Spiral (Engrenages) s5: Double Murder eps 11 & 12


“I got over Pierre’s death by staying true to my principles. And so, it seems, did you.”

Ouch. Roban and Josephine’s brief détente appears to be over, with the skin-crawlingly smarmy Ziani slithering between them, much to Monsieur le Juge’s disgust. “We played and we lost, together,” says the level-headed, kind Juge Mendy, with her charming daughter and loving husband and healthy work-life balance. “Don’t get involved with Ziani again. Forget him.” Oh, Carole. You forget who you’re talking to.

Still, at least the lonely Roban has had the sense to realise he can change one thing about his solitary existence, winning back the magnificent Marianne with a simple, broken “I’m useless without you.” Aw.

No such human comfort for Josephine, however, as she buries her pain in yet another Faustian pact, this time betraying Edelman for a seat on the board of the firm. It seems a slightly surprising deal for her to make; not because of the money or the betrayal (Josephine only ever sacrificed her own interests for Pierre, nobody else) but because Maître Karlsson has always struck me as happiest working for herself, answering to nobody. I would have thought the corporate environment would be stifling for her, but then with the sudden, aching loneliness at home, maybe she just can’t bear more solitude at work as well.

Solitude is not a problem for Gilou, though. He returns to work after a little bonding with outgoing boss Herville (an entirely different character from the Herville we first met, so fond of and loyal to his team is he) but cannot go cinq minutes without receiving a call from Stalker Cindy. Her white knight complex may be understandable, but it’s also tremendously annoying when the rest of the squad are trying to solve two murders and a kidnapping. Oh, and when Gilou’s all huffy with Laure because she laughed at his attempt at a white knight act with her, instead of jumping into bed with him à la Cindy.

Gilou as tortured romantic lead is of course a relatively new, post-Pierre development for the show so I don’t think we can blame Laure for being confused. After all, she has plenty of other things to worry about – her pregnancy, her dead lover, her dead friend, and the small matter of a homicide investigation. Who did kill Sandrine and Lucie? The answer turns out to be profoundly grim and depressing, and ends up putting another two young girls in danger as the unspeakable Karen and her feral friends turn their attentions to Laetitia and her employer’s daughter.

The show is infinitely kinder than I am to Karen, by the by, trying as it does to give us a reason, if not an excuse, for the way she is and the things she’s done, but her “Maman issues” don’t elicit any forgiveness from me, even if they seem to have a profound effect on mother-to-be Laure. Likewise, I’m unmoved by the reunion of Jaulin and his son. I appreciate he did not kill his wife and child, but he did hold a blade to his lawyer’s neck, drag him out of a judge’s office and get him killed. I know I’ve been shouting into the Internet void for weeks about this, but is nobody going to prosecute him for that?

Sigh. We end the season, however, with more immediate worries than Jaulin. Laure, driven more by plot than sense, inexplicably throws herself and her poor, beleaguered baby in the path of disaster yet again, and it appears that the little one’s nine lives may finally be on the point of running out. A tearful Gilou, fresh from destroying Laure’s bond with Roban (and for what, exactly? A car thief who beats up women? For shame, Escoffier. For shame.) decides she needs a better man than him and calls the sturdy, thoroughly decent Bremont to the fray – an understandable decision in light of the doctor’s words, but a peculiar one given Laure’s absolute refusal to involve her ex at any other point. I don’t know what or whom Laure wants, but I don’t think that it’s waking up in a hospital bed staring up into Bremont’s face. That would be too sensible an option for her, I would have thought. But I suppose, come saison 6, we shall see.

No word on when that will reach UK shores but showrunner Anne Landois has confirmed she’s in the middle of writing it, so at least, one way or another, we will find out what happens to Laure and her baby, what on earth Roban’s nosebleeds are all about and exactly how expensive Edelman can be. I don’t mind loose ends – everything in life, after all, is very rarely neatly tied up – but I would like to find out the answers to those questions at least.

This has been a difficult season; it started fantastically well, but the killing of Pierre has left a terrible, gaping hole in the show that it’s tried to paper over without any real success as yet. Maybe a bigger role for Bremont will help, maybe someone new will come along, but either way, the loss of Gregory Fitoussi is a huge one for Spiral and, on the strength of the past few episodes, one I wasn’t sure it was going to recover from. Add to that the show’s increasingly troubling reliance on using villains from ethnic minorities and the complete turnabout in certain characters’ personalities this year…. like I said, it’s been a difficult season. Having said that, though, this final double-bill was taut, exciting, and genuinely affecting, so maybe Spiral and I have more of a future together than I thought. Au revoir for now, though, Laure et al. À bientôt.


5 thoughts on “Spiral (Engrenages) s5: Double Murder eps 11 & 12

  1. accidentobizaro February 15, 2015 / 3:53 pm

    Gorgeous writeup. Thanks. Will be back for more.

    • CJ Cregg February 15, 2015 / 4:26 pm

      Aw thank you, AccidentoBizaro, that’s really kind of you to say – am glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  2. Olive February 16, 2015 / 10:05 pm

    “Engrenages” is not French for “happily ever after”. Never has been.

    At least it’s it’s consistent!

  3. Robert February 28, 2015 / 4:33 pm

    Agree with your comments – I got to you by entering “rubbish ending to season 5 spiral” in Google!!
    Fair point from Olive , but it was the procedural failures that irked:
    Jaulin not prosecuted for hostage taking and Laure’s ridiculous casting off of stab-proof vest you have highlighted. I also thought that when Karen held knife to girl’s throat, firearms squad would surely just have shot her. Still as my wife points out “it’s only a story”!

    • CJ Cregg February 28, 2015 / 5:52 pm

      Hi Robert, welcome – fair point about the firearms squad. Just about everything about that whole scene was really poorly conceived and executed, just to get us to Laure in a hospital bed with the baby in dire straits. As if there weren’t any number of other ways to get there – most of which they already tried during the rest of the season!

      And Jaulin walking away from what he did to Pierre will irk me forever.

      Although your wife may have a point too 😉

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