If you go over Alfred Molina’s IMDb itemizing, you see over 2 hundred appearances. And he’s performed every little thing, from a cop in a Law & Order spinoff to Hercule Poirot to Doctor Octopus. Still, when he seems on our screens, we’re at all times glad to see him, as a result of he brings depth to no matter position he does. He performs a cop once more in a brand new Quebec-set thriller sequence on Prime Video, and he makes it a complete lot higher than it needs to be.

THREE PINES: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?

Opening Shot: “Tiothiá:Ke (Montreal)”. A protest over the disappearance of Indigenous ladies takes place exterior the station of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), the provincial police. A senior detective in glasses watches the protests from a window.

The Gist: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (Alfred Molina) is sympathetic to the households who’re protesting; 1000’s of Indigenous ladies have disappeared or been murdered over the previous few years, and the SQ has completed little to none about it. He even involves the protection of the mom and sister of a kind of victims, Blue Two-Rivers (Anna Lambe), after they’re bodily restrained by the officers making an attempt to regulate the group.

He drives Blue’s mom Arisawe (Georgina Lightning) and sisters Missy (Crystle Lightning) and Kara (Isabel Deroy-Olson) dwelling. He asks a colleague to run a plate associated to the case, although the colleague thinks like the remainder of the SQ, that Blue simply ran away.

In the village of Three Pines, CC de Poitiers (Simone-Élise Girard), who simply launched a tell-all e-book, is off sleeping together with her photographer, Saul Petrov (Iannicko N’Doua-Légaré) and utterly ignoring her passive husband Richard (Robert Moloney) and their daughter Crie (Roberta Battaglia). Later, at a Boxing Day curling match, de Poitiers sits in a steel chair, then swiftly will get sizzling. Blue fluid drips round her ft. Then immediately, she’s electrocuted and collapses useless within the chair.

Gamache is distributed to Three Pines to analyze — he thinks it’s punishment for driving the Two-Rivers household dwelling. He’s met there by Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir (Rossif Sutherland), Sergeant Isabelle Lacoste (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) and over-eager native officer Yvette Nichol (Sarah Booth). With the assistance of Yvette, they arrange a state of affairs room within the gallery of Bea Mayer (Tantoo Cardinal), who’s stunned to see an Lacoste, who’s Indigenous, within the SQ.

As Gamache presses on, he will get information about Blue Two-Rivers; she’s been seen alive in Brooklyn. However, Missy thinks that she’d name if she had been nonetheless alive. And whereas Blue haunts his desires, he begins to comprehend that everybody who was current when CC de Poitiers died doubtless had a cause to need her useless.

Three Pines
Photo: Prime Video

What Shows Will It Remind You Of? Three Pines has a number of similarities to Alaska Daily, close to the storyline concerning the disappearance of 1000’s of younger Indigenous ladies. But in essence, the present is extra like a standard detective present alongside the strains of Acorn’s many detective reveals, like Whitstable Pearl, Midsomer Murders and others.

Our Take: Three Pines relies on Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache novel series, and it’s making an attempt to steadiness a number of totally different police procedural genres to weave collectively a narrative that’s extra advanced than the typical detective sequence.

You have the standard thriller of CC de Poitiers’ homicide — Gamache even confronts all of the suspects throughout a e-book membership assembly and talks about why every one may need to kill her, like he’s Hercule Poirot (which Molina has performed prior to now) — however there’s additionally a extra in-depth story that represents the very actual disappearance of 1000’s of Indigenous ladies in Canada and Alaska. In addition, Gamache has some mysteries in his personal life, which he’ll must confront as he investigates each instances.

It all flows collectively fairly effectively, primarily due to Molina. It’s not precisely the primary time he’s performed a police detective, however he nonetheless makes Gamache distinctive from the opposite occasions he’s performed a cop, primarily as a result of he’s so efficient at displaying Gamache’s vulnerabilities. He’s not the standard SQ cop who sees these lacking particular person instances as runaways and principally give the households no solutions, however he nonetheless has to combat in opposition to the distrust the Indigenous inhabitants has in direction of legislation enforcement.

A high quality supporting solid and a lightweight humorousness additionally helps. Not each facet of the present is mild and ethereal, nevertheless it appears to know when it must be critical and when it must lighten issues up. Because of this, Three Pines give viewers an attention-grabbing homicide case to comply with, quirky small-town of us with secrets and techniques, and a extra critical case that assessments its essential character’s skills. What else can a viewer need?

Sex and Skin: Besides CC waking up subsequent to Petrov, there isn’t any within the first episode.

Parting Shot: When Yvette asks Gamache which one of many townspeople killed CC, he quotes Frankenstein and says, “What if it was all of them?”

Sleeper Star: We’ll give this to Claire Coulter, who performs cursing city eccentric Ruth Zardo, who totes round her pet duck throughout city.

Most Pilot-y Line: CC screams at her husband and daughter, “The solely mistake round right here was getting married to you and giving start to that.” “That” is her daughter. Wow, that’s cartooinshly merciless.

Our Call: STREAM IT. Alfred Molina and a high-quality supporting solid elevates Three Pines above the usual detective drama, if solely as a result of it easily operates on multiple stage.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Fast Company and elsewhere.

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