REVIEW: Spiral (S7 E7&8/12)

Well, bain marie and chateuneuf du pape, as Del Boy would say, things have gone from bad to worse for obsessive cop Laure in this season of our teasingly complex Parisian policier. Her only lead to the murderer of Chief Inspector Herville is dead, so she’s been thrown off the case, and her faithful sidekick Gilou has turned his back on her over her abandonment of her baby. Her only ally is the duplicitous lawyer Josephine, and when you’re that desperate for a friend, you know you’re in trouble.

While we always enjoy the sight of Laure wallowing in self-inflicted misery, we know that she’ll always pick herself up and come back fighting, because she’s Laure; the question is, in what form will salvation present itself? Surely Josephine won’t betray her client David Cann, apparently the financier behind the Herville money laundering case?

It looks like things are heading that way when Laure, in another teeth-grindingly annoying bout of coincidence, happens to let Josephine see a picture of David Cann on her tablet – Josephine looks perturbed but doesn’t give anything away.

Josephine reaches new levels of duplicity, using Roban’s old adversary Marchard – whose career he ruined in a gay scandal – to plant a fake list of clients. Even Marchard has to admire Josephine’s sneakiness – prison hasn’t changed her, he notes. Roban is fooled into launching a raid on an innocent woman, and realised his case has been fatally compromised.

Not that Edelman and David Cann are happy – Josephine gives them one in the eye by calling in the Press, and walking out on Edelman who she knows has been delaying her reinstatement.

What exactly did Edelman think he was doing, saving Josephine from prison then hiding from her the fact that he had delayed her reinstatement? Is he in love with her, or his own warped version of love? Whatever his motivations, she gives him the elbow for what sounds like the last time, and after an excruciatingly embarrassing lunch, accepts an offer of employment from the bedazzled businessman Solignac.

Gilou and Laure also have an embarrassing moment, staying overnight in le Havre while investigating a suspicious container. When they discover it has been released by fraud cop Lebrion, they reckon he’s on the take from the Chinese money launderers.

In fact, that’s not quite the case – with the help of an unconvinced Beckriche, they discover that Lebrion has accidentally given away the identity of informant Wang to bent MP Aline Lecomte – could this have brought about the death of Herville and Wang?

There’s another embarrassing moment when sexy fraud cop Soizic plants a smacker on Gilou – how’s that going to work out? – he’s old enough to be her dad.

We have two little sub-plots – Ali and the team nab a pair of fraudsters, ‘Barbie and Ken’, who have been ripping off old ladies, and at the funeral of courier Fouad, his mum Nadia hooks up with gangster Mazouz. We always thought she was a piece of work – she says she’s ‘lost everything’ in front of her remaining son, Rayan. Mind you, he is a waste of space, and effectively got his brother killed.

Also, Edelman promises to help Josephine’s former cellmate Lola, who’s in jail for blackmailing a teacher who killed himself, but they don’t exactly hit it off, so is this plot going anywhere?

Roban realises he has been stitched up by Josephine and Marchard, but what can he do about it? His clandestine meeting with businessman Solignac has completely undermined his case.

As the cops close in on Lebrion, and possibly get closer to the murder of Herville, Wang and Fouad, the whole case could collapse over Roban’s impetuous pursuit of a quick win. Will he have to retire and admit defeat? That doesn’t sound like him – but with the tempting Dr Micaleff offering a comfortable retirement, perhaps he’ll give in at last.

As the pace picks up and new possibilities emerge, this season is getting into its stride – but two-thirds of the way through. It’s been an odd one, lethargically paced, devoid of shocks and strangely squeamish – will the closing stretch offer more thrills, spills, and je ne sais quois?

Chris Jenkins