Javert x Valjean Spotting

Javert and Valjean finally face off in Paris

Javert Closes In is the 17th episode of the series. In it, Valjean's frequent alms-giving to the homeless leads to Javert tracking his location down. Valjean and Cosette quickly vacate the Gorbeau House, leading to a dramatic chase down the streets of Paris.


Cosette wakes up one morning to a white may tree budding outside her window. After getting dressed, she heads down to fetch water from the well, but is momentarily distracted by a group of schoolkids walking by. The landlady then approaches her from behind and asks Cosette if she is bored staying indoors during spring, and why she hasn't attended school. Nervous, Cosette excuses herself and heads back upstairs. After studying for some time, she takes a nap.

Later, at sunset, the duo head off, supposidly to the Church of Saint-Bedard. As they walk further away from the Gorbeau House, Jean Valjean asks Cosette if she is afraid of the landlady. Cosette says everything is fine, but nervously glances back towards the landlady afterwards. When they reach further into the city, the streets are livelier than usual. As they walk down a market, Cosette rushes over excitidly to a flower vendor, who is closing up shop soon. The vendor gives Cosette a free pouch of marrigold seeds, and Cosette decides to plant the seeds in the garden outside the Gorbeau House the next morning. The duo eventually pass by a familiar homeless man, and Valjean once again gives him a few francs, which the man accepts and thanks. 

Meanwhile, Javert, also walking the streets of Paris, comes upon his officers questioning another homeless man about to buy wine with money he received from a wandering benefactor (Valjean). Javert asks for clarification about who gave him the money, and the man says it's a man who looks out for the poor. One of the guards restraining the man mentions he's heard stories of the benefactor:  a wandering man, humbly dressed, but generous with money, who gives alms to the homeless near the Church of Saint-Bedard. As they let the homeless man go, they leave the scene, but not before the homeless man notes that he does not look the part--the man is large, causing Javert to stop in his tracks and swivel his head back toward the homeless man. Later that night, Javert and his men find no one matching the description. Javert is persistant, and the trio split up to search again. He soon comes upon the man whom Valjean gave money to twice, earlier,and questions him about the wandering benefactor. At first the man is silent, but eventually he nods a confirmation that the benefactor was around earlier in the day. Javert asks for the benefactor's timing, and the man responds that he was here just now, and points at a supposed direction he just left. As his two officers head off in the direction, Javert asks the man if he comes around often, to which the man responds that he comes about once or twice a week. Javert then fishes out and gives a gold franc to the man, asking him a favor.

The next morning, Cosette is planting her marrigold flower seeds, excited and wondering what colors will bloom, hoping for summer to arrive soon. Back upstairs, Valjean tells Cosette that they will be heading back to the Luxembourg Gardens today during daylight, and that a daytime trip once in a while is fine. As Cosette enjoys herself at the garden, Valjean thinks to himself that he may have been too paranoid, and that the blue color of the sky suits Cosette. Eventually, Cosette spots a group of children playing with roulette wheels and joins in. Later that night, back in the Gorbeau House, Cosette thanks Valjean for taking her out to the garden during the day before falling asleep. 

The next day, at sunset, Valjean heads out while Cosette decides to watch her flowers bud. By nightfall, Valjean arrives to the church and notices a homeless man (Javert in disguise) sitting by the fence bordering the church.
Javert in Homeless Disguise

"Thank you. Thank you, for everything." Valjean unwittingly gives himself away to a disguised Javert

 He gives money to Javert, and quickly flees the scene, noting that the man resembles Javert. As one of Javert's officers reaches Javert, Javert states that the man greatly resembled Valjean and they decide to follow him to track where he lives. Valjean, meanwhile denies that Javert could possibly be in area such as this, and that it's likely because he's been constantly thinking about Javert. When Valjean returns home, he cautiously looks around the hall before closing and locking the door. When Cosette asks what's wrong, Valjean brushes it off and states that believes he was followed. Cosette becomes concerned, but Valjean assures her it was just his imagination, and tells her not to worry. As Cosette prepares dinner, Javert arrives to the Gorbeau House, still in disguise, and asks to rent a room. The landlady is skeptical, noting Javert's clothes, but is quickly proven wrong when Javert hands her around five golden francs. Javert asks the landlady if there are any other tenants, and she responds that there is a father and daughter living on the second floor, that stay indoors all day, and only go out after sunset. When Javert asks for the girl's name, and the landlady responds with Cosette, Javert smiles, having finally pinned down their location. Javert returns to the police station, and talks to the chief of police. The chief allows him to take as many officers as he needs, but warns him to verify the man, so that he does not arrest the wrong person. Javert accepts. Back at the Gorbeau House, Cosette is reading a fairy tale story to Valjean while Javert and his troops wait outside, the landlady giving Javert her set of keys to the room. When Javert slowly climbs up the stairs, one of the floorboards creaks, causing Valjean to stand and look through the keyhole of their door. Valjean tells Cosette to keep reading, and eventually, Javert makes it to the floor and Valjean spots him through the keyhole. Valjean then gets up from his position and tells Cosette to quickly gather her
Valjean & Cosette Prepare to Leave Gorbeau

Valjean tells Cosette to gather her things, and that they will be leaving the Gorbeau House, never to return

belongings, and that they are leaving immediately. They do so, and escape through the window from Cosette's room, and quickly, but carefully, sneak away from the manor. 

After noting that the candle to their room has yet to go out, Javert orders his men to head to the back, while he quickly barges into the room to find it empty. A dramatic and exhaustive chase ensues, leading to Valjean and Javert eventually locking eyes at each other, before the chase resumes again. Using a passing wagon as a shield, Cosette and Valjean eventually cross the Austerlitz Bridge, but not before Cosette becomes exhausted, and has to be carried by Valjean. After crossing the bridge and turning corners, Valjean and Cosette eventuallly reach a dead end, the glow of the police lanterns closing in as the duo stand, trapped.

Valjean & Cosette Dead End Trapped

Valjean and Cosette face in the direction of the incoming police, trapped at a dead end


  • The story of the two witches Cosette reads shortly before she and Valjean leave the Gorbeau House could be a representation of the relationship between Cosette and Éponine, with Eponine being the magically skilled blue witch, and Cosette being the white witch, who's powers eventually surpass those of the blue witch. The blue witch's line "You are better off wearing shabby clothing and living miserably!", and subsequent defeat by the white witch, and having her own clothes become tattered, reflects the switching of lives the two characters have over the course of the novel and series 


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