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Engrenages: Episode #5.3 (2014)
Laure's planned trip to The Netherlands
Laure is determined to have an abortion, and she books an appointment for a late termination in The Netherlands.
Herville attempts to get into the good books by investigating petty thieves causing havoc amongst vulnerable residents and tourists.
Laure's relationship with Tintin is very icy, as she probably blames him for Sami's untimely death.
Anyway, it turns out there's a possible link between the double homicide and the ATM raids. Judge Roban wants the ATM case and asks Judge Mendy to hand it over. Roban is unimpressed by Mendy's stubbornness. I guess being sassy and uppity isn't a good quality for a young judicial officer like Mendy.
There's a reference to the explosion at the end of season 4. One of the visiting cops asks the team how they got their new office, and Gilou wryly mentions the explosion.
I noticed that Laure and her team use a large whiteboard to investigate the double homicide, just like they do in Midsomer Murders, Vera, and DCI Banks.
Blanco is a suspect in the ATM raider case.
Also the Royal Pacha, a shisha place, features. We get to see a bit of the suburban Parisian nightlife in this episode.
Also Pierre is desperate to run for the Bar Council.
Engrenages: Episode #5.2 (2014)
Who's your daddy?
This episode opens with Olivier Delorme assaulting a female jogger by pushing her into a pond. It turns out Olivier is the brother of Sandrine, and Olivier is mentally ill and is getting treatment at a facility.
Delorme has mental delusions, and thinks he sees Nazis in the street (it turns out he was seeing a film production). He refers to "Sarkozy's cops" but Gilou corrects him, inferring that it's now President Hollande, who was elected in 2012.
Anyway, Stephane and Leo are found at a service rest stop, with one of the cops mentioning they were also at McDonald's.
Laure is aghast that she cannot get a voluntary termination in France because she's at 15 weeks.
One thing I noticed was a "Keep Calm" notice in the background in one of the scenes.
Roban and Karlsson collaborate so that she can get a foot in the door in the Sanchez cop killing case. Roban calls Sanchez's widow as a witness, and recommends she appoints a lawyer. It turns out Karlsson walks past at the time, and that's all done! Also good to see Marianne, Roban's loyal assistant.
Vibol-Joseph Sok appears as an IT guy who helps to crack the data of Stephane's laptop, which was found in the freezer of Olivier. Also Pierre is Stephane's lawyer.
Still no evidence of freemason influence on Roban. Also Gilou wants to help raise Laure's baby (she hasn't told anyone else about her pregnancy).
Engrenages: Episode #5.1 (2014)
Laure gone wild
Laure goes wild in this season 5 opener, where she picks up a random in a pub and attempts to have sex with him in her car, but calls it off after she suffers profuse bleeding.
Then the crime investigation starts with a mother and daughter, Sandrine an Lucie, being found tied to a canal boat. Is this the result of a very nasty custody battle? The surviving father and 4 year old son is Stephane and Leo, respectively.
Frederic Eng-Li appears as L'interne. He reveals to Laure that she's 15 weeks pregnant. Is it Sami's child? Or Bremont's? Sami lost his life trying to defuse a bomb at the end of season 4.
Amina (Anissa Allali) unfortunately no longer appears, and there's no explanation for her non-appearance. Was she reassigned?
Herville appears and unless there's dodgy camera work, he's definitely gained weight since season 4. He's been sidelined to a desk job but he won't take it lying down.
Timelines...given Laure's 15 week pregnancy, it appears in this Spiral universe the opening to season 5 happened 3 months after the end of season 4, even though in real life season 4 was produced two years before. Kind of compressed.
Judge Roban is back, and thankfully there's no evidence so far that he's a freemason or unduly influenced by them, which was kind of implied at the end of season 4.
Karlsson is now a duty lawyer, and she seeks to represent Lesueur, who has been charged with killing a cop, Lionel Sanchez, during a police chase gone wrong. Much to Karlsson's horror, she finds that Tisseron is Lesueur's lawyer, as Tisseron is a lawyer with a firm that is known for representing the police!
One American motif is seeing Laure and her team reviewing the evidence into the night at the office over Chinese takeaway, with Laure even using chopsticks.
Diagnosis Murder: The Busy Body (1994)
Sandra Dee Robinson is impressive in this episode
Sandra Dee Robinson plays a key role in the opening of The Busy Body, playing a cop at Dr Sloan's birthday party at a restaurant. It was a male-only event (except for Sandra's role of course), and Amanda and Delores aren't at all impressed by not being invited, and the role played by Sandra's character at the party.
Here the team work to solve the murder of a patient, who happened to be an infamous divorce lawyer, and many people wanted to cause him harm. The patient is found in the pharmacy room, and then gets being mysteriously shifted!
The new security personnel Norman appointed turn out to be nightmares and can't even keep track of a corpse that keeps being shifted furtively around the hospital by the murderer. At the end Norman fires them. I can only imagine they ended up taking TSA jobs post 9/11 and singling out any minority that they don't like the look of if you know what I mean.
The ending is upbeat, with Delores giving Dr Sloan tap dance shoes, with Dr Sloan doing a quick performance to round off this episode.
Engrenages: Episode #4.3 (2012)
Third episode of season 4
Season 4 is the first season I've watched of Spiral, not having watched seasons 1, 2, 3 and 5. So I've probably missed some of the backstory, like Judge Roban coming back to work in this episode. In his discussion with the Court President, reference is made to the suicide of his intern which I assumed happened in season 3.
Laure Berthaud has an impressive line where her investigations are to prevent what's happening in Greece, where massive demonstrations about the economy led to a succession of prime ministers. Very prescient. Anyway, Berthaud is facing legal problems of her own, and she's desperate for a reliable lawyer to avoid perjury.
Joséphine Karlsson should be the subject of a spin-off series, and hopefully played by Audrey Fleurot.
Diagnosis Murder: Woman Trouble (1994)
Michael Hagiwara features in this episode
It's great to see acclaimed actor Michael Hagiwara feature in this episode, and it's a shame he didn't become a series semi-regular at least.
This episode marks Sally Kellerman's first appearance in Diagnosis Murder. In season 5 she appeared in a special episode Drill for Death which also featured other MASH universe members...Elliott Gould, Jamie Farr, Loretta Swit, William Christopher, and Christopher Norris.
Also in this episode is Victoria "Saturday Night Live" Jackson and also Ben Masters. Victoria and Sally play lovers of Ben's character, one one hilarious line was where Sally feared ending up in prison with the "Manson girls"!!
The ending was a major twist big time.
Four funerals and Norman Briggs
This is a fascinating episode which has four funerals, and at each funeral there's a death in very, very mysterious circumstances, and we're left wondering who it could be.
Khrystyne Haje features in this episode, and she was excellent in Head of the Class, which I loved before Billy Connolly took over as teacher which pretty much signaled the end of that fine series.
Anyway, Michelle Phillips also appears. Also, one sub-plot of this episode is the tension between Jack and Norman, and by the end of the episode things get better for them thankfully. In fact, Jack saves Norman's life!
The principal from Forrest Gump is in this one.
Sam Anderson features in this IRS-themed episode. I remember him as the school principal in Forrest Gump who banged Forrest Gump's mother played by Sally Field.
Also featuring in this episode is the dignified Holland Taylor, whose current partner is Sarah Paulson.
Here Dr Sloan is a bit upset and agitated about the upcoming IRS audit, and he's accused of murdering his accountant. Thankfully Dr Sloan is cleared of the crime by the end of the episode (relief). Anyway, complicating matters is Steve Sloan's former romance with a cop, who happens to be investigating the murder.
This is the final episode of season 1 of Diagnosis Murder, and Delta Burke guest stars as Sister Michael, where she witnesses the murder of a former student with a package that goes missing.
Turns out the parcel contained an incriminating videotape of corruption involving a member of City Council, and he wants the tape back big time! And he and his associates will do anything to get their hands on it.
Michael Tucci makes a brief appearance, but I can't recall seeing Delores Hall.
I like Diagnosis Murder a lot, and find it more engaging than Murder, She Wrote.
Vera: Little Lazarus (2011)
The judge, the taxi driver, the lost son, and the kestril
Vera is impressive for its twists, but this episode really tops itself, and all credit to the writing team for an unforeseeable twist in the plot. Who would have thought?
Anyway, Kerry Fox, who was in Intimacy with Mark Ryall, is a Newcastle-based High Court judge who plays a central role in the murder of a young mother, and her young son who survives the slaying. Then there's the missing daughter, and that is so central to the twist big time.
Also Renu Setna does a top job playing Amnit Singh, a Sikh taxi driver, who also is central to the twist. Good to see Sikh characters in TV dramas and maybe there will be more, given the persecution they suffered in the 1984 brutal massacre Sikhs suffered at the hands of fanatical Hindus following the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
Also, Vera's stuffed kestril also plays a role in her relationship with the young son.