Spiral (Engrenages) s2 ep 5

I was probably a bit too tired when I sat down to watch this, to be honest.

I found myself struggling to pay attention to the “let’s have a stake-out” bit of the plot, and beginning to wish they would wrap up the drugs/Mister Aziz story arc instead of introducing more and more new characters for my brain to try and keep up with.

And more things to worry about – should I be reading anything into the fact that the villains are North African and there are an increasing number of references to their religion creeping in?  Probably not.  Tiredness can make me testy.  I don’t think Spiral is pandering to any sort of prejudice, it’s just telling a particular story and thankfully, just when there was a danger that that story might be lingering a tad too long, there were some hugely significant developments this week to move things on a bit. The final scene in particular had me almost punching the air.

I also liked that Laure, despite her increasing fragility, managed to outsmart Josephine for once (although I could have done without seeing the torture scene, thanks), I liked that Pierre has stopped being a publicity-hound and come over all sensitive again (except for the autopsy photos on his desk while interviewing a schoolboy – tsk, Pierre) and I liked the sub-plot with the crazed teenager.  All beautifully done.

I also liked new character Samy, even if I couldn’t work out why he thought Laure was being mean to him.  I thought she was flirting shamelessly.   But then I thought she was single as well.  She has a partner of 10 years’ standing?  Vraiment?


11 thoughts on “Spiral (Engrenages) s2 ep 5

  1. sherby57 October 17, 2009 / 5:21 pm

    Spiral really isn’t the kind of programme to watch when you’re feeling tired!!

    I always get the feeling that France has a large North African population, which I assume is related to their former colonies. I’m sure the choice of ethnicity of the criminals has a lot more meaning in France that it does to us.

    I enjoyed the crazed teenager plot, but was a bit disturbed by the ‘first person shooter’ camera angle at the beginning, although this was probably an intentionally disturbing comparison.

    I hope someone can remember whether or not Laure mentioned her partner last series and actually put us out of our misery!

  2. CJ Cregg October 17, 2009 / 5:26 pm

    sherby57 :

    Spiral really isn’t the kind of programme to watch when you’re feeling tired!!


  3. Red October 18, 2009 / 12:43 am

    Oh no, i wanted to ask you guys if Laure was lying to the shrink about having a partner. Samy is seriously hot. There was one bit where Aziz said something like, “I swear on the Koran I’ll kill him” (possibly with an expletive in there somewhere) which i found pretty provocative. I don’t know a lot about islam, but i’m pretty sure killing people isn’t okay. There are a lot of north africans, particularly moroccans in france, and my ex told me the police are pretty racist. He had a pretty negative experience as a muslim in france, and i think that’s why he left. On the other hand, it is my understanding that there is a lot of drug use in the moroccan community. I have no idea why i keep saying pretty.

  4. CJ Cregg October 18, 2009 / 2:11 pm

    You’re right on many counts there, Red. That comment was provocative, people killing people is not okay and swearing on the Koran to exact murderous revenge because your buddy in crime has let you down is definitely not ok either, so my hackles were immediately raised by that comment as well. That and me thinking there was a lot of racial and religious tension in France, made me immediately suspicious of the programme-makers’ motives. I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt because I do tend to jump on these things but if it made you uneasy as well, maybe I shouldn’t have.

    Careful, Spiral – I’m watching you. (er, in two ways, not just one)

    (EDIT: “immediately” seems to be my “pretty”)

  5. CJ Cregg October 18, 2009 / 2:21 pm

    On another note, despite none of us having heard of this “partner” of hers before, I don’t think Laure’s lying. As Sherby has pointed out elsewhere she’d have to be quite mad to lie about it. I know she’s losing the plot a bit, but I don’t think we’re meant to think she’s totally crazy, so I think it’s just some slightly clumsy retroactive continuity. I would like to know for sure though…

  6. sherby57 October 18, 2009 / 3:03 pm

    I didn’t have a problem with the ‘swearing on the Koran’ stuff as I felt it was more of a comment on Aziz and his personality than anything else. I think the one of the programme’s strengths is that it deals with lots of morally ambiguous issues. Aziz wants to invoke his cultural and religious heritage, whilst being a completely despicable person. He doesn’t see the contradiction.

    Or something like that, maybe.

  7. Red October 18, 2009 / 8:22 pm

    She made a comment to one of the other cops a few eps ago about being 34 (or thereby), unmarried and childless, and for what? It didn’t sound then like she had a partner of 10 years at home who wants kids. I just wondered if she said she was in a long term relationship because it made her sound more stable? And wasn’t she involved with Pierre last season?

    I don’t think it follows from the drug dealers being North African that the programme makers are racist. I think it maybe goes back to the storyline with the rape victim. More this is how things are less this is what we think about it? I don’t know…

  8. CJ Cregg October 18, 2009 / 9:34 pm

    Good points, both of you. You may well be right. And I’d forgotten about that comment Laure made. Maybe she is nutso….

  9. Red October 18, 2009 / 9:56 pm

    It’s a bit like how in movies mafia types are always devout Catholics.

  10. CJ Cregg October 18, 2009 / 11:26 pm

    I suppose that is the way to look at it, Red, but it’s just that against the aforementioned background of racial and religious tension, it could be a bit of a dangerous route for the show to go down and risk inflaming things. However, fair enough, you and Sherby have talked me back round 😉 I’ll go back to giving them the benefit of the doubt.

    Btw, Laure was involved with Pierre last season but it was a gradual process of them coming together through their work till they slept together near the end of the season, so we never saw any of her home life as far as I can remember. We knew all about Pierre, as he was separated from his wife at the time, and it looked like they (P and his wife) might reconcile at one point, but I don’t remember a single scene mentioning anything about Laure’s personal life. I’m now thoroughly confused as to whether she is indeed mad or has got a secret boyfriend. A visit to the official Engrenages website hasn’t helped any either.

  11. sherby57 October 24, 2009 / 2:56 pm

    I also had forgotten about that comment that Laure made, so now I’m even more confused. Hmmm, episode 6 is the next thing to watch on my planner, so it might make things a little clearer.

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