When I reviewed season one of The Bureau I enjoyed the shows more realistic feel when it came to the French intelligence services. Now with the release of The Bureau: Complete Season Two the story continues, with Guillaume Debailly (Mathieu Kassovitz) once again trying to pull the wool over his colleague’s eyes.
Still connected with the CIA, Debailly is now working with them as a double agent. Fulfilling their requests he does so at risk to himself, and to his colleagues as his web of lies grows ever bigger. Will he be caught out, or will he manage to play both sides against each other?
While in the first season of The Bureau the character of Guillaume Debailly may have been a likable hero that we want to see succeed, in this season is becomes harder to accept the decisions he makes. While it is understandable that he is acting with his heart in the actions he takes, the fact he is putting his colleagues at risk and doing so willingly is his fatal flaw.
One of the people he puts in danger is Marina Loiseau (Sara Giraudeau) now working in Iran undercover. While she works well finding the targets required of her, Debailly pushes for the more dangerous options, all at the behest of the CIA. This puts her into situations where her life is at risk, and arguably this is where Debailly has gone too far.
It is telling of course that The Bureau: Complete Season Two is set up as Debailly’s confession and seeming acceptance that he will be found out. While many of his actions do work out for the better, even he knows when enough is enough. He is redeemed at the end of the season leading to the cliff-hanger, and this does show that he is a good person, but it is arguably all too late to save him from the judgement that he faces.
Just like with season one of The Bureau, what makes the show so gripping is the realism that is presented to the audience. There are no James Bond like fight scenes, or situations that feel like an escape from reality. We see the harsh reality of what happens to people who put themselves in dangerous situations. We also see the clinical and heartless nature of the world The Bureau inhabits. The agents are not meant to be ruled by their hearts, but for the good of their country.
In a world where so many countries feel on the edge of war, a series like The Bureau shows an interesting side of situations like this. The fact intelligence agencies fight against each other to connect with possible leaks, and even use double agents is quite fascinating. Put in a real-world context they become even more so.
The Bureau: Complete Season Two is the continuation of a gripping show, and it is easy to say that it gets better and better. It will be interesting to see where the story goes from here, and how it relates to real world situations. With a story that feels very topical at the moment, The Bureau: Complete Season Two is a good example of a show at the top of its game.
The Bureau: Complete Season Two is available on DVD in the UK now.