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'Van der Valk' Recap: Season 2 Episode 3

Daniel Hautzinger
Job, Van der Valk, and Brad in season 2
Van der Valk and his team's latest investigation has implications for powerful people that put the team in danger. Photo: Company Pictures, NL Films & A3MI

Van der Valk is available to stream. Recap the previous and following episodes.
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It’s brazen: in the midst of a crowd at a reception after a concert, someone in a hoodie throws acid from a champagne glass into the face of the talented young cellist Fleur Mas. Cameras and eyewitnesses don’t catch the identity of the attacker. Fleur dies that night from inhaling acid.

Her last call came from the Amsterdam Tower, where security footage shows her meeting with a friend of Van der Valk’s: the journalist and hacker Arjan Hersi. Arjan won’t tell Van der Valk anything about Fleur. Arjan has stood up to torture from gang members and held his secrets; he won’t reveal them to Van der Valk unless he wants to.

Fleur was due to play in a charity concert for an organization that helps women who are victims of sexual assault. It was to be conducted by Femke de Haan—Lucienne’s ex-girlfriend. Turns out Fleur lived with Femke—and started dating her before she and Lucienne had broken up. Femke says Fleur had recently reported to police that she had a stalker, but was ignored. The artistic director of the orchestra, Christiaan Timmerman, has lots of photos of himself with Fleur on his laptop, but emails show that he was concerned for her safety after hearing about the stalker—it can’t have been him.

When the detectives search the police record for a stalking complaint, they don’t find one.

Fleur does have a connection to Stefan Bodecker, a wealthy man who allegedly groomed underage girls for sex with the rich and powerful at his Zecker Club. Bodecker has fled the country to avoid arrest. To confirm his suspicion that Fleur’s death involves Bodecker, Van der Valk calls Arjan and asks him. Arjan hangs up at the mention of Bodecker—confirmation.

Arjan later tells Van der Valk that he took years to gain the trust of some women, and he can’t share the information he has been gathering until it’s published, when consequences will come quickly. He does give Van der Valk a book about the Battle of Schooneveld and wishes him happy birthday.

Van der Valk has even less luck with Hester Gill, the head of the charity that is to benefit from the upcoming concert. She’s on edge when he arrives at her apartment, as Arjan has warned her that “they” got to Fleur, and her apartment was broken into and ransacked. She threatens Van der Valk with “acid”—it’s actually tequila—and sends him away without answers.

Lucienne and Brad track down a former associate of Bodecker’s, Quinten Arkas, and find a woman passed out from drugs. Quinten tries to flee but eventually admits that another associate, Ivo de Witt, recently visited him and asked for help. Quinten refused—he hated what de Witt and Bodecker did to the women. He saved Ella, the woman in his home, from Bodecker. He won’t help the police, however: he’d be killed if he did. All he’ll say is that de Witt hangs out at a specific bar.

Van der Valk watches de Witt there and follows him to a nearly empty parking garage, where de Witt jumps him and knocks him out after warning him to back off. De Witt must have been warned that the police were investigating him.

He lives nearby, however, and in his home the detectives find papers on Fleur, the concert, and Hester. Lucienne goes to warn Hester, who won’t let her in to her apartment. Lucienne slips her a business card.

De Witt’s home also has Bodecker’s fingerprints all over it—including on yesterday’s newspaper. Bodecker is back in Amsterdam.

His Zecker Club is now an establishment called Maya, run by a former employee, Anouk Prinsens. She regrets not being aware of what happened to girls at the Zecker, and explains that she bought the club because she had come into money from a divorce and Bodecker had to sell fast and cheap.

She also claims not to have had any contact with him since the sale, but her computer shows otherwise. She clarifies that all the emails back and forth were just about resolving issues with the club—Bodecker cheated her in the sale. When Lucienne is at Maya to speak to Anouk, she sees Arjan arguing with Anouk.

Anouk says that Arjan was warning her that she was in danger. He had convinced her, Fleur, Hester, and other women to go on the record to take down Bodecker; the contacts on her computer with Bodecker were so Arjan could hack Bodecker, who kept videos of everything that went on at the club as insurance against the powerful people who used it. Arjan had sworn the women to secrecy until the investigation and publication was complete.

Arjan will never finish it. He asks to meet Van der Valk, but when the detective arrives at his home, Arjan is thrown out of a window to his death. He was tortured before he was killed.

Anouk accepts the police’s offer of a safe house. But Brad and Job are cut off as they drive her there and she is removed from the car at gunpoint. The raiders seemed to have known where Brad and Job would be driving. There must be a leak in the police—and that could explain the absence of Fleur’s stalking complaint, too.

Hester fares better when someone tries to break into her apartment again. She flees and calls Lucienne, who meets her with Van der Valk. Hester explains that Arjan had all the evidence, and that his main sources were her and Fleur, but there were some others, like Ella. Hester refuses the offer of a safe house: Bodecker knows too many powerful people. She’ll be safer on the streets.

Investigating Bodecker and the terrible things done to young women at his club leads Job to worry about his own sister. Yes, he has a sister, as Van der Valk discovers from some minor sleuthing, and she lives in his apartment—it’s why Job himself lives out of a gym. Job supports her with money but she also works at a casino, and he worries that she might be forced to do more than just her job there, especially given that she is an addict. She reassures him that she’s fine.

When Job finally reveals her existence and their complicated relationship to Van der Valk, Van der Valk simply tells Job that he and the whole team are there for him if he needs them.

Van der Valk’s own personal life has gotten confusing. He is falling for Lena, and finds himself wanting to take daytrips with her, so he asks her if she wants to make things more serious. She says no—and then reveals that she’s getting married. So much for that romance.

Lucienne is still concerned for Femke despite the difficult end to their relationship, so she visits to warn her that she might be in danger, given her connection to Fleur. Femke apologizes for how she treated Lucienne, and Lucienne gives Femke pepper spray, just in case.

Van der Valk has also warned Femke, visiting her at a country home owned by her family where she and Fleur were living. No one knows about it except the artistic director Timmerman.

Soon enough, Timmerman is attacked and sent to the hospital. Van der Valk and Lucienne rush to Femke’s home and find it empty, the door broken. Femke has escaped to a nearby windmill by pepper spraying de Witt when he tried to attack her, but by the time Lucienne and Van der Valk reach her she’s tied up and facing interrogation over the location of Fleur’s notebook, which might contain incriminating information on Bodecker. Lucienne lets de Witt reach for his gun so that she has an excuse to shoot him in the knee. She and Van der Valk then drive him to the hospital, and Femke hands over Fleur’s notebook.

It makes clear that Fleur was traumatized, but it’s not the evidence the detectives need to take down Bodecker. However, they have matched de Witt’s prints to the glass used to throw acid at Fleur as well as Arjan’s clothes, confirming that he was the assailant. And they learn that Bodecker was in a long-term relationship with a woman named Maya—the name of Anouk’s club.

Learning from Ella via Quinten Arkas about another property Bodecker uses, the detectives sneak in and arrest Bodecker—who’s there with Anouk. She is his daughter, and named her club after her mom. She also insists that her father is innocent and has been framed for all his alleged crimes. She was lying about working with Arjan, who had visited her to confront her over her role in preventing information about her father’s crimes from getting out. Bodecker won’t admit to anything, but explains that any case will not go forward, because there is insurance in the form of videos of powerful people in place if anything happens to him or Anouk.

So the detectives must find Arjan’s evidence. They decode his message to Van der Valk:  the Battle of Schooneveld took place in 1673; Arjan wished Van der Valk happy birthday on the wrong day; and they unusually met in a public place, outside a train station. 1673 is a specific locker in the train station; Van der Valk’s birthday is the passcode to unlock it. Inside is a laptop with Bodecker’s videos.

The team borrows a page from Bodecker and takes measures to ensure their safety before revealing the evidence: if anything happens to them, the videos will be released to the media. Among the powerful people implicated and rounded up by the team is the police commissioner—that is why Fleur’s stalking complaint disappeared, and how Brad and Job were tracked.

But as Bodecker and Anouk are being escorted to prison vans, Hester Gill appears. She shoots and kills Bodecker: revenge.

The charity concert goes on, despite Hester’s arrest. Ticket sales are through the roof. Lucienne tells Femke she’s proud of her, then joins the rest of the team to listen. They’re all there except Van der Valk, who’s on his boat, alone, enjoying the sunshine.