The Break (original French: La Trêve, or “The Truce”) is a Belgian crime series in French, available to stream with English subtitles on Netflix. In the fairly longstanding tradition of the noir school of TV programming, The Break tells us the dark and bleak story of a police detective who has faced a personal loss and has moved back to his hometown to grieve and rest, only to discover its dark underbelly, and to get pulled back into crime-solving when a body is discovered in the river, hinting at dark secrets in the seemingly peaceful small community. There has been two seasons of the series, so far, of 10 episodes each. The first season of the show came out in 2016 on Netflix, whereas second season premiered in 2018.
Netflix has managed to successfully revive the dark crime noir drama genre, shifting it from its niche viewership and bringing it onto the radar of a far more mainstream audience. The Break is a series of dark crime appealing to the fans of murder mystery and is perfectly tempered by the angst and darkness of the primary character and the circumstances he finds himself in. The show works well because of its unconventional storyline that periodically derails from the familiar undercurrent.
The Break Cast: Who’s in it?
The Break casts Yoann Blanc as Yoann Peeters, the lead character, amply supported by Jasmina Douieb, Lara Hubinont, Tom Audenaert, Guillaume Kerbusch, Jean-Henri Compère.
The Break Plot: What is it about?
This bleak Belgian French-language series follows Brussels police detective and his teen daughter as they return to Heidfeld, the tiny village where he spent his youth. Before he has even clocked into his new job on his first day as a local cop, the body of a nineteen-year-old is pulled out of the river. Every peaceful, sleepy hamlet has an undercurrent of the darkness of the human soul. And Yoann’s investigation, opposed by local cops now, and interfered by higher-ups then, leads to many shocking and perverse discoveries.
The investigating cop, the primary character, looks like an average Joe, and nothing like the movie stars as the usual leads in such shows look. The Break opens with Yoann himself under investigation – for what we don’t know – being questioned by a criminal psychologist. The entirety of the event unravels after the murder is discovered. What Yoann does to solve the case, and any backstory that goes with the crime, happens entirely in flashback, finally rejoining the timeline when the narrative catches up to Yoann being arrested. While the audience reaches for possibilities and attempts to pin Yoann’s involvement in the crime, Matthieu Donck, its creator destroys each of those guesses and keeps you on your toes.
All the expected dark noir genre elements are present– and generously so – in The Break. There is a disturbed detective, a small but eye-pleasing town, and a heinous crime that indicates darker undercurrents than what meets the eye. The cop from the big city who is assigned to solve the case is more than a little unbalanced himself, and clearly not completely reliable where it concerns his perspective. False leads aplenty are laid across the storyline to divert attention, making your guess about the real culprit more and more confused and murky.