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Spiral recap: season six, episodes three and four – things take a dark twist

Joséphine Karlsson and  Eric Edelman in Spiral
Traumatised ... Joséphine Karlsson. Photograph: Caroline Dubois/BBC/Son et Lumière/Canal+

The big headline this week is Joséphine’s rape and its immediate aftermath. It came out of left field, plonked itself at the start of episode three with no foreshadowing and was as grim as you would expect.

Elsewhere, Laure’s crew make progress on the Mercier case in their own error-strewn way, although Mercier himself remains largely a mystery.


We open early morning on a groggy Joséphine slumped by the Port de l’Arsenal. Initially, she wants Laure to investigate the assault off the books, but eventually she agrees to press charges. She believes Edelman is her attacker. However, in a show where rushes to judgment are common and errors are frequent, she will want to keep her powder dry before doing anything drastic. Joséphine after all, is the type to take matters into her own hands. No one is more cynical about the justice system than she.

It’s part of what makes her such a good trial lawyer, something we see when the Weber case twists once again. After Rudy throws Thomas under the bus in court, Joséphine has her client take the stand to recount his father’s ritual humiliation of him. It’s powerful, but will it be enough? The poor little rich kid narrative is a tough sell.

The Mercier case

Gilou … everyday he’s scuffling
Every day he’s scuffling ... Gilou Escoffier. Photograph: Caroline Dubois/BBC/Son et Lumière/Canal+

It’s a truly chaotic showing from CID this week; they seem more determined than ever to Clouseau their way to victory. Tintin and Gilou scuffle in the surveillance van outside the boxing match, allowing Bakary Camara to slip out without being tailed. It’s all Laure can do to bash their heads together, reset and begin again. Honestly, who would be a mother?

When Brémont reveals that the Camaras were under investigation for a gold bullion robbery, pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place. A visit to the brothers’ defunct Helping Hands Homework Club uncovers their counterfeit cigarettes side-hustle. It’s not the ammo they need to take them down, but following that trail leads them to Brémont’s informer Depuis and the 3kg of gold he stole from the Camaras. At last! Progress.

But CID haven’t met a break they can’t squander yet and they surpass themselves with this one. Laure and Gilou send Depuis over to Casa Camara with the stolen gold and an excuse they trust him to make up himself. When his battered corpse shows up that very night, it’s the least surprising development since Tintin’s wife left him. “The Camaras will kill me,” was one of the last things Depuis said to Gilou – but who could have predicted that sending a gold-thieving informant back to his murderous bosses would have ended badly?

It’s a busy week all round for Gilou who, in addition to battering his co-worker and getting an informant killed, manages to score a makeout with Laure. The tenderness and love between these two is real and I can think of worse final acts than them ending up together. The revelation that Cindy has been scrounging cash for her long-dead mother can only expedite that outcome.


Roban takes an ugly tumble down the courthouse steps, but he still has more than enough about him to get Machard’s prints off his teacup. Thus he proves that Machard is the mystery emergency services caller and Nicolas Bodin’s final client.

The autopsy shows that a fatal combination of Viagra and poppers did for Bodin and Roban forgoes mentioning Machard’s involvement in his report. Considering what a reptile Machard has been over the years, it’s a very compassionate move. He may flood the room every time he pours a Perrier, but Monsieur le Juge remains a class act.

Thoughts and observations

  • It’s nice to see Marianne again helping Roban identify Machard’s voice on the tape. I miss the silent trust between them, though, now apparently gone for ever.
  • Herville’s sit down with Fabienne Mangin, the mayor of Cléry-sous-Bois, reveals a fascinating tension between his style of policing and her style of governing. Madame Mayor seems way too closely involved with the Camaras. She regards them as role models, although what they regard her as is anyone’s guess.
  • We now know that the Camaras confronted Mercier about his surveillance and roughhoused him out of the flat in which he was stationed. So, they are lying about not knowing him – but what did he have on them for which it was worth killing him?
  • It’s not bring-your-son-to-work day, but that doesn’t stop Tintin doing some cackhanded bonding with Ruben while doing surveillance. I’m not sure if it’s ethical policing, but it’s definitely suboptimal parenting. Do better, Frédéric.
  • “I didn’t have any toys when I was a boy. Books. Just books.” Oh, Roban. Why am I not surprised?
This article titled "Spiral recap: season six, episodes three and four – things take a dark twist" was written by James Donaghy, for on Friday 12 January 2018 12.58pm

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