Valjean manages to drag Marius down to the sewers where he passes out. My sewer pics all came out shaky, so I’ll sum it up like this:
Marius, to be clear, was already unconscious, so he doesn’t notice when Thenardier robs him of his ring. Which is all a bit far-fetched, because c’mon, Thenardier? At that same spot? He’s hanging out in the sewers as well? What business do people have moseying in the Parisian sewage system? They do know what flows there, don’t they? That’s right, the product of many thoroughly enjoyed coq-au-vins and fresh baguettes. Anyway, Thenardier is scared off after he recognizes Valjean and sees him waking up, clearing the stage for Javert. Who is clearly not happy with him trying to escape. Again. But Valjean cannot be bothered with Javert’s threats, throws Marius over his shoulder, and walks away. And Javert watches but does not stop him. It’s quid pro quo time, apparently, though we’ve seen Javert be kindhearted before, when he ordered a ceasefire after Gavroche’s death. But he cannot live with the thought that his main mortal enemy now knows he’s a wuss. With feelings. Gasp! The horror! So on to the suicide scene.
In the 2012 movie, Javert jumps off a bridge into the Seine. Remember the spine cracking sound when he hit the water? That was disgusting, no? Sam and his director have a more nuanced yet definitely more gut-wrenching approach. In deep distress (magnificently projected by Sam) he reaches for the rope that used to pull the cart in his first opening scene (nice bookending here!) and jumps into the blackout. A scene we won’t easily forget. Nor Sam’s stunning portrayal of Javert.
So the Revolution has failed, and pretty much everyone is dead. Everyone except Marius, Cosette, Valjean and some girls who are mopping up blood in the street.
Time for something uplifting, right? Wrong. Next, Marius comes limping in, plagued by survivor guilt.