Spiral (Engrenages) s6 eps 11 & 12

*SPOILERS*

“There is no more Tintin. FINIS.”

The end of saison six of Spiral brings with it a whole lot of other endings, deux of which involve the long-suffering, increasingly angry Tintin. It’s ironic that, on the same day his divorce is finalised, he leaves the post that probably cost him his marriage in the first place: finding out the real reason why Laure halted last week’s op is the final straw. “How does it feel to be as bent as the cops you’re arresting?'” he yells. “And don’t bother asking yourself what you’ve become with Gilou and when you crossed the line because you did that so long ago, you’ve lost sight of where it is.”

Well, oui. I’ve been saying that for ans. But it’s a powerful scene, well-played, and it makes me wonder again why Tintin’s anger is is so wholly focussed on Laure, while Gilou essentially gets a free pass, his “I just wanted to say we were a great team and I won’t forget that” farewell message eliciting more a grin than a grimace. Is it because she’s une femme? Or because she’s getting between Tintin and his homme?

Qui sait? Either way, Tintin est parti. And his partnership with Laure isn’t the only one ending in acrimony. The Cléry cops double-cross les Camaras, only to find themselves double-crossed right back as Gilou – somehow escaping retribution for blatant criminality yet again – negotiates a deal with Drissa that gives the Berthaud Bunch more than enough to take Jolers and Calvi down.

Everyone’s very excited when Calvi spills the beans, very agitated when Jolers doesn’t – stripping him naked for the humiliation of it is an appalling thing to do, no matter how awful he is, Laure – and even more so when they realise that, with Tintin gone, nobody’s done the paperwork. “You are not immune to procedure!” yells Beckriche. Well, oui again. Especially since there’s a new magistrate on the case and he’s having none of it.

Jolers’s liberté is only temporaire, however, and he knows it, choosing to end things on his own, deeply shocking terms instead. I screamed out loud.

But Jolers and Calvi are just deux of the engrenages in a much bigger machine. The disgraced (but no less arrogant for it) doctor who treated Justine is found at last, which leads Laure and Gilou to her baby, and to the reason why poor, decent Mercier was killed in the first place: Moldovan’s trafficking operation, dealing in girls, babies and utter misery.

Moldovan is caught, Maria is saved, and thanks to a few kind words from Capt Berthaud, it’s as happy an ending for la jeune fille as Spiral can manage, albeit she’s mourning her best friend and she seems to have nobody to look in on her except CID. Given the melancholy mood of the rest of the saison finale, however, and the number of characters left in somewhat precarious positions, Maria’s doing well.

Roban, for instance, is suspended from duty on health reasons, his beloved work taken away from him. His doctor handles him brilliantly, persuading him to have the operation, to seize the opportunity and “to live.” And for a moment, Roban smiles, and I’m hopeful. But the shot of him standing on the bridge alone is ominous. Does Monsieur le Juge know how to live as just Monsieur Roban? Does he want to?

And Joséphine’s situation looks even more dire. She and I having relaxed into thinking that perhaps she’d got away with it, we’re both stunned when she’s arrested for the attempted murder of Vern Junior, the sleazebag himself having woken up and taken great joie in reporting her to the police. Ordinarily, of course, I’d be on board with that – attempted murder is not okay, mes amis – but it’s Joséphine. And he’s a scumbucket.

The arrest, the scene where she has to face him in l’hôpital, the scene where the magistrate remands her…. all of it is harrowing and worrying to watch, and I can’t imagine how she’s going to cope with the months in jail that lie ahead even before any trial. Thank Dieu for Edelman, then, who’s not Pierre, alas, but who understands her and understands how to fight for her, which is exactly what Maître Karlsson is going to need. Maybe all is not lost after all.

The last shot of the saison belongs to Laure though, and it isn’t a hopeful one. Having spent douze episodes vibrating with fear at the idea of looking after her child, and doing everything short of taking out an ad in Le Monde to say she doesn’t want to, the prospect of Romy being discharged is too much. She’s too proud to let Bremont take her – I love Bremont, by the way – but whether it’s post-natal depression or post-traumatic stress from the circumstances surrounding her birth or just utter panic, she can’t do it either. So she runs, leaving Gilou standing in the car park with a giant panda and a stupid grin, and at least one viewer wondering how they can possibly leave it like that.

Saison sept has been commissioned, so at least we’ll get to find out whether Herville and Mme Mayor get together, Laure gets help, Justine gets convicted and Roban gets a life, but new saisons of Spiral take forever and I don’t want to wait two years to find out. Impatience is a good sign, though: after Pierre’s death in saison cinq, I started saison six with very bad grace but, apart from way too much time spent on “surveillance”, it won me over with what’s been a difficult run for the characters, but a thoroughly compelling, powerful one for the viewer. Adieu to Berthaud and co for now, yes, but à bientôt, j’espère.

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Spiral (Engrenages) s6 eps 9 & 10

*SPOILERS*

That faint but unmistakable clucking you can hear is the sound of les poulets coming home to roost as, this semaine on Spiral, several people’s crimes start, if not completely catching up with them, getting uncomfortably close.

But before we get on to who’s in what difficulté,”Bakary est mort!” Which means Drissa’s army turning Cléry into a guerre zone, with baseball bats the principal weapon of choice. Episode neuf begins in unnerving fashion with Camara’s call to arms and, as the violence escalates, so do the tension and recriminations: the police commissioner insists on conciliation and everybody BACKING THE HELL OFF, the rueful but sanguine Herville has to go chapeau in main to the mayor to calm things, and the excitable Berthaud bunch are flatly forbidden from touching Drissa, who is too busy having meetings with Jolers and Calvi in his secret basement office – which seems to have mobile reception, impressive – to have the temps to get arrested anyway.

Laure’s frustration at not being able to arrest the whole sorry lot is palpable, but Beckriche handles her surprisingly well, switching the team’s focus to the missing Maria instead. With Maria in the wind, though, Capt Berthaud’s attention is diverted once again and she gets herself and Gilou into a terrifying mess; the scene with the rocking surveillance van, surrounded by rioters about to set it alight, is as disturbing as anything we’ve seen this saison. Thank Dieu, then, for Tintin, who lets his frustration (jealousy? Of Laure, I mean – this is about Tintin wanting Gilou for his best ami, non?) get the better of him for most of the semaine, but sets it aside for just long enough to become mon héros.

It’s not as if Laure and co will let a near-mort experience distract them from the main prix, though, so we’re back to tailing everyone again (zzzzzz….) in episode dix, with the search for Maria trundling along in tandem. Until that is, the aforementioned poulets start cropping up: with Gilou now on the ropes (without going anywhere near le club de boxe!), tous les choses suddenly get even more fraught, and I’m guessing Tintin is going to get even more en colère before the saison finis.

Gilou’s not the only one confronted with his misdeeds, however, as Joséphine Karlsson goes a bit fou over the Bodin case, and attacks Roban and Machard in a move which is not only spectacularly misguided, but also doomed to ignominious failure. Edelman tries to warn her, but she advises she’d “rather die than back down” which seems a tad over the top for moi, but vous do vous, Maître. Vous do vous.

I suppose we should be relieved that she doesn’t try to run them over with their voitures instead, and, in fairness, she probably comes as close as she can to a result not akin to utter ruin, but even Joséphine and the truth are no match for the combined forces of the judicial establishment, Deleuvre from Spin and Roban lying to the court. That last one does surprise me, but after six saisons of watching everyone in Spiral do some pretty mal choses, maybe it shouldn’t have.

Perhaps more surprising then is Madam Mayor whose past is probably the most pressing at the moment. Her Camara patrons’ confidence, demands and ability to unnerve all rise at an exponential rate throughout this semaine’s episodes, forcing her to fess up and turn to the unimpressed but increasingly awesome Herville for help. Remember when Herville used to be a jerk? I’m not entirely sure how he turned into one of my favourite characters, but it’s definitely happened.

Spiral (Engrenages) s6 eps 7 & 8

*SPOILERS*

“As you know, investigating colleagues can lead to big trouble.” Something of an understatement, oui, but it’s also shaping up to be the main theme of not just this semaine’s Spiral, but this saison’s, with all three principal storylines now involving the main characters pursuing their colleagues for varying degrees of wrongdoing.

On the CID side of things, the pursuit is un peu too literal for my liking, as the Berthaud bunch spend most of the week carrying out surveillance on la Cléry crew. This is no doubt a necessary and important part of police work, and I quite like a bit of it every now and again, but it does feel like Laure and co following folk around Paris takes up about three quarters of the week’s double bill and gets less interesting with each droit turn. By the start of episode huit, watching all the driving round et round et round et round starts to get pretty dull, even if “Alain Melon” and “Gilbert De Niro” raises a smile.

Still, at least something eventually happens to shock that storyline back into life, although what looks like the racially motivated police shooting of an unarmed man – even if that man was in the process of fleeing the scene of a burglary he was in the middle of committing at the time – is not, I imagine, going to work out too bien for anyone.

Deaths in dubious circumstances are, bien sur, the other main theme of la saison as, as well as the Mercier murder and the subsequent mort of Justine, we apparently still have the “now it’s open, now it’s not” enquiry into the decidedly dodgy death of Nicholas Bodin to contend with. Rumours of the demise of that storyline would appear to have been greatly exaggerated (by me) since – proving that the less you tell people, the more they really want to know – Mama Bodin decides that, if Juge Roban isn’t going to fill in the gaps about what happened to her son, she’ll find someone who can. Et voilà! La Karlsson, with her new digs and her new partner, is just the Maître for the job. Which means poor old “Superman” is going to be outed after all, and Monsieur le Juge – who looks like he’s just going to ignore his tumour and hope it goes away (Dieu!) – is going to have to be the one who does the outing. Ouch.

It’s a week of momentous events, then, but the most significant is the one which opens proceedings: Joséphine, looking for all the monde like she’s in a Le Carré novel, runs Vern down in his very own voiture. Um…. Not only is this a particularly startling way to kick the semaine off, it’s also attempted murder if she (and he) is lucky, and fully fledged murder if she’s not, not to mention taking the “pursuit of colleagues for their wrongdoing” thing a bit too far. I mean, Vern Junior is un very bad homme, but vehicular justice is really not the done thing, Joséphine. It does mean that all the best scenes of the week belong to Audrey Fleurot, though, and she’s fantastic.

Spiral (Engrenages) s6 eps 5 & 6

*SPOILERS*

A fourteen year old girl, dead due to a C-section with dirty tools, her body lying in the basement of a demolished building till she’s dug up by a JCB? Dieu. Spiral starts cette semaine as it means to go on – grimly.

Since the building is the one Mercier was watching, and deux fresh bodies to un dilapidated building is a worryingly high ratio, Laure and co are keen to add the case to their Camara Conspiracy List, but Cléry’s detectives are there first and confusingly passive-aggressive about the whole thing. On the une main, they don’t seem massively interested in keeping the case themselves and more or less say so, each step of their investigation being conducted with an air of ennui and listlessness that suggests maybe it’s time for a transfer to the road traffic team and an attitude adjustment. On the other, they are really pas heureux about Laure and co taking an interest in matters, but since Laure and co “taking an interest in matters” means keeping info to themselves, running a shadow investigation behind their backs and generally being a bit obnoxious, I suppose that’s understandable.

Before Team Laure can take the Bambi inquiry on, though, they need a connection with the Mercier one and that connection comes in the form of another teenager in trouble: le jeune Enzo, who, despite having the most incredibly French pout and cheekbones this side of Paris Fashion Week, looks about huit ans and seems to have been running an amateur child pornography business at his école because, dear Dieu, modern life is poison.

Enzo in turn leads to Maria, yet another troubled teen, who is mounting her own guerilla production of Oliver Twist – the Artful Dodger parts, that is – at la gare, which means the operation to catch her starts as an homage to The Bourne Ultimatum but ends more like The Bourne Farce. Sigh.

Maria’s not the only teen on the run though, as Tintin – who is already having a disappointing day; so pleased at finding the phone case connection, so crushed when he’s told Monsieur Dupuis is now Monsieur deceased so nobody cares any more – is forced to spend many, many heures trying to find missing fils Ruben, who has gone on a two-day wander. To add l’insulte to l’injury, his mother arrives in a blaze of indignation, yells at Tintin instead of the kid and takes her boy home, leaving l’homme to take it out on Gilou. Again. Given that he’s constantly fighting with either Laure or Gilou this year, I’m wondering if Tintin is going to die a terrible death before la saison’s end just so tout le monde can regrette everything even more. Hm.

Roban’s the one whose life is in more immediate danger at the moment, however, so he unceremoniously bundles Madame Bodin out of the door – do not pass Go, do not collect deux cent euros – and dashes off to have his brain biopsy. (I am so RELIEVED he didn’t put it off again.) Not even the prospect of someone cutting a hole in his tête – through an impressive mop of hair, too – will stop Monsieur Le Juge doing his job though. The scene where he jumps off the stretcher, sporting hospital gown and MRI headbrace, takes Laure’s call and makes his own to organise the transfer of the case to her would have been funny enough on its own, but the consternation of the – justifiably – bewildered MRI tech makes it hilarious.

Not that there’s much levity to go around cette semaine: almost every storyline has something awful or depressing going on. The Bambi/Enzo/Maria axis of misery somehow leads to something even worse, for instance, with the revelation that Mercier’s cop partners may be running a teenage prostitution ring with the guy from Internal Affairs on speed-dial. And, as I suspected, it turns out Joséphine was raped by Vern Junior, he’s a serial sexual predator and he’s going to keep getting away with it. Joséphine representing Vern at l’arbitration is surprising. Joséphine persuading the complainant that settlement is the only way to save her career is significantly less so: in the midst of the ongoing social conversation about sexual assault and gender politics and encouraging women to speak up, there’s no getting beyond the truth that speaking up has its own cost for the victim and sometimes it can be too high for them to pay.

For all its inevitability, Joséphine coming to that conclusion is no less demoralising, however. Laure once again handles her unexpectedly kindly, coaxing her through her “All men are bastards” meltdown (“Even Pierre left me!” – oh, chérie), but that only makes it sadder when they fall out afterwards. I really want these two to be amies, dammit. And I really don’t want Laure’s next investigation to be another murder, this time with Joséphine and Vern as perpetrator and victim, or vice versa, but La Berthaud is right: dropped charges or not, there’s no way Joséphine is leaving this alone, and – unlike the bizarre, nigh-on miraculous Weber result – there’s no way it ends well, either. Sigh.

While Josephine struggles with systemic sexism and institutional misogyny, the Berthaud Bunch end the week trying to track down another potential victim of the war on women, as the search for Maria takes them to a Roma camp and, because Beckriche and Laure are both idiots, ends up causing a riot, a fire and a public relations disaster that poor Herville, who TOLD THEM NOT TO DO IT IN THE FIRST PLACE, will no doubt carry la canette for. Tsk. Beckriche putting his pied in le WC might have been funny if it wasn’t a) gross, and b) in the middle of utter mayhem he caused, but instead it’s unpleasant and ill-judged: making light of such a serious situation with (literal) toilet humour might work in some contexts but not this one, merci beaucoup.

At least we end on something of an uptick, though. With bébé Romy on the mend, and CID all coming out of the riot relatively unscathed – unless that bump on la tête turns into something terrible – the anarchy they’ve caused means Laure and Gilou, after itching to jump each other’s bones throughout the two episodes, finally get some time alone and the chance to remove each other’s vetêments. I’m more of a Bremont femme myself, but if you’re a Laure/Gilou shipper, felicitations. This one was for you.

Spiral (Engrenages) s6 eps 3 & 4

*SPOILERS*

As if Joséphine hasn’t been through enough horror – abusive childhood, entanglement with gangsters, suicide attempt, recent death of partner, you know the type of thing – this week’s Spiral begins with her waking up under a bridge, dishevelled, disoriented, and slowly realising that, although she has no memory of it, she has been raped.

Her anguish and fear is palpable and, if I have reservations about yet another tv drama defaulting to yet another sex attack as a storyline for a female character, in fairness to Spiral, there’s no sensationalism here. By only showing the aftermath and the effect on Joséphine, rather than the rape itself, the show steers well clear of glamorising or fetishising sexual violence against women. And, since years of carefully-plotted writing and exquisite acting has ensured we got to know and care about Joséphine as one of the most important, three-dimensional characters in the show over the past six seasons, this storyline isn’t being used as a lazy character development shortcut for her (or any of her male counterparts) either. Instead, it is exactly what it is: something terrifying and terrible that happened to Joséphine, and something that has her going to Laure – the other, most important, three-dimensional character in the show, and, obviously but significantly, a woman too – for help.

In a week where the rest of Laure’s behaviour is frankly moronic (we’ll come back to that), it’s worth saying that she’s brilliant with Joséphine – empathetic and sensitive, but also candid and clear. Audrey Fleurot and Caroline Proust are both terrific in their scenes together and, since Pierre’s death, Laure and Joséphine working as allies is much more emotionally satisfying than them being at odds, even if it is in such awful circumstances.

I’m guessing that the CCTV footage, the watch and the nasty “there’s no pleasure without struggle” – ugh – remark are red herrings, though, and Vern Junior is responsible, not Edelman at all. I just hope Joséphine waits for us to find out before confronting Edelman or the Weber trial is going to take an even weirder turn than it already has, with its confessions, suicide attempt and lift shaft excavations. “You will go down in history as the first barrister to prove her client’s guilt to the public prosecutor’s office.” Quite.

Speaking of guilt meanwhile, Machard has been rumbled. The newly-relaxed, mellow Marianne pops up briefly to confirm it’s him on the 999 tape, before fleeing at the sight of Juge Roban pouring his Perrier next to rather than into his glass. Running away rather than staying to help him seems very out of character for her but I wonder if, now she’s finally made a break from Roban’s office and found herself a healthier, happier life, she’s scared of the feelings and memories that being pulled too closely back in to Roban’s orbit might bring back up. Shame.

Still, it’s lovely to see how kind and practical the fingerprint scientist is to him, as she gently takes charge, takes his diary, and makes the appointment he’s too scared to make himself. Even if the appointment itself is a bust – the previous doctor already told him he needed a biopsy; why have another appointment just to tell him the same thing, instead of, Oh, I don’t know, DOING THE BIOPSY. If Roban isn’t in a hospital gown with doctors doing the necessary very, very soon, I am going to be very, very stressed out. Especially now he can’t use the Bodin case as an excuse any longer. On which note, Machard may always have been a selfish, duplicitous character, and he did something cowardly and craven, but Dominic Daguier’s performance make him sympathetic and tragic this week too: I felt for him and his pugs and his loneliness, and I was very glad Roban didn’t out him in the end.

My sympathies for and patience with Laure and Gilou, however, are dwindling away to nothingness. Turns out Gilou stole two gold ingots last week (I could have sworn it was one gold lighter, maybe I need new glasses) and his attempt to put them back and re-find the stash is not only never going to work but also makes no sense at all. After all, given that the Camaras run a gym rather than a jewellers and they were keeping their ingots in a punching bag, Gilou very obviously realised the gold was stolen last week so why does Bremont telling him that suddenly make such a difference? And anyway, why didn’t he just pocket the two ingots last week and report the rest of the stash then if he wanted to get the Camaras so badly? The answer presumably being that if he’d done that last week, we wouldn’t have had this week’s insanity where Laure tries to help him resolve the issue by engaging in a scheme so farcical and STUPID that it will cause my head to explode if I try and talk about it in any detail, so I won’t. Suffice to say that, by the end of episode four, the main points of note are that Cindy is just as much of a liar as everyone but Gilou thought; after years of firmly friend-zoning him, Laure suddenly seems to be reciprocating Gilou’s feelings for her very enthusiastically indeed; and the plan ends in exactly the way both the unfortunate informer and the entire audience knew it would: with him dead. Sigh. So much for all the impressive, diligent police work I was complimenting last week; Laure’s work with Joséphine aside, this week CID are at their silliest – and I haven’t even mentioned Tintin taking his teenage son on surveillance – and most frustrating, which is particularly unfortunate and disappointing in a week where the Joséphine and Machard stories are so powerful.

Spiral (Engrenages) s6 eps 1 & 2

*SPOILERS*

I was in something of a mood when I sat down to watch Spiral this time around. The last few days of les vacances and I’m cooped up inside subjecting myself, not to another cheesy romance on Christmas 24 or something similarly easy and forgettable, but to deux heures – DEUX HEURES – of fraught, subtitled procedural drama which I still haven’t forgiven for killing off my favourite character last time around? Hurrumph. Winning me over was going to be something of a challenge, and I wasn’t sure how they were going to achieve it. Achieve it they did, though, and turns out the way to do so was by everyone just doing their jobs.

There’s a real “back to basics” vibe about these first two episodes: the murder mystery – an unidentified torso found in a sports bag in a pile of household rubbish – has a saison 1 feel about it, with the focus on the squad diligently doing lots of old-fashioned, painstaking police work to investigate not only who the victim might be, but everything else besides. Instead of battering heads in and browbeating folk they don’t like the look of, CID are quietly, carefully bagging evidence, searching for clues, making calls and connections; generally worrying away at little bits and pieces of evidence to get where they need to be, and while this shouldn’t be revolutionary for actual police officers, given Laure and co’s less than by-the-book efforts over the past few years, it’s kind of astonishing to watch. Especially since post-Pierre Gilou of all people seems to be the best and steadiest at it.

Of course, by the end of episode two, New Gilou’s on his way back to being Old Gilou again: his shady girlfriend is up to, er, shadiness, and he’s stealing a piece of evidence because… je ne sais pas, to be honest. I’m sure I’m supposed to understand the significance of the gold lighter (?) but the difficulty with having nearly trois ans between saisons is that people (ie moi) are going to forget things. Still, Gilou being Detective Diligent is bien while it lasts, as is his keeping la paix between Laure, who has come back to work way too early (because getting close to her tiny, sick little daughter frightens her a lot more than anything Paris’s criminals can do) and Tintin, who was leading the team just fine in Laure’s absence, merci very much, but now has to think about his wife divorcing him and how much he misses his kids, and whether the best way to cope with that is really to needle Laure about hers. (Just a hint, Tintin: non, ce n’est pas.)

Spiral is Spiral, though, so with Gilou falling back off the evidential integrity wagon and Laure lying her head off to Roban to regain his trust (something a bit ironic there) and control of the case, before arresting folk on next-to-no evidence, there are plenty of signs that these people are still not exactly model officers. The scene where Laure and old boss Herville – also re-tooled, and now running an inner-city police station in positively avuncular, upstanding fashion – discuss the “remote” possibility of the murdered cop being corrupt, for all the world as if the writers didn’t watch saisons 1-5 and everyone in the squad hasn’t broken every loi in the livre several times over, is unintentionally hilarious as a result, but for the most part it’s good to see these characters doing their work well, with their (considerable) flaws taking a backseat to their skills for a change.

Maître Karlsson, meanwhile, is also going back to basics, being easily lured away from sleepwalking through corporate law by Edelman and the promise of a sensational murder trial. Other than “generally bad news”, I’d forgotten who Edelman actually was, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s been obvious from the start that the corporate environment isn’t for Joséphine, and for all her client is very clearly lying, and Edelman very clearly knows it, criminal defence work is where she needs to be. Assuming, that is, that she can manage to escape the metaphorical ghosts of her childhood – there’s beaucoup de projecting going on in that scene where she gets her client to confess – and the more visual ghost of Pierre, who gives both La Karlsson and La Blogger something of a shock when he strolls past, smiling for all the world like he wasn’t stabbed to death in saison cinq. I’d seen Gregory Fitoussi’s name in the credits and thought we might get a flashback or something, but still: gosh.

It’s tastefully done and, all things being equal, I’d be perfectly happy for Pierre to walk by once a week myself, but since all things aren’t equal and he’s, y’know, mort, it seems like maybe something’s not quite right with Maître Karlsson after all, n’est-ce pas?

Nor are things quite right with Juge Roban, whose “nosebleed” last saison is now, as we suspected, more of une problème: an MRI shows he either has a brain tumour or a brain lesion, neither of which sounds bien, and he needs to arrange to get it identified and treated tout de suite, so of course he gets distracted by the possibility Machard may be a murderer (!) and does neither, this week at least. Since the tumour/lesion a) is causing him pain, b) is affecting his ability to work, c) is making him erratic and preoccupied, and d) may actually kill him, it’s to be hoped he wraps up the Bodin investigation rapidement and gets himself back to l’hôpital sooner rather than later. In fact, if Marianne could come back and nudge him along, that would be ideal – poor Didier is doing his best, bless him, but I don’t think he has quite the same powers of persuasion when it comes to M le Juge.

While we’re asking for things, though, I’d like more Brémont, less Cindy, and for everyone to double down on the sensible police work. And I’d really like Spiral to do something about its racial politics as well, since the show’s focus on an almost entirely (barring sporadic exceptions) Caucasian police force, judiciary and legal profession, with the rich, privileged criminals generally played by white people and the violent, poor or gangster-ish ones generally not, is becoming impossible to ignore. I really enjoyed these two episodes – significantly more than I expected to – but the show’s perpetual lack of inclusivity meant I couldn’t help but feel increasingly guilty about it as a result.

Public Service Announcement 53 of 2017: Spiral (Engrenages)

Let me tell you un secret – or not really un secret at all, let’s be honnête. The main reason I watched saisons 1-5 of Spiral (Engrenages) was Grégory Fitoussi’s Pierre Clément. Now he’s, uh, “gone” – sob! – I’m feeling somewhat ambivalent about the prospect of sitting through another douze episodes of Laure and Gilou being the worst police officers on tv. What’s in it for moi? Sigh. I suppose we do still have the significantly less idiotic Juge Roban and Joséphine Karlsson, so maybe all is not entirely lost. Saison 6 starts tomorrow (Saturday) at 9pm on BBC4 which, being the second-last day of the year and a time when UK tv is all over the place and people can’t even tell what day it is because of the holidays, is a strange enough scheduling choice, rendered even more inconvenient by the usual insistence on showing it in stupid double-bills, but there we go. I’ll review the first couple of episodes at least and see how things pan out from there.