Valjean Struggles in Coffin

Valjean desperately struggles to get out of the coffin before being buried alive

Cosette is Taken is the 19th episode of the series. In it, the plan goes underway for Cosette to attend the Petit-Picpus convent. However, in order to do so, Cosette and Valjean must re-enter the convent. With the plan to bury an empty coffin in a Parisian graveyard, with Jean Valjean temporarily inside, things go awry when the gravedigger is persistent with his job, and the potential for Valjean to suffocate to death quickly rises.


The episode picks up right where the previous one left off: Having reunited with Fauchelevent in the Petit-Picpus convent while evading the police, Valjean and Cosette take part in a plan to leave and re-enter the convent so that the latter may receive an education and live in the convent. In order to do so, Fauchelevent plans on carrying Cosette in a large basket, filled to the brim with apples to disguise her, and leave her in the care a woman who runs a fruit stand on Schumanberg Ave., using the guise of Cosette as Fauchelevent's niece. Valjean will hide in the coffin to be burried outside the convent, and once the burial is complete, Fauchelevent will dig him out, aided by giving the gravedigger, Mestiennea drunkard and friend of Fauchelevent—a drink of wine as a distraction. Valjean also plans on poking holes into the coffin to allow fresh air. Meanwhile, during the conversation, Cosette worries that she is once again being placed in another person's care, and escapes. The two men search for her and eventually find her in an old shed, hiding underneath a pile of hay. Upset, Cosette exclaims the failed reunion with Fantine, and how she was left with the Thénardiers until they would be reunited. Valjean reassures her that he will come back for her.

Back in Fauchelevent's shack, Cosette is hiding in the large basket, a pile of apples and a blanket covering
Fauchelevent with Hidden Cosette

Fauchelevent gives a reassuring smile to Valjean as he and Cosette temporarily separate

the top. Valjean promises Cosette he'll come back for her, and Cosette, reveals a hand for Valjean to hold on to. The two share a tender moment, and difficult separation, but the plan soon goes underway. Fauchelevent tells Cosette to remain quiet until they reach their destination. As Fauchlevent exits through one of the entrances, the police inspect his contents and give him the all clear to move on. Later that night, the deceased Sister's coffin is placed into its proper burial space. The next morning, Valjean is in the fake coffin and the top is nailed down, while Cosette attends to the shop. Later at sunset, the wagon containing Valjean's coffin makes its way to the cemetary, Javert and his men bowing in respect as the wagon passes by. 

When they reach the graveyard, a new gravediggerGribieris on the scene. When Fauchelevent asks Gribier the whereabouts of Mestienne, he replies that Mestienne retired. When Fauchelevent asks Gribier if he likes to drink wine, Gribier responds that he doesn't drink, since he has children care for. Fauchelevent becomes noticably nervous. As the graveyard gates open, and the funeral session concludes, Fauchelevent continues to unsuccessfully change Gribier's mind about having some wine. The coffin is lowered, and Fauchelevent once again tries to persuade Gribier to having a drink. Angered, Gribier grabs Fauchelevent by the collar and threatens to throw him into the grave. The burial then begins, as Fauchelevent just stands in place, worried. 

Back at the shop, Cosette mistakes a customor for Valjean, and excitedly runs to him, only to realize her mistake and aid the customer in his purchase. The shop owner appraoches Cosette and tells her not to worry, and rather than help in the shop, to play. Cosette promises to be good and wait for Valjean, and she begs once again for Valjean to return as soon as possible.

Back at the graveyard, the burial is stll underway. Fauchelevent can only stand and look nervously at the coffin as the dirt continues to pile up. Meanwhile, in the coffin, Valjean is attempting to keep the dirt seeping in from suffocating him. He desperately tries to push open the coffin, and begins to pass out. As Gribier continues shoveling dirt into the grave, Fauchelevent notices Gribier's identification papers in his back pocket, and takes them, putting them in his bag as Gribier takes a moment to stretch. Fauchelevent then asks to see his papers, being that Gribier is a new employee. When Gribier notices his papers missing, he heads home to retrieve them, since without them, he will be fined 15 francs. Fauchelevent takes this moment to hop into the grave and dig Valjean out. After using a crobar to open the coffin, he finds Valjean motionless, and is distraught over how he will tell Cosette what has happened. Meanwhile a vision of Cosette appears, and Valjean's eyes snap open, and begins to cough, getting his bearings. In response, a shocked Fauchelevent jumps and leans back, thankful that Valjean has survived. He hands Valjean a flask to drink from, and they finish the burial process.

Meanwhile, at night back at Gribier's residence, his family stands shocked at the mess he has created looking for his papers. Fauchelevent then arrives and gives Gribier's papers to him, stating that [Gribier] dropped them in the grave, and that he has finished the burial. Gribier thanks him, and offers to treat him to drinks next time, which Fauchelevent accepts.

Back at the shop, Cosette is carrying baskets outside when she begins to lose hope that Valjean will return.
Valjean & Cosette Reunited

Valjean and Cosette are finally reunited after a tense day of gravedigging

Suddenly, she hears footsteps coming in her direction. Facing towards the source of the sound, she drops the baskets when she see Valjean and Fauchelevent standing in front of her. Valjean apologizes for being so late, and decree that they return home together. Cosette, tears welling in her eyes, happily jumps into an embrace with Valjean, the reunion a happy one.


  • This episode was originally titled Cosette is Taken Into Someone Else's Care, but was eventually shortened to Cosette is Taken


"Cosette! I must go back for Cosette! I musn't die here! That child has lost her mother. I musn't let her suffer again."- Valjean to himself while trying to break out of the coffin

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