Spiral recap: season eight, episodes five and six – Grand Theft Berthaud

Spoiler alert: This recap is for people watching Spiral on the BBC. Do not read on unless you have watched season eight, episodes five and six.

The laundromat murder

The plot swerves all over the place this week, and everyone gets a shock when Laure’s and Brémont’s cases collide. Tailing Maria’s cousin leads CID to one Fernando Sabayo, AKA the Alsatian, who seems to be heading up the drug-trafficking operation. When Beckriche starts sniffing around, Brémont tells him the Alsatian is a protected species – strictly off-limits. It’s an unconscionable bind but the tracker on the Alsatian’s Mercedes (apparently placed there by Amin) offers a priceless break. Apart from giving the Alsatian an alibi for Amin’s death, it places one of the four phone numbers regularly checking the tracker in Amin’s vicinity on the night he died. Once they trace the phones to Cisco’s crew, they have a long list of questions and some new prime suspects for the murder.


Professionally, Laure is killing it at the moment. She uncovers the Aubervilliers hotel, isn’t above doing some surveillance grunt work on the Alsatian, and coordinates the tracker operation like a boss. Personally, though, she is a wreck after a nasty one-two of surprises. Beckriche lets slip that Ali is leaving, and it clearly devastates her. As mother of the CID family, she takes every loss personally. Worse follows when she clocks Gilou holding court at a barbecue with Cisco’s gang. He dumped her for this? “Fuck’s sake, Gilou!” doesn’t begin to cover it, but it’s the best she can offer at short notice. She instinctively covers for him which is a good job as, atypically, he’s slumming it with wrong ’uns under official sanction. The sooner she finds that out the better.


You play the hand you’re dealt and Joséphine starts out with a kidnapped child, a stubborn drug mule, a sleazy former boss and a sulking former prison pal. Most would fold not hold in the circumstances, but she manages to turn the unpromising combo into an impressive outcome. She gets Maria a lenient sentence to be served back home, secures Souleymane’s release and persuades Edelman to represent Lola. Even her powers have their limits, though. After she sets Souleymane up with a foster family, the young tyke heads back to the streets to make the money he’ll need to get his little brother to join him in France. Joséphine finds the life of a do-gooder exasperating. Being a baddie is so much simpler.

Souleymane and Joséphine … impressive outcome. Photograph: Caroline Dubois/BBC/Son et Lumière/Canal+


Just ask Gilou. He takes to the thug life like he’s been doing it for years which, to be fair, he kind of has. A suspicious Titi tries to test his gangster mettle but Gilou passes with distinction, bumping coke and racing stolen cars like he’s on a hidden level of Grand Theft Auto. Back at the club, he expels the hated Jankos, buying himself priceless credibility and gaining entrance into Cisco’s inner circle – a real crème de la crud of the Paris underworld. When you’re a natural, you don’t need to fake it.

Back in the boring day job, he delivers the stolen Audi to Brémont so his boss can bug it. Brémont becomes agitated, all “stop the steal!” He worries that Gilou’s enjoying the low life too much – exactly the kind of nagging you’d expect from a cop. Oh, your boy’s just getting started, Vincent. It turns out he’s the getaway driver on Cisco’s next caper. They’re fixing to rip off a ruthless drug dealer – some guy called the Alsatian? I feel like a nark for pointing out that Gilou is still on probation. It’s got disaster written all over it. Count me in.

Notes and observations

  • Stolen glances, furtive drinks and breathless scooter rides raise the sexual tension between Beckriche and Lucie to critical levels. Something has to give. The judge makes her ruling: she finds Beckriche guilty of being an eligible fitty in the City of Lights. After a brief but intense makeout, it’s back to hers for “pasta”. I think I know what dessert is.

  • Say what you will about Titi – that he lacks finesse, smarts or looks – but he is the only one showing the requisite suspicion of Gilou. Donnie Brasco was six years undercover. Gilou’s been under about six days, and he’s practically a made man.

  • “Scooter girl must be his bird – his Alsatian bitch!” It may be a rough time for Laure, but she’s still got sass.

  • With the Jankos looking more like parasites than partners it seems unlikely that they killed Darmon, who was willing to make a deal just to get them off his back. Gilou’s suspicion that Cisco sent someone to kill him is looking like a safe bet.

  • Joséphine going in to bat for Souleymane is authentically heartwarming, particularly as he seems totally baffled by it. No one has ever fought for him like this before, and it’s obvious he has no idea how to handle it.

  • With Titi revealed as a regular customer at Kingtel, it’s looking like Bilal’s outfit is your one-stop shop for stolen phones, burners and trackers. It’s probably best for his business and his health that no one figures out he’s talking to the police.

Who killed Amin? Are Lucie and Beckriche the real thing? Can the Alsatian be tamed? Post your best theories below.

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