September 24, 2023
Van der Valk airs Sundays at 9:00 pm and is available to stream via the PBS app and wttw.com. Recap the previous and following episodes.
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Jan Kappel was an important figure in both Van der Valk’s and Dahlman’s lives: he was Van der Valk’s senior officer on the Jasmijn Brahm case, and he was once married to Dahlman. Given that connection, a shaken Dahlman tells Van der Valk to once again interview Jasmijn—now known as Lauren Teuling—to catch whoever killed Jan.
Lauren’s husband Vincent tries to turn away Van der Valk and Lucienne when they show up at his house, but Lauren agrees to speak to them. She reveals that Jan had tracked her down, as did the crime museum owner Herman Zaal and the recently murdered Ric van der Molden. Herman bought information on Lauren’s whereabouts, then shared it with Ric, who wanted to meet with her and talk about the deaths of her brothers when she was young—a crime for which she spent years in prison. Lauren met with him.
Given the connection of both Jan and Ric to the Jasmijn Brahm case, the same person probably killed both of them. And Hendrik has confirmed that Ric was killed by an antique Indonesian sword in the possession of the collector Max Langenburg—his blood was found on it. The only fingerprints on the sword are Langenburg’s, and he and Ric argued via email over including the sword in an exhibit Ric was curating. Ric threatened to go public with the “dodgy” provenance of some of Langenburg’s artifacts.
Langenburg insists that he didn’t kill anyone and that the sword didn’t leave his house. But his security footage is missing two hours of footage of the sword at the time that Ric was killed.
A couple was seen leaving the building where Ric was killed soon after his death, but they live in the building and were just going on a morning run. They do note that there was a renter in the apartment next to that of Ric’s girlfriend Zoe Waterman who stayed only one night. And that apartment had access to a back exit not covered by cameras.
While Van der Valk and Lucienne are checking out the apartment, which forensics says has been wiped clean of any traces, they see Zoe and the director of the museum where both she and Ric work walk by, kissing.
Ric and Zoe’s relationship wasn’t great—he was disturbed and lacked empathy. He liked aggressive sex and cruelty. The one person he did try to understand was Jasmijn.
Lauren’s handler, Hanna Zuiderduin, has learned that Van der Valk visited Lauren without Hanna’s permission. Hanna believes that Lauren was innocent in the killing of her brothers, and so desperately wants to protect her. She will report Van der Valk if he makes contact again.
Then Lauren is caught in a lie: she said she had no interest in the restitution of artifacts to the countries from which they were taken, but follows Johanna Kolen’s organization which advocates that, and Johanna said Lauren supported and mentored her. So Van der Valk sets up a meeting with Lauren through Hanna.
Lauren explains that she didn’t want Johanna swept up in the police’s investigation, so she lied. Meanwhile, her husband Vincent tells Lucienne that he met Lauren when he lived near her. He was in love with her, but she kept trying to end any relationship until he finally asked why, and she told him about her past. He left for a few months, then came back and started a family with her.
But he, too, is lying: he has not told the police that he was Ric’s grief counselor. He explains that he sought Ric out as a client when Ric first tried to make contact with Lauren. Vincent wanted to see if Ric was safe—and in his view, he wasn’t. He was deeply traumatized.
In the midst of the investigation, Van der Valk’s ex Lena appears at the bar where he often works while he is there with his team. She has been trying to call him, and decided to track him down in person. Van der Valk is short with her and tries to turn her away, but she asks to try to explain why she didn’t tell him she was engaged, in the hope that they could be friends. Van der Valk says no, and Lucienne tries to blunt the blow by saying it’s not a good time, given Van der Valk’s closeness to their current investigation.
Van der Valk then sets up Herman, the only person who contacted Lauren who hasn’t been killed, as bait. Herman calls Lauren and asks to meet. He then sits on a public bench with Van der Valk’s team watching him. A hooded person sits down with him—and then Lauren herself appears with Van der Valk, yelling that she wants it to stop.
The hooded person stands: it’s Hanna, and she has a gun. She grabs Lauren as a shield, but Van der Valk doesn’t take cover as she brandishes the gun. He had already figured out Hanna was behind the killings. She had a partner who was a police officer who committed suicide after being wrongly blamed for something, and now has a vengeful sense of justice. She believes Lauren is innocent, and so has set out to kill anyone who tried to interrupt her second chance at life.
She increased surveillance on Lauren after Herman and Ric reached out, and that’s how Jan found out about Lauren—he was obsessed with her case, which gave him PTSD. Hanna has the training to wipe the apartment she rented clean of traces and cut the CCTV in Langenburg’s house, in order to steal his sword and thus misdirect blame towards him for Ric’s death.
Hanna also killed Ric because she thought he was the real culprit in the deaths of Jasmijn’s brothers—a guess confirmed by Hendrik’s analysis of the evidence from the twenty year-old case. DNA analysis wasn’t common back then, so no one ever tested the hobby horse used to set the fire—and it has traces from Ric.
Hanna is not putting her gun away, so Lauren tells her that she killed her brothers, despite the new evidence. She doesn’t deserve a second chance. Hanna is confused enough to release Lauren; Lucienne tackles Hanna to the ground.
Van der Valk drives Lauren home. She thanks him, and says that she still doesn’t think she’ll ever know for sure what happened when her brothers died, given her blackouts—that’s why she confessed to their murder. She’s still not totally convinced she isn’t responsible. But she does remember that Van der Valk was one of the only people back then open to the possibility of her innocence, and for that she thanks him. She doesn’t even resent all that has happened to her, because she was able to find the happiness of a family in her second chance.