SPIRAL (Engrenages) resonates darkly like little else you'll find on television anywhere. Season 5 of this remarkable show offers up children as its central theme -- one barely conceived, another dead, and the rest in various and tricky places on the spectrum in between. Parenting, too, comes in for a licking, as we see some truly shocking instances of the very bad sort and what this can lead to in the later lives of the participants.
Alexandra Clert (shown above), the currents writers and the lead performers, each of whom gets better with each new season.
Philippe Duclos, two photos up) has grown hardened in surprising ways, while lawyer Joséphine Karlsson (everyone's favorite French redhead, Audrey Fleurot) has both softened and strengthened. (The latter is shown above with that fine actor Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, here in an ace supporting role.)
Thierry Godard (above, right) deepens and broadens as the cop, Gilou, while Captain Laure Berthaud (Caroline Proust, below, left) must deal with her usual work-related business while deciding how and even if to welcome a newcomer to her life. (The French -- and perhaps still too Catholic -- attitude toward pregnancy and abortion is given a very interesting workout here.)
Fred Bianconi, above) is having his usual family problems, and that other lawyer, Pierre Clement (stalwart hero Grégory Fitoussi) has gone from prosecutor to the defense side and is handling the case of the prime suspect. It is via Pierre's character that the series offers one of its biggest surprises to date. M. Fitoussi, below, left, is shown with Olivier Chantreau, who brings a nice combination of outsized anger and bleak confusion to the role of of the prime suspect.)
Shirley Souagnon in the role of a character named Karen Hoarau, aka Oz, proves a terrific piece of casting and acting. Ms Souagnon, below, makes a memorable impression indeed.
Netflix and Hulu. Season 5, however, is available on DVD only from MHz Networks, and for anyone who can't wait, that would be the place to order it -- for sale or streaming (soon) via the new MHz Choice option.