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DVD Review: Spiral - Season 5 (Lights, Camera, Action!)By Jambo At 18.06.2017 22:32

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Spiral - Season 5 (UK Rating: 15)

The market for gritty police and crime procedurals appears somewhat diluted at the moment; the rise of Scandi-noir and the success of Sarah Lund seemingly making viewers more receptive to the slow-moving and ponderous Euro efforts, as opposed to the more brash and on the nose American efforts, such as NCIS and CSI. France's biggest cop export,Spiral, certainly puts the oh là là into the genre.

In these European affairs, a lot of attention is placed on the personalities of the characters and their flaws and weaknesses are often the subject of attention, dissection and exploitation throughout the season. This is no different here; the characters in Spiral are all likeable but they all have their own unique quirks that come to light as the season progresses.

The story in this season focuses on the traumatic deaths of a mother and her daughter who are found in the canal, and the theme of family and relationships between parents and their children - and all of the complexities those relationships can incur - is explored over the 12-episode arc. Police Chief, Laure Berthaud, is pregnant and doesn't know the father, Tintin can't bear to be around his infant children so buries himself in work, and Judge François Roban keeps getting stress-related nose bleeds but is too stubborn to notice the impact stress is having on his wellbeing.


 
With four seasons already under its belt, season five feels like the characters are suitably developed and the subtleties of their personas, mixed with the dark Parisian crime underground, make for very intriguing viewing.

Long-time fans will be left jaws agape at certain points this season, with plentiful twists and turns leaving some of the protagonists in completely different emotional situations than where they begin at the start of the season.

Spiral receives a lot of praise for doing many things right but one of the things it has been criticised for is a failure to end seasons well. Sadly, this is also the case here, but despite the typical cliffhanger ending that might annoy viewers after a 12-hour investment into the series, season five does a lot of things very well. Episodes 8-11 are the zenith of this season's offerings and the character development and story-telling is, as viewers are now to expect from Spiral, top drawer.

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