Spiral recap: season seven, episodes one and two – you can’t keep a good flic down | Television & radio


Bonsoir Spiral heads, and welcome back to the Paris they won’t show you in the brochures. Dysfunctional cops blunder their way to justice against a grimy backdrop of drugs, sex trafficking and prosecutorial horsetrading and boy don’t we love it? We last saw our heroes 20 months ago and, while only a few months have passed in Spiral world, no one is quite how we left them.

Getting away with murder?

We say a final goodbye tonight to that old grouch Commissioner Herville, shot through the head in a Chinese restaurant in an apparent heist gone wrong. It doesn’t pack the emotional punch of Pierre’s death, but Herville was still one of the gang and his murder is enough to get a still-fragile Laure out of rehabilitation and on the case and a still-angry Gilou to allow her back into their crime family.

Clues fall into the crew’s lap quickly enough, but stitching them into a coherent narrative will take time. So far, we know that Herville was set to meet a mystery man at the restaurant and that something undisclosed was worrying him. We know that four youths – Jimmy, Rayan, Fifi and Karim – travelled in the Renault Clio spotted at the crime scene. Four goons in a 4×4 later delivered a life-threatening beatdown to Karim, who remains in an induced coma.

With Fefe stonewalling the cops, Team Escoffier don’t have much to go on but they eventually track down Jimmy and Rayan to the home of Rayan’s associate Serge Langlois. A quick poke at the loft hatch and it’s raining Euros. Either one of these dopes took Cash in the Attic too literally or there’s a pile of dirty money that needs accounting for.


We left a bereft Gilou clutching a giant panda bear like a Generation Game contestant as Laure did a bunk from the hospital and their relationship. Losing Laure, Tintin and now Herville in a few months has been bruising for the squad bruiser but he hasn’t used it as an excuse to go off the rails. He diligently trains up his new deputy Ali Amrani, goes for regular runs and generally looks like a guy keen to clean up his act. He does briefly attempt to throttle a suspect for running his mouth but we’re two episodes in and he’s yet to spark a riot, sleep with an informant’s girlfriend or pocket some gold ingots. He’s basically living like a monk: Gilou 2.0.


It’s raining euros ... Laure Berthaud (Caroline Proust).

It’s raining Euros … Laure Berthaud (Caroline Proust). Photograph: Caroline Dubois/BBC/Son et Lumière/Canal+

When we rejoin Laure, she’s in police rehabilitation, undergoing group therapy for her depression. There’s no way CID are leaving their star player on the bench, though, and before you know it, she’s uncovering vital clues, overstepping her mark and pissing off her co-workers like a boss. She sees very little of Romy and things are understandably fractious between her and Gilou but none of that matters when she’s deep in the moment, working a case. It’s everything that gives her meaning in life. More than anyone else on the show, Laure is natural born plod.


Ms Karlsson always had a taste for the high life, so sharing a prison cell with a drug addict in withdrawal is going down about as well as you might expect. A bent screw is the last thing she needs but she handles Sabine by threatening to go full Tekashi on her and dob her in to the governor. It gets her out of a disciplinary committee and buys her a ticket out of her jail cell but leaves her cohabiting with drug queenpin Lola. Frying pan, meet fire. It turns out Joséphine is exactly the candidate Lola has in mind to front her exciting new drug smuggling startup. It’s the kind of offer you literally can’t say no to. Joséphine always liked danger – she’s got all she can handle here.


Nobody is more alone in this world than François ... Juge Roban (Philippe Duclos)

Nobody is more alone in this world than François … Juge Roban (Philippe Duclos) Photograph: Caroline Dubois/BBC/Son et Lumière/Canal+

You can’t keep a good man down but apparently you can legitimately retire one. François has three months left on the job and he’ll want to go out on a high. He liked and respected Herville and we all know it’s not easy to win favour with Monsieur Juge. Of course, if you’re an attractive anaesthetist making eyes at him over a Calvados in a bar you have an advantage. When Dr Micaleff shows up in front of him later that day accused of medical negligence, we are left wondering exactly how chance that chance encounter was. Nobody is more alone in this world than François – he only had Didier to pick him up from hospital after surgery, remember. It would be grand if he had some companionship in his retirement. I just hope surgical protocol isn’t the only thing Dr Micaleff breaches.

Notes and observations

“Call me mate again, I’ll nut you.” Clean living Gilou hasn’t lost his human touch with suspects.

It’s a quiet week for those patented CID blunders, but give them time – they’re just getting started. Gilou and Laure’s uncoordinated crowd scene at Fefe’s arrest scares off Jimmy and Rayan, who disappear into the Metro station without any of les flics clocking them.

“We’ll solve this together.” A nice tender moment between Gilou and Laure as they stand over Herville’s body.

If you’re fascinated by French cursing, polysemy and meiosis please check out Alison Crutchley’s excellent guide to Spiral slang.

No sighting of the Roban monkey yet, but there’s a six-month tea party for Romy approaching. Eyes peeled.

What did you think? What will the big picture behind Herville’s death be? Is anyone still shipping Laure and Gilou? Can we trust Dr Micaleff? All your thoughts below please …

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