‘Women At War’ Episode 1: Recap And Ending, Explained: Why Is Suzanne Faure Tagged As A Murderess?

“Women At War” is a war-drama series on Netflix that surrounds the lives of four different women that intertwined with each other as they had to struggle with the repercussions of war together. Once men had left for the frontlines, things turned different, as devastating challenges stood ahead for the women and children that were left behind. The first episode of this series began with a brief introduction to the consequences of the war. It all dated back to the year 1914, when France had been battling at war for more than a month. At first, there had been hope that the war would be short one. But the first episode showed that the war ended up killing more than 300,000 soldiers in the beginning. The French army fought against the enemies at Saint Paulin, Vosges, to stop the German army from invading Paris. Then the nightmares began: when the men left for war, women had to take on the responsibilities of balancing their professional and personal life together. They worked in different sectors, like healthcare and heavy industry, and looked after their children at the same time. Out of everyone, only four ladies were able to channel their lives through this series: Marguerite, Agnes, Caroline, and Suzanne. The first episode introduced Marguerite, a prostitute; Mother Agnes, the head of a convent in Saint Paulin; and Suzanne Faure, who was tagged as a murderess by the cops. Vehicles coming into Saint Paulin had to pass a checkpoint since the cops were looking for Suzanne.

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Even though she managed to hide inside the truck’s secret cabinet, the cops figured it out easily. But her ally, Jeanne, helped Suzanne to escape before the cops could arrest them. Marguerite found a little girl named Lisette walking alone on the street; she gave her a ride and dropped her off at the church. Some of the wounded soldiers were resting in the convent since they had nowhere else to go. Lisette entered the church carrying a small basket with food and supplies in it. There was a clear indication of fear on her face as she moved past all of them, since they had been watching soldiers sacrificing their lives. Lisette stayed with her mother near the woods, and Agnes wanted them to move as soon as possible because their farm was now a dangerous place to live. But Lisette’s mother didn’t understand the situation and was not ready to leave it. Agnes assured Lisette that she would take them in if her mother left their farm. Agnes wanted Lisette to inform her family and made her promise to do so. 

At the same time, Marguerite arrived at a brothel, looking for a job. She couldn’t earn well in Paris, so her only choice was Saint Paulin, as it was filled with soldiers. She grabbed the brothel owner’s attention, and he removed one of the prostitutes named Maria to make room for Marguerite. The moment she entered the room, Marguerite noticed that the bedsheets were soaked in blood. Juliette responded that Maria caused them trouble, and that she was fired and hurt for the same reason. Juliette showed her around the brothel and requested Marguerite to stay out of trouble. The story then moved to Suzanne and Jeanne. They were hiding out in the woods, but she wanted Jeanne to stay out of trouble. Jeanne helped women who suffered injustice, and she wouldn’t give up on Suzanne. It was pretty clear that the duo had only met each other recently, as Suzanne didn’t know her name. Suzanne and Jeanne were escaping to Switzerland, but officer Louis Compoing was in pursuit of them.

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Officer Louis fired at them, and Jeanne was badly wounded. They managed to escape him, and Suzanne took her into the woods. Soon, the episode introduces our final character, Caroline, the owner of a factory. Her husband, Mr. Dewitt, was all set to leave for the frontline, but their workers didn’t want to work for them anymore, since they didn’t receive their exemption papers. There was a possibility that these men would be sentenced to execution by the firing squad, so the papers were necessary. Moreover, Mr. Dewitt was assured that Caroline would take over his responsibilities, but the workers were skeptical about having a woman in charge. Dewitt’s mother, Eleonore, was completely against his decision, but he managed to convince her. The couple had a daughter named Madeleine, but she hated her father. She didn’t want him to leave for the war, and despite all his efforts, Madeleine couldn’t forgive Dewitt for choosing the country over his family.

The following day, officers from the Ministry of War arrived at the factory and forced the workers into representing the country at the front lines. Caroline tried to stop them, but they didn’t acknowledge her requests. Being a woman had been tough for Caroline since people around the factory couldn’t trust her leadership skills. Moreover, Dewitt was cheated by the Ministry of War as they had promised to provide him exemption papers for the workers in his factory, but once he left for the frontline, they back their word. Back at the brothel, Marguerite tried to get information from her customers. She wanted to know the exact location of the army quarters, but none of them revealed any details. Luckily, she found one soldier who gave her the location, and it turned out to be pretty close to the brothel. The episode switched back and forth between the four ladies, and it depicted how they struggled with the male-dominant society to claim their rights.

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Suzanne and Jeanne made their way to Lisette’s house since Jeanne was gravely wounded and had lost a lot of blood. Suzanne had no choice but to clean and stitch the wound, she had prior experience in such cases since she was a nurse. Suzanne stole medicines from the church and managed to escape from there. But before Suzanne could treat her, German soldiers attacked and killed everyone in Lisette’s house including Jeanne. Agnes knew about the risk of this happening, and she’d wanted Lisette’s mother to understand the seriousness of the whole situation. So, Agnes arrived at Lisette’s place to take them back, but she found Suzanne instead. She lied about her identity and claimed to be Jeanne Charrier. Meanwhile, Marguerite had been spying on the army quarters, and one day she met Caroline. Well, Marguerite and Caroline had known each other for a very long time, and she couldn’t believe that Caroline was still alive.

Officer Louis arrived at Lisette’s house to inspect the bodies and the military officers found Suzanne’s ID. They believed that she was dead, but Louis identified Jeanne’s corpse and immediately rushed to find Suzanne. The military officers were skeptical about his behavior and demanded to know the reason behind his pursuit. Louis revealed that Suzanne had been responsible for his wife’s murder. The first episode was a blend of confusing puzzles where the four women are entangled in the dawning mysteries of their life. Somehow they were connected, and it was quite surprising how Marguerite and Caroline knew each other. Moreover, Agnes tries to save Lisette’s life, and amidst all this, she ends up meeting Suzanne. Even though Caroline is happily married to Captain Dewitt, her life is not so peaceful and things could take a different turn for her as Dewitt might spend months at the front lines. Suzanne is strong-headed and bold, but for some reason, she is accused of being a murderess. Besides, the upcoming episodes will provide a clearer insight into the future of these women.

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Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya is a Mass Media graduate and she is currently working and living in Mumbai. From a very young age, Raschi was heavily interested in reading and writing. She prefers to write everything that her mind nurtures her to do as shaping up her imagination is her forte!

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