Camille will not back down when she's so close to getting everything she wants.
On Dangerous Liaisons Season 1 Episode 5, more secrets come to light -- perhaps the most damaging ones yet.
Valmont and Camille come to a head, torn for the first time between morality and manipulation.
Camille is an expert at pivoting and recalculating based on what's thrown at her. She's always there waiting for something, ready to receive information and use it for her needs.
See how her tactics and goals shifted seamlessly throughout the episodes. First blackmailing Jean, then looping in Ondine to bring down Christine, then after Pascal's confrontation, she moved on to her next power move -- securing Jean de Merteuil for herself.
Alice Englert is deft and specific in her performance, ruthless when she needs to be, and allows herself a few brief moments of transcendent rage, collecting herself quickly afterward.
Lucy Cohu was absolutely made for this. What a stunning, devastating arc she had here as Christine de Sevigny.
If you are hunting something dangerous, be sure to finish it off, or much like a wounded enemy, it will do you more damage. Do you understand?Christine de Sevigny
Christine started the episode with power and, by the end, was disgraced and shunned, even by her family. Throughout it, she maintained that haughty dignity and pure confidence, but you could see it all crumbling away as her secrets came to light.
It's amazing that Christine was not more guarded with the fact that she was having a sexual affair with the Queen, though, considering she only called her "Marietta" and signed her letters "M" for Musket, she probably thought she'd be fine.
Christine's dalliance with the Queen has proven to be the most dangerous liaison so far. What else could top it?
Side note: just how many people have Pascal been sleeping with? And don't they all know each other? He's playing pretty fast and loose.
Eventually, someone other than Camille and Victoire would have figured it out, surely? One of his lovers might have let it slip eventually.
Or perhaps not. When secrets and scandals are so detrimental to one's standing in society, people will do anything to protect themselves; anything except, you know, stop doing the thing that could get them in trouble.
This is Olly Blackburn's first episode as director after four superb hours with Leonora Lonsdale at the helm. Blackburn loves to play with the camera and uses tricks and techniques to significant, dramatic effect.
He is a fine shot.Christine de Sevigny
This episode is fantastically shot.
That aerial view of the geometric garden was gorgeous. The use of perspectives in the scene between Christine and Camille in the dining room was deliberate and spot-on. The way Jacqueline was framed in her vast, opulent drawing room made her look so small, tragic, and lonely.
But the piece de resistance was the hunting scene in the forest, done in one continuous take (or at least it gave the illusion of it). I counted three and a half minutes without a cut.
The music in this scene was incredible and aided in amping up the tension. It really felt like someone was going to get their head blown off. I can't imagine how much rehearsal went into filming this scene, but everyone was on their game, so to speak.
It was a cinematic tour de force.
Chevalier Saint-Jacques: I saw the Marquis has a long pistol, that is all.
Ondine de Valmont: That is often enough, Chevalier.
Chevalier Saint-Jacques: I favor technique.
Chevalier Danceny: It amounts to the same thing. The loss of beautiful birds.
The relationship between Jacqueline and "Lucien" is deepening. Van Houten and Denton have a different sort of chemistry, but it's there, and it feels oddly innocent and sweet compared to Valmont's many sexual affairs.
Valmont is allowing himself to get to know someone who reminds him of his mother, and now he's having a crisis of conscience because of her humanity.
Valmont spends so much time with Jacqueline that he is ready to believe her story over Camille's. His misjudgment of Camille may cost them everything, as he thinks she is in love with Henri de Montrachet, which is her reason for wanting to ruin Jacqueline.
Henri is definitely giving off some creepy vibes. His office looks like Frankenstein's laboratory. Not saying he's doing anything untoward, but he's awfully comfortable around corpses. I don't trust him. However, he did have a great, subtly relevant quote.
Some still do not trust the knowledge in medicine. I hope rationality will eventually banish fear and superstition.Henri de Montrachet
The way Camille remembers Henri does not seem like she wants him back. Her whole response to Pascal after the accusation that she could be in love with Henri makes it appear likely that he did something terrible to Camille and probably lied to Jacqueline about it.
Jacqueline no doubt behaved the way Camille remembers, but only because she believed her husband's side of the story.
Her name is Camille. She’s a scar upon me.Jacqueline de Montrachet
I'm still trying to figure out what's up with Gabriel's left hand. Initially, I thought it was an extra finger. Does his hand just not work? Why does Henri want to remove it? Maybe he is building a monster, a la Frankenstein.
Okay, probably not, but still, it's weird that we keep drawing attention to it. It had better have some plot significance later.
We also got our Greek mythology lesson here courtesy of Henri and Gabriel, so now we can correctly assume that the corpse was an Ariadne. How long until Gabriel discovers the Labyrinth?
You’ve been looking in the wrong place for your power. It lies in the secrets of women.Camille
Having lost Valmont, Camille restructures her priorities and goes after Jean de Merteuil herself. It's happening, so we'd all better get on board.
Finally, after all her machinations, Jean sees what Camille is capable of and caves to her pressure. He puts his initial prejudices aside and finally listens to what she has to offer. And it's good.
Camille and Jean have left Ondine in the dust, but she's no better or worse off than when she started, and she's doing a damn sight better than the Sevignys. She'll be fine unless Prevan's proclivities come to light.
Ondine thought she could outsmart Camille, but Camille was one step ahead of everyone the whole time, adaptable and resolute.
I will save you the trouble of pursuing me, Widow Valmont. I knew your late husband, and I assure you, death was a comfort to him.Jean de Merteuil
We got some more wonderful moments from Fisayo Akinade's Chevalier Saint-Jacques. He doesn't seem to have any enemies (except his "leading lady") -- in fact, he's everyone's friend.
She kissed my hand, so that you might kiss it, and receive the kiss she has left for you.Chevalier Saint-Jacques
If he plays the game properly, this could work out well for him, but it has the potential to backfire if he's forced to choose loyalties. Regardless, he's always a joy to watch.
Additionally, Kosar Ali's delightful and self-assured Victoire continues to act as a voice of reason but is not above stealing a biscuit or two. She's much more terrified for her and Camille's safety, perhaps rightfully, and usually suggests doing the right thing.
These people mean to do you harm. It scares me that you can’t see that.Victoire
Unfortunately, she has no sway over Camille, and it's hard to know long she will be able to stand Camille's repeated disregard for her advice.
She's not scared of Ondine or Christine, but Jean is a different matter, and she wants to see him brought down, which is why it's devastating to her when she realizes that Camille and Jean are now allied.
Emilie seems like a genuinely good person and was humiliated through no fault of her own. Danceny tried continually to be her hero, but it never really worked out.
So, now that Jean and Emilie have split up, can Emilie and Danceny (who are painfully, obviously in love) be together? Sources say -- probably not!
This was a roller coaster of an episode from start to finish. Where does Camille go from here? Will anyone dare come after her? Have we heard the last of Christine de Sevigny? Will Jacqueline cave to her lust for Valmont?
Let us know what you think in the comments!
Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.