Spin (Les Hommes de l’ombre) s2 ep 6

*SPOILERS*

Alors, mes amis, it’s season finale time (encore) and Simon is trying, unsuccessfully to get Juliette out of jail, but Palissy has croissants to eat and bigger poisson to fry: Appolline has to bury her story (which her editor/boyfriend wasn’t going to print anyway, so no big) or Daughter Dearest is going to be fitted for prison pyjamas.

Appolline is unpleasant (as usual) but compliant, but it still takes a vaguely threatening prod from Prés Marjorie to get Mlle Kapita released because Palissy is, je ne sais pas, enjoying flexing his Interior Minister muscles too much. Or something. It doesn’t matter, because all these people are awful, except perhaps Appolline’s editor/boyfriend who speaks for the entire audience when he declares “I’m sick of you making everything personal. It’s a pain in the arse.”

Give that man a spin-off.

As well as negotiating his own family worries, the weary Kapita also takes it upon himself to deal with the Marjories’; he agrees to Ludo’s terms in order to keep the Elisabeth story out of the press. Le Prés is having none of this, mind you; some of Benny’s truth-telling has clearly rubbed off on Monsieur Marjorie, so he gives both Simon and Gabi a proper, entirely justified telling-off for not coming to him in the first place instead of trying to hand Ludo the keys to L’Élysée behind his back.

Deal’s off, then, but not till after a mildly funny scene where Ludo’s assistant tells both her antsy boss and the bewildered Rose off, pointing out “He f***ed me too, promised me the world. And I still bring him his coffee!”

Heh. Virginie can be in the spin-off, too.

Unbeknown to both Ludo and Virginie, however, after Benny’s visit and her (wo)man in the mirror moment in the bathroom last week, Rose has swapped sides again, stealing the file of doom and delivering it back into Benny’s hands. Having spent the day reminiscing with Lis about how much they miss Le Prés, Benny is in pensive mood when his ex shows up but snaps out of it just long enough to burn the file and break the good nouvelles to Simon, much to the latter’s relief. Of course, at no time do any of these geniuses consider the possibility that Ludo might have MADE A COPY. (Or got Xerox Girl to do it for him.) But I guess we’re not supposed to consider that either, so whatevs. The file is gone. And so, sadly is Benny, who REDACTS himself in a strange, somewhat incongruous turn of events that neither seems character nor plot-driven, but just sort of happens in the middle of the finale to give Lis and Le Prés yet another thing to be miserable about. As if they needed one.

Poor Rose is obviously tres sad herself, but as un parting cadeau, fills Kapita in on the Ludo/Deleuvre goss and her own change of heart. “Ludovic is a bastard,” she admits, “I knew it deep down, but he made me giddy.” Girl. MOI AUSSI.

An excited Simon then gallops round to Delboy’s to secure his promise in blood not to say anything, because Simon – who apparently missed season 1 – doesn’t think Delboy’s “the type” to use the info against the Marjories but does think he’s the type to respond to PR men being bizarrely rude to him about it. Luckily for Simon, Delboy is in devious plan mode, and hatches a scheme with him to fire Ludo from the company that NEITHER OF THESE GUYS WORKS FOR, and Ludo either doesn’t fight it at all or plans to fight it later or I have absolutely no idea because this show and its dialogue/subtitles are stupid and “I’ll send you my Counsel” doesn’t tell me rien.

There was a time when Simon and Ludo fighting over stuff like this was the entire raison d’être of the show, but this season the focus has shifted somewhat so that Ludo is basically relegated to mosquito status; he pops up every now and again, buzzes around angrily for a minute or two, then somebody swats him. Which means that not only has Gregory Fitoussi been criminally under-used, but we’ve spent a lot of time on the challenges facing both the Marjorie government and the Marjorie marriage. It’s still a little surprising how much of the finale is devoted to both, mind you.

Le Prés does a lot of largely pointless brooding over whether to assassinate Bakian and Wahid; since the plan presented somewhat improbably involves zero casualties and unanimous agreement from everyone in the Situation Salle, those scenes seem like a waste of time. Either have a proper moral discussion, with people taking different sides and being genuinely conflicted about it and nobody feeling too comfortable with the outcome either way, or just go do your assassinating and save the screen time for something else.

By “something else”, though, I don’t mean a lengthy excerpt of Berenice: I understand the point was to save on writing yet more dialogue and use the libretto to cover the Marjories’ marriage turmoil instead, but it went on way too long and told us nothing we didn’t already know. Will the Marjories stay together? Will this “STATE FALSEHOOD” go the way of last season’s and just fizzle away into nothing? Will any of these people be in season 3? I don’t think I really care, either way.

There’s been something lacking in Spin from the start (the subtitling didn’t help, either) and while this season was better written than the latter half of the first one and didn’t have the appalling Valentine in it, it’s still been weirdly simplistic, disjointed and too often dull for something purporting to be so sophisticated. Take Simon randomly declaring “I think I love you, Gabrielle.” I live for this sort of thing in my tv, but it was so clunky and out-of-place for that particular scene and that particular moment, that I rolled my eyes instead of getting remotely excited. And me rolling my eyes has been my reaction to far too much of the show since it started. I wanted and expected better from Spin, but sadly it never materialised.

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9 thoughts on “Spin (Les Hommes de l’ombre) s2 ep 6

  1. MooreOfThat March 19, 2016 / 11:17 pm

    Oh dear, this is indeed bittersweet because what do I have to look forward to on Saturdays now that your witty commentary is over?!

    I am in agreement as per usual. I just don’t really get the “OMG” factor of this show. I was looking around twitter about it and was amazed at how many people were all “OMG!” and “Forget House of Cards THIS is a show!” Uh, okay. It’s not the worst thing I have ever seen, but it’s not that great either. It’s a whole lot of meh. Maybe it’s possible that we are the only ones around with taste Mais oui! That is it!

    I found Benny’s death also rather out of nowhere. He seemed to be getting along somewhat fine (but his scandal never really came into anything either come think of it.) He was fired for his role in Crazy First Dame’s car accident meanwhile the government does loads of worst things like this Barakin business. What was the point of Benny anyway? And it seems too bad because the actor seems to be one of the more bearable ones. I am glad we got a farewell shot of his stand in, the trust Benny Cane. Fare thee well old friend.

    So Benny was in love with the Mme Marjorie this whole time? Okay. Who cares. Then his suicide was the weirdest….first he tries to get Bambi-Xerox-Look-At-My-Big-Eyes to leave so he can be alone lets her crash in the “workshop” and then leaves a note of “Sorry to do this, I didn’t want to die alone.” WTF? But not before he dresses up in a suit and take off his sling to hang himself. Did he tie that noose with one hand? Again, WTF?

    Appolline and her daughter’s eyebrows are distracting.

    Gabrielle, who cares?

    Simon. Blech.

    Ludo….so besides finding out that his staff is also his pool of women he sleeps with and then they still go and fetch him coffee, that was about all we learned of Ludo this time around. That and apparently his coffee maker doesn’t get much use in his office. I had to LOL when Ludo seemed scandalized that Viriginie let the news drop and chased after her, another WTF? Why would Ludo care? He’s not keeping Rose and her “I am so innocent and confused. What is life?” face and he’s apparently only keeping Virginie around to fetch his coffee.

    And his losing the company was a big old “WTF is this” moment. First off, he owns only 30% of the company but yet owns it outright? Saison Un was talking about how he bought the business from Simon and how he had control. Simon sold him his baby and that was some of their problem with going up against each other. Simon’s baby was now being used as a weapon against him. But now Ludo only owns 30% and Simon always had 20% so he could come to the board meetings? Couldn’t Simon have booted Ludo out of the company the first time around? And how does boring old Mr. D fit into this? A random government guy, ex client, can now tell the owner of the company that he’s popped in to fire him from his own company? “I’m here representing members” What members? What? I take it Ludo is going to take this to his lawyer since he himself in confused how he bought a company, ran it, only owned 30% and now is fired by people who don’t even work in PR or hold smaller holdings. To quote Ludo indeed, “Can we stop the bullshit?”

    And don’t even get me started on Simon owing 20% but moping about all the time about the loss of his company. Ludo keeps Simon who he seems to even dislike more now around on his board? Sure, okay.

    Maybe that is why the office was in a smaller space where Ludo had to hang with his staff and ex-lovers running to get that coffee for him, he had to sell off his holding shares to 30%.

    And is Mr. D. in love with Ludo? Is that what I am supposed to be getting from his little bon mots about Ludo? First he tells him to get his “pretty ass” in to his office which Ludo strangely doesn’t react to and then tells Simon the only good thing about Ludo is that “he’s pretty”. Is Mr. D angry because Ludo has never wanted him to fetch his coffee or take him for breakfast at hotels?

    Marjorie’s warts on his face distract me too.

    I actually think the first season was better and that is saying something since the first season wasn’t epic.

    Gregory just did an interview with a French publication over Mr. Selfridge but said that he is currently filming the “third and final” season of this show. I don’t know if that means they are just done or if Gregory is just doing his part and then going to retire Ludo. Not that I can blame him, he does a lot of nothing this time around and if season two is any hint of season three, he’ll even have less time.

    So here is my dream list of season three. Marjorie will still be president (because they’re listed in the cast) and Ludo has given the finger to Pygmalion and has packed up his portable coffee maker and his golf clubs. He’s also left his dating pool there. So he goes off to open his own PR firm that he titles “A Storm of Bastards” because that has a nice ring. Meanwhile, Valentine has come back from psych treatments and now has her own competing firm (since she is the most talented speech writer to ever live) and since she is still unhinged she names her firm “A Bag of Bitches” and they both decide to take Simon down for his various ways he’s mucked them about. Simon who now heads Pygmalion because it’s his baby AND he owns a whopping 20% of this company spends episodes juggling his ex-wife’s eyebrows, his daughter who drops in for awkward romantic scenes and Gabrielle who never takes off her barrette anymore. He also spends time saying witting things like “I have a Bag of Bitches and a Storm of Bastards after me” while “hate eating” hamburgers. Mme. Marjorie joins the firm of Bag of Bitches, because one psycho woman isn’t enough and they bring down the whole French government and Simon after they walk in on he and his daughter in a face to face sexual tension screaming match about why he never drives his car that he got as a birthday gift. Mr. D, bored as usual but still around decides that he really loves Ludo and goes out to seduce him with roses and champagne but Ludo ends up breaking his heart this season when instead of meeting his declarations of love, he just putts balls around his office all the while staring into the camera intensely. The show ends when France decides that all these people need a vacation to Mali, Bamako and Algeria except Ludo who watches them all depart smoking a cigarette and hanging out next to his Aston Martin.

    And scene.

    But we’ll probably get is something far more lame. Like Mr. D now somehow being Simon’s best friend and still being bored but still convinced he’s the most boring villain to ever be around. There will still be an angry Appolline who will tell us once again that NYC is where Simon should go and he will have forgotten Gabrielle and now be in love with someone else but will still be crashing on the couch of his moody still seems like a teenager daughter. And Ludo will just pop in occasionally to glare and find the most unappealing female character he can hook up with so he can get a secret he can’t use but he can throw out the word “State Falsehood” to make things interesting.

    Ugh.

    But hey, at least we’re all still awesome. I think our commentaries would have made a hell of a more interesting tongue in cheek show.

    • CJ Cregg March 20, 2016 / 12:13 pm

      *stands up and applauds*

      Heh, you’re right – your season 3 sounds way more fun than the one we’ll actually get, Moore. Perhaps they could compromise and let us do the DVD commentary to liven things up instead 😉

      And thank you for the kind words and for hanging in there with us through the disappointment! If only Gregory (and Benny too -I agree with you, he was one of the better things about the show) would let us write his next project, imagine the good times we’d all have …. 😆

  2. Jed Bartlet April 5, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    “Situation Salle”. Hee. You saved the best Franglais for last.

    This was… dull. Oddly enough, just before the suicide I was thinking that Hussan was the most decent character on the show, and probably also the most interesting. Both last week and this he had the best scenes – the ones with Mrs President and his ex-wife were both beautifully done, and he had a convincing air of the sort of world-weary man who realises that his best days, and indeed his chances for love, are behind him. Once he removed himself from the action, I’m not sure I cared about anyone else.

    • CJ Cregg April 8, 2016 / 12:01 am

      Yeah, it’s weird how Hussan turned out to be so watchable, especially when the writers did a really poor job with everyone else – they could have done much more with Ludo but they just sidelined him for most of the season, turned Simon into an agony uncle with a creepy daughter fixation and spent far too much time on the Marjorie marriage, which is not what I signed up for at all.

  3. ashleywills April 20, 2016 / 3:32 am

    Yet more West Wing ripping off with the theatre and assassination scenes combined to “heighten tension”. Amateur hour though compared to that masterpiece of political drama.

    For all it’s absolute awfulness though, I will still tune in for Saison 3. Sunk Cost Fallacy…

    Why couldn’t this show have the same amazing standards as say Spiral. If French TV can churn out that fantastic show, why does it fall so short with this feeble effort?

    • CJ Cregg April 20, 2016 / 9:58 pm

      I think I’ll probably be back for saison 3 as well, Ashley. If even just for Gregory’s suits. Although I really hope it’s not all about the Marjories again. It needs to get back to being about the Simon vs Gregory battle, I don’t care about any of these other folk now Benny’s dead.

      • MooreOfThat April 30, 2016 / 1:01 am

        I’ll be back for the obvious reason.

        Us and our witty commentary!

  4. MooreOfThat April 30, 2016 / 7:20 am

    I will stick around for one reason.

    Us!

    Because our commentary on French life is more entertaining than anything else.

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