DATELINE: TV MASHUP
Agatha Christie’s posthumous novel about the end of Poirot fits the long-running series with David Suchet.
Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case is a disturbing and cynical finish to the great detective whose use of “little gray cells” so enchanted murder mystery fans.
Over the years, the detective (perhaps like his creator) had grown tired of the evil and murderous ways of sociopaths. So, Christie had Poirot in his ill health tackle the ultimate serial killer in the location where he had solved his first case thirty years earlier.
Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) returns for a last hurrah—and turns out to be nearly as dangerous and suspicious as any other suspect.
Confined to a wheelchair and looking exhausted with his heart condition, Poirot seems less the agile crime solver in 1949. He seems doomed, likely a victim as much as the detective he always epitomized.
Indeed, Poirot’s anguish over his own role in murder has driven him to religion—as he grips his little rosary beads, fearing killers had driven him to do their bidding.
Nevertheless, the little Belgian has a few tricks up his sleeve as he will stop a serial killer from continuing his cruel murders that misled police to arrest and courts to convict the wrong people.
As a moral man, Poirot may be more distressed over what he must do than his audience. He feels his showboating style has returned and for that he is most guilty.
The final case for Hercule Poirot is brilliant, and he is equal to the task. Older and wiser than when he made his trips down the Nile or on the Orient Express, Poirot came to the end Agatha Christie wanted. She saved her best for the last.