Created by Olivier Marchal
Starring Jean-Hughes Anglade, Joseph Malerba, Karole Rocher
Created by ex-police officer Olivier Marchal, Braquo shows a grittier style of police work more akin to a french version of The Shield than anything more cerebral but that isn’t to say that it is all action and no story. There is a depth to the narrative that makes it a compelling watch and the main characters are well fleshed out. Having missed seasons two and three it didn’t take me long to fall right back into the team and the feel of the show, once again peaking my interest in their latest investigation and the situation that the SDPJ 92 team find themselves in.
This is the fourth and final season of Braquo and as a show that has been full of tension and drama, not to mention explosive action, you can expect an appropriate send off.
Once again we are following the trials and tribulations of the SDPJ 92 team, more precisely Major Eddy Caplan, Lieutenant Walter Morlighem and Lieutenant Roxanne Delgado, as they go about their job doing the kind of police work that no-one else does. The police work that requires them to walk to line between the law and criminality and it is because of this proximity to breaking the law that they are constantly under investigation from the police standards team, the internal affairs. Even though they are scrutinising every move and every decision that is being made by Eddy and his team that doesn’t mean that they are no longer able to do their work properly or do the things that they need to do to get the job done!
At the end of Season 3 we were left with Roland Vogel, a desperate Internal Affairs policeman intent on bringing down Eddy Caplan and his team, going rogue and capturing Lt. Delgado and burying her alive. Season four begins directly after this as Major Caplan is doing whatever he can to extract the information about Lt. Delgado from Vogel so that he can save her. We also see the aftermath of an attack on Lt. Morlighem’s children, which itself is a response from the Turk Baba Aroudj for Walter killing Aroudj’s son. To add to the list of pressures on this team a new Internal Affairs inspector has been assigned to them, Inspector Brabant, and he starts to put the squeeze on the entire team including Lt. Delgado being questioned about her involvement in the death of her colleague Theo who was seriously injured in the last season.
There are multiple layers of storyline running simultaneously but all focused around the SDPJ team in some way. We begin with Vogel having been arrested and in prison but Eddy believes that he will get away without being punished in the appropriate manner and takes it into his own hands to do something about it, to exact the treatment that Vogel deserves for his actions against Caplan’s team. Meanwhile Walter is on the warpath to pay back the Turks who have offended him by attacking his family, becoming almost completely consumed by it. The only issue is that Baba Aroudj is protected by diplomatic immunity from his work with the Turkish mafia.
Eddy has a wealth of contacts on both sides of the law and utilises them to assist Walter in the tracking down of his target. Straying from the Parisienne location into the wild world of Marseilles brings into play another group of powerful people and more headaches for Caplan’s team. The Turks are looking to expand their drug business into France and this leads to them to striking a deal with the Corsican/Marseilles mob headed by Jospeh-Marie Pietri. As Caplan and Morlighem venture into unchartered territory they are hindered, then assisted, by the local police force and their Caplan equivalent, Major Guido Frankeur, a non-nonsense cop who has been dealing with the Marseilles mob, and attempting to bring down their major players, for a long time.
As the investigations deepen and the deals get made, the focus shifts from person to person and from group to group, keeping you guessing as to who is going to come out on top, who is going down and who is going to be killed; there is plenty of that involved in this series, and in a brutal fashion too. Backstabbing and underhand deals are commonplace throughout as are visceral torture scenes and action packed shootouts.
Braquo is an intense ride with uncompromising scenes of violence and tension. Major Eddy Caplan is still the man behind it all, putting his team ahead of himself, ensuring they remain above the troubles whilst placing all the onus onto his own shoulders for catching the bad guys and dealing with the outcomes. A hero to those he helps and a villain to those who don’t believe in his style of policing.