Spiral (Engrenages) s2 ep 1

Watching something in another language with subtitles not only concentrates the mind, but also seems to send the credibility quotient sky-high – I can’t be the only person who thinks Spiral seems even better than it is just because it’s in French.

The procedural drama returned to UK screens on Sunday night with the same mix of uncompromising violence, adult dialogue and incredibly cool Gallic folk as season 1.  The Bill, this ain’t.

As friend-of-the-blog Sherby pointed out, it’s been 3 years since season one introduced us to Pierre Clement, Laure Berthaud and co, and it’s difficult to remember the finer details of that labyrinthine story arc beyond “conspiracy + prostitution ring = murder.”  Luckily though, to follow this week’s episode, you didn’t really need to know anything beyond “tough female police inspector + deeply attractive male prosecutor + assorted horrors = super-stylish stuff” and then let the story tell itself.

The main plot seems a lot more straightforward than last year as well – for a start, we know who committed the horrific murder in the opening scenes – but regardless, the writing and the show as a whole remains as compelling as ever, making certain other procedural dramas look embarrassing by comparison.  Tres, tres bien.


21 thoughts on “Spiral (Engrenages) s2 ep 1

  1. Red September 18, 2009 / 8:42 pm

    Oooh, i was expecting JB to cover this one. I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s on my Sky+. I’m sure Spiral is the show that my deeply attracive (to me anyway) male prosecutor boss used to talk about. (I didn’t have BBC Four in 2006.) Damien Love at the Sunday Herald is also a fan.

  2. Jed Bartlet September 18, 2009 / 10:19 pm

    I’ve never watched season 1, Red. I don’t have many rules, but I always start from season 1 episode 1.

  3. Red September 18, 2009 / 10:36 pm

    I bet your CDs are alphabetised too.

  4. Jed Bartlet September 18, 2009 / 10:47 pm

    They were, when I had them all on display. Of course. What other way would one display CDs?

  5. Red September 18, 2009 / 11:03 pm

    You’re such a boy. My cds aren’t in any order. My books are arranged by size and colour, so they look pretty.

  6. sherby57 September 22, 2009 / 1:37 pm

    I finally got around to watching episode one last night and really enjoyed it. Luckily it wasn’t too reliant on what happened in season one (although there was a clumsy exchange about it between hunky prosecutor and red-headed lawyer lady). I had forgotten half of the characters so I spent half the episode trying to remember what they got up to in the previous series – frustratingly can’t quite remember what ginger lady’s role was – other than she was dodgy.

    I find it hard to judge it objectively though, as you say CJ just being French gives it an instant credibility boost.

  7. Red September 22, 2009 / 1:42 pm

    Red-headed lawyer ladies rock. (But they don’t like to be called ginger 😉 )

  8. sherby57 September 22, 2009 / 6:59 pm

    She’s very attractive, so the use of ginger wasn’t derogatory! lol. I didn’t know that they had red-heads in France!

  9. CJ Cregg September 22, 2009 / 8:36 pm

    Agreed, Sherby, she is very pretty. And also very chic – at one point the camera panned slowly along from her head to toe while she was lying down on her sofa, purely to show off the lovely (green?) coat and calf length brown suede boots she had on. Tres jolie.

    But I don’t remember much about her story from last season either. I couldn’t even remember her name till another character mentioned it! I know she was taken on by the lawyer who was barred from practising, but that’s about it. Oh, and lovely Prosecutor Pierre instructed her in his divorce right at the end, hence the clunky convo you mention.

    I know Police Lady Laure is playing it cool now but do we think she’s jealous that Redhead might be getting a smidgen too close to Prosecutor Pierre, seeing as Police Lady and Prosecutor had a fling last season? I would be.

  10. Jed Bartlet September 22, 2009 / 8:41 pm

    Dodgy ginger female lawyers. Is this a documentary about life in a town in the south of Scotland?

    • Red September 22, 2009 / 9:43 pm

      Careful, Jed. I could *totally* take you.

  11. sherby57 September 22, 2009 / 8:43 pm

    Yes, the long sensuous pan down her body to show off her boots was quite incredible. Those crazy Frenchies.

    I remembered that she went to work for the disbarred lawyer, but then I couldn’t work out whether he was the man who she gave her business card to when she was in court. Was that the same man or a new dodgy lawyer? Also, why is she so poor when she seems to be constantly working. I guess she might not be too good at her job seeing as Pierre’s divorce took her 3 years to sort out.

    Even as a heterosexual male, I think Pierre is a hunk, so I think she would be rather jealous. I sort of remembered them having a fling, but, again, wasn’t entirely sure. I wish I had watched the repeats of season one that were on recently.

  12. CJ Cregg September 22, 2009 / 8:48 pm

    sherby57 :I remembered that she went to work for the disbarred lawyer, but then I couldn’t work out whether he was the man who she gave her business card to when she was in court. Was that the same man or a new dodgy lawyer?.

    Aha! I wasn’t sure about that either, but I decided it was a new dodgy lawyer. Hopefully we’ll find out for sure soon….

    sherby57 :Also, why is she so poor when she seems to be constantly working. I guess she might not be too good at her job seeing as Pierre’s divorce took her 3 years to sort out.


  13. Red September 22, 2009 / 9:40 pm

    Ok, I’ve watched it now, and that is *never* her natural hair colour. Although, taking into account the freckles and the frizz, I’d be prepared to accept that there is some genuine ginger underneath the dye.

    I could quite happily do nothing but stare at Pierre all day long.

    When the lady cop, erm, extended her baton, I totally thought she was pulling a flick knife on the guy. ‘Is that how they do things in France?’ I wondered.

  14. Red September 22, 2009 / 9:42 pm

    Oh, and I’ve never seen this before, but if it was the same dodgy lawyer that Other Red used to work for, why would Pierre try to warn her off him?

  15. CJ Cregg September 22, 2009 / 9:54 pm

    I don’t think Pierre ever met Monsieur Le Dodge or knew of Ginger Spice’s association with him to be fair, as they had to keep the arrangement secret. But I do think it’s a new guy – she was asking him for a job, wasn’t she? And it didn’t sound (I say “sound” but of course I mean “read, based on the subtitles,”)like she’d ever worked for him before.

  16. sherby57 September 22, 2009 / 10:02 pm

    Surely you only have freckles like that if you’re a natural red-head!!

    Hmmm, thinking about it, I’m erring on the side of it being a different dodgy lawyer, I seem to think that the other dodgy lawyer was older and scruffier.. plus he was disbarred so he couldn’t appear in court! Wasn’t that why he hired Josephine in the first place? (I looked up her name, she can be ‘red-headed lawyer lady with sexy boots’ forever).

  17. Red September 22, 2009 / 10:11 pm

    I’m not saying she’s not a natural redhead. But *that* shade of red (especially at her age) only comes in a bottle. Trust me, i’m a lawyer. (But not a dodgy one, thank you very much, Jed.)

    Ceej, I’m digging the subtitles. Means I have to concentrate, instead of half-watching, whilst fannying around on the internet, like I usually do with TV shows.

  18. CJ Cregg September 22, 2009 / 11:01 pm

    I like subtitles too – I actually quite like to have them on even when I’m watching in English. Particularly with a lot of the really good US dramas now, the dialogue is so fast and there’s so much crammed in to it, that subtitles mean I won’t miss anything.

    This may be slightly obssessive of me.

  19. Red September 22, 2009 / 11:40 pm

    I get that. Sometimes it’s the pace. There’s also the mumbling actor problem, as pointed out by jed in relation to Pushing Daisies. I don’t like to watch tv with other people in the room, because the commit the cardinal sin of talking. And when i’m on my own, i’m always rewinding to watch bits i haven’t caught properly again. So, basically, you don’t seem obsessive to me, but i may not be the best judge…

  20. sherby57 September 23, 2009 / 1:41 pm

    The subtitles do focus the mind, I spend most of my TV watching messing around on my iPhone. It’s also quite weird how you end up forgetting that you’re reading them.

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