TV Series Review: 'Salamander'

By: 
John Thomas

Out of 800 safety deposit boxes in an exclusive, private bank in Brussels, 66 are robbed and no one notifies the police. Neither the bank director, his assistance or the 66 box renters whisper a word about the robbery to anyone–especially not to the authorities. When learning of the theft, some of the victims go so far as to demand no investigation take place and bury or discredit any notifications coming to the police department. Something is very wrong.

Joachim Klaus (Koen De Bouw) is the organizer of the theft. He carefully selected his team and planned everything to the last detail, mainly to have the 66 boxes identified. His accomplices are to collect only jewelry, diamonds and documents, only personal effects–no stocks or bonds.

The sale of the stolen diamonds nets a mere 600,000 euros, just enough for Joachim to pay his accomplices. He has plans to collect even more from the robbery at a later date. Handing his men their international airline tickets and money, he says goodbye to them and hastens home to continue his plan.

Paul Gerardi (Filip Peeters) is a highly respected investigator with the Brussels National Police Department. While thrashing around in bed with his wife Sofie (Violet Braeckman), for a pre-breakfast “quickie,” his mobile phone rings. Reluctantly he answers. One of his snitches has just heard of a bank robbery over the week end, something not yet reported to the police. Dreading to leave his wife, his curiosity prevails and he gets dressed. Police work comes first.

He meets with his snitch, who soon after their meeting, is murdered. The snitch and his partner had installed the bank’s security system. Shortly after the snitch’s death his partner is found dead. Under the pretext of renting a safety box, Paul speaks with the assistant manager, who inadvertently confirms the break in. Realizing who Paul is and what he has told him, the assistant manager takes his own life.

A high ranking minister of the Belgian government goes missing and another official takes his own life. These recent events have reached the media, yet little action is taken by the authorities. Paul continues his own investigation until his superiors suddenly deem him non-active, relieve him of his badge and weapon, he becomes a nonperson, After attempts on his life and becoming concerned for the safety of his family, Paul hides out in a monastery.

Surreptitiously Paul meets with a senator’s wife who is willing to answer Paul’s questions and even provide him with documentary evidence of what is taking place. As Paul’s investigation continues, so do the deaths of high ranking officials of the Belgian government and quite soon even members of the royal family. Even after his wife is killed by a car bomb placed in his car for him, Paul can’t stop his investigation, he has to continue.

Directed by Frank van Mechelen (Credits: W – The Killer of Flanders Fields, Groenten uit Balen) this is a “should see” for those who enjoy a complex, nuanced story, miss travel to distant lands and hearing foreign languages.

johan@beachcomber.news

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