Monday, 27 March 2017


[Spoiler-Free] Amateur skydiver Alexandrine dies because of the sabotage of her parachute. Capitaine Marleau pitches her tent on an airfield to investigate amongst the members of the skydiving association Les Grandes Ailes.

Her main suspects are Carlos Dos Santos, instructor (and secret lover) of the young woman, Carlos's wife Clémence and Clara De Combelle... who's none other than Clémence's twin sister.

« Ecoutez j'suis pas Noam Chomsky d'accord mais des fois j'ai des éclairs d'intelligence. »

Starring the extraordinary Corinne Masiero in the title role, French crime drama Capitaine Marleau returned last tuesday on pubcaster France 3 with En trompe l'oeil. The brilliantly chabrolesque fifth episode, guest starring Pierre Arditi (Blood of the Vine) and Aure Atika (The Night Manager), caught 6.196.000 viewers (26.1%!) Tomorrow the channel will air the equally brilliant La Nuit de la Lune Rousse and on April 4 it will show À ciel ouvert, the third (and final) episode of this new batch. Swiss television aired those episodes ahead of French TV. À ciel ouvert is helmed by Capitaine Marleau director/producer Josée Dayan and written by Sonia Moyersoen (1).

Although the episode takes off slowly (no pun intended) and cannot reach the brilliance of its predecessors, it's enjoyable and pleasantly evokes Columbo, an acknowledged influence on the creative forces behind Marleau (« On joue à Columbo-les-Deux-Églises. ») The twin sisters Clémence and Clara, both played by Géraldine Pailhas, remind of the twins of Double Shock and Capitaine Marleau's plane scene with Carlos Dos Santos is like an hilarious version of Columbo's flight with Leslie Williams in Ransom for a Dead Man.

« On ne peut pas avoir le meurtre et l'argent du meurtre, hein madame? »

Marleau does a bit of social commentary, quotes singers Alain Bashung or François Valéry  and can't remember the name of the dog Barbare: she calls him Babar, Colargol and Scoubidou. There's a nice nod to French singer and actress Dani, one of the guest stars of this episode. The good surprise of À ciel ouvert is Julie Depardieu, who plays the improbable Brigadier Jeannette Poupeaux, Marleau's sidekick on the case. Her father Gérard Depardieu was the special guest star of Capitaine Marleau: Philippe Muir (2015), the series pilot.

Belgian actor and French television legend Jean-Claude Drouot returns as the Falstaffian pathologist Leopold Salaun. Also with Charles Berling (Carlos), Jacques Spiesser (France 3's Commissaire Magellan) as Thibault Le Preux and Mark Grosy (Ismael Diallo). Produced by Josée Dayan and Gaspard de Chavagnac for Passionfilms and Bel Ombre Films, with the participation of RTS and France Télévisions. Music by Catherine Lara. Filmed between November and December 2016, mostly in Région Île-de-France. Created by Elsa Marpeau.

(1) Who is also the directrice de collection of Capitaine Marleau. (Interview with Sonia Moyersoen)

See also: (La Nuit de la Lune Rousse)
(En trompe l'oeil

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