Spin (Les Hommes de l’ombre) s2 ep 5


“Blackmail” is the name, and “Blackmail” is the, er, game of this week’s penultimate episode of Spin, as half the cast threaten the other half of it with exposure of all the big secrets of the season.

Bakian’s secret – that he’s a BAD homme – is already out, of course, but he just shrugs off his French surveillance (much to the chagrin of Le Prés, who spends the entire ep in a fury about France not being top of the diplomacy pops any more), goes on a Grand Tour of North Africa, and sends his lawyer to try and pressure Gabrielle into calling off les chiens or risk losing both petit Victor and her job.

For someone who works in politics, the Secretary General of L’Elysee is pretty easily freaked by a dude who wears a cravat. Since she and Simon are fighting, and he’s too busy thinking ’bout his baby daughter, he ignores Gabi’s 911 call, but when she turns up at work the next day in such a tizz that the hair is DOWN(!), he relents, takes her into the Blue Salon and…. gives her some really sensible advice which actually helps. Hurrah!

Simon’s reward for this is, of course, a whole lotta lovin’. Or at least it would have been, had it not been his wretched daughter’s turn to interrupt the resumption of diplomatic relations with Gabrielle and give us a cliffhanger by getting herself arrested for terrorism offences. FFS. “I’m a journalist,” she protests. Without a press card. Or an employer. Um….

La pomme doesn’t appear to have fallen far from l’arbre, mind you: “I’m not a vengeful idiot, I’m a journalist!” yells the appalling Appolline, having a rare old time yelling at Simon and pretending to care about the truth for most of the ep. (Athough presumably she’ll care about it a lot less next week if Palissy makes her choose between the precious truth or her imbecile kid’s freedom).

Neither Simon nor the audience is fooled, though, correctly identifying that Appolline’s obsession with exposing the hostage negotiations is more to do with punishing her ex than edifying her public. Punishing him for what isn’t entirely clear, though. I mean, Simon’s a terrible husband who cheated on her and moved continent, sure, but she knew that last season and didn’t seem too wound up about it. Why the sudden rage now? And the bizarrely aggressive jealousy? As our friend Bill commented on last week’s thread, Appolline seems to have become a totally different person from last season. And I don’t just mean the actress playing her.

At least Ludo is still his usual dastardly self, though. After last week’s non-event, Gregory Fitoussi is back, all ruthless and seductive and manipulative and whatnot, although Xerox Girl Rose (per our friend Moore) is so unbelievably stupid, he barely has to bat his eyelashes before she’s stealing secret files and cheerfully handing over – DUN DUN DUN! – the goods on Elisabeth and the car accident cover-up.

A couple of completely gratuitous topless scenes later and even Rose has realised her new boyf’s motives might not be entirely benign, but it’s too late. “Mon petit Ludovic” dashes off to Deleuvre, feverishly clutching his precious file, excitement all over his wee face…. Only for Delboy – who sought him out and specifically tasked him with bringing down the Marjorie government, let’s not forget – to get all pious and “You and I are finished” about it. “I don’t understand!” says the bewildered Ludo. Me neither, cheri. As we’ve said before, Deleuvre was fine with exposing Anne Visage as the President’s mistress last season so where has all this “we don’t reveal intimate fuck-ups in public” gallantry suddenly come from?

Huh. Perhaps Deleuvre got his new scruples from the same place Appolline got her new rage. Or maybe he borrowed them from Simon. Monsieur Kapita is, of course, saddened and outraged when a slightly crazed Ludo tries to use the file to run him out of town. “You’d throw a woman to the dogs, sully a President of the Republic, just to get back at me?” he asks sorrowfully. “It’s more than that!” protests Ludo, and do I have Fitoussis in my eyes or is he right? Not about the “Paris isn’t big enough for both of us” nonsense, of course, but, for all Simon and Deleuvre’s protests that this is just nasty gossip about one woman’s private life, we are actually talking about – sorry – a STATE FALSEHOOD, here. Remember how angry you were about last season’s government conspiracy, Simon? Or does the truth only matter if the liars are on the other team?

Elisabeth Marjorie was driving way too fast. Amaury Desplantes died as a result. Mme Marjorie should have been arrested and investigated and potentially prosecuted for it, but instead her husband and his government covered it up. They neutered the investigation, falsified the reports, and protected her from prosecution. That’s not an “intimate fuck-up,” that’s corruption.

Don’t get me wrong: Ludo’s motives are obviously as personal and obnoxious as Appolline’s. But if everybody else could stop pretending that this particular scandal is a private one, and they’re wearing white chapeaux when they’re really just hypocrites, that would be magnifique.


3 thoughts on “Spin (Les Hommes de l’ombre) s2 ep 5

  1. MooreOfThat March 13, 2016 / 12:10 am

    So true about the “STATE FALSEHOOD”. Oh the irony! I guess since Simon is now in charge of said falsehood, it’s no longer as dire.

    Poor Ludo, he really got beat up in this episode with all his former friends. Mr. D said he was maturing badly for his age and it wasn’t a good look (says the guy who phones in his performance because he’s always bored). Suddenly he goes from wanting to destroy Marjorie’s government to just plodding along doing about nothing.

    And ugh@ Rose. Her job must be Xeroxing office memos. I had to LOL when first Ludo seduced her at the Xerox machine and then later Simon confronted her for a stare down at the same Xerox machine. Rose is the worst though, she’s constantly having these wide-eyed stares like the precious little fawn she is. She meets Ludo and she bats her eyes, she meets Simon and again she bats her eyes. She’s also the worst because she’s the type to hang onto Ludo while he goes over state secret files in bed clinging to his hand and staring wide-eyed yet again. My favorite TV trope is when some idiot, sorry, unsuspecting ingenue hands over a timebomb to their paramour, sorry, the bad guy, and then they have to go and do something but they can’t go too far because they need to be within ear-shot to hear the boyfriend, sorry the villain, scream out their plan on the phone. Cue them listening at a door and then they have to turn to look into a mirror (if there isn’t one handy, they’ll go in search of one, see Valentine in Season 1 as she found herself staring at herself in the bathroom mirror), luckily for Rose she’s already in the bathroom. This way she can stare at herself in disbelief in the mirror as her mental voice chastises “What have you done?! You shouldn’t have accepted the Xerox position at this office!” Cue the lover, sorry the asshole, to come into the bathroom not realizing that his very loud conversation was heard and none-the-wiser to the apparent distressed look on the girlfriend’s face. There is always a smile and a kiss and a grope and a hug and the guy never realizes that she is looking like you ran over her puppy, doesn’t want you groping her boob and she recoils at your touch. She will always hug you with a closed fist and the camera will always get her face reaction of “Oh noes!”

    *end scene*

    They forgot to translate a line from that scene though. When Rose is attacking Ludo with her kisses and climbing over him he laughs and tells her it tickles. Which you gotta admit is sort of adorable.

    LOL@ Simon and Ludo having a showdown though. He wants him out of the way so Pygmalion can take over the government PR. Are there just two PR firms in Paris? Pygmalion and Simon For Hire?

    Juliette is stupid and so is her mother who finally seems to have woken up to what is going on. And now she’s all upset because Simon is sleeping with Gabi? And Simon’s reaction is just “Oh I didn’t know you were so vulgar!” *wrings hands*

    • CJ Cregg March 13, 2016 / 11:26 pm

      Deleuvre’s volte-face on the whole “find a scandal to bring down the govt” plan is just bizarre, isn’t it? I mean, what’s the POINT of the character otherwise?

      Heh, you’re spot-on about the ingenue-timebomb-overhearing-mirror trope. I can’t believe Ludo didn’t notice Rose was suddenly a lot less keen on him. The other thing that made me roll my eyes was Benny telling her to steal the file back. Surely Ludo will have made a copy of the good bits by now and put it in a secure place? If he hasn’t, that would almost be Rose-levels of stupid. Maybe it’s infectious.

  2. Jed Bartlet March 27, 2016 / 12:06 am

    This was mostly annoying. The new Appolline is dreadful. But, as you say, most of the characters seem to have forgotten everything they said or did either last season or last week. At least in Appolline’s case it’s forgivable, because she’s a different person.

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