Horror, sci-fi, crime: they are all remote from our experience of everyday life and yet a good writer or director can make them absolutely convincing and have us sitting on the edge of our seat. I thought about this on Saturday when I was watching the last episode of the French crime series, Spiral (in French, Engrenages – meaning the meshing of gears, better, I think). I was gripped by it, but I wasn’t entirely happy. It is a challenge to have the solving of a crime spread over twelve episodes and the solution wasn’t really satisfactory to my mind (won’t disclose it for those who haven’t seen it yet). Even more of a problem was that the police kept making elementary mistakes. A group of poorly educated young women on a sink estate rang rings round them. I do understand that the police couldn’t clear everything up in the first episode, but it did get to the point where every time they trailed a suspect, you knew they would lose them. In the last episode Gilou was distracted by a phone call from a woman with whom he was having an affair. Unprofessional or what?
The police had to prepare a bag to be handed over to kidnappers, who through a fairly elementary ruse managed to make off with it. Had the police planted a tracking device in the bag? Of course not. They all deserve to have been demoted long ago.
The thing is kept afloat by the wonderful acting and the legal strand is fascinating. So yes, I expect I will watch the next series, but I hope they’ll up their game – the police and the script-writers.