opinion column uk

Totally disagree - Poirot didn't die in the final episode


Poirot finale left an open question

Looking back at the final episode of Agatha Christie's 'Poirot' it dawned on me that there remained an open question mark about the way he died. In actual fact, I don't think he died at all. Here's proof!

From the onset of the last episode we were introduced to a somewhat fatigued, older and wheelchair bound senior citizen, near death's door. This of course, was in stark contrast to the previous episode where he was sharp and fit. Moving on, In the final hours of Hercule Poirot's 25-year onscreen career, he suspected a horrible crime was about to be committed, but as he struggled with 'angina', there were certain clues and touches that really created ambiguity over his death later in the episode.

During the finale, he was visited by a doctor as his condition worsened however we never saw him doing a checkup, in fact, we never knew if was a real doctor. Then, as Captain Hastings took a leading role in the development of the story, there were suspicions about who the murderer was, and the plot thickened. We then discovered months after Poirot's death a letter he sent to Hastings about the murderer and what had really happened.

So, apparently not only was Poirot totally fit to walk, and snoop about while Hastings did his work for him, he was also capable of meeting face-to-face with the murderer and then taunt him. However there was a moment where he couldn't get his 'relief medicine (Under the nose, what was that?), so we almost saw him die, but isn't that the desired effect, to make the enemy think you are dying when you are not? But the villain gave him a chance to live, shoving the medicine towards him, although it was short lived.

We later discovered that Poirot actually shot him in the head at point blank range in the middle of the night after giving him sleeping pills in a drink after their turbulent encounter. Was there a silencer on that? Of course no one heard it.

I appreciate all the subtitles and what Poirot's final actions meant, and how his death was his end, but the fact that he sat up, and wrote an in-depth novel to Hastings on his death-bed, and walked around solving crimes, makes me wonder if his death was not a cover for his retirement?

We all saw the look on Hastings face when he went up to Poirot's bed. We saw the cut scene where he takes his rosemary and prays rather than taking the medicine. We get the impression he dies alone in that room but we never see a funeral procession, doctor's checking him, or any kind of physical evidence that he is in actual fact dead. Did they check his pulse? Was he in a coma only?

Agatha Christie's Poirot was a deviously cunning character, a walking Houdini with a 6th sense for crime. I can imagine that his character could pull off the illusion of looking ill, creating all the noises, the near-death look, as a cover, to find his arch nemesis. Proof of that was when he didn't need the wheelchair at all, and he was actively solving the crime under the disguise of a dying man.

That disguise suited him in his apparent final moments. It was the perfect end to his career : death, but did he really die? I would like to think that after everyone left the room, he got up, and escaped, never to be seen again. Perhaps he finally went back to Belgium to enjoy some peace. He certainly gave Hastings a piece of his mind : “You have a brain of lard!”.

film industry network members