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Valjean revealing his background and true identity to Marius before leaving Paris permanently

The Revealed Truth is the 51st, and second-to-last episode of the series. In it, Jean Valjean reveals his past and true self to Marius before leaving Paris for good, entrusting both Cosette's happiness, safety, as well as documents and money for the building of a Parisian hospital, to him. Afterwards, a disguised Thénardier attempts to blackmail Marius, claiming he knows secret information regarding Valjean's true self, only to be foiled when Marius finds out it was Valjean that saved him at the barricade.

Synopsis

The episode picks up where the previous one left off--the morning after Mairus and Cosette's wedding, Valjean arrives to the garden of Gillenormand's mansion and reveals his past and real name to Marius. Afterwards, Valjean hands Marius a small briefcase containing check books and the necessary documents needed to build a hospital for the
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Valjean entrusting Marius with a briefcase of documents and check books for the construction of a Parisian hospital for the poor

city's poor residents. Before Marius even has a chance to protest, his aunt calls for him, causing Marius to turn his back in distraction and for Valjean to make his escape. As Marius's aunt requests to borrow the invitation list for the wedding afterparty, Marius politely brushes off the request and turns around to find Valjean gone, and the briefcase at his feet. He quickly rushes out of the courtyard, hoping to find Valjean, but the area is deserted.

Back inside, Marius hands his aunt the invitation list, apologizing for making her wait, to which she accepts and thanks. She then asks if everything is alright with him, and if anything is the matter, to which Marius rejects, stating that nothing has happened, and he is well. Finally alone in his room, Marius thinks and talks to himself over the revelation Valjean had given him, recalling how at the incident at the Gorbeau House, Valjean had never once called out for help once he was trapped. As Marius further begins to wrap his mind around the whole scenario, he recalls how Valjean offered to execute Javert before the final battle at the barricade, and wonders if Valjean murdered Javert so he could no longer be pursued by the police, and if this was his sole reason for coming to the barricade. After pausing to think it over, Marius denies that Valjean would kill anyone for his own benefit, having seen his charitable works in the past. Marius then remembers how at the time, [those at the barricade] only heard a single gunshot, and begins to quesiton if Valjean really did kill Javert that day. Marius once again pauses to think things over, but is interrupted by a knocking at his door, and Cosette walking in with a vase full of flowers. The former doesn't even notice until the latter snaps him into focus, worried, but Marius assures her nothing is wrong. The duo are interrupted by a servent informing them that Toussaint has arrived, alongside GavrocheChou ChouPressoir and Jurges. Cosette is shocked to hear that Valjean has disappeared, and Toussaint informs the duo that Jurges found money as well as a letter in Valjean's desk, which Cosette reads outloud. As the group worry more about the situation, Marius finally speaks up and tells Cosette that Valjean was at the mansion not long ago, much to everyone else's shock. Marius goes further to say that Valjean also told [Marius] he would be leaving on a long journey. When Cosette asks why she wasn't approached by Valjean, Marius responds that Valjean had a reason for doing so, and that he tried to hold the latter back from leaving, but once the former took his eyes off him, he was gone. As Gavroche and Cosette express their desire to have seen Valjean off in-person, Marius concludes to himself that Valjean must have thought that if he told the truth, it would hurt Cosette's feelings. However, today, Cosette is able to accept the truth as it is. Marius finally proposes to Cosette that the duo try to find Valjean, to which she agrees.

A few days or weeks later, at sunset, a drunken Thénardier is enjoying multiple glasses of wine at a bar as
Baron du Thénard Disguise

Thénardier dons the alias of Baron Thénard in order to blackmail Marius with what he knows of Valjean's past

he threateningly boasts how tomorrow, he will no longer need to worry about currency, and how "a life fit for a king" is waiting for him. The next morning, Thénardier, this time with a new moustache style, steps out of a clothing boutique wearing a top hot, spectacles, and coat, and slowly but eagerly makes his way down the sidewalk. A carriage, carrying Javert passes by, and the Inspector manages to catch Thénardier out of the corner of his eye and orders the carriage to halt. As he follows the criminal's movements, he confirms to himself the man's identity. Thénardier makes his way to Gillenormand's mansion and basks with anticipation in its glory. He curses at Valjean and puts his plan into action. Inside, Marius and Cosette inform M. and Mme. Gillenormand that the Bishop at the Saint-Jacques church as well as the school staff have no idea of Valjean's whereabouts. Gillenormand responds that this means that Valjean has his own plans, but that he shouldn't make Cosette so upset. Cosette wonders if he may have gone to England, to which Gillenormand plans to write a letter to his acquaintances living in Calais if they should have any information of the matter. Then, a servent walks in and informs Marius than a man named the Baron Thénard wishes to see him, having matters pertaining to Valjean which he wishes to discuss. As the couple arrive downstairs, a disguised Thénardier happily greet the duo and introduces himself. Recognizing Thénardier, Cosette quietly addresses Marius, and the couple politely excuse themselves for a few seconds, while Thénardier bows in respect, but then grins in anticipation. Cosette expresses that the man in front of them is Thénardier, to which Marius agrees, but since he has information on Valjean, they must speak with him. Marius resolves that he will speak with Thénardier in his room alone, worrying Cosette, but her husband assures her that should anything dangerous happen, he'll shout an alarm, to which Cosette advises him to be careful. Up in Marius's room, Thénardier informs Marius that he recognizes him from when the two met at Mme. Bagration's residence, to which Marius states that he does not know of this person, causing Thénardier flinch in embarrassment. Marius quickly gets to the point, asking Thénardier what he knows of Valjean. Thénardier reveals that he knows a secret of Valjean's (which he would prefer revealing for a sum of money), and states that the name Ultime Fauchelevent is an alais, and that the man's true identity is Jean Valjean. Marius bluntly states that he knows this already, causing Thénardier to look at Marius, shocked and nervous. He clears his throat and then proclaims that his next statement is the real secret:  Valjean has committed crimes in the past, and used to be a criminal. Marius once again states that he knows this, and Thénardier once again becomes nervous and tries to cover himself up. After recomposing himself, Thénardier states that Valjean had committed crimes after his release from prison and is wanted by the police, to which Marius states for a third time that he is aware of this, and that those actions are all in the past, and he has no interest in them. Marius requests Thénardier to leave, believing he is wasting his time, but Thénardier persists, claiming that Valjean committed murder and robbery recently. Having caught Marius's attention, he goes on to say that he will stay silent on the matter so long as he is paid 20,000 francs. Marius brushes the request off, and once again requests Thénardier to leave. As Marius walks over to the door, Thénardier desperately, but composed, continues, stating that the two events happened on June 6th, during the revolution. Marius pulls his hand away from the doorknob and listens to Thénardier's story:  having business to attend to, Thénardier was in the sewers, intruguing Marius. While there, he saw a man lugging a corpse which Valjean had killed and stolen money off of, and wanting to dispose of the evidence, was going to throw it into the Seine. When Valjean reached the gate, Thénardier had the keys and let him go; Thénardier then feigns sadness and disbelief that such a man would murder someone in cold blood for money, as raiding wallets during times of war and revolution was common. As a piece of evidence to his story, Thénardier presents a portion of a cloth tied to the corpse, which Marius immediately recognizes and swipes from Thénardier's hand, and finally, matches the cloth with his portion of his revolutionary bandanna, putting two-and-two together literally and figuratively. 
Marius Matching Bandana Pieces

Marius matches the bandanna piece he has saved with the other half Thénardier presented him, revealing that it was Valjean that saved him at the barricade

With this incredible evidence at hand, Marius reveals to Thénardier that Valjean was not lugging a corpse through the sewers, but himself, glowing in admiration that his suspicions were correct. Thénardier tries to suade Marius against this, declaring that Valjean is cold-blooded, to which Marius orders Thénardier, by his actual surname, to stop. Thénardier attempts to convince that he is actually Baron Thénard, but Marius rebuffs that he cannot be tricked by him any longer, and that he once lived as his neighbor in the Gorbeau House while the former was under the alais of Jondrette. Marius goes further to explain that it was Thénardier that saved his father at the Battle of Waterloo. Thénardier, shocked, asks Marius if he was the son of the general he saved, which Marius then corrects as colonel; Thénardier then tries to turn things back in his favor, stating that Marius would need to repay him, having gone through so much to save Pontmercy. Marius then profoundly states that he while he still does not know much of the world, he has learned that in order to see a person's true character, he needs to see someone's actions, not hear someone's words. With that, Marius states that he does not believe that Thénardier saved his father, rather, he was looting his money while unconscious. Determined, Thénardier refuses to give up empty-handed, and from his coat takes out a large knife and rushes towards Marius.
Thénardier with Knife

Unwilling to leave empty-handed, Thénardier resorts to killing Marius in order to gain money

Marius subdues Thénardier for a few seconds, but then, Javert bursts into the scene along with two officers, who manage to disarm Thénardier and bring him to the ground, defeated. Javert arrests Thénardier for escaping prison and assault, during which Marius turns his head to Javert and gasps, seeing Javert alive. Javert informs Marius that he "died once", but received a new life from a man he knows well, to which Marius smiles in admiration and awe. Downstairs, Cosette and the Gillenormands watch as the police escort Thénardier outside the residence. Thénardier scoffs that arresting him will be pointless, as he will break out repeatidly. Javert then stops in his tracks, turns around, and grabs Thénardier by the collar, declaring that he will, in that case, arrest Thénardier repeatidly, willing to do anything until the crimminal become a decent person. After composing himself, Javert calmly states to Thénardier that people can change, before excusing himself and the others out of the mansion. Once the four are gone, Marius arrives, much to Cosette's relief, and states that Valjean is truly a wonderful person, and propose they waste no time and begin their search for him, to which Cosette agrees. Meanwhile, in an open meadow south of Paris, a group of hay balers are working on transporting piles of hay to a nearby village. One man, who is struggling, receives assistance from Valjean, who offers to carry the bale himself, along with three others he is already carrying. The man thanks Valjean, and asks why someone would help a stranger such as himself, to which Valjean replies that there is no reason to help others in need.
Valjean Carries Hay Bales

In southern France, Valjean assists a man with carrying bales of hay

Trivia

  • Marius finds out that Valjean saved him at the barricade, and that Javert is still alive performing his job as Inspector (the latter being exclusive to the Anime)
  • It is revealed that Valjean is now residing in and helping those in a community south of Paris

Quotes

  • "I used to be a criminal. I was sentenced to prison a long time ago for theft." *Marius gasps in shock* "After I served my time, I was released. But after that, I committed even more crimes without realizing it. Until recently, I was also wanted by the police. The name 'Fauchelevent' is just an alais. My real name is Jean Valjean." *Marius gasps once again, eyes widening* "Because of my past, I have let Cosette suffer unpleasant feelings. I've promised that I would confess everything to her someday. But I don't have the courage to do so now. So I have decided that I would leave Cosette." *Marius gasps for a third time* "If I can keep on hiding my past and keep silent about everything, and stay beside Cosette as her father, I would be really happy. But in order to do that, I have to continue to pile up my lies. I have said a mountain of lies already. However, it isn't like the past where I lied to protect Cosette. Instead, I lied for my own sake. That is a sin. From now on, you have to take my place by Cosette's side, and live your life together with her." *Marius stares at his feet, trying to take everything in, as Valjean hands him a small briefcase* "I want to entrust this to you. In this are documents of the plans to build a hospital for the poor and sick people... and cheque books for money deposited in the bank. In the past, after I was released from prison, I was saved by a certain person... and I received a new life. So, I must use my life only to save ignorant and poor people, like I was previously. I must leave alone." "But!"- Valjean revealing his background and true identity to Marius, as well as entrusting him with the care of Cosette, as well as the funds and papers needed to build a hospital. Before Marius can [finish his] protest, he is interrupted by his aunt, giving Valjean the chance to flee the scene, and Paris, for good
  • "I'm going away on a long journey. I want you to not come and find me. I have left behind living expenses. Toussaint, thank you for all your help. I will leave Gavroche and the others in your care."- Valjean's letter to Toussaint and the other residents of No. 4 Rue de l'Homme Armé
  • "No, I witnessed it with my very eyes. I will not forget:  It happened on June 6th, during the chaos of the revolution." *Marius pulls his hand away from the doorknob and pays attention to the story* "I had something to do so I went down into the sewers." "Sewers?" "At that place, a man lugging something came through. That 'something' was a corpse. That man killed a person for money and threw the corpse into the Seine to dispose of the evidence. At that time, the police also had entered  the sewers to look for the remnants of the people in the barricade. So he could not leave the corpse behind. And when he approached the iron gate blocking the exit, I coincidentally had the keys to open it. After the man lugging the corpse found out about that, he pressed upon me with a fierce glare and ordered me to hand over the keys! I had no choice; I could only hand over the keys. You understand already, right? That very man is Jean Valjean. He is your father-in-law." "Father entered the sewers on that day."- A disguised Thénardier telling Marius the story of how Valjean "murdered" someone on the day of the revolution, and ran into the story-teller in the sewers
  • "Looting wallets from the fallen people during the chaos of a war or revolution... Well, it is a common sight. However, he murdered someone just for money... Jean Valjean is indeed horrible." *Thénardier glances over at Marius who stands silent* "You seem skeptical. At that time, I thought I want to at least have some evidence. I tore off the cloth tied on the corpse's waist." *Thénardier takes out a red fabric, while Marius gasps, swipes it out of Thénardier's hand, and takes out the other half of the fabric from his desk, matching the halves perfectly*- Thénardier revealing the other half of Marius's Friends of the ABC bandana, sealing the deal that it was Valjean that saved him at the barricade. Continuation from the above quote...
  • "This is the bandanna worn by the Friends of the ABC during the revolution. When I was returned to my house, my bandanna was torn off. And the torn piece you brought to me matches the torn portion of my bandanna perfectly. What Father lugged around at that time was not a corpse, but me! It was what I thought. It was Father who saved me from the barricade."- Marius informing Thénardier that Valjean saved him at the barricade, after matching their torn portions of Marius's bandanna
  • "I, who do not know much of the world, might have been deceived by your words. But I have learned that I cannot judge by what someone says. I have to see the person's actions before I can understand the person's true character."- Marius, to Thénardier, realizing he need to understand one's actions, not words, in order to see one's true personality
  • "You look like you have seen a ghost." "You're still alive..." "I died once. I received a new life from a certain man. From the man you know very well."- Javert and Marius upon Marius's realization that Javert is still alive
  • "Arresting me is pointless. I'll break out of prison over and over again." *Javert turns around and the officers stop in their tracks, allowing Javert to grab Thénardier by the collar* "Then, I'll arrest you over and over again. In order to make you repent, I'll do anything until you become a decent person! *Javert composes himself* "Thénardier. People can change."- Thénardier and Javert as the former is being escorted out of Gillenormand's mansion 

Differeces from the Novel

  • In the Anime, after Valjean reveals his past and his true identity to Marius, the latter doesn't have much time to rebute before Valjean leaves while his back is turned, distracted. In the novel, Marius cuts off most of the bond between Cosette and Valjean after the revelation for Cosette's safety, but allows Valjean to visit her once per day
  • In the novel, after failing to blackmail Marius, Thénardier receives 1,500 francs from the former and is ordered to leave and never return. Thénardier then moves with Azelma to America, where he becomes a slave trader. In the Anime, he is re-arrested by Javert, who intends on turning him into a more benevolent person (as Valjean did to him) no matter how many times the former attempts to break out of prison
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