La Mante (2017): Season 1, Episode 1 - Épisode 1 - full transcript

Faced with a series of grisly unsolved murders, a police commissioner turns to imprisoned serial killer Jeanne Deber and her estranged son for help.


-Hi, Superintendent Ferracci, 36th.

-Constable Norbert. I phoned.

Body's inside,
nothing's been touched.

Good, we'll take over now.

Gallieni, seal off the sawmill.

Szofia, Bertrand, come with me.

Let's seal it off.

The victim's Caucasian, on his back,

arms and legs bound with wire...

and he's been decapitated

with a circular saw...

The head's
to the right of the body...

and there are clear signs
of injection in his neck,

as in both previous murders,

which confirms my fears.

These are
the Praying Mantis's methods.

As she's still in prison,

I suggest this is a copycat crime.

When you arrested her 25 years ago,

how many victims
had she already claimed?


So if we don't catch
this maniac very soon,

it'll turn into a grand slam.

Fine-toothed comb it all.



Hello and welcome, everyone.

The news this Tuesday:
after 25 years, it's starting again,

there's been a third murder near Paris.

There are similarities
to the well-known "Praying Mantis"

serial-killings of the '90s.

Serial-killer expert
and prolific author on the subject

Stéphane Bourgoin is here with us.

Hello, Mr. Bourgoin.

So, who is the "Praying Mantis"?

It's the nickname given by the media

to Jeanne Deber,
arrested 25 years ago

for having murdered eight men

extremely cruelly.

They were fathers,
violent or incestuous

or who'd abandoned their families,

so, in her eyes, deserved to die.

For the Praying Mantis, killing

was, in a way, re-establishing

the natural order of things.

So is this a human being,

a woman, or... an animal?

You make an important point.

This is a woman,
but she also committed

acts similar to the worst of
the predators of the animal kingdom.

And now, the copycat has committed

a parallel crime.

So, to follow your logic,

should we now expect
five further victims?

In criminology,
there are no certainties,

but sadly, I fear so.

Have you actually met
the Praying Mantis?

Up to now, in over 30 years

I've never met the Praying Mantis.

For everyone and despite everything,
she remains

a mystery, and even at the time,

I well remember that no photo of her

was ever published.

Where is she now?
Do we even know if she's alive?

She's still alive,

and the authorities say
she's still in prison,

as she was sentenced to life

without the possibility of parole.

Superintendent Ferracci

The forensic scientist found nothing
conclusive at the crime scene,

but I've identified the body.

The sawmill victim's name
is Stéphane Fayon,

reported missing
by his wife two days ago.

Have you told the family?

As it's so gruesome,
I thought I'd go in person.

A good thought.


we've had no boss
since Cellier left.

I apply for the job.

See what I can do.


-This arrived for you.

I can help you.


I've been here fifteen years,
it's her first visit.

-Don't even know her crime.
-What's she like?


'til she assaulted a screw
last month.

Don't cross the yellow line.

Hello, Jeanne. Been a long time.

Hi, Dominique.

Sit down, you look tired.

Because of my copycat?

So, your letter said
you could help me?

Where are you up to?

Can't tell you.

So you've got nothing, then.

What about you?

You know the killer?


What do you want?

I'll die in prison.

So I want to be out of here
during the enquiry.

Under house arrest.

Sea view, room service?

Let's get real, Jeanne.

The commissioner won't have it.

I can get you
improved conditions here.

You've nothing on this killer,

the media are fixated,

everyone's getting scared.

There's something else.

I'm listening.

I want just one representative...

my son.

She has a son?

Yes, not publicised at the time.

Could you expand on that?

Jeanne Deber is actually
Jeanne Carrot.

She asked for the name-change
after her arrest

to protect her son's identity.

We deliberated and decided

to agree
in exchange for her confession.

Wasn't easy at the time,

but she was officially declared dead
in a plane crash.

Who knew at the time?

In truth, very few people.

It was classified as top secret.

Even the trial judge didn't know.

Supposing I agreed to this...

do you know
what Damien Carrot is doing now?


All units. People are arriving.

Two black 4x4s.

Opening the truck.

Target's arriving,
repeat, target's arriving.

Okay, they're putting the dope
in the truck.

There are firearms,
I repeat, firearms.


Ready, they're on the move,
closing the truck.

Getting in the truck.

Trucks moving.

Get ready to go in.

Go in!

Hands on head! Head forwards!

Police! Hands on heads!

Show your hands!

Show your hands! Now!

Get out! Get down!

On the ground!

Okay, okay, I'm not moving.

Stop... Son of a bitch.

What are you doing? Piss off!

Your turn! Come on!

Don't tell 'em anything.

Don't tell the bastards anything!

C'mon, let go! You're hurting me!

Shut your trap!

Go left.

Hold on...


Go on, sit down.

Good, thank you.

Okay, get rid of this shit!

Why'd you blow my cover?

All that work down the pan!

I had no choice.

What do you mean?

Hello, Damien.

Your work's not wasted,
we can get 'em.

Okay, you can go, thank you.

How are you?

And Lucie?

She's well?

I haven't seen her since your wedding.

Don't suppose
you got me here to ask after her.

I shouldn't tell you this,
but it's about crimes

strangely like your mother's.

The icing on the cake,
I visited her in prison

yesterday, at her request.

She says she knows things,
wants to help, collaborate...

on one condition,

collaborate with you, only you.

You dare suggest that to me?

Who else could?

How does she know I'm a cop?

Does she know more about me
and my family?

What your mother knows,

it's like asking me
whether Christ's tomb exists. Dunno.

For me,

my mother's 25 years dead,

I won't talk to her.

I don't know
that I'll accept the deal.

Just think about it.


I know how you feel,

three victims already.

Damien, I need you.


A long two months without you.

I'm back now.

But for how long?

I don't want a ghost for a husband.

I don't wanna
be scared all the time.

Not to know where you are,

who you're with.

I don't wanna be told
you won't be back.

I love you, my darling.

But I need more.

I want this baby,

but with you.

I need you here.

So you want me to change my job,
is that it?

No, but maybe you could stop
the undercover work.

I hear I could qualify

as a school crossing attendant.


Eight, nine,

ten, eleven, twelve,

thirteen, fourteen...

-Damien, listen, love.

I have to go away.
Far away, for a long time.

I have to, forgive me.

I'll always be there.

-I love you!
-Police! Madam, get up!

Get up, hands on your head!

-They won't hurt you.
-Keep 'em there.

I'm here.

-Tell your kid to let you go.
-I'll always be with you.

Come on.

Don't worry. I'm here.
I love you.

Calm down!

Mummy! Mummy!

I'll come back.
I love you!


I love you.

I love you, never forget this.


-You okay?
-I'm okay.

What did you dream?

No bloody idea. I'm thirsty.

The minister met
his German counterpart

to outline their economic plan.

He wants
the Franco-German partners to stay

at the heart of the talks.

I'm late, I must dash.

Ninon's back tonight,

we should invite your grandad to eat.
He'd like that, wouldn't he?

-Will you sort out supper?

-See you this evening, darling.
-See ya. progress in the Mantis
copycat murders enquiry.

An interview with Marie Fayon,
wife of the latest victim,

who was found mutilated
in a sawmill

on the outskirts of Paris.

The police asked awful questions
about our private life.

I want everyone to know
Stéphane was exceptional,

an ideal husband
and a fantastic father.

Nothing like what they're saying.

We all miss him. Excuse me.

The police still ignore
the murderer's motivation.

And finally, amber warnings...


It's 4 November 1991,

I'm Lt Ferracci,
I'm with Jeanne Carrot

to establish her responsibility
for the eight murders

of which she's accused.

Mrs. Carrot, do you admit
the murder of Mr. Brac

on 24 April 1984,
the body found in a forest.


And the murder of Mr. Chevalier,

found on 17 November '86
in a forest?


And the murder of Mr. Fiozane,

found in a sawmill
on 14 September 1987?


And the murder of Mr. Laurent,
found on 17 March '88

-at his home, drowned in his car?

And the murder of Mr. Latour

found on 20 April
in his living room

-in 1989?

And the murder of Mr. Fontaine,

found on 16 February '90,

-at his home in bed?

And the murder of Mr. Lecomte,

found on 9 October '90 at his home?


And finally, Mrs. Carrot,
the murder of Mr. Sanson,

found on 23 January '91

-in a cage?

Okay. Do you wish to express remorse?

For having been of service
to society? No.

A last question, Mrs. Carrot,

your husband, Damien's father,
disappeared over nine years ago.

Were you responsible for that?


...your husband, Damien's father,
disappeared over nine years ago.

Were you responsible for that?


I've got two conditions.

I'm listening.

no one at the 36th must know

about my relationship or my visits
to the Mantis.

And second?

Lucie must never be told
of the existence of this woman.

She thinks my mother's dead,
I want it to stay that way.

Gonna be okay?


Agent Stern, GDIS.

I'm supervising Mrs. Deber.

Are you alone?

Isn't "discreet" the idea?

Mrs. Deber attempted suicide.

She's in a psychiatric unit,
in a coma.

That'll stop the 36th
trying to question her.

-Same goes for journalists.

Let's go.

Hello, Damien.

Mrs. Deber, no offence,

I'd like to keep this
purely professional.

Got the photos?


I'll let you know.

Hold on.
Is that all you've got to say?

That's all.

Goodbye, Damien.

She's stringing us along,
she fancied some fresh air.

Dunno at the moment.

Damien, it's not easy
but you must stand firm

or she'll give us nothing.

Ninon's not back?

No, her dad's late,
just for a change.

Wasn't I doing food?

You didn't say so, so I did.

I didn't have time,
so I got Lebanese,

I know Grandpa loves it.

No time?

It's okay, Lucie...

Good and bad news.

Damien, no games,

my daughter's already late.

Undercover's finished.

I'm joining the 36th
as a team leader.

How's that possible?

I phoned Ferracci this morning,

told him I wanted a change,

he said
my profile matched his requirements.

The bad news?

Bad news is the holiday's over.

There's a complex enquiry,
he needs more staff right now.

You could've told me...

But it's okay.

I'll see you
every morning and night.

Works for me.

I'll kill him.

-One more kiss, sweetheart.
-See you next week, Dad.

Hi, darling.

Hi, Mum.

Be right there.

Are you for real?

I was worried.
When I call you pick up!


-You okay?
-Glad to see you!

Me too, little one.

-Back for a while?
-For good.


Dad got me a tablet.

-It's great!
-Show me.

-Open the bag...
-Sorry you saw that.

No problem for me.

-Hello, Charles.

-Hi, my man.
-Hi, Grandpa.

-Had fun with your dad?
-Haven't seen much of you lately.

-Yes, but that'll change now!

I'll explain.

Here's a good bottle to celebrate.

Open it now to let it breathe.


What's this enquiry about?

An ongoing case,

a serial killer.

You mean the serial killer
in the news?


The Mantis copycat?

That's it.

Well, here's to your enquiry.

I saw her again, this afternoon.

She offered to help the police,

on one condition...

that she dealt only through me.

Why did you accept such a thing?

We always kept it to one side,

so no one knew.

Remember the psychiatric hospital,

your violent episodes?

You managed

to re-build your life
with Ninon and Lucie,

far from all that, far from her.

Don't let her foul it up.

I hate that people are still dying
because of her.

What will you do about Lucie?

Lie to her?

-Like we've done for years.

'Til now, your mother was gone.

Thanks for the meal.

-Here already?
-There's work to do.

Any news
on Jeanne Deber's interview request?

It'll be complicated.

She's in a coma after a suicide attempt.

Do we know why?


Szofia, I'm completely screwed,

I know it meant a lot to you

and you've sacrificed a lot for it.

Your ability and work
are in no way in question, and...

even though I think you deserved it,

you won't get Cellier's job.

I have to take someone else.



Achille, our computer guy,

Lt Gallieni,

and Bertrand, our legal eagle.

Gentlemen, this is Damien,
your new team leader.

I'm not gonna tell you
his life story,

but just so you know,
three years in RIB,

two years in Criminal,
five years undercover.

So, since Cellier's departure

and given your great results,

the Chief's decided to bring in
someone from outside the 36th,

to relieve the tension among us,

and help us with his experience.

Okay? Questions?

Time to get on?

Let's go, lads.

The three Mantis and copycat murders

have identical MOs.

The first ones,
suffocation in cellophane.

This is the Mantis's,

then the copycat's.

The second ones, strangling.
This is the Mantis's,

then the copycat's.

Third and copycat's latest,

and decapitation. The Mantis's,

then the copycat's.

the victims have nothing in common.

The first one was in the military,

the second one
was a child social worker,

and the third one was a judge.

Each had an injection
at the base of the neck.

The killer put them to sleep,

then woke them for the kill.

-As the Mantis did.
-Difference is

the profiles
of the copycat's victims.

No violence,

no incest,
no adultery, no abandoned family.

The victims seem to be nothing
like the Mantis's inadequate prey,

which means we have no motive.

Nor anything
to stop the next copycat murder.

If we follow the Mantis's pattern,

the next victim will be drowned
in his car.

All we have on him is a silhouette.

Seems it's a man.

It seems... Sorry, go on...

I'll be back. Hello?

Yes, Stern, I'm listening.

On site?

Okay, we're on our way.

Are you indulging all her whims?

Only for something convincing.

Hello, Damien.

What are we doing here?

It smells good.

The smell of blood?

No, my son, it smells of wood.

Shall we go?

This way.

My third victim,

Alain Fieuzal,

sodomised his children.

I waited 'til he woke up
to emasculate him.

Spare us the details, please.

He begged me to stop,

but I waited until he bled out

-to cut off his head.
-Okay, that's enough.

I'm trying to help you.

The copycat reproduced my crime

he even put the head
on the right of the body.

That's correct, isn't it?

In the press at the time,
the photo was published inverted,

to the left of the body.

He should've made that mistake.

As he didn't,
he must've seen the court file.

You think
he was a colleague of yours?

It's not a long list,

it was heard in camera,
hardly anyone there.

Anything to add?

No, I'm done.

And you had to get us here
to explain all that?

I fancied some fresh air.

-Hi, there!

-In the boot.

Grab the keys. In the ignition.

-Thanks, Virginie.

Put that on the table.

So, how'd it go last night?

The usual.

A good meal, drinks in a posh bar.

A pretty steamy night,
I have to say.

And when I woke up,
Prince Charming was gone.

-He just wasn't The One.
-Dunno if he exists.

And your reunion?

Great! Damien's got a transfer.

Gonna be here, not away.

Excellent. I told you it'd be okay.

This guy's good.
Two weeks we've been after the clue,

he arrives, goes straight to it.

I wanna know
what an undercover cop's doing here.

He is good.

Getting anywhere?

The judge's no good,
been dead for three years.

The shrink, Prof Muller,

who saw her
when she was taken to prison,

didn't see any photos.
He's been in Japan for a month.

The prosecutor is now over 80.

He's in a retirement home.
He says he was there

the night of the murders
but never circulated any documents.

No news yet from the lawyer,
Mr. Lanceret, who led the case.

It's him.

Hello, sir.

Yes, thank you. Please, carry on.


Wait, when did this happen?

Thank you, sir, thank you.

Mr. Lanceret was burgled
nearly two years ago.

Files, including the Mantis's,
were stolen.

I didn't think
anyone would be interested

in a 25 year-old case.

But now
there's talk of a Mantis copycat...

And you say the door wasn't forced.


Could a family member
or a friend have done it?

My friends don't know
where I keep the cupboard key.

My wife is dead.

My children live abroad.

Do you have staff?

Well, I had a cleaner.

She's retired now. Agnès.

Agnès Séverin.

She had keys to your flat?

Yes, of course.
I had complete confidence in her.

She worked for me for 27 years.

She knew where your files were?

Yes, she tidied up.

Even dusted inside the cupboard.

Did you mention the Mantis to her?

I don't recall...

Anyway, she was already around
when I began work on the case.

But I don't think it could be her,

I believe she's honest.

We'll check anyway.

Mr. Lanceret says
his door wasn't forced.

He's on the sixth floor,
so the window's difficult.

We know you had his keys.

Damn cheek,
treating me like a thief.

Nothing better to do?

Just asking, that's all.

Are you married?

My husband's dead.

Who's that, there?

My son, Baptiste.

A care home child.

My husband and I fostered,

we were fond of this kid
so we adopted him.

-How old is he now?

Got his address?

He's living here, 'til he finds a place

and can pay for it.

He's a part-time civil servant.
A proper job!

-May we see his room?

You're making trouble for him!
He's a good lad.

If so, there's nothing to fear.

Won't take long.

It's upstairs.

Go ahead, I've got a gammy leg.

And don't make a mess!

Not that one, it's mine. Opposite.

Hi, Mum! Whose car's outside?

-The police's.

They're searching your room
for a file they think I stole.

-I gotta go!
-What are you doing?

-Get out of my way!
-You done nothing wrong, I hope?

-Baptiste, come here!
-Get out of the way!

Stop, police! Stop, dammit!


We must tell the others,
start a search.

Baptiste Séverin. Mother unknown,
one foster family after another,

seemingly a childless bachelor.

No criminal record.

His adoptive mother and colleagues
say he's conscientious,

a loving son, nothing else.

Search any good?

No personal possessions in his room,
his mobile's dead.

Achille's going through his computer,
computers, rather.

Lots of codes, it's tough.

I'll call the commissioner,
we're starting the search.

I struggled, but I cracked
Séverin's first computer.

I found something cool.

Go on then!

E-mails with the Mantis.

He tried to delete them,
but I found recent bits.

"I did it all as you wanted.

I hope you'll be pleased with me...

Proud of me."

The Mantis's reply:

"Good luck."

Bloody hell! They're in collusion.

Ask him to call me back urgently.

It's her, the Mantis!
She made her copycat!

What's that?

We've found
e-mails between her and Séverin!

He killed so she could get out.

Three people died
just so she could see me.

Subtitle translation by Evaldo Medeiros