Nicolas Le Floch (2008–2018): Season 2, Episode 2 - L'affaire Nicolas Le Floch - full transcript

Nicolas Le Floch is suspected of poisoning Julie de Lastérieux, his mistress, and finds himself in a rather unpleasant situation where he must investigate to clear his own name. He learns ...


Part Two


your arrival is punctual
yet you appear uncertain.

The Last?rieux case
has taken an odd turn.

Odd and yet ordinary,

tending to exonerate Mr le Floch
of all responsibility.

Carry on.

Mme de Last?rieux
had concomitantly left

two kinds of provisions.

She changed her will
in favour of her future husband,

Marquis de Ranreuil,
leaving him...

Leaving him nothing,
as there is nothing to inherit.

I see nothing there to clear him.


She had, however,
long ago arranged

for her servants, Casimir and Rose,

to be emancipated from slavery
upon her death.

Sufficient motive for the crime.

Did they have the means
to carry it out?

Without any doubt.

Obtain a confession, then.

Both immediately protested
their innocence

and now repose
in an obstinate silence.

Well, then, Inspector,

why wait to question them again?

My superior, Mr le Floch,
hates these outmoded practices

of dubious effectiveness
and limited results.

We prefer to stick to the evidence.

Your superior?

Your only superior is me, Inspector.

Send them for questioning,
since truth comes at a price.

- But...
- I said do it!

Without delay!

A message from Mr le Floch.

Order me a coach.
I must go to Versailles.

Choiseul... Choiseul...

That blasted Choiseul again.

When the king dismissed him,

that damned Choiseul
sided with the Dauphin.

He plots ceaselessly
against the king

and never hid his hatred
for Du Barry.

He would do anything
to bring about the king's fall.

They know of the mission?

Indeed, I fear so.

It's pointless to hide the fact

that the lampoon
would be a powerful tool

for Choiseul
and all those who want

the Dauphin to be crowned.

A triumph for them,
a disaster for us.

The king embarrassed,
Mr de Beaumarchais exposed,

you and I dismissed.

Not counting
Commissioner Le Floch.

Not counting?

But I am indeed counting on him,
Mr de Sartine.

For otherwise...

Otherwise, we are lost.

He first amongst us.

Is it not customary
to sacrifice a soldier

to save one's king?

London, madam!

Perhaps you shouldn't
have come with me.

Two people draw less attention
than one,

especially when they seem
quite besotted.

Welcome to London, Marquis.

I see you are astonished,
and uncomfortable.

I am Charles D?on de Beaumont,

Knight or lady,
according to circumstance,

though with no mystery attached.

If you wished, madam, I could

prove my status forthwith.

- I do not doubt it, sir.
- Your servant, madam.


I am apprised of your mission,

I will freely admit
that it seems perilous

and contrary to diplomatic custom.

Contrary to any custom.

Persuading Morande to renounce...

The man is indeed a coward,

but since he was attacked,
the fellow is wary

and is secretly protected
by the English police.

As for eliminating him...

Do not appear annoyed.

There's a good distance
twixt cup and lip.

Before eliminating Morande,

we must get sufficiently close.


This rogue followed your man,

I fear, sir,
that you must tell me why.

Fine. As the soft approach
does not seem to suit...

Bad news, Marquis.

That rogue was a secret agent
of the English crown.

The object you see
is a last resort

that His Majesty George III
promises to his secret service

to stem any verbal outpouring
when taken prisoner.

If you were followed,
you were preceded.

This man's disappearance
affords us some mobility.

Come, Marquis, that you might
form an opinion of our reality.

Your man, sir.

He never steps out alone
and is always on his guard.

Is that the rascal you seek?

- You know him?
- Yes.

I started out at Les Italiens.

That vile pimp was always
on the lookout for new blood.

He also visited your friend
La Paulet.

He stole watches
and lost heavily gambling.

Yes, I do know that bottom-feeder.

Tell me where he frequents.
I'll soon have him in my hand.

And you in yours.

You must double precautions.

A man has come from
the king of France to eliminate you.

I fear nothing. The lampoon is safe,
ensuring my safe-conduct.

For the rest, I hold the king
far tighter than he holds me.

Do beware, though.
Beware of everything.

Gentlemen... Good evening.

By Jove! A French woman
who does not hide her charms.

What for? I already intend
that you display your merits.

Somebody you know?

I don't know.
For a second, it seemed...

Come, sir,
it is time for entertainment.

Do not look so discouraged.

She sets about accomplishing
her mission ardently.

I would rather her ardour
were more moderate.

These variations
are not unknown to me.

Music is not my forte, sir.

I leave it to the effeminate.

For now, I shall queer the pitch
of would-be suitors!


I beg your pardon...
I thought...

No offence taken.

May I know who wrote
the piece you are playing?

Sir Richards,
highly skilled mathematician,

brilliant virtuoso
and unrepentant composer.

Your luck seems too insolent.
Would you be cheating, madam?

Would you denounce me?

Certainly not.
I thrill to your talents,

which I cannot penetrate.

Would you be attempting
to steal from me?

I am not one to be stolen from

and only cherish men
as much as they cherish me.

Cherish you?
It is my sole desire. Here...


I do not fear a full sack, sir.

I only fear insolvency.

Madam! Wait!


The pig turned out to be easier
to pick up than to drop.

The animal resembles an octopus

for his embrace,

a goat for his smell

and an ass, not for his stupidity,
but for...

Should I infer that you scored?

And what if I did?

As you did under orders
with Last?rieux.

Why, under orders,
should I not with Morande?

I understand now
why he is so attractive to women

and soon intends
to make money out of this.

Don't be silly, Nicolas.

The animal is clever
and excited my senses,

but it is your job to fulfil them.

The treasure you are about to invest
is worth 1000 louis.

And Morande, in his passion,
is ready to exchange its use

for the place where he hides
the secret you so desire.

Hello, Marquis.

It is late in the day

and the lampoon
is ready for dispatch.

We must prevent Morande
from causing harm.

It is too late to try persuasion.

Elimination will suffice.


Hurry, madam!
Time is of the essence.

Come along!

I yearn to see the treasure
you prize so highly

that it will cost me my own.

You will not be disappointed, madam.

A kiss!

My treasure is not far now.

This is the place.
We still have to get in.

Modern Circe,

to her charms falls the task

of opening the doors.

Let some time go by,
to make sure we are not followed.

The lady does not hide.
As for her companion...

All above board,

but enthusiasm
would dampen suspicion.

Not too much ardour, though.

You only have one shot.

Return to Paris, then.

To Paris and your music,

where you excel equally,
Sir Richards.

"Secret Memoirs of a Whore. "

And is this your nest-egg, sir?

This drivel?

Are you making fun of me?

You intended to have me
for scraps of paper?

You think I'm a bluestocking
to be paid in words?

This paper is worth 1000 louis.

1000 louis?

I'll give you 1000 louis!

Rascal! Wretch!


Renounce or you die.

Leave, madam.


Mercy, sir, I beg of you!


Get in, Marquis.

Get in.

We know all about you
and your mission,


You haven't touched your tea.

Could it be you never drink tea

or, learning by experience,

you fear it may upset you?

You knew and did not stop me.

Whether alive or dead,

Morande embarrassed
His Majesty Louis XV.

However, a Morande slain by yourself

is an even greater embarrassment
to your king.

Some choices are self-evident,

Therefore we made them.

Not drinking?


Never mind.

He will be placed
in solitary confinement.

If help doesn't arrive
from some unknown quarter,

the marquis runs two risks,
one worse than the other.

The worse?

Rotting in the appalling dungeons
of the Tower,

into which His Majesty
crams prisoners

destined for a slow, horrifying end.

And the other?

A prompt yet merciful hanging.

I owe the chance to see you
to my contacts.

Alas, the news is not good.

Shortly before I left,

Mr de Sartine advised me
that in cases of extreme peril,

I should take advantage
of John Wilkes.

Wilkes! John Wilkes!

What do you know of him?

John Wilkes...

Do not think of it, sir.

He is one of the fiercest opponents
of George III.

He owes his life to his power
to stir up the people of London.

Expect nothing from him.

This is shameful, Mr de Sartine,

as you well know.

This is a monstrous conspiracy
against our poor friend.

Sir, your former position
as Prosecutor General

should remind you
we are ruled by the facts.

Facts and proof.

The status and clout
of my former position

still gives me some credit at Court.

And if need be...

Possibly, sir.


However, the affair
is more complex than it appears.

Beware therefore of all prejudice

and the slightest impetuosity
that might tend to harm him.

The poor man.

He must be lonely now.

You were there at the fall,

you should be there
to witness the rise.


This is a publishing contract
in due form.

Read it, Mr de Morande.

And sign each page.

Here is the agreed sum:
1000 louis.

- Would you like to check, sir?
- No need.

My Lords...

Well, since the parties
came to an agreement,

all that remains is to execute
the contract's final clause.

The last but not the least.

Burn these lampoons forthwith.

You deceived me, did you not?

You were to frighten Morande
into bowing to our will.

Frighten, not eliminate.

So the gun was loaded with a blank.


Why deceive me?

- Wouldn't it have been easier...
- To tell you? No.

You are no actor.

To convince,
one must first be convinced.

You'd have taken the mission
less seriously

if we'd have told you
it was a masquerade.

A masquerade where I risked my life.

Is not the whole of life
a kind of masquerade?

Anyway, at least
you played your part naturally.

Perhaps you'd care to appear
in one of my works.

Allow me to decline.

How did you pluck me
from the Englishmen's clutches?

This strange, sudden benevolence...

An ill wind is blowing
in New England.

There is unrest in the colonies.

An uprising is strongly rumoured.

See the English benevolence

as a kind of caution
in the face of perils,

a wish, no doubt vain
and rather fanciful,

to treat France tactfully, for now.

As an author, I can but wonder

at the strange and ephemeral fate
of a work

written, published and paid for
then straightway fed to the flames

without a single reader
having read it.


Welcome to Paris, Commissioner.




Ah! Sir.

You have been cleared.

The slave Casimir admitted
murdering his mistress.

For what motive?

This letter of emancipation.

I don't believe it.

Yet the man's confession was full

and explicit.


- Mr de Sartine told me...
- Torture?


He endured the worst suffering

with amazing courage

till they threatened to visit
the same torments on his wife

while he watched.

Where might the poor wretch
be found?

The cruelty sapped his strength.

He died, Nicolas.

This is disgraceful!

Gently, Mr Spy, gently!

Did your distant exploits
and the shadow of anonymous glory

make you so full of yourself
as to burst in here like this?

- Take a seat, young Cinna.
- I'd rather stand.


I was looking forward
to an account of your adventures.

You are shaking with anger.
Might I know why?


Oh! Casimir...

Well, Commissioner,

we held a suitable suspect,
together with a motive.

Questioning loosens tongues

and soon transformed
the lead of suspicion

into the gold of certainty.

- The man confessed.
- And you approve?

You see, Nicolas,

I am one of those men
who prefer a rickety chair

to no chair at all,
and sitting down

to standing.

But enough!
I cannot stand your wrath just now.

You may decide to leave my service,

the king's service.

But if you stay,

remember that you must
submit your will to mine

and your feelings

to the demands of your missions.

I do not intend to slip away, sir.


One last thing, however.

For reasons I know not,
and am indifferent to,

before her passing,
Mme de Last?rieux

left you her estate.
It amounts to little, in fact,

as I paid for her house
and household

through the Ferme G?n?rale.
Her salons

provided me with information.

She was, in short, my creature,

and like all creatures,
imperfect and fallible.

I sent you to her
to ensure her personal safety.

Which you did, in fact,

with undoubted pleasure and zeal.

These items were retained
by the clerk of court

until the investigation was over.

As that is now the case,

I suppose they are yours by right

and I want them out of my sight.

In the science of handwriting,
nothing escapes

a full, careful examination.

My art is based
on that of comparison.

All these letters and this note

seem to come from the same hand.

This, "attendre" gives "tendre",

and other words have had
a letter added.

Thus, "marquis" for "marquise".

The note is evidently the fruit
of applied, methodical collation

of old letters.

A counterfeit executed
with particular meticulousness

by a very able copyist.

I can state, moreover,
that the fake was done by a musician,

accustomed by his occupation

to yielding to the inflexible lines

formed by musical staves.

What is the reason for
this sudden entrance, Commissioner?

The charge of passing intelligence
to the enemy.


Your role as master of music
to the king's daughter

allows you to collect information

on His Majesty and the Court

harmful to the new favourite.

Impossible, sir.
I am innocent of all that.

And are you also innocent
of this?

These boots and coat
in your cupboard...

...were stolen
from Mme de Last?rieux's.

But these objects
are nothing to do with me.

As he lived in cramped lodgings,

Darchis would leave with me

cumbersome items

for which he had no immediate need.



We would not want you,
fearing questioning,

to escape us by using
your safety ring.

Robert Darchis!

Unless I should call you Richards?

Whichever, Commissioner.
Both are common currency.

So the object has its use?

Extreme though it is, sir.

Play, Balbastre.

I cannot.

This thing is indecipherable.

Your astonishment exonerates you,

On the other hand,

"indecipherable" indeed.
This is not music

but a language expressed
through the notes.

Thus did certain
confidential information

find its way to London,
in the form of coded scores,

written by Robert Darchis,
or Sir Richards, whichever the case.

The anagram was easy
yet escaped me.

This ingenious device

explains how
certain important messages

escaped the vigilance
of my Black Cabinet.


you forged my handwriting.

At the request of your friend.


You serve your king.
I serve the English crown.

- Our only difference.
- I do not practise murder.

Why did you kill her?

For the most stupid reason
there is: love.

I was the effect,
you the cause.

Mme de Last?rieux loved you
and wanted to marry you.

Not to continue her activities
in the shadow of your name,

but because she loved you.
Her treachery would favour you.

For love! Can you credit it?

You had provoked the altercation.

I could get rid of her
and compromise you.

We had long sensed
what came next.

Your flight to England,
dreamed up by Beaumarchais.


To conclude,
what was the murder weapon?

This substance, sir,

a protection for English spies

against disclosing secrets
should they be caught...

Beware, sir. A tiny dose
of this poison is fatal

and the little that remains
could kill a legion of rats.


I arrest you.

Not for your intelligence activities,
which are out of my sphere,

but for the common law crime

of murdering Mme de Last?rieux
by poisoning.

Congratulations, Commissioner.


I fear we must now make our report.

The king is hunting, Marquis.

He bade me transmit
his satisfaction.

I must inform you of facts
pertaining to the kingdom's security.

An intelligence agency

implicating Balbastre,
Notre-Dame's organist,

and music master to Mme Ad?laide,
the king's daughter.

We are holding the kingpin,
a certain Darchis.

Enough, Mr de Sartine.
Balbastre is untouchable

and the danger he presents
is now very moderate.

As for the so-called Darchis,

you know what
Mr de Montesquieu wrote?

"We thought it wise
to cease all prosecution

"as we ran the risk of finding
a greater enemy,

"and hide our enmity
so as not to render it


So the murderer
will escape punishment?

Yes, sir. He will.

You escaped yours
in the English gaol.

A piece for a piece,
spy against spy.

One good turn deserves another.

I am ordering that the man
be taken to Calais

under close escort.

Madam loved you, sir,

far more than you imagined.

And Madam kept her word.
You are free.



What does "freedom" mean,
when you're alone and destitute?

I don't think you are destitute.

The Ferme G?n?rale
owes you this.

Some things money cannot buy, sir.

Such as the loss of a loved one.

One day, perhaps,
you will learn that cruel lesson.

Adieu, sir.

Subtitles - Henry Moon