Father Brown (2013–…): Season 5, Episode 15 - The Penitent Man - full transcript

Father Brown suspects an ulterior motive is at play when his old adversary Flambeau is incarcerated for murder.


MAN: A few words for the press,
Mr Flambeau. Mr Flambeau!

A few words for the press!

Hercule Flambeau -
our star prisoner.

Unshackle me,
I'll give you an autograph.



Any more of your smart mouth
and the next one's across the jaw.

You're a man of God?

My whole life.

You'll need him where you're going.




That's enough!

Into to your cells.

Here... reading material.

I'm here to see Hercule Flambeau.

Father Brown?


I'm here to see...
I know what you're here for.

Governor wants to see you first.

Arms, please.



It's for personal use.

Follow me.


Come in.

He had this on him.

A priest with a lock pick?

Always getting locked out of
the presbytery.

I'll look after that, shall I?

Flambeau has requested you as his
chaplain. Why?

We have history.

You're his spiritual advisor?

I try to be.

Must be an uphill task.

By all accounts, he's a sociopath.

And now a murderer.

No-one is beyond redemption.

You should try working in the
prison service for a few years,

see if that's how you feel.

Amen to that, sir.

Much as we'd like to be
a place of rehabilitation,

the truth is far uglier.

Men are not sent here to be

They're sent here to be punished.

Flambeau hasn't been tried yet.

He may be innocent.

Have you read this? Yes.

Doesn't seem very innocent to me.

You're not to go anywhere without an
escort. Do you understand?


Thank you, Mitchell.

Chapel's this way. Chapel?

It's where he spends most
of his time.

If he gives you any trouble,
just call and I'll come running.


You answered my call.

How could I refuse?

Given my past
transgressions against you,

you have every right to refuse.

And turn my back on an old

Is that all I am to you?

What would you prefer? Friend?

Ally. Depends on what you want.

Your counsel, nothing more.

When have you ever asked for
my counsel?

When have I ever been charged with

Did you do it?

You've read the papers.
What do you think?

You were seen arguing with
Flynn Hardwick on

the night of his disappearance.

He was trying to swindle me.

Cross words were spoken,
but it's purely circumstantial.

And his wife saw you dumping his
body in the river.

She's either mistaken or lying.

Besides, no body's been discovered.

For all we know, my business
associate's lying drunk

in a ditch somewhere.

And his blood was on your shirt.


Forgive me for saying,

but if you are innocent,
why this sudden devotion to prayer?

I found it in an antiques shop in
London two months ago.

Worthless, and yet something about
it spoke to me.

St Michael the Archangel.

The leader of angels - summoning men
from their lives on Earth

to their heavenly judgment.

Are you saying you want redemption?

I'm saying, if I'm found guilty
I will surely hang.

If that comes to pass,
I want you to hear my confession,

the whole truth and nothing but
the truth, so help me God.

Will you do it, Father?

Of course.

Thank you.

In nomine Patris et Filii
et Spiritus Sancti.



So you remember me. I'm touched.

Well, I never forget a pretty face.

You ought to watch yourself talking
like that around here,

some blokes might get the
wrong idea.

But then again,
maybe that's what you like.

As much as I'm enjoying this

I have business to discuss.

I'm in here cos of you.

You sounded the alarm.

You sounded the alarm!

You ran off with the loot and left
me to get caught.

Paranoid fantasies.
That always was your problem.

Oi! Keep your hands off him.

This ain't over.

Go on.

Thank you for your intervention.

Well, it's not their job to snuff
you out. It's ours.

You look like a man who can get
things. For a price.

So, you're what?

Giving spiritual guidance...
to the killer of my husband?

I understand you may not think
he deserves it...

He deserves Hell.

Perhaps he does.

I am not just there for him.

I'm here for you.

And we've brought you some
Bakewell tarts.

Mrs McCarthy, parish secretary.

Bunty Windermere.
I'm the parish grief counsellor.

How are you coping?

It's not been easy, obviously.

We were married for 18 years.

It must have been terrible
witnessing what you did.

It was.

If you don't mind my asking,

what were Flambeau and your
husband arguing about?

Money. What else?

But I didn't hear all of it.

I was up in the bedroom,
getting ready for bed.

So, you didn't see the murder?

Well, no, but...

Why are you asking all these

Well, I've heard Flambeau's
side of the story

and I'd like to hear yours.

I was about to come in here and tell
them to shut their mouths...

..then it all went quiet.

I looked out of the window.

Saw that monster dragging my
husband into the woods.

That must have been awful.

I followed him, to the river,

saw him throw his body in like
a ragdoll.

Oh, that's just from the last night
I spent with Flynn.

I've not been able to bring myself
to clear them away.

Now, if you don't mind,
I think I'd rather be alone.

Of course. So sorry for your loss.
God bless.

MRS MCCARTHY: I'm telling you, that
woman was lying through her teeth.

And right to our faces.

She's having an affair.

That could be it. Deceiving her
husband before he was killed.

So, maybe she did it.

Or her lover did.

Her lover. Wait a minute!

Wait a minute, supposing her husband
isn't dead at all, he's still alive

and they're both in on it
together to stitch up Flambeau.

But why would they do that?

Well he probably
double-crossed them,

just like he double-crosses

So, the wine and the candles...

Yes, a husband and wife having
a romantic night together,

and no doubt celebrating
Flambeau's arrest.

Romantic nights after 18 years
of marriage? I don't think so.

Ah, yes, but then you are a cynic.

I'm a realist.

Well, either way,

we need to find out if there's
someone else in that house with her.

A stakeout,
like they do at the pictures.

Exactly! Father?

I am going to Flambeau's
pre-trial hearing,

and I leave the surveillance in
your capable hands.


JUDGE: Order. Order.

Hercule Flambeau,

you are charged on indictment that
on August 17th, 1953,

you did wilfully murder
Flynn Hardwick in

the county of Gloucestershire.

How do you plead?




Order! Order!

Thank you.

Why the change of heart?

I've finally accepted my need
for salvation.

I'd like to believe you...


I've seen you wear too many

I just confessed to murder.
There's no disguising that.

And yet you seem remarkably...

..unperturbed for a man facing the
death sentence.

Is it really that difficult for you
to believe that I might be at
peace, Father?

That unburdening myself
has finally released me?


I thought that was what you've
always wanted?

Court's in session.

Hercule Flambeau,

in accordance with the law

and the requirements
of just punishment and retribution,

I sentence you to be taken
from this place

and hanged by the neck
until you are dead.


Order! Order!

In the interest of mitigating any
further glorification of your

vile criminal history
by the gutter press,

I order that execution be carried
out at

the earliest possible convenience.

Take him down.

Why are you doing this?

I already told you, I'm answering
the call of heavenly judgment.

She's washing the dishes.

I can see that from here.

It's the wine glasses.

She's getting rid of the evidence!

Can you see if anyone else is in
the room with her?


Wait. Look.
Someone's opening the window!


Can you see his face?

No, her big, fat head is in the way.

Oh! We need a closer look.

All you had to do was clear away
those glasses.

MAN: I was going to.

Yeah, it's always "I was going to,"
with you, isn't it?

As if some wine and a few candles

would make up for what you did,

How long are you going to keep
punishing me for that?

I told you, it didn't mean anything.

Well, that's what all men say.

Besides, I'm making it up to you,
aren't I?

Look at the risk I'm taking...

Ow! Ow! My sciatica!

What was that?

Oi! Run!

Get in! Get in!

Oi! You! Come back here!

Father? In here.

I was right!
Flambeau didn't kill Flynn Hardwick.

He's still alive. Exactly!

We just saw him at the house.

Looks like they've stitched up
Flambeau together,

just like Mrs M said. Not quite.

What does that mean?

Flambeau isn't the victim in all

He's the architect.

Clean sheets.


I know why you're here.

Enlighten me.

The Medallion of the Archangel.

Unlike your replica,
the original was made of gold.

Last known owner, Nathaniel Grey,

collector of religious antiquities.

A man after my own heart.

And according to the plaque
outside the gates...

..the architect of this prison.
Go on.

On his death, his collection was
donated to

the Roman Capitoline museums -

apart from one artefact that was
not accounted for.

And I think you know where it is.

My guess would be the condemned

Which is why you faked
Flynn Hardwick's death.

Bravo, Father.
I'd knew you'd catch up eventually.

How did you know where it was?

I acquired Nathaniel Grey's
private papers at auction.

He was a pious imbecile.

He actually believed the medallion
had the power to combat Satan

and escort the faithful to Heaven.

And no better place to work its

..than the condemned cell.

How do you intend to get it out?

As always, Father,

with a combination of ingenuity
and panache.

You are facing the gallows...

..for a piece of gold?

I assure you, Father...

I have no intention of standing on
the gallows.



From now on you'll be on
death watch.

Two officers will be with
you at all times,

to stop you from doing yourself in
before the main event.

Thank you, that's very kind.

But first,
I'd like to take confession,

with your permission, of course.

Five minutes.

The medallion's in the wall.

And I have five minutes to find it.

This was never about confession!

You just wanted to get rid of the
death watch officers.

And what better way than the
sanctity of confession.

You've used me from the start.

Don't be disgruntled, Father. You're
enjoying this as much as I am.

Now the question is - which brick?

You don't know, do you?

Nathaniel Grey didn't specify,

but I don't believe he would have
hidden the medallion

without leaving some sort of clue as

"Mark, 16:16."

"He that believeth and is baptised,
shall be saved;

"but he that believeth not
shall be condemned."

Shall we?

One, two, three, four, five, six,
seven, eight, nine, ten,

11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.

Et voila!


We saw him with our own eyes.

How good is your eyesight?

Mine's 20/20, and I saw him too.

But Flambeau confessed.

He's lying! He's trying to steal
some kind of medallion.

Solid gold.

And how do you know this?

Father Brown!

The padre. Of course
he's involved in all of this.

I'm not listening to another word.

I think you have about two minutes.

More than enough time.


To remove a 160 year old brick?

Amongst Nathaniel Grey's papers,
I found plans for a device.

What sort of device?

This sort of device.



Yes? What was that noise?

Noise? One minute.

It's beautiful.

How are you going to get
it out of here?

That's the easy part.

I'm going to stroll outside the
front door.

So, Flynn Hardwick will
turn himself in?

Tomorrow morning, alive and well.

Time's up.

Thank you, Father.
Your assistance has been invaluable.

God bless.

I'm going to watch him for a minute.

I'm not supposed to be telling you

but I thought you should know...

..they've rescheduled your
execution for tomorrow at 10am.

So, in about... 17 hours,

you'll be twisting and writhing at
the end of a rope,

fouling yourself most likely.

Anyway, like I said,
I thought you had a right to know.


"I'm so sorry, Your Honour,
the booze took hold of me again.

"I didn't know where I was,
or even who I was.

"My friend, Hercule Flambeau,

"has been accused of a heinous crime
that never even happened."

All right, all right. You're not
auditioning for Hamlet, you know.

I need to make it seem natural.

Then don't over-rehearse it.

Once I get paid,
this'll be a fresh start for us.

We can go anywhere, be happy
together for the rest of our lives,
can't we?

I love you, Peg.
I even shed blood for you.

You didn't do it for me,
you did it for him.

I did it for us.

You're an old romantic, really,
aren't you?

Always have been.

That's how I made you fall
in love with me.

Go on, you've got to come back
from the dead, remember.

Oh, love?



You've got a visitor. Get a move on.

What are you doing here?

The grieving wife has a right to see
her husband's killer
before his execution.

At least that's what I told the
guards. Shed a few tears.

It was quite the performance,
even if I do say so myself...

Where's Flynn?

He's tied up... literally.

And if you want me to let him go,

you give me what you're wearing
round your neck.

That's it, isn't it?

You killed him.

Of course I didn't kill him.

Yes, all right, I did.

Every marriage goes through its

If you give me that medallion,

I'll give the police a tip-off,

tell them where the body is.

They'll see he only died recently,
and know you couldn't have done it.

At which point,
you become a suspect.

Once I have the gold,
I can go anywhere I want.

Even if I agreed, there isn't time.

I'm to be hanged this morning.

Then there's no time to lose.

And let you walk away
and watch me die?

What choice have you got
but to trust me?

I have one choice
and one choice only -

to extricate myself from this
facility and hunt you down.

You'll never get out of here.

You have no idea what I'm capable

You're already a dead man.

I need to see my priest!

You wait in the car.

I am not waiting in the car!

What if we have to run again?

I managed perfectly well the last



What's that sound?

It's coming from behind the house.


Run! Run!

Come on!


Not this time, ladies.

A most unfortunate turn of events.

If the police find the body...

There isn't time.
I'm to be executed in half an hour.

Half an hour?!

Fortunately, I wouldn't have
embarked on this endeavour

if I didn't have a backup plan,
but I'll need your help. To escape?

I need something to unlock
a pair of handcuffs.

A key would be ideal...
Or a lock pick?

If you have one handy.

Telephone call for you,
Father Brown. Officer's station.

Wait for me outside.



Father Brown? Yes.

'This is Peggy Hardwick.'

I'm pointing
a shotgun at your two friends

Bunty Windermere
and Bridget McCarthy.

Do you understand?


'If you want to ever see them alive
again, '

I suggest you do as I say.

Get me that medallion.

I suggest stealing it from
Flambeau's body once he's been

I want to speak to them.

Bring it to my house.

We'll be waiting.

If I can't speak to them,
I will do nothing.



She's mad. She killed her husband
and buried him in the garden.

Don't listen to anything she... No!

If you don't do what I say,

they'll both be getting a lot more
than a little bump on the head.



He insisted on seeing you, sir.

Make sure the hatches are down.

I don't want the same ruckus on
Flambeau's exit

that we had on his arrival.
Yes, sir.

Yes, Father, what can I do for you?

I am rather pressed for time.

Flambeau is innocent.
Excuse me?

He didn't kill Flynn Hardwick.
His wife did.

And you know this how?

Well, if you send the police to
his house,

you'll find his body buried
in the garden.

Look, even if what you say were

there is nothing that I can do.

You could postpone his execution.

Out of my jurisdiction.

Well, then, telephone a judge.

On the words of a priest?

You are about to execute
an innocent man.

The sentence has been passed.

You may perform the last rites,

but if I hear one more word of
this nonsense,

I shall have one of my officers
throw you out.

I understand.

It's time.

In nomine Patris et Filii
et Spiritus Sancti.

You're a homosexual, aren't you?


What did you say to me?

As a condemned man, I believe I have
the right to speak the truth.

I saw the way you looked at
me when I was undressing.

And I saw the way you looked at
me just now.

It's nothing to be ashamed of.

Does your wife know?

Come any closer and I'll perforate
his jugular.

Give him the keys.

Now! Go!

Let's go.




Quickly, quickly!

Turn right! Down the stairs!





PRISON GUARD: Back to your cells!

Go, go!

All the way to the end.
Find the key.

Open that door.


I wouldn't come any closer!

Stand back!

Come any closer and I'll kill him!

Take out your keys.

Take out your keys!

Do as he says.


Now throw them over the edge




That was convincing.

Don't worry. I would only have
killed you as a last resort.

So, how do you intend to get out?


What is this place?

In less enlightened times,

prisoners were chained around this
cesspool for days.

Needless to say, they weren't
permitted a lavatory break.

This is where I leave you, Father.

Um, no.

I'm coming with you.

No, no. You'll only slow me down.
We haven't time.

You have no choice.

What? You think you can just
walk away from me?

You can kill me, if you want to...

That's what I'm going to do.

..or you can join me in escaping.

I'll show you the way.
Yeah, you will.

You too.
No, no. We don't need him.

I say we do. You can never have
too many hostages.


Keep your voice down, you imbecile.

You forget I still got this?

And this?


It appears to have lost its sheen.

You think you're clever, priest?



Well played, Father.

You switched them in the tunnel.

Glad to be of assistance.

The medallion?

I'm afraid I can't.

I beg to differ.

Peggy Hardwick is holding two of my
dearest friends hostage.

If I don't give her the medallion,

she's threatening to kill them

..I believe her.

Where is she?

He's here. The door's open!

Don't worry,
this'll all be over soon enough.

Are you all right?

What happened to you?

Long story. Enough chit-chat.

Give it to me.



Right, into the back garden.

Oh, no, you don't!

The medallion. Now.


Please, don't.

Flambeau, you are not a murderer.

But she is.

Doesn't she deserve the death

No-one has the right to take
a life, least of all you.

As much as I'd love to debate the
ethics of capital punishment

with you, Father,
it appears I have to run.


Do you know how to handle this?

What do you think?
My kind of woman.

Au revoir, Father.

God be with you.

What's going on?

She tried to kill us!

And she killed her husband!

You'll find his grave out
in the garden.

None of which would have happened

if you'd listened to us in
the first place!

I'll take that, thank you.

We had a report Flambeau
was in the area.

He's gone. Where?

That way.


Right, lads,
take her down the station.

No. No, I'm not going with you.
Get off me!

I said, get off me!

What is that awful smell?

It's me.


Stand still!

Don't shoot him!


"Father, please accept the enclosed
as a token of thanks

"for your assistance in our latest

"It's damaged goods to me now,

"but I trust you'll put it to
charitable use."





Merci dieu.


MAN: Oi, you! Come back here!