Thursday 19 September 2019

Streaming on SBS On Demand - SPIRAL (Series 7, France 2019)

Dated as 2019 with SBS's own subtitles also from this year…after fifteen years it comes to this…

Caroline Proust (Laure Berthaud)
Series 7 starts out badly for the two leading women who have been on the journey since Series 1. Laure Berthaud is suffering post-natal depression, is in rehab and doesn’t want to know her child. Josephine Karlsson is on remand in prison, accused of murdering the man whom only she knows is her rapist. Tintin has gone off to a quieter life, having been applalled by Gilou’s criminal behaviour in Series 6 in which his marriage fell apart. Roban is fighting a brain tumour. Herville is running the police station in one of the toughest neighborhoods. He barely lasts beyond the credits of episode one when he’s perfunctorily murdered sitting in a local Chinese restaurant. 

The frailty and the vulnerability identified by Mark Pierce in his earlier note is on full display. The willingness of cops to take risks, the way the law hampers justice, all backgrounded by the acute sense of a city throbbing with life and adventure and cops struggling to keep up. Even a routine matter involving a couple of young fraudsters fleecing pensioners via their electricity bill almost goes belly-up as a result of dereliction of duty. 

But as it steams towards the end this time there is rekindled love, sacrifice, honesty, loyalty all amid the twisting compromises of a legal system which tries to protect all rights and inevitably can’t get it right. 

The final episodes have been directed by Jean-Philippe Amar and they bring some changes of style. I don’t know why, suddenly, many scenes begin with reflections in pools of water. There seem to be more random shots, not scene setters, of elegant bits of Paris filmed from moving cars. But everytime we get back to Laure, Gilou, Beckriche, Bremont, JP, Nico, Tom, Josephine, Edelman, le juge Roban and Didier, the magic spell resumes. 

Finally, there are resolutions and the barest hint of some happy endings. 

No cliffhanger this time. 

It must be done and dusted.

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