Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders season 1 finale recap


Poirot inches closer to discovering the killer as Cust starts to lose control and starts to draw attention to himself on The ABC Murders.

Poirot awakes from a nightmare of approaching ABC in the Underground tunnel only to discover that it is the young man from his memories. Crome faces a mob of journalists at Scotland Yard, one asking “Is the killer even English?” Crome ignores them all. Meanwhile, on The ABC Murders, Poirot waits at his mail slot for the next letter while Thora and Franklin enjoy their new intimate relationship and Lily develops a fondness for Cust.

Poirot is certain that they will not receive any more letter from A.B.C. after the disaster at Doncaster. Crome’s constable is annoyed with Poirot, but Crome has changed his attitude and sends him away to make tea. Crome wonders if the killer might be someone from Poirot’s past before he came to England, but Poirot insists that it isn’t relevant.

Cust wakes in the train station restroom in Embsay with blood in his mouth and a bloody knife in his coat pocket. He finds a dead man in one of the stalls with his eyes gruesomely stabbed out. The train conductor comes in to relieve himself and Cust hides in the opposite stall. When the conductor discovers the dead body he runs for help and Cust escapes after him, but not without drawing attention to himself.

More. Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders season 1, episode 2 recap. light

More from Amazon Prime

Cust does seem confused by the situation he finds himself in. As obvious a suspect as he seems, perhaps he’s not the killer. Scotland Yard is alerted to the situation and the manhunt begins. Policemen immediately turn up the knife and his distinctive hat and coat. The victim Ernie Edwards had a lady friend at home and Poirot finds a pair of lady stockings in his briefcase: Twinkle Toes brand which matches the package scrap from Asher’s.

Poirot visits the stocking company and discovers there was only one bulk buy from London, but with no name attached. He’s not strictly associated with the company. They also received what they regarded as a “fruitcake letter” from London. It merely thanked them for their stock, instructions, and the coat. He promises to be a faithful representation of their product, signed Alexander B. Cust. It was written on the same typewriter as the A.B.C. letters.

Police are sent to Mrs. Marbury’s boarding house. While they’re searching Cust’s room, Lily sneaks away to warn Cust, but police find her and arrest him. He makes a daring dash across the railway lines and nearly gets killed in the process. In Cust’s room, of course, they find the stockings, the typewriter, and the stock of ABC railway guides.

Cust is taken to the hospital where they diagnose him with some kind of brain growth. Poirot doesn’t quite seem satisfied and Lily confirms it when she gives Cust an alibi for the Doncaster murder. He witnesses Mrs. Marbury abuse her daughter and doesn’t waste time calling her out on it. The Fascist Mrs. Marbury asks him how long he’s going to be in her home, and he defiantly replies “As long as I want.” Good for you, Poirot.

When Poirot goes to see Cust, he doesn’t even know who he is, only vaguely knows him by reputation. Cust doesn’t remember writing the letters but accepts that he did. He went to all those places where the murders took place, but only because they were on a list that Twinkle Toes gave him – because it is easier for new salesmen to work alphabetically. The typewriter and the coat were given to him, as well as the idea of selling stockings in the first place. Everything was simply handed to him and he followed instructions, names, dates, and locations included. With his brain condition he has a hard time self-directing, so he could hardly have masterminded these clever murders.

Franklin comes to see Poirot to thank him. They talk about Lady Hermione’s birthday party and Poirot’s phrase – mes enfants (my children) – and where it came from. Poirot merely says that people found it entertaining and that it is helpful to be entertaining when you are a foreigner. Franklin notes that Poirot is looking better and that he was rather concerned for him before. Concerned. Poirot is bothered by the phrase, so intimately used in the first A.B.C. letter. Poirot is looking for his mastermind. Could Franklin be him? Franklin tells him that he’s going to be married to Thora and claims that he’s very much in love with her.

Poirot has Franklin’s brandy glass analyzed for fingerprints and compared to the ABC evidence. Matches are found and Scotland Yard arrests Franklin on the train to Churston. Poirot can’t prove it, but he thinks Thora knew about Franklin, that they were in cahoots. He finds a coat and hat like his hanging in Thora’s wardrobe.

After Franklin murdered his brother, he burst into the bathroom to clean up where Thora happened to be taking a bath. She could not help noticing his bloodstained face and he threatened to kill her if she said anything. Knowing that he would inherit everything once Lady Hermione died – now that his brother was dead, that is – she conspired with him to avoid detection and seduced him, hoping to become his wife.

The other murders were all a cover for the murder of Carmichael Clarke so that Franklin could inherit his money and title. But once he started, he had gotten a taste for it and savored being hunted by the great Hercule Poirot. In the original novel, Franklin chose Poirot because of his disdain for foreigners, but in this adaptation, he chooses Poirot because he admires him and wanted to see him brought back to greatness. And indeed, after solving the crime and bringing the murderer to justice, Poirot’s reputation is restored.

This solution doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in the novel and it’s rather far-fetched here, but in both cases, it’s presented in a clever enough way to be acceptable. Crome tries again to ask Poirot what he was before the war, if not a policeman. Poirot merely comments on a foolish headline about Crome being the answer to a new and cruel age, pointing out that cruelty is not new.

Now that Betty is dead and all the publicity has died down, Donald and Megan’s mother arrange for them to be engaged again on The ABC Murders. They assume that Megan still wants this and won’t mind everything that’s happened. Megan packs her bag and runs away in the night, finally deciding to have some dignity after all.

Cust has an operation to remove his brain tumor but may never wake up. Lily comes to see him, carrying with her his beloved backgammon set. She wants to be there for him if he does regain consciousness.

Thora is back on the hunt, looking for a rich old man to marry her and give her his fortune.

Poirot used to be a priest. When the soldiers came to invade his village, he sent his congregation into the church and told them to be silent and still. He calmed them by telling them that no harm could come to them in the house of God. “Mes enfants,” he called them. He went out to face the soldiers alone, hoping to protect his people by reasoning with the invaders.

The ABC Murders premiere recap: season 1 episode 1. dark. Next

He first faces the man from his memories, a young, compassionate, and conflicted young man. He falters and begins to lower his rifle, only to be shot and killed by his commanding officer. Poirot is struck with his rifle and knocked unconscious. When we awakes, his church is burning to the ground with all his people inside. He failed to protect them.

What did you think of The ABC Murders? Be sure to tell us in the comment section below!