We discuss for you… Safe (TF1), Michael C. Hall in a thriller by Harlan Coben
Signed Harlan Coben, secure arrives on TF1 after its airing on C8. True to his style, the novelist plunges his hero – a father searching for his daughter – into a whirlpool of secrets and lies.
It is something, secure ? In a luxurious residence near London, locked and ultra-secure, lives Tom Delaney (Michael C. Hall). This surgeon is raising his two daughters alone after the death of his wife; The eldest, Jenny, does not forgive him for not being there when he died. One evening the young girl goes to a party; she is not coming back. Tom then goes in search of him with the help of his best friend Pete (Marc Warren), while the police investigation is led by Sophie Mason (Amanda Abbington) – who is also his lover… Tom starts a race against the clock gets right in reveals the darkest secrets of his neighborhood, where everyone has something to hide.
We know Harlan Coben as a writer of thrillers: with the adventures of Myron Bolitar and novels like Don’t tell anyone (adapted for the cinema by Guillaume Canet) the author has a number of bestsellers. After a first foray into the world of series as a screenwriter and creator of The Fivehe insists and signs it secure, a series in 8 episodes. Secrets, mysteries, twists and more secrets, mysteries and twists: secureit’s pure Harlan Coben.
Besides the novelist’s name, there’s no denying that the series is generating interest thanks to the presence of Michael C. Hall. We are used to seeing a scalpel in his hand – when he cuts his victims in the roll dexter. heroes of secure, he embodies here Tom Delaney, a typical character from the universe of Coben: a Lambda family man, widower, socially affluent, who reluctantly pulls himself into a spiral and is confronted with the darkest secrets of his entourage and the shadows of his own past to save one of his loved ones. It’s a pleasure to find the actor again despite a somewhat monotonous game; In his defense, he’s also limited by role (we’ll discuss that later).
In secure, the trigger of the story, the event that sets the powder on fire is Jenny’s disappearance. With the exception of a few flashbacks that focus on Tom and the tragedy of his wife’s death, each episode is devoted to his investigations into the days following his daughter’s disappearance. Various secondary storylines flow from there, affecting all of the other characters, until it all (more or less) converges in the finale.
In their a priori hermetic and safe neighborhood, surrounded by gates and barriers, the characters are isolated physically but also psychologically: they hide behind the walls of the residence, offering a smooth and conventional face to hide their infamys and their secrets. As always with Harlan Coben, nobody can be trusted, everyone is suspicious and has something to hide. The story advances each time a character’s attempts to preserve an untold past collide with Tom’s need to uncover it. The viewer unravels the thread of all these mysteries at the same time as the hero, but after a somewhat repetitive process (Tom questions a character who hides information from him; Tom insists and pushes his interlocutor to the limit; the latter finally confesses the truth.)
Aside from an oddly comical plot filled with black humor about the eccentric Marshall family, the tone is undoubtedly serious and dramatic. Each episode ends with an unexpected revelation, a massive cliffhanger. With a sober staging and rhythmic execution, the series is hectic, full of twists and turns and quickly turns out to be addictive. One then multiple disappearances, a murder investigation, a past tragedy resurfaces, a sulphurous bar owner, hidden affairs and children, a teacher (played by Audrey Fleurot) accused of embezzling minors, teenagers who know more than you want to say… There are many phrases that often leave you speechless.
That’s the great quality of secure, but also its limit: fans of Harlan Coben will be delighted and will find in the series everything that enchants them in his novels; for others, this frantic sequence sometimes borders on the improbable. Also, the inextricable plot, proliferation of false clues and revelations harm the construction of the characters. Carrying them into action with no downtime and a whirlwind of secrets, secure reserves a space too small to give them any real depth (which doesn’t prevent actors as talented as Mark Warren or Audrey Fleurot from shining). And yet, even if we don’t entirely agree, secure gets addicted quickly. You have to admit: As a thriller, the series fulfills its purpose. And that’s not bad.
Finally, secure is nothing extraordinary or grandiose: quite superficial and a bit repetitive, it’s a series that can be watched – and forgotten – just as quickly… It’s nonetheless effective and engaging: when you’re in front of the screen, such an energetic and sinuous thriller manages to grab the attention, so one is tempted to chain the episodes together to discover the key to this whole story. But, shh: don’t tell anyone…
secure (C8 / Netflix)
8 episodes of approx. 45′.
Available on DVD and Blu-Ray