Mystery Thriller Series Stars Iconic Marvel Villain Solving Crimes

By Jacob VanGundy | Published

Fans of Spider-Man know Alfred Molina as the villainous Doctor Otto Octavius, but he also has a mystery thriller called Three Pines. The fantastic actor plays a detective in the 2022 mini-series with eight episodes on Amazon. For fans of the actor, it’s worth giving a chance who delivers a great performance in the show, that’s very different from his most famous role as a comic book villain. 

Alfred Molina In Three Pines

In Three Pines Alfred Molina plays Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, a detective in the rural Quebec town that gives the series its name. The mini-series follows four different murder cases Inspector Gamache investigates, delving into the seemingly idyllic town’s darkest secrets.

While the bulk of the show is focused on the individual cases it is held together by an ongoing mystery that spans the full mini-series revolving around a missing young woman. 

Inspector Gamache Is The Focus

Inspector Gamache is, unsurprisingly the focus of the show, delving into his own past as he uncovers the past of the Three Pines. Gamache, a competent but flawed detective, gets himself sent to the rural town as punishment at the start of the mini-series for disobeying orders on a case. As the mysteries unravel his personal life and the cracks in his own past. 

The main draw of Three Pines is the fantastic Alfred Molina, but the rest of the cast is full of lesser-known names delivering great performances. Other members of the main cast include Rossif Sutherland, Tattoo Cardinal, and Clare Coulter.

The episodic nature of the mysteries means there’s also an extensive cast of recurring actors like Julian Bailey, Patricia Summersett, and Mylene Dinh-Robic. 

Based On The Novels By Louise Penny

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Three Pines is based on a series of Inspector Gamache mystery novels by Louise Penny, following the plots of four books and using an original ongoing mystery as connective tissue. It was adapted for TV by British showrunner Emilia di Girolamo as an Amazon original mini-series. The show was released in December of 2022 on Amazon Prime. 

Well-Received By Critics

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The show was generally well-received both by critics and general audiences. Three Pines receive a 72% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes with an even better 74% among audiences. While the show wasn’t a critical darling or a water cooler show reviews praise its dark undertones, Molina’s performance, and its respect for its source material. 

Not Getting A Second Season

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Unfortunately, the mini-series won’t be getting a second season, having been canceled after the initial mini-series. Three Pines was canceled not due to poor reception or viewership but because a business deal couldn’t be reached between the various partners involved in the creation of the shows. This is especially disappointing because there’s so much potential in the series, with the novels the mini-series was based on having a whopping 18 published novels. 

For Alfred Molina Fans

three pines

Fans of Alfred Molina’s other work, or of dark murder mysteries like Twin Peaks or True Detective should give the mini-series a chance.

It’s far from a perfect show, but at eight, hour-long episodes, it’s a quick, enjoyable watch for fans of the genre. You can find Three Pines on Amazon Prime.