Spiral recap: season eight, episodes seven and eight – family comes first

James Donaghy
·5 min read

Spoiler alert: this recap is for people watching Spiral on the BBC. Do not read on unless you have watched season eight, episodes seven and eight.

The laundromat murder

The unacceptable yet somehow adorable face of violent phone theft is back. Souleymane resurfacing means CID have their star witness back and – now that they know Gilou is working Cisco’s gang undercover – everything is a lot less confusing. With the thinking being that Titi killed Amin, they resolve to follow him until he commits a crime, so they can grab his DNA. The simpleton swiftly obliges by picking a fight at a pool hall – but, as ever, there is a catch. Gilou gets caught up in the fracas and is arrested. The gang are happy to falsify statements – even Beckriche agrees to keep him out of the line of fire – but it is all for naught once Lucie catches a whiff of the subterfuge. She is furious with Beckriche for misleading her and immediately issues a bench warrant for Gilou. This will take some explaining – and she doesn’t sound as if she is in a listening mood.

Also having a ’mare is Ali, whose strategy of palling up with Bilal backfires when the Barbès phone shop king threatens his family. It sends Ali into a boozy tailspin that culminates in him ploughing into a parked car with his police vehicle. He calls Laure, who goes straight into fixer mode. She takes the hit for him and the crew rallies round him, just as they did for Gilou. With everything that is coming up, it is exactly the kind of solidarity they need.


More than anything, Laure needs to be needed. After her recent troubles with Ali and Gilou, there is a powerful demonstration of exactly how vital she is. When she gets a sit-down and heart-to-heart with Gilou, there is tenderness, understanding and a chance to really help him out. Having looked out for him on the night of the robbery and at the pool hall bust-up, it feels good to have his back once again. Then when Ali goes off the rails and into a stationary vehicle, it is Laure to whom he turns. She waltzes on to the crime scene, straightens things out with the Old Bill, packages her boy up and gets him safely back to base. CID has really been through it this year, but finally it feels as if Mum is back.


Sometimes, even the great have to delegate. Joséphine’s decision to put Edelman on Lola’s case gets a thunderous vindication when he forces Bastien to confess on the stand. It is a show-stopping performance by Edelman – Joséphine couldn’t have done better herself. It feels like a bittersweet victory, though, when Lola makes it clear that she will be moving on from Joséphine. “Why do we always want what we can’t have?” Joséphine asks Edelman. He looks at her, all “tell me about it”.

A distraction is needed. Maybe a mercy dash to Catalonia to smuggle Souleymane’s brother, Youssef, into the country could be the tonic? Yes, it is a 1,300-mile round trip with every chance of ending her career and dumping her back in jail, but, if it stops Souleymane battering another civilian, Barbès residents will breathe a sigh of relief. She expertly negotiates Dickensian waifs, sleazy truckers and nosy customs officers to successfully extract her quarry. She gets written up for contraband, but it is only some moody cigarettes bought as a distraction. Her human cargo survives the inspection intact.

Souleymane is a big fan of staying with Joséphine. She lets you spend time off school, smuggles tobacco, engages in a little light people trafficking – she is the coolest aunt ever.


Gilou once again proves himself an indispensable cog in Cisco’s crime machine. He impersonates a police officer (something at which he has had plenty of practice) to get the room next door to the Alsatian in his hotel, securing priceless intel for the rip-and-run operation they are planning. He also finds and grooms the gun collector they later burgle. With 15kg of coke on the table for the drug deal, Brémont is delighted at the prospect of a big collar for the crime squad. But just as Gilou is looking like a shoo-in for employee of the month, that walking dumpster fire Titi gets them both arrested. Back in a prison cell facing cancellation of his probation, Gilou once again contemplates his life choices, his face a study in hangdog resignation.

Notes and observations

  • There has been tension between Tom and Ali recently, but when he sees him hungover and ashamed, Tom lets his bro know he is there for him, along with the rest of the team. Yes, they bicker, but family comes first.

  • Speaking of which, Bilal seems to be the son of the foster family Titi grew up with. This would explain their closeness and also why Cisco wasn’t around to pass on any of his criminal expertise.

  • There is nothing solid on Darmon’s murder, but it sounds like the 11.43-calibre gun Ahmed mentioned could be linked to the killing. If Gilou pulls off the twofer of the drug theft and the murder, I am calling it – he is getting his badge back.

  • Emma smooches with Gilou to convince Ahmed they are an item. It is unnecessary, but not unwelcome. Maybe she is his happy ending?

Can Gilou pull off the sting? Should Joséphine just go ahead and adopt Souleymane? What are your predictions for the series finale? Have your say below.