



Excuse the lipstick.



Mademoiselle, only you
have drunk from this cup?


What is it?
What do you see?

Of course, I may be quite wrong.

I hope that I am.

But I see looming
the dark clouds.

And, ah, The troubled waters.

I see the times ahead

most dangerous for you both.


I think...

Better call a doctor.

Shall we do it again?!


You're in
the safe hands now, mon ami.

What time is the operation?

They said about 6:00.

About 6:00.

Well, I hope it's not too much
of an ordeal, old chap.

When I had mine out,
it was absolute hell.

For a week afterwards,

I got this stabbing pain
all down my right-hand side.

Hastings, Hastings.

I think the chief inspector
would like now

the little rest, huh?


So the prediction of Poirot,
it becomes true, n'est-ce pas?

Oh, come on.

All that fortune-telling stuff's
baloney, and you know it.

You think so, Hastings?

You did see something

in Molly Deane's cup, though,
didn't you?

But it wasn't tea leaves.

Hastings, I wonder
if you can recall

what was the color of lipstick

Mlle. Deane was wearing
this afternoon.

Rather pale pink, I think.
It matched her scarf.


But when I examined closely
the teacup,

I see not only the traces
of the pink lipstick,

but that also of another color.

The deep, bright red.

Have a nice lunch
with M. Poirot, won't you?

And do give him my apologies.

No luck with the petrol,
I'm afraid.

They're hardy little devils.

I'll have to try them
with something stronger.

Maybe I'll pop back
and give it another go.

Wednesday evening?

Uh, Wednesday.
Yes, fine.

Just off, Molly. You couldn't be
an angel and drop --

Uh, no, Claude.
I'm not going that way today.


See you tonight, darling.

For goodness' sake,
drive carefully.

So it's all right

if I take an early lunch,
then, Mr. Poirot?

We're working on toning up

the calf
and thigh muscles today.

Oh, yes, Miss Lemon!

Under no circumstances
must you be late

for your keep-fit lesson!


You know, it wouldn't
do you any harm

to try one or two exercises,
Mr. Poirot.

Oh, thanks, Poirot.

"Use your vigor
to keep your figure"?


There's nothing wrong
with the body of Poirot.

It is in the peak of condition.

Now, have I got everything?

Developer, fixer,
glazing solution, stopwatch.


You're not planning to use
the bathroom

for the next half-hour or so,
are you, Poirot?

Well, just let me check
with my diary, Hastings.

No, it would seem not!

Good. If you need me,
you know where I am.

-Cup of tea, Margaret?
-Oh, that would be lovely.

I'll see you on Wednesday, then.



Whitehaven Mansions, please,

-Oh, I'm sorry. Did I just...

No, no.
It's all right.

Did I hear you say
Whitehaven Mansions?

That's correct.

-Well, shall we share?
-Yes, yes. By all means.

My name's John Harrison.

I got some interesting
tonal variations there

by using a low-contrast paper.

Oh, this is not good, Hastings.

No, this is not good at all.

Bit overexposed, do you think?

Maybe I should have stopped down
to f/16.

No, no, no, no, no.

Always you put the
interpretations most sinister

on matters which may be
quite innocent.


Mr. Poirot, what do you think?

We found ourselves running
for the same taxi.

-M. Harrison, bonjour.

Mlle. Deane,
she is not with you.

I know.
She's frightfully sorry.

This job interview came up
at the last minute.

Some out-of-the-way hotel
up North.

She had to dash straight there.

Ah, no, no, no, no.

I invite you.
This is my treat.

In that case,
you must come and have tea.

Both of you.
Next week.

This time of year,
it's an absolute --

Mr. Harrison.
Telephone call for you.

I think there's been
an accident.

It's all right, darling.
I'm fine.

Well, I'm still a bit shaky,

No, I...

I don't know what happened.

The brakes just suddenly --

I know.

Look, they say
it's going to take till Monday

to get the car back on the road,
so, uh...

Well, I suppose I'll just
have to stay here till then.


Yes, of course.

Yes, that's fine, darling.


Mlle. Deane, she is all right?

Yes, thank God.

Yes, she's fine.

Bit of a bind, being stuck up
there in that hotel all weekend.

Still, you weren't hurt.
That's the main thing.

Just a few scratches
under my right knee.

Good thing hemlines are low
this year.

Yes, quite.

Come on.
Let's have some tea.

Mind how you go
down the bottom there, Poirot.

That's wasp country.

Nasty great nests of them
just by that old tree.

I've already been stung
three times.

What did you say, mon ami?

-I said mind how you --

Oh, no, no, no, no, no!

Oh, mon Dieu!

Oh! Oh!

I say, Poirot,
are you all right?

-Let's have a look.

The open air, it should
be closed during the summer.

Captain Hastings, he wonders
why I have a hatred

for these
crawling, buzzing things.

And the reason is, they're
always trying to kill me.

I had old Claude
'round here last week.

Tried to take it out for me,
but no dice.

He's coming back to have
another go Wednesday evening.


Sorry, I thought you met him
at the fete.

-Chap in the clown outfit.


Sculptor. He has a studio
not far from here.

He and Molly were engaged
to be married.

About a year ago now.

But then, well,
one of those things.

They drifted apart.
We drifted closer together.

Great thing is, there's
absolutely no hard feelings.

Makes you realize
how lucky you are, I suppose.

Well, then. Teaspoons.

Here we are.

Thank you.

It's tomorrow evening.

7:30 for eight
at the Porchester.

Do come along.
I'm sure you'll have a ball.

Oh, yes. Rather.

I've never been
to a fashion show before.

-Sounds like great fun.
-Yes, indeed.

And thank you both

for an afternoon
that has been most enjoyable.

You know, you really should
pop into a chemist's

for that wasp sting.

Yes, you should.
Mrs. Henderson.

It just down the towpath
near the pub.

She'll have some cream
or something.

Ease the soreness a bit.

Ah, oui.
The chemist.

Mais certainement.

We will call in on our way.
Au revoir.


You know, I wish
that I could stop worrying.

But the questions, they keep
buzzing around my head

like the wasps
around the nest.

-Ask yourself, Hastings.

The brakes of Mlle. Deane --

Why do they suddenly fail her

only a few hours after
they had been examined

by M. John Harrison?

And M. Claude Langton --

Why was he unable to destroy
the nest of the wasps

in the garden of M. Harrison?

And of most significance,

who put the petrol
in the water butt and why?

Petrol in the water butt?

Sorry, Poirot, I'm afraid I fail
to get the drift of all this.

No, Hastings?

Why do you suppose
M. Claude Langton,

he forces his attentions
upon the Mlle. Deane

with so much passion
at the garden fete?

How on earth
do you work that out?

The kiss, Hastings.

The bright-red makeup
of the clown face

that was still upon her lips.

Oh, I see.
The cup.

Yes, I'd forgotten about that.

I say!
The poor girl.

-So you think --

The chemist's.


Good afternoon.

We were told to ask
for Mme. Henderson.

I'm Mrs. Henderson.

And I am Hercule Poirot.

I know.

What can I do for you?

I have the misfortune
to be stung by the wasp

in the garden
of M. John Harrison.

It is on my neck,

and I am afraid it is becoming
quite sore.

I'll get you some
colorless iodine to put on it.

If you wouldn't mind
waiting a second.

Pas du tout.

Go through and talk to her.


Talk to her.

-What about?

You, uh, run this place
all on your own, do you?

Well, since my husband died.

A couple of years ago.

Not much to run, really.

Nice, uh...
N-Nice chap, John Harrison.

-Do you know him at all?

He gave me a copy
of one of his books.

"Aristotelian Ethics."

I found it very perceptive.

-Have you read that one?
-Ah, not yet, no.

He's getting married
to that fashion model,

Molly Deane, I gather.

Funny match.

It's like Albert Einstein
and Ginger Rogers.

-That's love, I suppose.

Well, they, um...

Did you want something else?


Oh, sorry.
No. Forgive me.

Here we are, then.

It's very good,
but use it sparingly.


That's ninepence, please.

En passant, madame,

you would not know perhaps

where we might find
a M. Claude Langton?

Oh, yes.

He's one of the more avant-garde
artists who live around here.

You'll find him in the new house
'round the corner.

The one with the zigzags
on the front door.

You can't miss it.

Merci beaucoup, madame.
You have been most helpful.

Au revoir.

Private detectives, you say?

So, what you doing 'round here?

Investigating a crime
of some sort?

Well, perhaps.

Serious crime?

A crime of the most serious
there is, monsieur.

-You mean...

But I haven't heard anything
about a murder.

You would not have heard of it.

Because, as yet,
it has not taken place.

You see, if one can investigate
a murder before it happens,

then one might even --

well, a little idea --

prevent it?

I don't quite see
what this has to do with me.


Mlle. Molly Deane.

You and she were once engaged
to be married, n'est-ce pas?

Look, that was over a year ago.
Water under the bridge.

We're nothing more
than good friends now.

Indeed, M. Langton?

Absolutely stunning outfit.

So I still keep some of
her old photos about the place.

That doesn't mean I still...

All right.
What do you want me to say?

I still love her, all right?


But I'm nothing to her anymore.

That's just something
I'm going to have to live with.

It won't be easy.
it'll be damned hard.

But murder?

Oh, no, Mr. Poirot.

I'm afraid you've got it
all wrong this time.

You see, Johnny's the best
friend I've got in the world.

I couldn't harm him.

I just couldn't.

If you ask me,
all this fortune-telling

is going to his head.

He's talking about investigating
a murder now

that hasn't even happened yet.

Making a mountain out of
a molehill, if you ask me.

Ah! Sapristi!

I cannot enter
even my own bathroom

without walking into
the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Oh, sorry.
They're probably dry by now.

And I am not making the hills
out of the mole mounts.

No, no, Hastings.

No, this time, the evidence,
it is too strong.

What evidence?

On the top shelf in the studio
of M. Claude Langton --

You did not see it,
but I knew it would be there.

I knew it would be there

because I saw the record of its
purchase at the chemist's shop.

-Excuse me.
-Knew what would be there?

The poison, Hastings.

The cyanide of the potassium.

A little stronger
than the petrol

for the killing of the wasps,

All in a single stroke,
1,000 deaths.

And then perhaps,
so easily, 1,001 .

Combining enormous charm
and distinction,

in fabric as well in line --
The Merry Widow,

a delightful design

beautifully molded
in black crepe

with clever white beading
on the sleeves.

The cape of self-frilled
black chiffon

simply floats around you
as you walk.

Softly feminine
with a touch of elegance.

An irresistible choice for
those late-summer evenings --

La Bohme, an outfit in
shot-pink-and-gold sari silk.

And Prelude -- skillfully
contoured in gold sequined lace

over ivory silk.

A revelation this season --

a breathtaking bias-cut dress

divinely sculpted from
green-and-silver velvet lam

with a deep-back dcolletage
that is utterly sublime.

The pale-aquamarine satin cowl

is attached at the shoulders
in floating panels

and the shoulders
held by diamonte clips.

A creation that is already
conquering the United States

from New York to Hollywood.

So discreet yet so grand
is Gloriana,

fusing the classical grace
of a gold satin sheath dress...

Hastings, we must go backstage.


Notice the sheer
perfection of line

and the rhythm of movement.

Weekend teams a radiant gown
of pearl-white crepe...

Excuse me. Pardon.

S'il vous plat.

We look for Mlle. Molly Deane.

Oh, she's finished.

I think she went off
with some gentleman.

Merci beau--

Mademoiselle, that dress.

Sorry. Can't stop.

Come, Hastings.

Quick, Hastings!
Your camera!


How is it now?

Head still pounding?

Delayed effect
from that crash maybe.

Well, I'll -- I'll be downstairs
if you need me.


Can't say
he means a thing to me.

No one from our rogues' gallery,
or I'd recognize him.

What's this all about anyway?

Something going on
I ought to know about?


Nothing that you should be

concerning yourself with,
Chief Inspector.

Especially in
your present condition.

You are feeling better now, yes?

I feel worse.

Talk about
going to hell and back.

I don't reckon
they put me to sleep properly.

I swear I felt every incision
that surgeon made

when he was cutting into my --

Hastings, I really think
we ought to be going now.

Mme. Japp,
she's coming to collect you

later on this morning, yes?

-Half past 11:00.

Well, we look forward

to seeing you up and about again
very soon.

Au revoir.

Thanks for the chocolates!

It is no use, Hastings.

It will not go away.

Everything has happened,
and yet nothing has happened.

Certainement, this is the most
difficult moment of my career.

To solve the crime
that does not exist.

I'm just off again, then.

Sure you won't come along,
Mr. Poirot?

Might ease
a bit of that tension.


Well, if you change your mind,
it's 35 Devonshire Street.

They have three classes daily.

Fully comprehensive
physical-fitness program

exercising the whole body.

Not just the thumbs.

I'm terribly sorry.

Are you all right?

And you are quite certain

that this is the same man,
Chief Inspector?


Well, thank you very much
for telephoning.

Right. Au revoir.

At the hospital.

Devonshire Street.

32 -- 15A.



The pieces,
they begin to connect.


Where are you off to now?

To find out if I am right
or wrong, Hastings.

Oh, I suppose that leaves me
with nothing to do, then.

Unfortunately, oui.

Oh, no, no, Hastings.

You can buy for me
some washing soda.

Washing soda?


What a pleasant surprise.

Bonjour, M. Harrison.

Mlle. Molly Deane, she is
not with you this afternoon?

Molly? She's inside.

-Got a migraine or something.

Seems to have come on
after the show last night.

I expect she'll be fine.

And M. Claude Langton?

At what time is he due to arrive
to destroy your nest of wasps?

7:30, he said.

I imagine he'll be on time.

On time?

The man whose dearest love
you stole away with?

He comes here tonight
to the home of his rival

armed with a deadly poison.

Just what are you suggesting?

That Claude Langton might try --
Good God, this is England.

Jealous suitors don't go around
murdering people.

Besides, Claude Langton
wouldn't hurt a fly.


Yet even now
he prepares to take the lives

of several thousand wasps.

There by the root of the tree.

The wasps returning home,
placid at the end of the day.

In one hour and a half

there will be
the total destruction,

and they know it not.

For the wasps, there is
no Hercule Poirot to warn them.

Eh bien.
The sun, it is still warm.

The evening, it is most pleasant

for taking a stroll
by the river.

You would not object
if I come back later

to watch this
destruction of the wasps?

Well, no. Of course.
Be my guest.

I return at 7:30.

Mlle. Deane
and M. Claude Langton,

they are both gone, yes?


Yes, they've both gone.

And how are you feeling now,



Why shouldn't I be?
What are you driving at?

No, no, no.

I see you have had some tea,
n'est-ce pas?

You remember the garden fete
when I look into the future?

You will permit
if we do the same?


Turn it around.

No, no, no, no!

Because this time,
it is different, eh?

This time we look backwards,

Into the past.

Because the past, it is clear
as crystal, n'est-ce pas?

As clear as the crystals
of cyanide poison

that are in this cup.

Oh, no, no, no, no, monsieur.
This does not shock you.

For it is you
who put them there.

It is no use, mon ami.
I know everything.

I know, just as you knew,
that a love affair

between Mlle. Deane
and M. Claude Langton

is far from being over,
as they claimed.

And during the past few weeks,

your fiance, she has been
drifting back to her old love.

Is that not so?

In public,
she pretends to reject him.


But in private, the old flames
are being rekindled.

Of course,
there is nothing wrong

with the brakes of her car.

You have already checked them.


Quite deliberately, Mlle. Deane,
she drives the car into the tree

in order to spend
two days away from you.

Two days which she will spend
in the company

of M. Claude Langton.

Because she knows
it will break your heart,

she cannot bring herself to
reveal to you her secret affair.

But the signs are there
for those who will see.

In the house
of M. Claude Langton,

there is a photograph
of his former sweetheart.

He tells to me that this
photograph, it is an old one,

and that she now no longer
cares for him.

But he lies.

It has to be recently taken.

Because in the photograph she is
wearing the fashion moderne,

which a few months ago would not
even have been designed.

The camera, it never lies, yes?

And when I see your face
in a moment unguarded,

I see in it a deep, deep hatred.

I have seen that look before,
my friend.

I know to what lengths
it can drive a man.

This evening, you tell me
that M. Claude Langton,

he is due to arrive at 7:30.

But that is not true.


He was coming earlier than that.

At 7:00.

Right, let's have
another go at this, shall we?

If this doesn't do the trick,
nothing will.

He arrived on time.

Set about his work straightaway.

While he wasn't looking,
it was... as you said.

I slipped some cyanide
into the cup.

Oh, God, what have I done?

Mon ami, I have told you
that I know everything.

I also know
that you are a sick man...

...and that you have been
visiting a doctor

in Devonshire Street.

The surgeon Mr. Belvedere.

You have just come from
his surgery on Friday morning

when you meet my secretary,
Miss Lemon, just down the road.

This afternoon I also made
a visit to the same doctor.

Well, he is
not difficult to find.

I have in my pocket
his photograph.

He tells to me that you have
the two months to live.

Is that not so?

He said
by October it could all...

Of course, he's breaking the
confidentiality of his client.

But he thought it would be
in your own interests

if he was to meet with
Mlle. Deane at the fashion show

and break to her
the tragic news.


...why she was in such a state
when she came here.

But it was
only when Claude arrived

that she told me
and that she knew.


Oh, God!

Molly, what is it?

I'm sorry, John.

You see, I know.
Dr. Belvedere.

Last night
he told me everything.

I see.

John, I'm so, so sorry.

You're not sorry.

You're not sorry at all.
Either of you.

Get out.

Out of here and out of my life.
What's left of it.

Go on, Langton, take her.

It's what you've always wanted.

What you always planned.

Well, take her and get out!

I watched them
leave the garden...

...and waited till I was sure
that they were gone.

And then...

You swallowed the poison.

When did you first suspect
that I was...

When I saw the petrol
in the water butt.

Because that was the first stage
in your plan, was it not?

When M. Claude Langton,
he comes around

to destroy the nest of wasps
with a syringe of petrol,

he fails.


That is simple.

Because you have emptied

most of the contents of the can
into the water butt

and then filled the can
with the plain tap water.

You know that
when M. Langton comes back,

it will be with the cyanide --

the cyanide that you will use
for murder.

Not murder.



The death
that you planned for yourself

was to be quick and easy.

But the death that you planned
for M. Claude Langton

was the worst death
that any man can die.

He bought the poison.
His name is there in the book.

After he has left your house,

you are found dead,
the cyanide in your cup,

and M. Claude Langton, he hangs.

That was your plan,
was it not, monsieur?

A few minutes from now,
it'll all be over.

I do not think so, my friend.

It is most unusual
for a man to die

from swallowing
the washing soda.


Well, the substitution
was not difficult.

M. Claude Langton,
he really ought to purchase

a stronger lock
for his back door.

Poirot, I...

I don't know what to say.

Mon ami,
you are a man who is dying.

You have lost the girl you love.

But there is one thing
that you are not.

You are not a murderer
deep down within your heart.

I don't even want to kill
the wasps anymore.

Fact is,
I've become quite used to them.

Stop by again, won't you,

Before very long, mon ami.

And Poirot, I...

Thank God you came.