Now streaming on MHz Choice


Editor’s note: Dearest MHz Choice subscribers, we’ve heard you! At long last, Season 2 of French series ‘Detectives’ premieres September 4th on MHz Choice. Read Allison Lowe Huff’s Season 1 recap below and then Watch Season 1 to get reacquainted with this lovable cast of characters!

Season 1 Recap

Season 1 of the French private eye series Detectives introduced us to the imminently lovable Roche family and their new salty-but-beautiful reluctant partner, Nora (Sara Martins). Ripping a page out of Moonlighting‘s book, the chemistry between Philippe Roche (Philippe Lefebvre), who has taken over his retired father’s detective business, and Nora starts on a slow boil and heats up at a moderate pace as the season progresses. We only know the attraction between them is mutual because Nora, a straightlaced former G-Woman who has seen it all, still has to look away whenever Philippe uses his single expert skill to solve cases: seducing suspects. Yes, while Nora is off chasing down complex financial clues in a storeroom somewhere, Philippe is likely pushing someone’s secretary up against a wall so he can steal her phone when she takes a shower. This division of labor seems less than fair, but… I’m not mad at it. This is all very French, and it’s so refreshing to watch a light-hearted detective show with a family element. Makes criminal activity feel downright heartwarming! Also…

Fine romances.
Philippe and Nora aren’t the only ones shooting each other meaningful glances around here. His sister, Isa (Vanessa David), and her husband, Marc (Sébastien Libessart), have a lovely marriage marred only by Marc’s occasional lateness as he tracks down information for Philippe, and, unfortunately, his jealousy over Isa’s clients in her psychology practice. This last point puts a cramp in their style, but all is ultimately well. Marc, a former cop, is a teddy bear, really, a trait that is highlighted when he goes the extra mile for a lonely kid being neglected by his parents. Seeing this, Isa warms to the idea of starting a family. She has good examples to build on, considering her parents’ relationship. The senior Roches live on a houseboat on the Seine floating beneath the glow of the Eiffel Tower. Yes, it’s as great as it sounds and so are they, hopelessly devoted for decades. Yeah, yeah, all of that is very sweet, but…

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L to R: Philippe Lefebvre (Philippe) and Sara Martins (Nora)

Nothing beats the yearning of Santo (Vincent Escure), Nora’s tormented assistant-turned-sleuth, for Xenia (Daphné Chollet), Philippe’s daughter. These two! The cuteness! Xenia, only 20, is a third-generation detective with all the talents required to hack into systems and secretly observe assignations. This can get a little awkward when she’s watching her dad – or grandpa – work his magic, but she can always hide under her awesomely wild mop of hair. She’s teaching Santo the ropes (he’s not great at tailing anyone, yet), but perhaps he can provide her with a welcome distraction, which she needs, because…

La Mère.
Her mom, and Philippe’s wife, is gone. She left the family high and dry allegedly to help refugees in Africa, but… something ain’t right. First of all, who would leave Xenia and her sassy little brother, Hugo, by choice? And then, what’s Nora got to do with it? Her old colleagues seem to be holding something over her that has to do with the missing wife, but what? Is one of them a spy? Are all of them spies? We don’t know yet, but what I do know is if this lady comes back in Season 2, she has some explaining to do.

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L to R: Daphné Chollet (Xenia) and Sara Martins (Nora)

Best case scenarios.
The through line for the season is the mystery surrounding Philippe’s wife, but otherwise the cases don’t overlap episodes. Philippe and Nora are at their best when forced to utilize their dramatic flair and pretend, to Nora’s great frustration, to be a married couple. I especially loved “The Honey Trap,” putting Xenia and Nora together on a case to solve a case of corporate espionage, and the season finale, where Maxime (Jean-Luc Bideau) must dust off his charms to infiltrate a cell of possibly thieving old women. Ultimately, the last episode of the season has a breezy spirit, making the whole thing super binge-able and very enjoyable. Shout out, also, to the really catchy theme song that has been in my head for weeks.

Detectives Season 2 premieres September 4th on MHz Choice.

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About the author:
Allison Lowe Huff is a freelance writer and editor with an overly concentrated interest in mystery stories from anywhere and everywhere. Follow her on Twitter @lowehuff.