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Engrenages (literally "cogs" or "gears"), known in English-speaking markets as Spiral, is a French procedural Crime and Punishment Series set in the less touristy parts of Paris. The three main protagonists play different roles in the French justice system: Capitaine Laure Berthaud represents the police, Maitre Pierre Clément is a prosecutor, and François Roban is an examining magistrate.
The first season deals with the murder of a Romanian prostitute that turns out to have heavy political connections. The second season covers an investigation into a group of North African gangsters. Both of these two seasons also have Mystery of the Week elements, but the third season dumps this in favour of putting the three characters into separate plot arcs: Berthaud hunts a Serial Killer of prostitutes in Paris's former abbatoir district; Clément, disgusted with politics and corruption, attempts to set up as an independent lawyer; and Roban starts a quixotic investigation into a corrupt mayor with very high-level connections.
The show has proved so successful that three more seasons have been ordered simultaneously.
This show provides examples of:
- Amoral Attorney: Karlsson, and even more so Szabo.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: The Larbi brothers in the second season.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Sami in the third season. Although that may explain how screwed up Berthaud is.
- Les Cops Sportif:
- The lesson you can learn from this is never get arrested in France.
- Cowboy Cop: Gilou. Laure has her moments.
- Dysfunction Junction: all the way through, but the third season takes it Up to Eleven.
- Evil Mentor: Szabo to Karlsson.
- False Rape Accusation: Guy-on-guy.
- Fan Service: It's a French work, so there's a fair amount of nudity. Berthaud herself even has a naked sex scene!
- Fiery Redhead: Averted, Karlsson is usually very cold-blooded and calculating.
- Gay Paree: averted. Very much so.
- Generic Ethnic Crime Gang: Eastern Europeans in the first and third seasons, North Africans in the second.
- Hello, Attorney!: Joséphine and Pierre.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: one of the subplots of the third season has Gilou firing a wild shot in the air during a fracas in a crack house and unintentionally hitting a dealer in the crotch.
- In Love with the Mark: Berthaud with the Internal Affairs guy in the third season
- Internal Affairs
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Roban, sometimes verging on Ambiguously Evil
- Mayor Pain
- Rabid Cop: standard interrogation technique
- Sex Slave