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'Les Miserables' Episode 4 Recap: Like A Virgin

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Cosette doesn't want to die a very old virgin. (PBS / Masterpiece)

In the previous episode of Les Miserables, I learned that the actress who plays Fantine is Phil Collins' daughter. My mind is still very blown by that.

Oh, and some plot-related stuff happened too.

A random dude I call Jean Fauxjean was accused of being the real Jean Valjean and was almost sent to some dungeon... until the real Jean Valjean barked at everyone...


...and revealed his true identity.

Going from sentenced to free in a millisecond, Jean Fauxjean wasn't sure how to feel.

On the flip side, a feeling I am VERY sure about is that I want to smash a cream pie right into the middle of Ms. Creepy Face's...um, face for refusing to let Fantine see Cosette before her death.

Oh, yeah, spoiler alert: Fantine is long gone.

Thanks to a little mouth chisel, Jean Valjean broke out of prison and also broke Cosette out of her own prison by hulking out on Mr. Olivia Colman.

Cosette couldn't believe her good fortune.

Alas, it was short-lived, thanks to a neighbor who refused to mind her own business.

Cosette, who has earned the right to sling curse words, called this neighbor a "nosy old bitch."

I'd like to hear which curse words Cosette has reserved for Javert because he was back on his BS, chasing Jean and Cosette all over town, even banging on the door of a convent and demanding that a nun turn them over. The head nun thought about it for a second before saying:

Now that we're all caught up, let's find out what other stressful, messed up stuff Les Miserables has in store for us this week. On with the show!

We find a teen Cosette hanging out with some friends inside their convent dorm. Cosette has friends! No one is whipping her! (We have to celebrate any ray of sunshine in this brutal ass show.)

Cosette's friends start talking about how excited they are to graduate and start sleeping around with their hot cousins. Either Cosette is not down with incest or Jean Valjean has failed to give her the birds-and-the-bees talk.

Her friends don't have time to explain what sex is and why they kind of want to do it with their relatives because a nun comes in and orders them to pray. A nun in the fly-est headwear ever, I might add!

Remember what I said about reveling in whatever scrap of sunshine this show throws our way? Jean Valjean is totally on board with that. Look at him! So happy! And not a Javert in sight!

The main reason he's stoked on life is that Cosette is coming over for brunch. These two have more than earned bottomless mimosas.

But Cosette is not in the mood for celebratory drinks. Now that she knows a little bit about sex, she's less jazzed about becoming a celibate nun for life.

Cosette: I want to see the world!

Jean Valjean: But the world is trash and full of garbage people! Remember being a child slave???

Cosette: That was probably just an anomaly!

Jean Valjean: Tell that to Fantine's missing two front teeth! Why don't you want to stick to our plan of watching me die here and then dying later on as a really old virgin?

Cosette: Because that sounds depressing?

They agree to disagree.

Across town, Javert receives a medal of dishonor for being great at ruining lives over the pettiest of crimes. He tries to have a special chapeau moment like the nun from earlier in the episode and fails.

When Javert gets back to his office, all his coworker buddies are like, Way to go, dude! Let's party! But Javert is in full pout mode. "I shall never be in peace until Jean Valjean is back in chains!" It was one little coin and one measly piece of bread. GET OVER IT!!!!!

In a church nearby, a grown-up Marius Pontmercy prays that all of that wine-drinking he did as a child didn't affect his brain too much.

On his way out, Marius meets an old man who really wants to gossip.

Old Gossip: Breaking news! Your dad used to watch you every week from behind that pillar! Napoleon actually rules! And your grandfather is a piece of merde!

Marius is as mind blown as I am over the whole Phil Collins daughter thing.

Marius marches on over to his grandfather's house and lets him have it: I thought the thing you were most terrible at was applying makeup, but I was wrong! You're even worse at being a decent human being! P.S. The king can choke!

Gramps serves Marius an eviction notice.

Back at the convent, Jean Valjean is now in support of Cosette not dying a very old virgin, so they move out. Cosette is immediately taken aback by all the beggars, prostitutes and dead bodies in the streets. But she's in much better spirits once she gets to a gentrified neighborhood and sees how Instagrammable the door to their new apartment is. Jean Valjean has taste!

In a less photogenic part of Paris, Marius moves into a slum and meets his new landlord, who just so happens to be the "nosy old bitch" from the last episode!

That night, while sitting in his apartment trying to decide whether he's #TeamRoyalism, #TeamNapoleon or #TeamDemocracy, a creepy finger pokes through the wall, as if to say *Adele voice* Hello from the other siiiiiiide!

It's a girl who randomly offers a little striptease. Based on how small the world of this show is, I bet it's one of Olivia Colman's daughters. Do not want!

Over at Instagrammable Door HQ, Cosette is already unsatisfied with her new life. She misses chatting about sex with girls her own age. Where's AOL Instant Messenger when you need it?

She also wants less virgin-y clothes, so Jean takes her shopping and fake smiles all the way through her makeover montage.

At the Luxembourg Gardens, Marius spots Cosette debuting her new look, intuits that she's an antsy virgin like him and starts stalking her. After a handkerchief falls, Marius rushes to return it, but not before taking a big, horny sniff of it first. Cosette is like, Chill, that's my dad's.

The park is teeming with cops, so Jean Valjean rushes Cosette home, which evokes a bratty tantrum.

Cosette: "This place is like a prison!"

Jean Valjean: "You have no idea what a prison is!"

Cut to Jean waking Cosette at dawn to witness a procession of chained prisoners being abused and dragged through the streets. Unfortunately, instead of taking away a better understanding of the prison industrial complex and how cruel humans can be to each other, the takeaway for Cosette is Ewwwwwww, they're gross!

Cosette: "I think if I crossed paths with one of those men, I would die, just from looking them in the face."

Jean Valjean is too busy blinking in disbelief to respond to her convict hateration.

Over at a brothel nightclub, Marius is scandalized by being in the midst of Ms. Wall Finger and a lot of other people who've had sex before. He rushes home and tries to sleep it off, only to wake to Ms. Wall Finger in his room. Did she not see the doormat?

After seducing him doesn't work, Ms. Wall Finger hands him a note from her dad that reads: Give me money just cause. 

Marius hands over some change and a little extra for Ms. Wall Finger. Moments later, Marius looks through the Adele peephole and watches her father take her coin away and beat her. Her father is none other than—we all guessed it—Mr. Colman.

On the other side of town, Cosette is still ranting about how yucky incarcerated men are and how they must be monsters to be treated like that, when Ms. Wall Finger rolls up with a note from her dad asking for money. Jean Valjean promises to come over later that day. Well, I hope you all enjoyed those ray of sunshine moments earlier because things are about to get les miserables again.

Cosette tries to warn Jean that Ms. Wall Finger gives off a very bad vibe, but Jean thinks she's just being bougie again and tells her they're definitely going over there later to get scammed, blackmailed and possibly even murdered.

A few moments after stepping into the Colmans' shack and realizing who they are, Jean takes a moment to consider what an unforced error he just crafted for himself.

Jean promises to return later that evening to pay a bunch of hush money and then gets Cosette the hell out of there. Behind the wall, Marius overhears the Colmans plotting to murder Jean. But I'm not that stressed 'cause surely Marius will just track Cosette and Jean down and warn them, right?


Javert advises Marius to take two guns and watch from his Adele peephole until Mr. Colman and his buddies start trying to kill Jean. Then, Marius should shoot off a round or two in the ceiling. Ummm, can someone take away Javert's medal of honor now? This plan is bonkers.

Later that night, when Jean arrives, he's quickly surrounded by goons. They tie him down and Mr. Colman taunts Jean with a hot poker and rambles about saving Marius' dad back in the day. Marius hears this and believes the tall tale because he's a dumb virgin.

I've had enough of this episode and so has Jean, who beats everyone up with only one hand. For good measure, he takes the hot poker and burns himself on the arm just to let everyone know he used to be this guy:

In summary:

Marius finally decides to shoot his guns (thanks for nothing, bro) and the place is stormed by Javert and a flood of cops. All the goons are still spooked by the maniac who just burned himself with a hot poker, so they just run around in circles until they're arrested. Jean, on the other hand, doesn't have time for a third incarceration so he does what he has to do.

That evening, at the prison, Javert visits Mr. Colman and demands to know everything. Thank goodness this episode is over because all this stress is driving me to drink!

PIECE OF COAL: Pretty Much Everyone. I don't feel like I even need to explain this one.

HONORABLE MENTION: Old Gossip. This random guy held onto some very hot goss for over a decade and then unleashed it at exactly the right time. He's messy. He's random. And I love him.

BRONZE: Cosette. Deciding not to die an old virgin was a solid choice. Congrats.

SILVER: That Nun's Hat. Nope, I'm still not over it. 

GOLD: Jean Valjean. He's a great guardian and a lovable gentle giant (when he's not burning off his own flesh), but this award is mostly for his ability to find such an Instagrammable apartment. Double tap!

Until next week! If you miss my thoughts on Les Miserables or pop culture in general, follow me on Twitter @xcusemybeauty, listen to my podcast The Cooler or read my other recaps (Poldark, Victoria, Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones)!

Previous Recaps:

'Les Miserables' Episode 3 Recap: I Will Follow Him

'Les Miserables' Episode 2 Recap: Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi?


'Les Miserables' Episode 1 Recap: Un-Break My Heart

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