“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.