My Mother is the 49th episode of the series. In it, Cosette retraces the steps her mother took traveling from Montfermeil to Montreuil-sur-Mer alongside Gavroche and Chou Chou. There, they meet with Sister Simplice and Alain, who retell the story of Fantine's time in the city, as well as visiting particular sites which have connections to Fantine and her story.
The episode starts on an autumn afternoon with Cosette, Toussaint, Gavroche, Chou Chou, Pressoir, and Jurges walking back home from the market through the Luxembourg Gardens. The group first admire Gavroche's bargaining skills, then remark how Cosette's wedding (which is to take place in February) is fast-approaching. Later that night in the Rue de l'Homme Armé, Cosette and Jean Valjean are having tea and beginning to discuss matters regarding the wedding, when Cosette pauses and grasps her pendant. She then requests to travel to Montreuil-sur-Mer to visit her mother's grave and tell her about her marriage. Valjean accepts her request and informs her of two people who had close connections with Fantine in the town: Sister Simplice and Alain. When Cosette asks if Valjean would like to accompany her, Valjean refuses, saying that this journey is for her to visit Fantine. The next morning, Gavroche eagerly wants to join Cosette on her trip, wanting to visit Montfermeil after his time away. Valjean agrees with his request, since Fantine also passed by the village on her way from Paris; Cosette also want to travel on the road her mother took traveling to Montreuil-sur-Mer. Later that day, Cosette visits Marius at his grandfather's mansion on the Rue de Fille-du Calvarie and also informs him of her trip. Marius worries at first of Cosette's safety, but Cosette assures him that Valjean will hire a carriage for her to take. She remarks on how she separated from Fantine at such a young age, that she can't recall much of that time, and that she wants to know more about her mother. Marius nods and understands, having been through a similar experience with his father. Marius then wishes her well before setting off.
Cosette and Gavroche, accompanied by Chou Chou then set off in the carriage. As they travel down the countryside, Cosette stares off into the distance as Gavroche and Chou Chou look on, slightly concerned. When they reach Montfermeil, Gavroche notices someone in the distance and requests the carriage to be stopped. He calls to the person, who turns out to be the blacksmith, who marvels at seeing Gavroche, Chou Chou, and Cosette after so long. The trio then arrive to the old inn, which is still dilapidated as it was when Gavroche left Montfermeil. They walk over to the old swing and sadly reminice about Éponine before moving on.After a couple of days, the trio finally arrive at Montreuil-sur-Mer and meet with Sister Simplice and Alain. When Alain states that he owes much to Monsieur Madeleine, Cosette asks who Madeleine is. When Alain asks her if her father ever told them anything, Cosette remarks that he doesn't often speak about himself. Sister Simplice then clears up the confusion, and tells the visitors that Valjean was once mayor of the city under the name of M. Madeleine. Surprised, Gavroche is skeptical about the fact, and assumes Sister Simplice is lying, only to be rebuffed by Sister Simplice stating her familiar line of lying being a sin.
The group first visit the mayor's office. When Cosette asks who the current mayor is, Alain states that to the cityfolk, the mayor is still Madeleine; Alain, though is filling in for him in his place, putting into consideration what Madeleine would do when performing his job. Sister Simplice then brings up the black glass factory Madeleine had established, bringing properity to the city and jobs to the poor and needy. Alain adds that not only did he build the factory, but hospitals and schools for the poor as well, to which Cosette comments about the current construction of a school in Paris for the poor by Valjean. Alain then talks about how M. Madeleine helped him in his time of need after he and his younger siblings had to fend for themselves after the deaths of their parents, and how he was eventually hired as an errand boy for Madeleine, despite stealing a loaf of bread to feed his siblings. He remarks how he has turned over a new leaf, thanks to Madeleine. Sister Simplice mentions how Madeleine also helped many other people, including a man who was pinned under an overturned wagon, to which Cosette identifies as Fauchelevent, and how she and Valjean were under his care when attending the Petit Picpus convent in Paris. Cosette then asks the two if they know anything about her father's past before arriving in the city, to which Sister Simplice says that her father will tell her when the time is right. Sister Simplice then, with Cosette's permission, retells the tragic story of Fantine's time in the city up until her death, bringing Cosette to tears.
Back in Paris, Valjean reflects on how Sister Simplice would be the only one to tell Cosette the complete story of Fantine's time in Montreuil-sur-Mer, and that while the story will be heartbreaking, Cosette is old and mature enough to handle it. He then asks Bishop Myreil if in addition to Valjean living his live to protect Cosette, could the same be true for Cosette to Valjean--being with Cosette, Valjean is able to experience the joy of living and being relaxed, and is able to experience a huge amount of happiness which he cannot put in words to describe. However, as the wedding day draws near, Valjean will no longer need to protect Cosette, and Valjean wonders if he was only living his life to help others, rather than for him to experience happiness.
Back in Montreuil-sur-Mer, the group is now visiting the black glass factory. As Cosette looks on, thinking about her mother's trying times working in the factory, Sister Simplice approaches her and wants to show her a special place. The group then arrive at a daycare facility, where children of the women can stay while they work in the factory. Sister Simplice reveals the name of the facility as "The House of Fantine and Cosette", and Cosette looks on in awe. Gavroche comments that this facility was Fantine's "revolution", by bringing happiness to the children attending the facility. Finally, the group visit Fantine's grave and pay their respects. Cosette tells her mother about her upcoming marriage, and that when the day comes that she has a child of her own, she will raise and treasure her child just as Fantine did to her, and she hopes that Fantine will always watch over her.
- This is the only episode to have the closing song be Watashi no Okaasan (私のお母さん, My Mother), the song used in the end credits
"The old man was a mayor? A mayor is an authoritative person who shouts commands all day long, isn't it? You must be lying." "Lying is wrong. Lying is a sin." *Gavroche looks at Sister Simplice, embarrassed, as Alain and Sister Simplice look at each other and chuckle over the all-too familiar line* - Gavroche and Sister Simplice upon Gavroche learning that Valjean was once mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer
"Mother... my mother that I love so much. I will be marrying soon. Someday, when the day comes when I become a mother... I want to be like you... to really treasure my precious child. So, please always watch over me... My favorite Mother..."- Cosette upon arriving at Fantine's grave
Cosette and Marius
|Les Misérables: Shoujo Cosette|
The Eternal Ring