‘New Profilage’ (The Paris Murders)

By: 
John Thomas

One would expect the French police to be fashionably dressed, especially those working in Paris. Chloe Saint-Laurent (Odile Vuillemin), profiler for the Paris police, is an exemplary example.

Her brushfire red hair is a perfect compliment to her pale blue-green eyes. She wears flimsy dresses that end far above her knees, high-heeled shoes and patterned hose. Hanging from her arm is a bright yellow handbag the size of a small suitcase.

Commissaire Lemark (Jean-Michael Martial), is her police partner. His salt and pepper hair is buzz cut. He wears long sleeved muscle-tees, tight jeans and a big stylish watch. When he carries a gun, he dons a jacket.

His favorite pastime is boxing. Her favorite pastime, besides teaching psychology at the Paris University, is to answer questions on a late night radio hotline. One evening she receives a call from a Caroline who claims to be the victim of spousal abuse. She can’t divulge any further information as her husband suddenly enters the room and she begins to scream.

Chloe and Lemark begin their investigation the next day. Where is Caroline, is she actually abused and is she still alive? Lemark wonders where Caroline is while Chloe questions if she really is a victim of abuse or is there something else taking place? Their combined diverse approaches bring a successful conclusion to the case.

Busy stowing her yellow purse behind her desk one morning, Chloe fails to notice that the entire staff is being held at gunpoint by a hysterical woman. Tearfully, the woman wants a promise from the detectives that they will solve the murder of her son before the 14-year statute of limitations for resolution expires.

Chloe and Lemark promise to do their best, but with the three-day time restraint they have little hope of success. The place to begin their investigation is the crime scene – the boy’s prestigious private school.

Questioning the staff and students provides little information – they all stick together in denial. Next step is to interrogate the students in attendance at the time of the murder. The former students, now young adults, also deny any knowledge of the event. Chloe’s eyes begin to flash as she reads the body language and facial expressions of these young men.

The investigation narrows to a main suspect, the president of the initiation committee. He glances at his watch knowing that the statue of limitations will end in mere minutes.

After the time has expired, Chloe begins to ask more relevant questions, telling him in her gentle whispery voice what she feels had happened at the school. The young man crumbles in tears at hearing what Chloe says. Looking at his watch again he sees the time limit has passed; he pulls himself upright and proudly confesses to all of Chloe’s accusations.

What he failed to have noticed is that all the clocks in the office and his wrist watch had been set back an hour - the time hadn’t run out.

In this “should see” ten-part PBS Walter TV presentation, the viewer is introduced to a new crime each episode. Chloe’s soft, gentle voice and expressive eyes have profound impact on the developing investigations. Lemark adds his firm, police-investigative approach. The two are truly a remarkable team.

There is one question that remains unanswered at the end of the series. What does Chloe carry in her gigantic yellow purse?

johan@beachomber.news

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Comments

Hey John, I believe you've got these characters mixed up. Commissaire Lamarck, played by Jean-Michel Martial, is the man in charge at the police headquarters and more like a father figure to Chloé. Chloé's "police partner" that you are referring to is actually Commandant Rocher (Phillipe Bas)...he is the one with the "salt and pepper" buzz cut, muscle shirt, etc. On another note, while the series is well written, produced and shot, it gets darker and darker with each episode. As far as what is in Chloé's gigantic yellow purse? Probably the script for the next episode.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the series but as a newcomer, why kill Fred? The chemistry between Fred and Hyppolite was lovely. Hyppolite did not have that "magic" with either Emma or Jess. Just curious. Thank you.

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