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Spiral recap: season six, episodes one and two – the tale of the torso

Spiral: Gilou, Laure Berthaud and ‘Tintin’ Fromentin are back on the case
Spiral: Gilou, Laure Berthaud and ‘Tintin’ Fromentin are back on the case Photograph: Hassen Brahiti/Son et Lumière/Canal+

Spiral recap: season six, episodes one and two

A mutilated cop, premature baby and misbehaving colleagues give Laure headaches as Spiral returns.

Welcome back Spiral junkies and apologies for the delay in getting the blog up. (We’ll publish episodes three and four tomorrow to get us up to date before this weekend’s broadcast.) Laure may have a new baby, but as ever it’s the unruly enfants at work giving her the major headaches.

The cliffhanger from last season is quickly resolved and we find ourselves straight back in familiar territory. CID have a body to identify, Joséphine gets her teeth into a criminal case and Roban sticks his beak somewhere it’s bound to cause trouble.

Les flics

Three years may have passed since we last saw Laure and the boys, but in Spiral world it’s about six months. Laure and her child survived the stabbing, though Romy is in a neonatal intensive-care unit and ailing. Having opted to take only four weeks of her six months maternity leave, Laure struggles to bond with her baby and that’s understandable. Quite apart from the spectacularly traumatic pregnancy, we all know Tintin, Gilou and JP are her real family.

The torso

Our central case this year is the brutal murder of young cop Laurent Mercier. Killed in his own apartment, chopped to bits and served up like a dog’s dinner in the 19th arrondissement, it’s a grisly end even by Spiral’s standards. Mercier worked under our old pal Commissioner Herville and was privately investigating local thugs, the Camara brothers, just before his death. This season’s villains are an enigmatic pair. Supposedly reformed criminals, they get grants from the mayor to keep the peace in their locale, though it is unclear how menacing vulnerable locals with baseball bats helps with that.

There are plenty of questions about Mercier, too. His team were under investigation by IPCC after claims they stole €800 from a dealer, but nothing in his exemplary record suggests corruption on his part. Even his teammates say he was, if anything, “too nice”.

Strange then that he reminds Gilou of his young self. Maybe he was an idealistic rookie once before the system beat it out of him. His attempt to make a go of things with the uniquely unsuitable Cindy speaks to a growing need for domesticity and stability as he gets older. It’s that need that prompts him to pocket a couple of gold ingots he finds in Casa Camara. It’s just the latest in a series of catastrophic errors of judgment from Gilou, but that swanky apartment won’t pay for itself.

Joséphine Karlsson … committed
Joséphine Karlsson … committed Photograph: Caroline Dubois/Son et Lumière/Canal+

Roban

Those epic nosebleeds from season five have now developed into something more serious for Monsieur le Juge. Memory lapses and muscle spasms now plague his working day. A shadow on his brain scan is either a lesion or a tumour – a biopsy will decide. Even more so than Tintin, Roban is the conscience of the show and though Spiral may survive his loss, I’m certain many of the viewers won’t.

Still, he’s nothing if not a trooper and in addition to securing the Mercier case for Laure, he investigates the death of male prostitute Nicolas Bodin. The emergency services caller has yet to be identified but even a significantly subpar Roban should be able to handle this one. That ridiculous toad Machard has a connection to the dead man’s family so expect his oar to be stuck in at regular intervals.

Joséphine

Joséphine and corporate law could never work out – she’s a pitbull surrounded by poodles. It’s no surprise that she jumps at the chance of a criminal trial when Edelman offers it. Her client Thomas Weber has a few daddy issues, just like her, though unlike her he successfully planned his father’s murder, with the help of his accomplice Rudy. She really warms to her role as fearless defender of the guilty rich, even if her change of strategy puts her at loggerheads with Edelman who defends Rudy. Not to speak ill of the dead, but Weber’s father sounds like a real piece of work. It will be interesting to see what justice serves up in this one.

Thoughts and observations

  • The careerist drone currently overseeing CID, Commissaire Beckriche, can’t wait to dump the Mercier case on crime squad, but still tries to claim credit for securing it for CID once his hand is forced. He seems like a nightmare but then so did Herville and he turned out all right. Consider him very much on probation for now.
  • The Weber case reminds me of the Menendez killings and the harrowing stories of child abuse in a privileged family that emerged from that trial. Law & Order True Crime’s powerful, angry dramatisation of the case is well worth checking out.
  • Pierre looks pretty sprightly for a dead guy 12 minutes in. It was great to see him if only briefly. His death still stings and not just for Joséphine.
  • Mercier was texting someone called Bambi before he died. Tracking him/her down will be central to cracking this case.
  • It was terribly demeaning for Roban to have to handle the cock keyring (and very funny).
This article titled "Spiral recap: season six, episodes one and two – the tale of the torso" was written by James Donaghy, for theguardian.com on Thursday 11 January 2018 12.38pm

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