Javert Watching the Sunrise

After nearly throwing himself over the Seine, Javert realizes that people are able to change themselves after wrongdoing

Javert's Justice is the 46th episode of the series. In it, Javert accompanies Jean Valjean back to Gillenormand's, as well as to Valjean's so the latter can bid farewell to Cosette in exchange for Valjean's arrestment. After both trips, Javert abandons Valjean and nearly commits suicide by throwing himself over the Seine, but stops before having an epiphany that the law is not the absolute way of life, and former criminals can change themselves after wrongdoing.


The episode picks up where the previous one left off--after making his way through the underground sewers of Paris, carrying an unconscious and injured Marius, Valjean makes it out, only to have Javert waiting for him. Javert immediately accuses Valjean of planning to escape during the heat of battle, to which Valjean sternly denies. Javert continues, rhetorically asking Valjean if [Javert] would have given up his pursuit of [Valjean] after saving his life and setting him free, and chuckles, concluding that criminals will always be criminals. Valjean replies that he does not care for Javert's words, and that he only hopes he can save Marius's life, now on the brink of death. Javert states that Marius is a member of the Friends of the ABC, and Valjean confirms this, but urges on that he needs to save him.

At the Rue de l'Homme Armé, Toussaint is watching over a sleeping Gavroche when Cosette walks in, wanting to check in on the boy. She walks over to the boy's bedside and states that many people have died during the assualt, and others are at a dead end in terms of their futures. She goes on to say that Gavroche is still young, and yet he was fighting at the barricade; also, she did not run into Valjean, but is confident that he is alive, and in the meantime, will take care of things around the house until he returns. 

Later that night, Valjean and Javert, alongside a still unconscious Marius, are riding in a carriage bound for M. Gillenormand's residence. Javert tells Valjean that he doesn't believe him, which Valjean acknowledges, and Javert again states his motto that once someone becomes a criminal, they can never change, including Valjean. Valjean again acknowledges this, and states that his heart became hardened while at prison, and goes into the consequences during and after his time in prison, including how Bishop Myriel was the only one who treated him with complete respect despite his criminal past, even after stealing his silverware which he was given by the Bishop when returned to his residence the next morning by the police. After Javert notes that his parents would have changed if the Bishop's claim were true, Valjean goes into his story further--still in shock by the Bishop's kindness, Valjean sat on a rock by the roadside when a young chimney
Valjean & Petit Gervais

Petit Gervais requests Valjean to give him back his 40 sous coin, much to the latter's confusion and anger

sweep by the name of Petit Gervais accidentally dropped his 40 sous coin, which rolled under Valjean's foot without the latter's notice. When the boy confronts Valjean about his coin, Valjean intimidatingly orders him away, scaring him and running down the road and out of sight. It's only after this Valjean realizes the coin under his foot, and unsuccessfully attempts to call the boy back, distraught at having done another criminal act. It was after this that Valjean turned over a new leaf, and decided to continue living his life to pass down the lessons he learned from Myriel to other people. Valjean concludes by stating his usual belief that people can turn over a new leaf. 

The carriage then stops, a large pile of debris blocking the path and the group having to take a detour. Noting that taking this action may cost Marius his life, Valjean decides that they cannot take the detour, and begins to leave the carriage. Quickly, Javert places a hand on Valjean's shoulder, stopping him, and hashly asking him if he intends on escaping, to which Valjean replies he won't, and Javert backs down. As Valjean begins to lift a large piece of debris from the pile, Javert urges him to give up, stating that he is just wasting his time trying to move the debris out of the way. Valjean reufuses, insisting he must save Marius for Cosette's happiness as part of his promise to Fantine. As Javert can only wonder with Valjean keeping his promise, the driver aids Valjean in lifting over the large piece of debris, until finally a path is cleared. At Gillenormand's mansion, Gillenormand sits alone and in the darkness of Marius's room when Marius's aunt walks in with a candlelight. Gillenormand expresses how the revolution was a failure, and how he would have never expected his grandson to support the revolution. His daughter walks over to him and insists he returns to his room to sleep, but he ignores her, claiming he can hear Marius's voice when he's in [Marius's] room, how people would take a second glance at Marius back in his childhood, and how he had frowned upon him on purpose, but in reality, thought he was like an angel. As tears begin to fall, Gillenormand places a hand over his face and his daughter begins to console him when one of the servents quickly calls for Gillenormand. When the duo rush downstairs, they find the servent holding onto an injured Marius, much to their surprise and quickly call for the best doctor in the city.

After dropping off Marius, Valjean gets back into the carriage and requests to Javert that he would like to say goodbye to Cosette, afterwards, Javert can do what he likes with him. After a brief pause, Javert accepts. At the Rue de l'Homme Armé, Cosette is singing her lullaby to Gavroche when Valjean arrives, much to Cosette's delight and relief. Valjean gets right to business, and informs Cosette that he needs to go to a certain place, and he's not sure when he will return. Finally, he also informs Cosette that Marius has returned home, and before Cosette can protest his depature, he closes the door behind him. When Valjean turns the corner to return to the carriage, he finds it has gone, and can only stare off into the distance, thinking of Javert. Cosette soon catches up to him, and Valjean informs Cosette that he no longer needs to head to his destination, much to her relief and joy. 

Meanwhile, along the Seine, Javert orders the carriage to stop, and he dismounts. Walking to a nearby bridge, he begins to question his abandonment of Valjean, thereby not being able to carry out his job of justice by arresting him. While having numerous flashbacks to arresting Fantine, disproving Valjean's kind nature and Fantine's love for Cosette in front of the duo, and being accused of killing Fantine, Javert asserts that he killed Fantine, which was also carrying out justice, being that to him, she too was a criminal. By now, Javert descends further into insanity, raising his voice and slamming his hands, clutching onto the railing of
Javert's Mistaken

Javert, close to committing suicide, in shock over realizing his usual philosophy was wrong

the bridge. He continues to have flashbacks, now to their face-off in the alleyway the day Valjean set him free. Javert then begins to question if he was mistaken, while having more flashbacks, including Valjean's recent request to say goodbye to Cosette and allowing Javert to do what he wishes with him once done. Shouting louder, Javert further questions his actions and reasoning for letting Valjean go. After his outburst, now seemingly in a trance, Javert slowly walks closer to the railing and begins to lean over, repeating
Javert's Epiphany

Tears streaming from his eyes, Javert finally realizes that people can change themselves after past actions

"I'm mistaken" until the light of the sunrise shines behind him. Out of his suicidal trance, Javert turns around and stares in awe at the sunrise as he finally realizes people can change, tears streaming from his eyes as he smiles at his epiphany.

Back at the Gillenormand residence, Marius is lying in bed as his grandfather and aunt watch at his bedside. Gillenormand expresses his desire for Marius to recover when Marius finally awakens, much to the duo's immense relief. At the police station, Javert is writing at his desk when an officer knocks on the door and is allowed in by Javert. Javert walks over to him and hands him a report to deliver to the chielf of police stating that Jean Valjean has died at the barricade, thus ending his pursuit of the former criminal. At the Rue de l'Homme Armé, Cosette enters Gavroche's room to deliver breakfast, the latter feeling much more cheerful and active. In the main dining room, Toussaint hands Valjean his meal, noticing that he very radiant, to which Valjean acknowledges and agrees.


  • "Give up! You're just wasting your time!" "No! I have to save that young man!" "Why are you going so far for him?" "She lost her mother. I don't want her to lose her lover too. Cosette!" *Valjean begins lifting a large piece of debris as Javert and the carriage driver look on in awe* "What are you talking about?" "It's my promise with Fantine. I will protect Cosette no matter what!"- Javert and Valjean as the latter begins clearing a path of debris for the carriage to pass through
  • "It seems that the revolution has ended in failure. That foolish Marius. I thought he was just hiding in his father's cheap manor. I would have never thought he went to support the revolution. A failed revolution is nothing more than a violent revolt.... I can hear his voice when I stay in his room. Back when Marius was a child, whenever I took him for a walk... he was so handsome that everyone would turn back and take a glance. I had frowned upon him on purpose." *tears begin forming and falling from Gillenormand's eyes* "But in my heart, I thought he was like an angel."- Gillenormand reflecting on the revolution and his feelings regarding Marius
  • "I have let Jean Valjean go. Why did I do this?! I was planning to arrest him... Jean Valjean is a criminal! Wouldn't arresting him be carrying out justice?! He didn't escape. I could arrest him. But, I didn't arrest him." *Javert has a flashback to Valjean stating "You're free." during their alleyway confrontation* "It wasn't my kind-heartedness to repay him for saving me. I have always been carrying out justice.*Javert begins to have flashbacks of arresting Fantine, and facing off against Valjean in her presence* "At that time, I was also carrying out justice. I'm not wrong.*Javert has further flashbacks of the moments just before and after Fantine's death* "I killed Fantine. She was also a criminal! She got what she deserved!" *Javert slams his hands down on the railing of the bridge, clutching it tightly* "Is it fine for me to say that?" *Javert has a flashback to their alleyway confrontation* "Am I mistaken?" *Javert has further alleyway flashbacks, as well as the recent request of Valjean wanting to say goodbye to Cosette, then allowing Javert to do what he likes with him* "Did he turn over a new leaf? Am I mistaken?! Is that why I have let Jean Valjean escape? How can I, being a policeman, let a criminal escape in front of my eyes?!" *Javert's hat falls off and drifts into the Seine* "I'm mistaken. I'm mistaken. I'm mistaken..." *Javert slowly steps forward and leans over the railing* "I'm mistaken..." *Suddenly, light shines behind Javert, as he turns around, the sun is rising to the east as he looks on in awe and has his realization, tears streaming from his eyes* "People are... able to change." 

Differences from the Novel

  • Most notably, Javert does not commit suicide as he does in the novel. Rather, he has an epiphany that people are able to change themselves after wrongdoing, and the law is not the absolute power in society


The video below (provided by Gee Gorgees) features Javert's near suicide, and following epiphany

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