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Spiral 4

Spiral season 4 episodes 7 & 8

Berthault and her team are frustrated by new custody laws which ensure the presence of a lawyer during interviews. Gilou is given three days to ensure that the Sarahoui’s late licence is approved and Roban is warned that Garnier is using underhand tactics to smear him. Meanwhile, Karlsson is pressured by the Special Branch to provide information on the activities of Thomas Riffaut and his gang.

When the police raid the Sarahoui’s flat, Gilou takes the opportunity to break into their nightclub and retrieve incriminating evidence against him. Yussuf cracks under pressure and provides the team with the names of a Kurdish family behind weapons found at Cetin’s house. Karlsson turns the tables on her Special Branch investigators and Judge Roban manages to make even more enemies within the ‘system’.

This double episode was all about betrayals and loyalty in the face of adversity.

First we had les flics loyalty with Amina aiding and abetting Gilou to cover up his errors of judgement. A rather quick move to the dark side. Perhaps she had seen what had happened to PJ when he tried to tell the truth even when it meant a colleague would go down for it. On the other  hand she may have wanted to help him because she will want a major favour in return.

Laure was thrown by the arrival of Sami, a former lover, who had left without a word when moved to a new job. His ability to speak Arabic wouldn’t be that much of a help in a case involving Kurdish Turks. Apart from the worry that he might be there to take over her job Laure had to hold herself together while he tried to convince her he had returned to see her again. Don’t do it Laure! You have a partner who loves you and his two teenage daughters seem to look up to you even if you do give shooting lessons as birthday  presents and turn up late to light the candles.

Family loyalties were strained in the relationship of Jorkal and his nephew who had confessed to a lesser crime in order to let his more criminal partners take the fall for their failed robbery. Jorkal would have rather he took his imprisonment like a man and treated it like “army training”. Pierre really seemed to have gone over to the dark side and cleverly used the president judge’s misuse of a word which directed the jury towards Brandon’s guilt to get his client off with time served. Jorkal was so pleased he was going to get all his partners to change lawyers.

Joséphine Karlsson’s inexplicable loyalty to Thomas Riffaut meant she warned him that the Secret Police were about to arrest him for his latest left wing act. The planned abduction was called off at the last minute and Riffaut wanted to show his gratitude by having sex with Joséphine. She told him she wasn’t worth it – and yet could have used any other excuse such as being involved with Pierre. Puzzling.

Sophie was sexually assaulted by the random English phrase speaking Greek who reneged on his offer to let her go on the abduction. After the job was blown she became the fall girl and Riffuat threw her out with verbal abuse ringing in her ears. What else could she do but go to Joséphine and rage at her for spoiling everything? Err, well she could have woken up and realised what a user and abuser Riffaut is.

The interrogations both in front of the required lawyers and behind the scenes were interesting. Manipulation by threats and promises seemed to get the desired result and Yussuf finally told them about who the arms were really owned by. It was odd to see Laure being both good and bad cop in that little scenario, threatening and comforting by turns.

Layla and her gun running sons are now the focus for the investigation. The AK47 sale in a quarry served to show just how damaged Tintin is, if there was any doubt after his throwing up before a job and having mysterious car trouble. He’s obviously come back too soon and is suffering from PTSD.

And finally Judge François Roban sailed further and further in to the storm apparently enjoying being under investigation and even showing his accuser where the paper work was substandard. Roban’s secretary was moved to another department and when he met her for coffee afterwards she felt able to finally tell him something about her previous boss which might just have been useful to know sooner.


Spiral – Season 4 episodes 1 & 2

“State of Terror” will be broadcast on BBC Four on Saturday nights 2 episodes at a time over five weeks. Having not seen seasons 1-3 it is going to take me some time to catch up I suspect but here are my observations so far.

Police Captain Laure Berthaud, played by Caroline Proust, is the team leader cast in the mould of Sarah Lund in that she seems to have an obsessional approach to her job and her team. She is under investigation for a split second decision which must have happened in Season 3 where she chose to fire at the killer to protect herself and the woman over whom he crouched. The crime she committed is being covered up by most of her team but JP who owes her no loyalty has chosen to go against the group and tell the truth – that no-one saw what happened as she shot him instead of waiting for back up. While all of this is going on, a body is discovered out in the woods with most of the face blown off, missing hands and a blasted abdomen. Although hampered by the lack of fingerprints and discernible markings the team work out not only who he is but also who had bought the car involved 2 days previously. Conveniently a CCTV image captures the moment when two of his colleagues are dragging his barely alive body into the woods – either CCTV is everywhere in Paris’ environs or they were particularly unwise in their choice of disposal.

Police Lieutenant Gilles “Gilou” Escoffier, Berthaud’s long-time team member, is homeless and in need of the love of a good woman. He seems interested in women who are out of his league and we see his knock backs. He cultivates underworld connections to keep an ear on upcoming crimes but this brings him into contact with the Sarahoui brothers who are Egyptian smugglers and seeking, apparently, an extended licence for their nightclub on a houseboat on the Seine.

Lawyer Joséphine Karlsson. a beautiful red headed lawyer represents the seedier side of Parisian peripheral life normally connected with immigration but she is tied up in some way with Thomas Riffaut an ultra-left activist who seems too bad to be true at the moment because everyone is expendable as far as he is concerned as long as the cause is furthered. The cause seems to be open borders and anti racism but he has no love for individuals.

Sophie Mazerat, a brilliant History student was Riffaut’s partner in disposing of Hugo’s body at the start of the episode, but she is weaker than Riffaut and has two crises of conscience but can’t quite escape the cause she seems to believe in. She does worry however that her parents will  need to be told what she has done.

Moussa Koné, a Malian illegal worker is the immigration deportation case that the protests revolve around. He has lived in Paris, worked in the same restaurant and paid taxes on his earnings for ten years. He has a serious girlfriend who is newly pregnant with his baby but because he entered illegally he is being detained in a deportation centre in the La Defense district. In his name, a group enter the bank and shave the head of a bank employee and pin a notice on her that she is a “collaborator” even although she was not the one who called the police. At the end of the second episode Kone’s cellmate self immolates on the eve of his deportation back to Iraq.

Laure Berthaud (Caroline Proust) stars in Spiral series four

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