Adapted from Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s famous detective novel, The Maltese Falcon, which was also the source for the famous neo-noir film of the same name in 1941, Scott Frank has come up with a new AMC series, Monsieur Spade. This detective series has just released its first episode, introducing us to the world of detective Sam Spade, who lost his ex-partner, Brigid O’Shaughnessy, in Istanbul. Spade had been given the responsibility to take O’Shaughnessy’s young daughter, Teresa, and hand her over to Philippe, who was Teresa’s biological father. However, things didn’t go as planned, and eventually, Spade fell in love with the quaint French village of Bozouls, until one day he had to look into a horrific murder scene that was connected with Philippe and Spade’s past.
Why Did Samuel Spade Stay At Bozouls?
After an accident in Istanbul claimed Brigid O’Shaughnessy’s life, Sam Spade came to a French village named Bozouls to hand Teresa over to her family, which consisted of Teresa’s father, Philippe, and grandmother, Audrey. But Audrey wasn’t very happy to see Teresa and expressed her joy for O’Shaughnessy’s death. However, she also told Spade that her son, Philippe, who wasn’t in the village anymore, had made a great mistake by marrying Brigid, and now neither of them wanted to take responsibility for the child. Spade didn’t irritate them any further and decided to take care of Teresa until she became an adult. He enrolled Teresa in a convent, where she was under the supervision of the Mother Superior. Spade used to visit regularly, but with time, the frequency of his visits dropped off.
Spade fell in love with a local woman from the village. Her name was Gabrielle, but even though they fell in love and got hastily married, Gabrielle couldn’t give Spade a long-term blissful married life. After Gabrielle passed away, a widower Samuel Spade spent eight years in Bozouls, as he not only fell in love with Gabrielle but was also in love with this village. Spade started an affair with local pub owner Jean-Pierre Devereaux’s wife, Marguerita. However, Jean-Pierre knew about this affair, and he wasn’t much bothered about it.
What Was Philippe’s Connection With Spade?
Spade was repeatedly warned by the Chief of Police, Patrice, to stay away from any commotion, as he didn’t want Spade to stir up any trouble in this village. Spade had quite a history of being a dangerous man who wasn’t very social or easygoing. Therefore, Patrice was quite intimidated by Spade from the start. In the meantime, Spade was diagnosed with emphysema, which would slowly kill him if he didn’t quit smoking right away. At this point in his life, Spade seemed to have a life least affected by worries, but emphysema caused him to stress over his own life. He quit smoking only outside of the house as whenever people used to offer him cigarettes, he refused to smoke, but during the sleepless nights at home, he was seen taking a puff or two.
In the interim, a rumor of Philippe coming back was spread in the village. One night, Spade even received a call from Philippe, whose vengeful voice caused him to worry. Philippe had always been vengeful towards Spade, not only because Spade was in love with Brigid. When Gabrielle was alive and being blackmailed by Philippe, Spade intervened and managed to get Philippe sent off to the war. Philippe never wanted to participate in the war, but he had to because of Spade. Therefore, if he were returning to the village, it would be to take revenge on Sam Spade.
Who Killed Those Nuns?
Meanwhile, Teresa seemed to be a little suspicious. She knew that Spade loved her like his own daughter, but deep in her heart, she somehow wanted to reconnect with Philippe. Philippe, however, never showed genuine care and affection for his daughter, and as we’ve already seen, Philippe’s mother, Audrey, was also a heartless woman who didn’t care about Teresa’s existence. But Brigid seemed to have amassed wealth for her daughter during the time when she used to work in Istanbul. Given that Spade had always loved Brigid, he was committed to his role as a father figure in Teresa’s life and wanted to give her the guidance and support that Teresa deserved. Teresa was grateful to Spade, and even all the nuns in the convent were fond of Spade, but she also craved Philippe’s attention in her life.
When Philippe made the call, Spade heard a gunshot from the other side, and he quickly thought of Teresa’s safety. As he contacted Patrice, the policeman once again warned Spade not to look for Philippe or try to get into trouble with him.
Sam Spade would never listen to Patrice, as he was gravely concerned for Teresa. However, that night, Teresa came back home to Sam Spade, who saw that her clothes were stained by blood. Teresa told him that while she was in the convent, Philippe had visited her, but he was wounded by a gunshot. Sam realized that Philippe had also put Teresa’s life in danger, so he decided to look into the matter. Teresa talked about a hooded man, who was seen earlier in this episode, interrupting a conversation between Patrice and Spade. However, Teresa’s statement seemed to be very sketchy, as it seemed likely she was hiding something that she had witnessed in the convent. Without wasting time, Spade hurried to the convent and found that some kids were locked up inside a room. He talked to the kids, who mentioned that Teresa might have the keys to the room. So, if Teresa had the keys, why didn’t she let the children go?
To answer that, we may say that Teresa was trying to save her father’s neck by withholding something crucial she had witnessed at the scene. However, Spade didn’t question Teresa yet and headed to the prayer hall, where he was startled to find that all six nuns, including Mother Superior, had been shot in the head. They must have been killed by either Philippe or that hooded man. Or, possibly, that hooded man was Philippe, but we have yet to know that. As the mystery thickens in the upcoming episodes, more clues will surface. We’ll soon come to know if Philippe is really back in town and killing people, or if there was something more sinister to the story.