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Characters / A Very Secret Service

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    André Merlaux 

André Merlaux

Played By: Hugo Becker

An idealistic, naïve trainee in the French Secret Service.

  • Country Mouse: Technically not, since he's a Parisian just like his colleagues, but the more senior agents spend most of the first series treating him as a rube by mocking his cheap, unfashionable suit.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Effortlessly takes out two FLN men before Jacquard, ostensibly his trainer, even knows what's happening.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: He might be naive and moral, but he's more competent than his senior trainers.
  • Happily Adopted: He was taken in by one of his father's friends after his father was killed in the war, and loves the man dearly.
  • Identical Grandson: Is the spitting image of his father.
  • Your Cheating Heart: He cheats on Sophie with Clayborn, rationalizing it as part of his mission. To his credit, despite ostensibly being straight, he then has sex with a man, in the name of the same mission. The whole thing is a gambit by the Colonel to get him to break it off with Sophie.

    Jacky Jacquard 

Jacky Jacquard

Played By: Karim Barras

In charge of Algerian intelligence.

  • Going Native: Zig-zagged. Jacquard truly loves Algeria and feels at home there, but, rather than honoring the Algerians' desire for independence, he wants it to remain a French possession. He even passes information to the OAS when President de Gaulle allows Algeria self-determination.
  • Grammar Nazi: He has no patience for anyone, particularly Americans, butchering the French language.
  • Mighty Whitey: Not really, since the entire show is satire, but he's treated this way by Moktar and others, who refer to him as "Sidi Jacky."

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     Roger Moulinier 

Roger Moulinier

Played By: Bruno Paviot

Head of the Africa desk.

  • The Casanova: He has fathered a number of children on the job, whom he does not support.
  • Dance of Romance: He shares one with Irène.
  • Disappeared Dad: Himself for his many children.
  • In Love with the Mark: He falls for Irène Mercaillon after being tasked with tracking her.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Briefly. When he falls in love with Irène Mercaillon, he shows up to work in a bright red suit; that ends, though, when Moïse tells him, "Put on a proper suit. This isn't the circus."

    Jean-René Calot 

Jean-René Calot

Responsible for Eastern bloc intelligence.

  • Cassandra Truth: He correctly guesses what Merlaux is up to in season 2; when he explains his theory, though, everyone just laughs, assuming it's just one more of Calot's eccentricities.
  • Catch Phrase: Q.E.D.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: He's an odd fellow, and with odd ideas a lot of the time.
  • Crazy Awesome: The madness that makes Calot completely dysfunctional most of the time also makes him perfectly suited to life in Moscow.
  • Driven to Madness: The show implies (especially in season 2) that Calot is the way he is because of prolonged immersion in the Insane Troll Logic of the USSR. (This would also be an instance of Crazy Sane.)
  • Talking to Themself: He actually hallucinates a doppelgänger.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: Two, actually. First, he dreams about making love to Marie-Jo with his doppelgänger; later, he actually sleeps with the Creepy Twins he picks up in East Germany.

    Clayborn 

Clayborn

The only female agent in the Service. Given the sexism in her workplace, it's not too surprising that she runs off with a Cuban revolutionary.

  • The Ace: Clearly the most competent agent, although most of her feats are off-screen.
  • Action Girl: She's just as tough as she is sexy. When Jacquard, Moulinier and Calot send a thug after her to prevent her from getting the promotion they want, the next day she shows up without visible injuries and throws said thug's Glass Eye into Jacquard's glass of whiskey.
  • Ambiguous Situation: She defected to Cuba, or maybe it was A Match Made in Stockholm.
  • Honey Trap: Her expense report in the first episode has her spending over a million francs on lingerie, and she's later seen seducing an African diplomat. On Mercaillon's orders, she seduces Merlaux.
  • Last-Name Basis: She's always addressed by her surname. Her first name is never revealed.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She has a couple of scenes of her in lingerie.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Her lover may or may not be Che Guevara.
  • Passed-Over Promotion: Moïse wants to take Clayborn on as his protégée, but the Colonel finds the idea of promoting a woman laughable (he literally laughs), and instead promotes the clearly unqualified Lechiot, who dies very shortly after receiving the promotion.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only female agent in the Service.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Clayborn is by far the most competent agent in the shop, but the menfolk are too busy staring at her chest to notice.

    George "Moïse" Préjean 

George "Moïse" Préjean

Chief of operations. Part badass secret agent, part harried middle manager.

  • Meaningful Name: He is both the day-to-day leader of the team and the intermediary between the lower-ranking agents and the Colonel.
  • Papa Wolf: When two obnoxious CIA agents disparage Jacquard, Moulinier, and Calot, Moïse will have none of it: "Nonsense. They are exceptional. I hope you have agents of that caliber in your own service."

    Marie-Jo Cottin 

Marie-Jo Cottin

Played By: Marie Julie Baup

A secretary or general office girl; later promoted to agent by Moïse.

  • Given Name Reveal: Downplayed in that her first name is known pretty much since her introduction, but her surname is unveiled at a particularly significant moment: her promotion to agent.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: After she stages Merlaux's death, she walks into the office with a newfound confidence and a new outfit befitting an independent woman instead of a meek secretary.
  • Spy Catsuit: wears quite a few after being promoted agent.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Even Moïse, the most enlightened man in the Service, takes a long time to realize how skilled and talented Marie-Jo is.

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    Lechiot/Gomez/Schmid 

Lechiot/Gomez/Schmid

Played By: Antoine Gouy

Like the drummers of Spinal Tap, the accountants of the Service tend to meet bad ends. Fortunately, there's always another one waiting in the wings.

  • Pet the Dog: Schmid is visibly touched when Moïse pronounces his name correctly.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Gomez seems to know something bad is coming, and asks Moïse for the day off just before Moïse is arrested by Mercaillon. Good self-preservation instincts; too bad he drowns while on vacation.
  • True Neutral: Even Schmid, the most obstructionist of the accountants, never acts out of spite or malice, and he's even helpful once or twice. He simply serves a higher power: proper procedure and paperwork.

    Colonel Maurice Mercaillon 

Colonel Maurice Mercaillon

Played By: Wilfred Benaiche

Head of the French Secret Service.

  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When he blackmails Moïse, Moïse blackmails him right back.
  • Les Collaborateurs: He was the one who ratted out Merlaux's father and most of his Resistance connections to the Nazis, getting him killed.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He refuses to pronounce Moktar's name correctly; he mocks Moktar's halal diet; and he hurls at least half a dozen homophobic epithets at Moïse.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: When it was expedient, he collaborated with the Nazis, but now he seems to be genuinely devoted to General de Gaulle.
  • Sanity Slippage: After the dissolution of his family, he starts behaving erratically.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Both at home and at work, the Colonel strongly resists the societal changes that are brewing in the early 1960s.

    Sophie 

Sophie Mercaillon

Played By: Mathilde Varnier
A cute tailor that becomes André's girlfriend.

    Irène Mercaillon 

Irène Mercaillon

Played By: Stephanie Fatout

The traditional and devoted wife of Maurice Mercaillon that eventually leaves him.

  • Housewife: She is at first your typical 50's-60's bored bourgeois housewife.
  • Innocent Bigot: Despite becoming more liberal after leaving her husband, she is still horrified when Sophie tells her that she fell in love with an Arab. Baby steps.
  • Really Gets Around: After hooking up with Moulinier, she states that she does not want to settle with a husband and has a significant number of lovers.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: After leaving her husband, she wears more modern and colorful dresses, reflecting her new-found independence.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Her blonde-haired, Wagner-loving son is the offspring of a German soldier.

    Anna and Maria 

Anna and Maria

Played by: Laetitia Chambon (Anna) and Helena Chambon (Maria)

A pair of twin sisters from East Germany, whom Calot talks about as if they were a single person (Anna-Maria) for some reason.

  • Only One Name: Their surname is never revealed.
  • Single-Minded Twins: They usually stay very close to each other at the hotel they run, and have a common attraction towards Calot. A few times, they even say sentences in unison.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: They make it a reality for Calot.
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