Eh bien. REDACTED est mort, which would have been considerably more shocking had it not been spoiled by advance publicity and my EPG but we are where we are. Our characters, however, need to be moved into place and, as usual, won’t let anything like rules, common sense or their own welfare stop them. Gilou, now heading up the squad and apparently a model detective and supervisor as opposed to the walking disaster he was for years, insists on taking the case on even though the personal, visceral connection means there’s no way it should be his to take – perhaps he’s not changed that much after all. Because Beckriche is weak, Bremont is impossibly nice and it would be a short series otherwise, he gets what he wants. Laure, exactly where she should be, in rehab for her terrible depression and anxiety, does exactly what you think she will, which is, as usual, the worst thing for her. Not so much persuading as completely ignoring her doctor, she strong-arms her way back onto the team, never mind that Gilou is in charge now instead of her, and neither of them really understands how to work with each other if she’s not the boss and he’s not worshipping at her feet. And Roban, now back at work after his illness and treatment tries to manipulate his way onto the case (in less crude but no less determined fashion than the other two), gets immeasurably and somewhat hypocritically annoyed when the powers that be manipulate him right back off it, then manipulates his way right back on again anyway. Fond as I am of Roban, I fear I may be getting a little fed up with his constant gaming of the system. There’s still compulsory retirement to stave off, and you might think even he can’t stop the inexorable march of time and bureaucracy but I wouldn’t bet on it.
While les cops and M le Juge are on the outside, however, chasing down the gang of feral teens, weapons and whoever/whatever else might be connected with REDACTED’s décès, Joséphine is still on the inside: on remand for attempted murder and in no danger of getting out any time soon, despite Edelman’s efforts, if the justice system doesn’t move it along a bit. No Juge Roban schemes for her. Normally, in Spiral monde, her story should eventually intersect with the main plot but it’s not entirely clear how at the moment, unless…. No sooner does the governor mention the prison drug ring to her, than she’s infiltrated it, got herself framed, got herself unframed, then finds herself back in their clutches and worse off when she was before. So peut être les teens and l’argent and whatnot are connected to the prison drug smuggling? We’ll see. Meantime, this was a decent enough start to the series – well-plotted, reasonably fast-moving and as well-acted as ever. There are, however, a couple of buts. Firstly, like I said, we’ve been here before with Roban and his wangling, and, fantastic character though he is, ennui with his M.O and his endless tangles with his bosses is creeping in for me, at least. The dèja vu is such that he even has the hint of a complicated/forbidden love interest again, which is the same kind of love interest Roban has just about every season. Change the record, mes amis. Which brings me to the second “but”; possibly in a bid to avoid ennui with everyone else and their M.Os, the writers have very clearly changed the dynamics this year so that Laure and Joséphine, both previously calling the shots in their professional lives to the detriment of their personal ones, are now very much struggling with the loss of those positions of authority in addition to all the rest of their problems. I understand why they’ve done it and it’s maybe a bit much for me to complain about them doing something different with these characters when I was just saying I was bored with them not doing something different with another. But in a show which has been largely defined by these two deeply flawed, steel-spined women unapologetically dominating everyone else for years, I don’t think I really like it.