A bored Hercule Poirot announces that he is going to retire and suggests that he and Captain Hastings go to the seaside for a short holiday. While there, they meet a pleasant young woman who is delivering a set of miniature portraits to an American buyer on behalf of her aunt, an antiques dealer. When they arrive at their destination she is shocked to find that the miniatures are missing and that the American had already bought them from an elderly lady more than an hour before. As Poirot has retired he leaves the case in the hands of Hastings who slowly puts the facts together and not surprisingly comes to the wrong conclusion. In the end, it is left to Poirot to suggest the solution to the crime and brings all of the parties together for an interesting lunch.Written by
If the last episode ("The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim") was an example of an excellent combination of story adaptation and original material, this one was more like a counterexample. Although there was nothing wrong with how they adapted the original story, I found the original material baffling.
The original story was portrayed well enough. On vacation, Poirot and Hastings meet a young girl on a bus who says she's taking some miniatures from her aunt's antique business to sell in a neighboring town. But when they arrive there, she shows our dynamic duo her suitcase; the small case inside, where the miniatures are supposed to be, is empty and the lock has been forced. Apparently someone stole them, got to the buyer ahead of the girl and took 1500 pounds cash in exchange for the antiques. It's up to Poirot and Hastings to straighten out the situation.
All well and good so far. But apparently the writers couldn't allow Poirot to simply be on vacation. No, he has to announce at the beginning of the episode, "I am nothing. I have nothing. Poirot is finished." and then suddenly declare to Hastings "I am taking you to the seaside." Then Japp and Miss Lemon need something to do, so Japp is now touring the countryside lecturing, and Miss Lemon has lost her keys. Not to mention the secret elopement thrown in as a red herring. There is a revelation at the end that somewhat explains this bizarre behavior, but it all feels thrown together. Rather disappointing.
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