Three Pines Ending, Explained: Who Killed Blue and Tommy?

Amazon Prime Video’s mystery series ‘Three Pines’ revolves around Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, a Quebec-based police officer who ends up in the town of Three Pines to investigate a series of murders. Gamache’s arrival shakes the past of the residents of the quiet town, which leads him to several secrets that have been buried deep inside the town. The seventh and eighth episodes of the show, titled ‘The Hangman: Part One’ and ‘The Hangman: Part Two’ respectively, depict the murder investigation of James Hill while the detective confronts the killer of Blue Two-Rivers. If you are up for a detailed take on the astounding developments that form the ending of the first season of the show, let us share our thoughts! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Three Pines Recap

‘Three Pines’ begins with Armand Gamache promising Missy Two-Rivers that he will investigate the disappearance of Blue Two-Rivers, an indigenous young woman who has been missing for a while. Gamache realizes that the department has been ignoring the case and he sets out to make some progress in the investigation. He seeks the help of his best friend and fellow cop Pierre Arnot to find out whether Blue and her boyfriend Tommy are alive. Pierre produces a photograph of the same and shares it with Gamache, adding that Blue is in New York. Although Gamache conveys the finding to the Two-Rivers family, they are convinced that Blue is dead.

Meanwhile, Gamache ends up in Three Pines to investigate the death of CC de Poitiers. The investigator realizes that she is the relative of Emilie Longpré, which gives him an opening to discover her hidden past. He eventually solves the case by finding the murderer, who is none other than CC’s daughter, who kills her for neglecting their family. When Gamache closes Blue’s case by believing that she is dead, her mother Missy kills herself to put pressure on the department to investigate the case with much more effort. The inspector continues his investigation as he gets haunted by the nightmares of Blue but gets engaged in the murder case of Marc Fortier, which also happens in Three Pines.

Gamache discovers Marc’s close relationship with Sophie and solves the case by proving that Sophie’s father killed Marc because the victim tried to separate him and his daughter. Blue’s missing case takes a startling turn when her boyfriend Tommy’s brother Kevin contacts Gamache’s subordinate Isabelle Lacoste. Kevin reveals to Isabelle that police officers who belong to Sûreté shot down Blue and Tommy. Isabelle looks into the matter and finds out that a patrol car was in the vicinity. Gamache, at the same time, investigates the death of Julia Morrow, the daughter of a wealthy businessman.

Gamache comes to know that Julia is the sister of Peter from Three Pines. During the investigation, he realizes that the family never got along well beyond the pretentious expressions of love and care. The inspector solves the case by proving that the killer is Maurice, the son of Julia and Peter’s father Charles from another woman. Maurice killed Julia because she gets the luxurious hotel Charles owned before his death and not him. A group of police officers arrests Kevin while he tries to leave for New York. By the time Isabelle and Gamache arrive in the prison, they found him dead due to a drug overdose.

After solving Julia’s murder, Gamache gets busy in Three Pines again due to the murder of Arthur Ellis, an outsider who ended up in the town a few days ago. The inspector and his team find it hard to determine who the person is and why did he come to the town. With the help of Myrna, they realize that Arthur Ellis is a fake identity and the name of an executioner. Gamache theorizes that Ellis arrived in Three Pines to “execute” someone. Using a pine needle Gamache gets from the vicinity of Ellis’ dead body, he solves a puzzle, which leads him to the dead bodies of Blue and Tommy.

Three Pines Ending: Who Killed Blue and Tommy?

Kevin’s revelation that Blue and Tommy were killed by police officers leads Gamache to investigate the particular patrol car which was in the vicinity on the day Blue and Tommy were last seen. He finds out that the car belonged to Dan Chowski but fails to discover the second person who accompanied him. Along with the dead bodies of Blue and Tommy, Gamache also finds out a set of bullets, which he sends to a lab to find out the guns which fired the same. The test results astound Gamache as he reads that the bullets that killed Tommy and Blue were fired from the police issue guns of Chowski and Gamache’s best friend and fellow inspector Pierre.

Although Pierre has been an innocent and faithful police officer in front of Gamache, he was trading illegal tobacco around the time he had to kill Blue. Chowski eventually became a part of his scheme. Since the two of them knew about Kevin’s illegal dealings, they thought about seizing the load for their own trade. However, Pierre’s plans got threatened when Blue filmed the whole predicament on her phone. When she tried to run away with the evidence that would destroy Pierre’s family and professional career, the officer shot her down. Chowski, who killed Tommy, joined Pierre to bury the dead partners.

Since Pierre is an inexperienced murderer, he failed to perfectly cover up the murder and frame Kevin. The pine needles Pierre and Chowski carelessly left behind at Kevin’s house lead Gamache to the two killers. Still, Pierre tries his best to conceive another story to divert Gamache from him and his actions, only to fail. The inspector has been friends with Pierre for years to understand when the latter is lying, which helps him determine Pierre as the killer. Ironically, Pierre’s help to solve the mystery that revolves around Blue’s disappearance turns out to be necessary for Gamache to find the killer.

Having said that, Pierre partially succeeds in diverting Gamache from the truth that Blue is dead. The inspector trusts the New York photograph Pierre has fabricated and gets convinced that Blue is still alive. But Gamache’s haunting nightmares further motivate him to widen the scope of the case, which leads him to Pierre and Chowski.

Is Armand Gamache Dead or Alive?

When Gamache discovers that Pierre is trying to frame him for the murders of Blue and Tommy, after failing to frame Chowski and Kevin, the inspector confronts the murderer. Gamache makes it clear that he has to appear before a court and face the trial, which makes Pierre shoots Gamache down to rescue him from the place. Pierre decides to kill his best friend of over four decades to save his career and family. Although Pierre fires a gun at Gamache, the inspector may succeed in surviving the bullet wound. Isabelle and Jean-Guy arrive at the scene soon after Pierre manages to disappear and they contact emergency services to rescue Gamache.

Isabelle and Jean-Guy are expected to arrange the required medical intervention to save Gamache’s life. If first responders manage to come into Pierre’s cabin soon, which is located in a secluded region, the chances of Gamache’s survival are high. Since Gamache doesn’t die in the source novels of Louise Penny, we can be hopeful that the inspector will remain alive. In addition, Pierre shoots at Gamache outside the “chest killing zone,” which also indicates that Pierre doesn’t necessarily want to kill his best friend but only wanted to stop him.

Who Killed James Hill/Arthur Ellis? Why?

Mike and Angela Blake killed James Hill AKA Arthur Ellis. While they were attending university, Mike and Angela drove a truck that killed James Hill’s wife and daughter. After the incident, Hill has been trying to hunt down the couple and two of their friends to exact his vengeance on them. But before he could find them, Mike and Angela ended up in Three Pines to put their past behind them and open a new chapter of their lives. Still, Hill ended up in the quiet town, seeking the killers of his wife and daughter. But he fails to identify the couple since it’s been years since he last saw them, which gives Mike and Angela some time.

But soon enough, Hill finds Mike and Angela and must have tried to kill them. However, it is Hill who ends up dead since the couple kills him fearing their own death. Although the couple doesn’t explicitly mention that they are the killers, they talk about how they were defending themselves against Hill, which sheds light on the cause of the former teacher’s death. Gamache, while investigating Hill’s murder, initially doesn’t consider the need for finding two murderers but later realizes that one cannot kill and hang a healthy man like Hill without any assistance.

Read More: Where is Three Pines Filmed?