The penultimate episode of “Monsieur Spade,” with Clive Owen brilliantly portraying the iconic detective created by Dashiell Hammett, elevates the stakes. Scott Frank and Tom Fontana, the creators, masterfully craft “Monsieur Spade” Episode 5 to reveal the true form of one of the series’ hinted antagonists, thus intensifying anticipation for the finale. This episode of “Monsieur Spade” also unravels the mysteries surrounding the series’s McGuffin, the enigmatic boy, Zayd, who can be likened to the human equivalent of the “Maltese Falcon.”
Monsieur Spade (Season 1) Episode 5: Recap
We start with a flashback of Philippe Saint-Andre (Jonathan Zaccai) showing his ‘killing’ instinct in Algeria. In the present, we see Spade (Clive Owen) act on his suspicion. Spade found the antenna on the roof of Fitzsimmons’ shelter in the last episode. In this episode, he notices a mechanical sound in his drawing room. Remember, the Fitzsimmons have bugged his house using the paintings they have ‘gifted.’ Spade’s investigation of the room reveals those bugs. Using the bug, knowing fully well that the Fitzsimmons would be listening, Spade lures them away from their house. Spade then goes to the garage of the Fitzsimmons abode, which was locked the last time he looked.
Spade forces his way into it and is unsurprised to find espionage equipment. But before he could do more investigation, he is interrupted by George Fitzsimmons (Matthew Beard). George bests him in hand-to-hand combat, and Cynthia (Rebecca Root) joins them with a gun in her hand. They ask Spade to join them for a discussion. George and Cynthia confess to Spade about being agents of British Intelligence. They also explain the importance of the boy, Zayd. Zayd is a gifted code-breaker and has religious significance. The Fitzsimmons ask Spade to join them.
Meanwhile, Philippe Saint-Andre is visited by what seems to be the ghost of Sister Angelique. But we soon learn that it is her sister, Gazala (Ines Melab). We know that Philippe smuggled the boy out of Algeria with help from the woman who pretended to be Sister Angelique. Now we see there were two women, identical sisters. Gazala (as per British Intelligence) is the most ruthless of the two. Gazala and Philippe have made a deal with someone named Kahn. They would like to hand the boy over to this Kahn for a hefty amount of money, no doubt.
Monsieur Spade (Season 1) Episode 5: Ending Explained – Why is Zayd Important to Everyone?
The Fitzsimmons reveal a lot about Zayd in their candid conversation with Spade. They figure they can trust him and disclose what British Intelligence has learned about Zayd. Zayd lived with a wealthy Egyptian family, where Gazala’s sister, “Sister Angelique,” was the nanny. Zayd is an extremely gifted boy, and seeing his powers, the nanny stole him. Probably with help from Gazala, who was one of the soldiers of the Algerian Liberation Front. Gazala wanted the boy to be used for the cause of Algeria when she met Philippe. We know Philippe did switch his allegiance to the movement for Algerian Independence, but he likely saw the monetary potential in the boy.
When Spade enquires about the boy’s power, George and Cynthia tell him that the boy has an unnatural talent in cryptography. The scribbles that he writes constantly are codes. Zayd is gifted in that way. He can easily break codes as well as he can encrypt something in unbreakable code. It becomes clear why most of the Western intelligence agencies, like the British Intelligence, the CIA, and the French Military want the boy.
Apart from this, the boy also holds religious significance. A belief has grown among many religious factions that the boy can mathematically prove the existence of God. So, all the religious organizations would want the boy to prove their God as the one true God. This explains why the Vatican wants the boy. The two Islamic sects, Shias and Sunnis, also believe in the existence of “Mahdi.” A divine figure, a second coming of Allah. One sect believes that Mahdi will unite Muslims all over the world and bring peace and prosperity, while the other believes Mahdi will herald the end of the world but save the true devotees.
Who is Teresa’s Father?
The discussion with the Fitzsimmons ends for Spade, mostly to his relief, as the Fitzsimmons were looking to force him to work for them with the arrival of Teresa (Cara Bossom). Teresa informs Spade about the sighting of “Sister Angelique.” Spade also learns of the place where Gazala went. He goes to the building to check that out. He reaches the room where Gazala and Philippe are staying. Both of them are armed and realize the presence of someone outside of their room. Just when it seems a gunfight is inevitable, Spade withdraws. He sees someone at the bottom of the stairs and leaves, probably anticipating the peril on the side of the door.
Instead, he takes Teresa for her first drink at Marguerite’s (Louise Bourgoin) pub. While discussing with Marguerite about Teresa, Spade gets into the topic of Teresa’s father. Marguerite says that Spade does not want to face the possibility of the hard truth. All this while, Spade told everyone and to himself that Teresa was the daughter of Brigid and Philippe. Spade had got Brigid out, and they were romantically involved. Brigid then left him and America and met Philippe in the Middle East.
Brigid said that she got pregnant after that, and Philippe is the father. That is the whole reason Spade came to France: to hand over Teresa to Philippe. But Marguerite urges Spade to think about the possibility that Brigid got pregnant when she was with Spade. Brigid was known to lie. And Spade could not tell a 5-year-old girl from a 7-year-old girl. Teresa’s tactful behavior and smartness make Marguerite wonder if Spade is her real father. It starts to make Spade wonder too.
Is Jean-Pierre Dead?
Jean-Pierre (Stanley Weber) has struggled with guilt throughout his post-war life. We get to learn the full extent of his trauma. The way he killed, and helped (against his will) his colleagues in raping innocent women, is a burden he carries through and through. Probably in an innate desire to not jeopardize the lives of more innocent people, he starts to feel guilty about handing Zayd to Phillippe. But it is not easy to rectify that.
He goes to Philippe’s house and asks about the boy. Philippe’s answer does not satisfy him. Philippe warns him not to meddle in it. But Jean-Pierre’s desire to correct his mistake overcomes him. He tries to force his way and Philippe pushes him. He falls and rolls through the stairs. Heavily injured, he starts to see vision as Philippe draws close to him. Philippe draws his gun and shoots him. Saddeningly, it is likely Jean-Pierre is dead. We saw him give a poignantly passionate kiss to his wife before leaving for this adventure. That feels like a final goodbye, alright.