Balthazar on TF1: the unexpected finale of season 4, Maya’s baby… The designer tells us…

While TF1 is broadcasting the penultimate episode of season 4 of “Balthazar” this evening, the creator of the series answers our questions about this fourth batch and teases us with the end of the season which explores the childhood of the hero played by Tom Sisley.

After a special episode last Thursday during which Balthazar was followed within the forensic institute by the team of a video documentary, the successful detective series, which continues to be a hit week after week on TF1, continues this evening with the first part of the final double episode of season 4, which will finally explore the family past and the childhood of the hero.

On this occasion, producer and screenwriter Clothilde Jamin, who created Balthazar with Clélia Constantine, comes back for us on the major events of season 4, and in particular on the arrivals of Camille Costes and Olivia Vésinet. And tells us more about this unexpected finale, which sees the pathologist camped by Tomer Sisley return to his childhood village to investigate a case of murdered cows… and the death of one of his oldest friends.

AlloCiné: Season 4 of Baltahzar was obviously marked by the arrival of Constance Labbé in the role of Camille Costes. How was this new character imagined? What did you want to do with Camille?

Clothilde Jamin : Our major desire was above all not to redo Hélène. And it wasn’t easy because Hélène had a very important place in the series, a relationship with Balthazar which was based on a romantic dog-cat relationship. We simply refused to do that, because we knew that, in the hearts of viewers, replacing the romantic relationship with Hélène with a romantic relationship with another character would have been perceived as a betrayal.

From the outset, we said to ourselves “The relationship between the two must be extremely different”. So we started with a buddy movie relationship, almost fraternal between Camille and Balthazar. As much as Baltahzar and Hélène had nothing in common, and that’s also why there was this chemistry between them, we wanted to create somewhere an alter ego for Balthazar, which would almost be his mirror.

Camille is quite solitary, she is a daredevil, she has a bit of a sour side but deep down she has a tender heart. He’s a character with a lot of humor, quite modern, who we really designed as a mirror of the hero.

And unlike Hélène, Camille is also shrouded in mystery. Did you want a new red thread that is not centered, this time, on Balthazar?

We wanted to have two solitudes. Balthazar is someone who has locked himself up in a kind of loneliness. And we wanted Camille to be another form of solitude as well. It’s a kind of Lucky Luke, she arrives, we don’t know how long she will stay, or where she comes from.

We understand that something happened that cut her off from the rest of the world. She binds very hard. And we wanted to stage the meeting of these two solitudes and see what it was going to give. It’s a mystery that will continue in season 5. We will find out why Camille is Camille.

Balthazar on tf1: the unexpected finale of season 4, maya's baby... The designer tells us...

Balthazar and Camille had a brief affair a few years ago. Should we see this as a sign that something could still happen between them again one day? Or do you refuse this possibility with the authors?

In any case, what we didn’t want was that it didn’t happen. The fact that it happened somehow closes the debate. And it made us laugh a lot that Balthazar remembered her and not the other way around. That for once it is not he who holds the reins of seduction.

Afterwards, the rest, I don’t want to talk about it. This is also what makes the salt of the principle of the series: the fact of not knowing. We can be very good friends and it can get out of hand, or on the contrary be friends and nothing ever happens. Everything is very open I think.

The other novelty of the season is the arrival of Caterina Murino in the role of Olivia Vesinet, who comes to evaluate Balthazar within the IML. Did the introduction of this character allow you to pre-figure the “fall” of Balthazar, who is losing more and more ground over the episodes of this season 4?

We wanted to give Balthazar a professional alter ego. He spends his time saying that he is the king of forensic medicine, that he is the youngest director of the medico-legal institute in Paris, he is truly the god in his kingdom. And we found it quite interesting to put in front of him someone who represents the authority of the institution, which he never respects because he has 5 years of mental age (laughs).

And in addition he is someone who, in terms of profession, is at his level. It’s not necessarily him who wins against her. And the rigidity of the character and his formal side, it’s brilliant in terms of comedy. There was great potential.

Will Caterina Murino still be present in the series in season 5?

We are currently working on season 5, I can’t say anything about it. It is still too early to talk about it.

Balthazar on tf1: the unexpected finale of season 4, maya's baby... The designer tells us...
Christine Tamalet/TF1

Was it complicated to manage to find a place for Lise and Maya in this fourth season, when the common thread on Lise’s death had been resolved in season 3?

Lise (Pauline Cheviller), for us, is one of the pillars of the series. It’s Balthazar, actually. But what was interesting this year was to twist the character of Lise to treat it in a different way. Insofar as it is a projection of Balthazar, what he imagines of Lise evolves according to his state of mind. And in season 4 he is clearly not in top form.

So Lise takes another form. We are really on the good and the bad demons perched on each shoulder. And we rather went to the wrong side, it was super interesting.

As for Maya (Leslie Medina), she still has a lot to play for. Season 4 shows it. Maya isn’t just the one who killed Lise, or Balthazar’s ex-wife. It is also the woman who carries her child. And when we talk about the season of renewal, the renewal really announces itself with the birth of this child to come. The notion of a child will have to be confronted at some point. And Maya represents that.

Season 4, like the previous ones, still has a lot of very strong special episodes. We think of the episode on the plane, the episode of the hostage taking, or even the one during which a documentary team follows Balthazar within the IML. Is the spirit of the series also about revisiting genres or imposed figures from police or medical fiction, and twisting them with Balthazar sauce?

The spirit of the series is really to have fun writing. We are five or six screenwriters, we work in groups, we write the episodes together. And we always start by saying “Does this idea excite us?”. And the enthusiasm indeed often comes from very strong things, strong concepts, strong devices. And, of course, these concepts have often already been covered, because there are so many series, so many stories that have been told.

But what we enjoy is putting our characters in very strong situations and seeing what happens. And that gives us frames that are sometimes screenplay challenges, like the episode that takes place almost entirely on a plane. The hostage-taking was also and above all the desire to see Balthazar as a professor. But it had to be integrated into the story, so something strong enough had to happen in this university setting for the viewer to want to follow the whole episode.

But, yes, we want to play with genres, with codes. For a screenwriter, it’s an incredible playground. Especially since Balthazar is an all-terrain character that allows us to take him anywhere. The episode of the plane we could not do it with any series character. But he has this almost superheroic side sometimes. We have a lot of fun with him.

Balthazar on tf1: the unexpected finale of season 4, maya's baby... The designer tells us...
Thibault Grabherr/TF1

The final double episode takes us to the village where Balthazar grew up, we finally meet his parents. Is it something you’ve wanted to explore for a long time?

It’s mostly something Tomer told us about. Of course, we wanted to go into the thriller at the end of the season, and explore the psychology of the character. And Tomer said to us “But deep down, we don’t know where he comes from. Couldn’t we explore Balthazar’s past?”.

And that’s how we got the idea of ​​this village, and this return to the village, which allowed us to discover the character in depth. He is very much in the present, in the image he projects, and we found it interesting to explain why he is like that. I really like this finale, because it really is the culmination of the season in every sense of the word.

Without saying too much, the last episodes also question more than ever the mental health of Balthazar, who experienced several blackouts during the season. Basically, isn’t that what the series has been telling us from the start: that Balthazar is on the edge and that madness awaits him?

Does the standard exist? That’s also the question we ask with this character and with the series. Everyone can switch one day. And, indeed, Balthazar will switch.

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