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’ is on MHz Choice. Read Allison Lowe Huff’s Season 2 preview below and then Watch Season 1 to get reacquainted with this lovable cast of characters!

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As you wait in great anticipation for the premiere of Detectives Season 2, perhaps you are asking yourself, as I did: “Will Philippe and Nora finally satisfy what is obviously a burning attraction between them?” Well, I’m not going to tell you! Your other burning questions, however, I’m here to benevolently address. Such as:

Are all our faves back on the scene?
Oui, oui, and how wonderful it is to see them again. Aside from Marc and Isabelle’s new baby, no new additions have been made to the team, which is fine, because young sir is quite enough. Still, don’t expect the course to run completely smoothly for the Roche gang. Xenia, as skilled as she is, must face the harsh realities of the job she has chosen. Meanwhile, Philippe and Nora have some stuff to work out. There are exits, absences and reunions. Still, between some mild angst here and there, we’re continually reminded that Detectives is a show about a family that truly loves and supports each other. In fact, it’s one of the most enjoyable examples of that type I can think of it in recent memory.

Is the mystery of Philippe’s wife finally solved?
I don’t think I’m dropping any kind of bombshell to say that it is. We knew that Anna left her family to work with refugees in Africa, and that for some reason the French equivalent of the CIA had Nora infiltrate the Roche family business to gain intel on her whereabouts. Season 2 provides some clarity on that whole situation and, because it’s French, it’s complicated for everyone, Xenia and Hugo in particular. I came into the season squarely anti-Anna – what kind of woman would willingly leave her amazing kids?! — and I’ll leave it to you to ponder whether she deserves my reconsideration. Philippe, too, must grapple with the reopened wound of his wife’s abandonment and the dawning realization that perhaps Nora has been less than forthcoming about her original intent for their partnership. Still, the season never gets too heavy and manages to keep things moving with new cases every episode.

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

Is Santo any better at detective work?
Our favorite fidgety assistant is working hard on preparing for his license exam, but his surveillance skills as a tail are still hilariously lacking. It’s good, then, that he has at his disposal a master of detection with a lot of time on his hands: Maxime. The senior Roche is the perfect crabby instructor to push him to the next level and they make quite a pair, careening through the streets of Paris in Maxime’s classic car. In fact, because Anna’s return and the swirl of questions around it is occupying a good bit of Philippe and Nora’s time, there’s ample opportunity for the wonderful B-team to move to the front and work together in various combinations. Xenia, her hair as glorious as ever, is further proving herself to be the natural heir to the family business. Does Santo’s flame still burn for her? Wouldn’t yours?

Any notable guest appearances?
Like Britain, France seems to have about a dozen great television actors they love to trot out for everything, and for that I say Merci! If you’ve watched other (fantastic) French programs on MHz Choice, you’ll be shouting and pointing in recognition in just about every episode. Have you missed Laure’s chief from the first few seasons of Spiral? How about A French Village’s Monsieur Crémieux? Always nice to catch up with old friends.

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Nicolas Briançon (Francis) in Detectives

But what about the cases?
Oh, you’re only here for the intrigue? How about fine art theft? And indentured servitude? Those are good, but what about using blackmail to force an inspiring hip-hop choreographer to deal amphetamines at a male strip club? Not enough? Marc is hired to catch a ghost. Yes. And Philippe expands the playing field of his considerable charm to investigate the sabotage of scientific work that would lead to the production of flour made of bug skeletons. I mean, maybe we should thank him for that last one, but I’m saying: there’s an ample supply of amusing and interesting trouble into which our agents can wholeheartedly insert themselves, guaranteeing a delightful second season of a great series.

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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.