Father Brown (2013–…): Season 7, Episode 10 - The Honourable Thief - full transcript

Lady Felicia's diamond is stolen by a Russian who wanted to buy it, but she refused. Father Brown calls in Hercule Flambeau to steal it back from him. Flambeau also empties out the Russians safe and double crosses them.

Thank you.

Please, leave us alone.

It can wear one down, can it not?

The heat, I mean.


I should be accustomed to
it by now, but some days...

One can barely breathe.

Give me the bite of a
Russian winter any day.

I'm not sure I'd go that far.

Nicholai Solovey.

Oh. Lady Felicia Montague.

I know.

Back in England, I've taken up residence

at the Royal Sandford Hotel.

From my balcony, I can see the
rooftops of your ancestral estate.

Sadly, the area's beauty has
declined somewhat since your

- departure.
- Oh, really?


What reason now have the birds
to sing or the flowers to bloom?

I must go back inside.

The Deputy Governor will
be making his speech

and we wouldn't want to miss that.


...I must ask you a question.

As you know, the past few decades
have been difficult for my country.

I believe you may be able to help me.

Mr Solovey...

...I fear you over-estimate
my level of influence.

No, I'm not interested in state secrets.

It is a personal matter.

Go on.

Artefacts belonging to my family
were seized after the revolution

and sold by the Antikvariat
to collectors in Europe.

Oh, my necklace!

By the Faberge work-master
Henrik Wigstrom.


I had hoped you would be
willing to sell it back to me.

I'd make sure you were
suitably compensated.

I have great sympathy
for your family's losses,

but this necklace was a
gift from my late father.

It would break my heart to sell it.

How can I persuade you?

After all...

...I am its rightful owner.

I'm sorry.


Don't worry about Yuri. He's...

...an old friend.

- Please.
- Even if I were willing,

I don't have the necklace with me.

It was safer to leave it in England.

Not an insurmountable problem.

I am not known for
easily conceding defeat.

- Perhaps if...
- Forgive me, my answer is no.

I hope you understand.

If you change your mind,
you know where to find me.

Who can tell, Lady Felicia, what
tribulations the future may hold?

- Oh-ho.
- Oh!

Who in the world could travel
thousands of miles and arrive

without a hair out of place?

I don't know about that,
my dear Mrs McCarthy,

but I certainly feel
better for seeing you.


- Travelling light, Aunt Fliss.
- I'm impressed!

Ah, well, I had to pack
for a colder climate.

Hornby said he'd collect them later.

May we finally find out
the reason for your visit?

Your letter was somewhat cryptic.

All in good time.

I am positively gasping
for a proper cup of tea!

Oh! Tea!


It's all so embarrassing.

About a month ago,

Monty was approached about
an investment opportunity.

A diamond mine, supposedly
filled to the brim.

- How exciting!
- Quite.

Only, Monty being Monty,

greed got the better of him
and he offered to finance

the whole enterprise.

Invested every penny we have and more.

It transpires the mine had
fewer genuine diamonds than your

average pawnbroker.

And to make matters worse,
there was a terrible accident.

Workers got injured.

And, being the legal
owner, Monty was liable.

So... you're coming home?

Sadly, no.

I'm simply back to auction
off the family trinkets.

Artworks, jewellery...

We need to raise an awful lot of money.

But presumably the house is safe?

I hope so. It depends
on how the auction goes.

Having to sell all your
prized possessions!

They're only objects, Mrs M.

Save your prayers for the poor
men who were down that mine.

They had families to feed, and
I'm damned if I'm going to let

Monty wriggle out of his obligations.

So when is this auction?

Hornby is driving me to the bank
tomorrow morning so I can collect

a few items from the vault, and
then straight to the auction house.

Well, let me drive you,
for moral support.

Why don't we all go?

You're so kind.


...who wants a top-up?

We won't be long.

Maybe you could keep the necklace

and the rest of the things
would raise enough money?

Not according to the evaluation.

And if we don't clear the debt
soon, the estate's in danger,

and I can't risk losing Montague.

Your memories of your father
are the real treasure.

Quite so. I should get a good price.

We've already had one offer
from a Russian chap in Rhodesia.

Well, why not sell to him and
save yourself all this trouble?

Well, to be honest, there
was something about him

that put the wind up me.

And if it must sell, I'd
rather it go to a good home.


Let's get this over with.

Can I give you a lift, Father?
I can pick Bucephalus up later.

No, thank you. Exercise
is good for the soul!

Well, you're the expert.

I know him!

- Who?
- Something's wrong.

Quick, follow that van!

Oh. Excuse me?

Leave it to me!

Careful on that bike!


He's conscious but we won't get
much sense out of him for a while.

I'll contact the security company,

see if they can identify the driver.

I told you, his name is Yuri.

Ah, yes, the mysterious Russian!

He works for Nicholai Solovey.

Or, and I'm only
speaking hypothetically,

- it's someone else with a similar scar.
- Ugh!

All right, I'll look into it, but
I suspect the culprit's a local.

If it was an opportunist, why did he
take only take the necklace?

There were plenty of other
valuables in that case.

He probably made his getaway on foot

and didn't want too much to carry.

- Either way, we'll catch him.
- And retrieve the stolen item.

He's probably melting
it down as we speak.

- Oh!
- Makes it easier to fence.

But we might get lucky.

I'll be in touch.

Solovey's behind this!

In fact, I'm sure he's responsible
for the whole diamond mine

debacle. Anything to force
me to sell that necklace!

You said he was wealthy - why
wouldn't he just buy it at auction?

Perhaps he wanted to punish you
for refusing his offer.

So you do believe me, Father?

I believe that if we want to
retrieve the necklace,

Nicholai Solovey is the way to start.

- Luckily, I know where he lives... Yes
- Oh.

So what now?

Aunt Fliss and I march in
there and confront him.

Five shillings says we'll
beat a confession out of him

in under a minute.

I appreciate your enthusiasm,
Bunty, but this is my problem.

Your problem?

If you don't get this necklace
back, then you'll be forced

to sell Montague and I'll be
turfed out into the streets!

I'll be like Blind Harry,
roaming around Kembleford...

Don't be melodramatic. I'm sure
your mother and father will

permit your return,
given the circumstances.

What? And go back to London?

Perhaps I should go in, test the water.

Solovey doesn't know we're acquainted.

Very well.

But if you draw a blank
we're doing this my way.

And my way involves pruning shears.

Yes, I've always had my
doubts about your family.

Well, their clientele leaves
something to be desired,

but I do approve of their staff.

- Isn't that Daniel Winks?
- Who?

He was a chorister at St Mary's.

Not the Daniel Winks that
got blind drunk before the

Christmas concert and then was
violently sick over my best shoes?

The very same.

I was always quite fond of him.


- Thank you.
- Much obliged, sir.

Keeping out of trouble, Mr Winks?

Father Brown! It's been years!

St Mary's hasn't moved.

You're welcome to return at any time.

Not the impression I got from Mrs
McCarthy last time I was there.

She's nothing if not forgiving.

Must be talking about
different Mrs McCarthys.

So what brings you to
the Royal Sandborough?

I'm looking for Nicholai Solovey.

The Russian?

This time of day, he'll be in
the bar, reading the papers.

Tell him he'll never get to
heaven if he don't tip the staff.

Could you point him out to me?

For you, Father, it's on the house.

Good morning.


Have you heard the appalling news?


The robbery.

Lady Montague's necklace stolen
in broad daylight!

The world is slipping into
a moral abyss, Father.

You must've noticed,
considering your profession.


Darkness surrounds us,

but the Lord provides a
path towards the light.

Then maybe it was He who
lightened the lady's pockets...

...so she may more
easily pass into heaven.

Are you not concerned that such a
crime has occurred on our doorstep?

My valuables are under lock and key.

Perhaps the countess should
have exercised similar caution.

In her defence, I've heard a rumour
that the necklace is cursed.


The family it once belonged to

were nearly destroyed
by the Bolsheviks.

And the new owner now finds
herself beset by misfortune.

I'm surprised a man of the cloth
would give credence to tales

of cursed jewels.

I never said I gave them credence.

But whoever stole this necklace
would do well to return it,

lest the same fate befall him!

You jest.

I am disturbing you.

- It's fine.
- I must go.

Souls to save.

In my opinion, there is no abyss,
moral or physical,

that cannot be overcome
by a leap of faith.

I could lose my job for this!

Think of it as atonement for past sins.

And I used to begrudge a few Hail Marys!

Nicholai Solovey was
responsible for the theft...

I could see it in his eyes.

Is there a safe anywhere?

He had one installed. Pricey one too.

It must be so good it's
invisible cos I've never seen it.

Any chance we could hurry this up?


You speak Russian?

Picked up a little bit in the army.

I think it says,

"God gives, God takes back."

- How are you going to get inside?
- I have absolutely no idea.

Nicholai Solovey was
having breakfast alongside

a dozen witnesses at
the time of the robbery.

That doesn't prove he didn't
pay this Yuri to do it.

What did the security guard
say about his attacker?

I've not had chance
to interview him yet.

Huh, typical!

They had to operate.
He's in no fit state!

Can't you search
Solovey's safe, at least?

I don't have enough evidence
to justify a warrant.

And Nicholai Solovey has
friends in very high places.

So do I. And they were my friends first!

I'll call by if there's any news.
Good day!

Thank you, Inspector.

Infuriating little man!

If you're certain Solovey has it,

why can't we steal it back ourselves?

Because you would get
into very serious trouble.

Only if we got caught.

It would take a master criminal
to crack the safe

and remove the necklace
without raising the alarm.

A master criminal, you say?

How fortunate that you're
such good pals with one.

You don't mean...?

Father, please, oh no,

please tell me you're not
even considering that?!


"Greetings, old friend."


St Mary's Presbytery.

You're fortunate that your
telegram arrived so promptly.

I only returned from
Istanbul this morning.

Don't ask what I was doing
there, you wouldn't approve.


...you need my help?

Yes. To retrieve a stolen item.

You've mistaken me for
someone else, Father.

Try contacting that curious
local inspector of yours.

You are the only man I know
who can pull this off.

Oh, flattery is beneath you,
Father, but, please, don't stop.

What exactly would I be retrieving?

A stolen necklace.

It belongs to Lady Felicia,

it's being held in a safe in
the penthouse suite of the

Royal Sandborough Hotel. Its return
is of the utmost importance.

And what would I receive
for my considerable pains?

- Our eternal gratitude.
- Ha!

Delightful as watching you descending

into criminality sounds, Father,

I don't work for anyone.

Especially without payment.

Without your help, Lady Felicia
will lose everything.

A woman like that would
never be destitute, Father.

Too many foolish men in the
world clambering over each other

to save her.

I, however, am not one of them.

Goodbye, Father.

Then Solovey has won.

I am sorry to have troubled you.


Did you say Solovey?
As in Nicholai Solovey?

Yes, do you know him?

I'll catch the next ferry and be
at Kembleford station by nightfall.


Bless you, Father.

Thank you my son.

Hercule, I trust
you had a pleasant journey.

Profitable. I collected a
small fortune in unpaid fares.

But you didn't summon me
for my dazzling repartee.

You need a thief, and here I am.

So I said to Father Brown, "I can't
possibly abandon Lady Felicia to"

"the cruelties of this
dastardly villain!"

Consider me your knight
in shining armour.

What's in it for you?

You doubt my chivalrous motives?

You wouldn't know chivalry
if it slapped you across your

devious face! So you can drop the act.

We're impervious to your
so-called Gallic charms.

So, why did you come?


A few months ago, Nicholai
Solovey commissioned me to steal a

tiara once worn by Alexandra,
the last empress of Russia.

Regrettably, the tiara had already
been stolen before I arrived.

- By whom?
- Solovey himself.

- He tipped off the local police.

The buffoons were so busy
hunting me, Solovey was able to

stroll out the door with the
thing practically under his arm.

Am I the only one who thinks we
would be mad to trust this man?

Under normal circumstances, I'd agree.

It would be foolish to trust me.

However, you have my word that
punishing Solovey is far more

important to me than your bauble.

Nobody gets hurt, not even Solovey.

And nothing else is taken.

I have already informed Flambeau
of our conditions.

Do you really think you
can get the necklace back?

I once stole an antique wedding
ring from the finger of a Parisian

countess whilst simultaneously
exchanging pleasantries

with the Prefect of Police.

But I will need help -

from all of you.

Count me out!

Please, let's listen to his plan.

Other than Russian antiquities,
Solovey has two weaknesses.

Gambling and beautiful women.

I intend to exploit both.

Dubonnet and gin with a
twist of lemon, please.

May I have the honour of
paying for your drink?

Sorry, my mother warned me against
accepting drinks from strangers.

My name is Nicholai Solovey.

I have the penthouse suite.

I like riding but not
hunting and, despite my name,

prefer champagne to vodka.

There, I'm no longer a stranger.

Au contraire.

I know who you are but
you know nothing about me.

Excellent point.

Have dinner with me tonight.

We can talk, eat, get
to know each other.

And when you're satisfied that
we're suitably acquainted,

I'll buy you that drink.

Tempting, but my godmother
is descending for a game of

baccarat tonight.

She's not the sort one
likes to disappoint.

- Would your godmother mind if I joined?
- You play?

A little.

I'm sure she'd have no objections.

I must warn you, though,
she's a terrible flirt.

I shall do my best not
to encourage her.


Antonia de Mandeville.

Pleased to meet you.

The pleasure is all mine.

- So I win?
- No!

But my score is still higher than yours.

If the cards add up to ten or more,
you only use the second digit.

So your score isn't 15, it's 5.

Are you trying to swindle me?

I'm trying to stop you
making a fool of yourself!

Saved by the belle demoiselle! Success?

He's on the hook.
Said I'd send for him when we're ready.

How could he resist? Be careful.

Solovey's dangerous and
doesn't like to lose.

- I've never met a man who does.
- Ooh!

Bunty gets to be a glamorous heiress.

Mrs M gets to be... some
sort of wealthy godmother.

- What am I doing?
- Don't be cross with me.

You're more than capable
of playing the honey

to trap our Russian bear,

but he'd recognise you instantly.

Fear not, your job's equally as
important, but you'll need this.

For what?

Taking care of Solovey's
guard dog, Yuri.

It's tasteless and dissolves
instantly in alcohol.


Daniel, perfect timing!

Mrs M, lovely to see you again.


You've got to swear I'll get this back.

They'll have my guts for garters
if they found out I've pinched it.

For you.

Is this some kind of joke?



Message for Mr Solovey.

Miss de Mandeville and
guest await him in the bar.

Relax, Mrs M, there's
nothing to be worried about.

Easy enough for you to say.

For whom, no doubt, gambling
comes quite naturally!

Actually, I've never
placed a bet myself.

Saw what it did to my
old man over the years.

Sorry, I shouldn't have.

It's just that I am extremely nervous.

Follow my lead and you'll be fine.

Thank you, Daniel.

You only have to play a few hands.

As soon as Solovey is settled, you
can make your excuses and leave.

Ah, here he is.

Godmother, this is the
charming Mr Solovey.

Mr Solovey, this is my godmother,
Lady Agatha Havilland-Frump.

Delighted to meet you, Mr Solovey.


I've been assured, that Mr
Solovey is quite the card-smith.

I claimed nothing of the sort.

There you go, sir.

May I ask the minimum bank?

Shall we say ?10?

- Excuse me.

They were a little
heavy-handed with the gin.

I usually play for higher stakes.

My Godmother doesn't approve of
frittering away one's fortunes,

but we'll see how the
evening progresses.

Would you care to be banker?


Would Mr Solovey like
his bed turned down?


Oh, let's open this window,
it's awful stuffy in here.

It's all right for them, ain't it?

Life's all caviar and bubbles while
the rest of us do the real work.

I'm supposed to be taking that
dinner down to the fellow at

number 12 but he's changed his mind!

I don't suppose you're hungry?
No charge.

Us lot got to stick together, ain't we?


Got a bottle of scotch hidden
in the laundry room and all.


Wait in our room.

When I've retrieved the
necklace, I'll meet you there.

Are you sure?


- What's that?
- Oh, that bloomin' dumb waiter!

Makes an awful racket.
There you go, love.

Mr Winks leant it to me.

You could have told me you had the
key before I jumped off the roof!

I didn't want to spoil
your grand entrance.

Surely you don't think I
would've left you unsupervised?


Can you open it?

It's the latest Mosler.

Allegedly, it can withstand
the blast of an atomic bomb.

You didn't answer my question.

Have faith, Father.

And patience.

Rather fun, isn't it?

I knew luck was supposed to be a lady.

I did not know she took
such disarming form.

Don't think, Mr Solovey,

that I will allow myself to
be distracted by flattery.

You can't blame me for trying.

How about we increase the bank? ?25?

Fine by me.


Oh, excuse me, I quite
forgot I'm supposed to visit

my sister this evening.

Oh, she is very unwell.

- Is it serious?
- Erm...

She has...


How very unpleasant for her.

Croupier, cash those for me.

My man will collect from the
concierge in the morning.

Lady Agatha, it has been a
pleasure to make your acquaintance.


Goddaughter, farewell.

Don't get too carried away.

Would I?

And then there were two.

Praying won't help.

I beg to differ.

Take Martin de Porres.

He used prayer to pass through
locked doors so he could care for

the sick quarantined on the other side.

I doubt Martin de Porres had
to pass through four inches of

hardened steel!

The doors of the cabinet are
decorated with Russian crosses.

Do you know the meaning of
the slanted cross beam?

The thieves on either side
of Christ at the crucifixion.

One side goes up, the penitent
thief ascending to heaven,

the other down, the impenitent
thief condemned to hell.

And which are you?

Don't delude yourself.

I'm here for revenge, that's all.

Anyway, penitence implies regret.

All the fun we've had, Father?

I wouldn't change a thing.

Let's take a break.

- Drink?
- That would be lovely.

Same again.

Back so soon?

What do you think you're doing?!

Winning, what does it look like?

You're supposed to keep
this Solovey at the table,

not bankrupt him!

Why can't I do both at the same time?

Our job is to keep him distracted
until we get the all clear.

Oh, Miss Windermere's
definitely distracting him.

On second thoughts,

make it a large measure for the lady.



You wait 'ere.

Where you go?

I'm going to get us
something else to drink.

Here. Make yourself comfy!

And don't forget... shh!


I'll be back in a minute...


...or two.


Don't tell me you haven't opened it yet.

This isn't as simple as it looks.

- We have a problem!
- A little peace wouldn't go amiss.

It appears Penelope
cannot hold her cocktails.

- She promised me!
- No.

We can't risk Solovey recognising you.

Stay here with Flambeau.

Don't tell me the great
Flambeau isn't up to the task?

Au contraire.

Your score is three, Madame.
You must take a card.

Oh, yes. What he said.

What sort of card are you, Mr Solovey?
A king?

A knave? A joker.

- Your card, Madame.
- Oh.

Oh, Father! Mr Solovey, have
you met my friend, Father Brown?

You know each other?

Old acquaintances. How's your game?

After a slow start, I believe
my fortunes are improving.

Miss de Mandeville,
might I have a word?

- Oh, well we're halfway through a hand.
- This won't take long.

Exactly how much have you had to drink?!

Not much, I was under
struct instrictions!

Oooh, now you mention it,
I am a little bit wobbly.

What now?

Keep an eye on her.

All right!


Miss de Mandeville has
an errand to run.

Might I take her place for a few hands?


Do the Catholic clergy often
gamble in your country?

Terrible habit we picked up
in the Reformation.

Helped pass the time whilst
hiding in priest-holes from

marauding Anglicans.

We're just...

...playing a game.

Not to be disturbed.

Lucky me.


And in case you get any ideas,

know that I'm not someone
to be underestimated.


I hold you in the
highest possible regard.

Not as high as my niece,

judging by the way you were
fawning over her earlier.


Certainly not!


Your niece is a firework.

Charming, yes, but all colour
and show, and gone in a flash.

Your fire runs much hotter,
being kept in its furnace.

What would happen, I wonder,
if you opened the door?

There's only one door
here that needs opening.

Your bet, Father.

Perhaps we should cash out?

It does not look like Miss de
Mandeville plans to return.

No! Let's continue.

Can I bet all of it?

- Erm, yes, but...
- Excellent.

In for a penny...

Player bets ?25.


- Player wins.

Oh, at last! Is it in there?

Oh! Oh, I could kiss you!

It's a figure of speech.

This was stolen from
the Duchess of Kent.

What are you doing? Stop it.

We had a deal.

The necklace and nothing else.

Father Brown cannot
be complicit in theft.

The crime has already been committed,

I'm simply redistributing property
from one thief to another.

I'll call the police.

And how would you
explain your involvement?

Stop or...

...I'll scream!

- Oh.
- Since you're being so ungenerous,

I'll take the necklace after all.

Something to remember you by.

You don't have it in you.

- You!
- Stay back!



I propose raising the bank...

...to ?50.


Bank is all-in. Player matches the bank.

Player has eight and stands.

Bank has seven. Player wins.

I'd like to buy back in.

Take your hands off me!
Quite honestly...

What are you playing at, man?

- Lady Felicia?!

I take it from your uniform that

your husband's diamond
business is struggling?

You're very self-satisfied for
a man who's just been robbed.

- The safe.
- I believe you know the culprit.

His name is Hercule Flambeau.


He's taken everything, Father
Brown, including the Rolls-Royce.

You see, Father? A moral abyss!


Thank you, Father.

By involving your good friend Flambeau,

you've sealed Montague's fate!


Out of the vehicle, please.

We are in a hurry, Inspector.

We've had a tip-off that you are
in possession of stolen goods.

I'd like to search the vehicle.


Be my guest.

But, please, be quick about it.

What do we have here?

That's impossible!

Nicholai Solovey, you're under arrest.

You're not obliged to say anything,

but anything you say may
be given in evidence.

And that goes for your chum here, too.

What is taking so long?

These auctions can drag on for hours.

That's why I decided I'd
rather be here, among friends.

Does that mean you've forgiven me?

I suppose so.

I still wish you'd
told us the whole plan.

Hear, hear.

It was shameful, keeping
us in the dark like that!

Putting Solovey behind bars was
the only way of protecting you

from reprisals.

It was vital that Solovey
believed your anger

with Flambeau was genuine.

So it's my acting
skills you don't trust!

Well, at least we got the necklace back.

Perhaps Monsieur Flambeau isn't
as irredeemable as I thought.

Except, according to Inspector Mallory,

not all of Solovey's money made
it into the boot of his car.

It seems our thief took
his own reward after all.

Aunt Fliss! I bumped into
the telegram boy outside.

I think it's from the auction house.

Well, don't keep us in suspense!

Have you raised enough
to keep Montague or not?

We should be able to cover our debts.

I guess that means I'll
have to stay in Kembleford!

The necklace fetched a
particularly good price.

Does it say who bought it?

An anonymous bidder, via the telephone.

Well, whoever it is,
I hope it brings them joy.

And my winnings at baccarat
will go a long way

to the restoration of the clerestory.

And what are you doing
loitering there, Master Winks?

Oh, I promised him...

...elocution lessons.

An overdue apology, Mrs M,

for the incident at the carol concert.


...apologies accepted.

And will we be welcoming
you into St Mary's soon?

When I can get off work.

You'll see Daniel at my games night.

He's agreed to be croupier.

No, I will not!

I've had quite enough of
gambling for the moment.

I will come.

I thought I did rather well
at baccarat.


St Mary's Presbytery.

How does it feel?

All those years you tried to
make me an honourable man,

yet it is I who has
turned you into a thief.

You could have taken Solovey's hoard...

I would have been
powerless to stop you...

but you did not.

Neither did I leave empty-handed.

Ah, yes...

...Solovey's cash.

I confess I am disappointed.

I never thought that you were
motivated by avarice alone.

Then you'll be pleased to hear
I invested it in an item of

immense aesthetic and spiritual value.

I was going to keep it,

but I think I might give
it to a lady friend.

An apology for certain
uncouth actions of mine.

How uncharacteristically contrite.

Well, what can I say?

She is someone I hold in
the highest possible regard.