While spending the weekend at his cottage outside London, Hercule Poirot is invited to dinner by Sir Henry and Lady Angkatell. Leaving immediately after dinner, he returns the next day to find that a weekend guest, John Christo, has been shot dead. There is any number of suspects: his former lover, Veronica Cray whom he had not seen for 12 years but suddenly turned up at a nearby cottage; his wife, Gerda who was deeply hurt by his womanizing; his current mistress Henrietta Savernake; Midge Hardcastle, who was very much in love with him, but whom he constantly ignored; and Edward Angkatell, who was in love with Midge. What Poirot finds however is that the evidence equally implicates everyone just a little too equally for it all to be just by chance. Written by
When Henrietta doodles, she always sketches a stylized tree that she calls Yggdrasil. In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is a giant ash tree that represents Viking cosmology, with the branches standing for different parallel worlds. "Heaven" is at the top and Hel is at the bottom. The world we experience is on one of the middle branches. See more »
S09E04: The Hollow: Enjoyably staged with good characters
Just after complaining that I found Death on the Nile to be a little telegraphed and obvious, the 9th season comes to a close with an episode which is nothing of the sort and features a nice mystery where the floor is open and nothing is given away too easily. Within the base elements of this case is the feeling that everything is a little too neat, and a little too balanced to really convince as a real situation. Within the film, this is very well presented by virtue of the actual murder scene almost being a frozen tableau when we (and Poirot) come across it indeed there is a certain comedic edge to it as Poirot assumes that it is a game, so staged and unnatural does it seem. This very striking image I found most pleasing visually, but that it folds well into the theme of the episode made it work even better.
From here we have an engaging and quite satisfying mystery; with plenty going on, but not so much that the viewer feels they are being deliberately swamped. Technically it is very well delivered, with a consistent sense of pace and style to it always feeling that slightly browning, crisp way of an English Autumn in the look and feel of the delivery. The pacing of the delivery is important and I enjoyed here how well it seemed to let things bed in, not giving them too long nor rushing them off the screen in favor of the next thing. The cast help this feeling and there is a real sense of quality with Dodds, Miles, Fox and others all in good turns.
In the end it is satisfyingly concluded and delivered in the normal way, making for an enjoyable and very well presented Poirot.
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