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Series / The Break

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La Trêve (French: The Truce), also known as The Break on international markets, is a Franco-Belgian crime drama television series, produced by Anthony Rey and directed by Matthieu Donck. It debuted on RTBF's La Une on 21 February 2016, on France 2 on 29 August 2016, and on Netflix in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada on 21 December 2016.

The Series focuses on Police detective Yoann Peeters (Yoann Blanc), after he moves from Brussels to Heiderfeld with his daughter, Camille, following the death of his wife. Soon after he arrives, the body of a young African football player is pulled from the river, and while everyone thinks its suicide, Peeters suspects there's more to it.

In season 2, which premiered on February 9, 2019, Peeters, now retired from police work and teaching at the University of Liege, is summoned back to Heiderfeld three years after the events of the first season by Dr. Jasmina Orban (his psychiatrist from the first season) to help another client of hers, who was recently released from prison and is now being accused of murdering a wealthy baroness.

La Trêve / The Break provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Murder: Driss accidentally kills a farmer he was meant to scare when he set up a barn on fire.
  • Accidental Truth: Gobert is trying to trap Dany Bastin in a Frame-Up for the murder of Astrid du Teilleur, ostensibly to prevent him from spilling the beans about being framed in 2009 for the murder of Clemence Lorent. However, he actually is guilty of killing Astrid.
  • All Germans Are Nazis: Lucien, the concierge, is german and has nazi memorabilia in his apartment.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Jeoffrey, a stable boy, appears to be in the autistic spectrum.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The series's first season ends with Peeters hugging and crying Camille and telling her it's gonna be ok, while Ines is in the background. You hear sirens but you never get to see if they're for her or not, or if Peeters decided to keep her secret.
  • Asshole Victim: Boris in season 2. He's a tyrannical bully who cows the hippies under his thumb with liberal use of violence, with no small amount of blackmail and extortion thrown in. When Claudine shoots him with an harpoon gun, few tears are shed by anyone.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Timothee convinces Camille to pass some of the files on Driss' murder to him or he'll release the topless photo he took of her.
  • Beardness Protection Program: Zoe's boyfriend Pierrot shaves his beard and cuts his hair to disguise himself when he makes a run for it.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: As Peeters becomes more unhinged, due to drug use and lack of sleep, he starts going off on his fellow policemen, specially Marjo and Drummers.
  • Blue Blood: Astrid du Teilleur, the victim in season 2, is a baroness. Although no special legal privileges are attached to nobility titles in Belgium anymore, she nevertheless commanded a lot of informal respect from the locals and owned an enormous tract of land in the Ardennes forest.
  • Bondage Is Bad: The Malausas run a BDSM dungeon in their farm, with the sister being the dominatrix.
  • Cartwright Curse: Peeters doesn't have much luck with love in either season. In Season 1, Ines turns out to have killed both Driss and Drummer. In Season 2, Dany Bastin stabs Jasmina Orban to death just before Peeters arrives.
  • Community-Threatening Construction:
    • In Season 1, a dam project is touted as bringing tons of benefits to the town, but several people would have to sell their land for it to happen. One conveniently dies, and others have had their cattle die in mysterious circumstances.
    • In Season 2, the victim's refusal to sell her land to allow the construction of a highway is a major plot point. It turns out to be a Red Herring for the murder itself, but it does drive several desperate steps from many characters as the plot goes on.
  • Cowboy Cop: Peeters. His habit of charging head first into situations, without backup, tends to leave people dead... including his own wife, during a botched surveillance operation.
  • Dirty Cop: Quite a bit, for such a small town. Gobert, LeGrand, and Geeraerts framed Dany Bastin for the death of Clemence Lorent, who Geeraerts had accidentally shot while drunk on a hunting trip. Later, Karim Bliquet fabricates a piece of evidence (a pen the victim had used to defend herself), purchasing an identical pen.
  • Downer Ending: Season 2 ends with Peeters shooting Bastin in a fit of grief-induced rage over Jasmina.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • The Chief leans hard on Jeff and convinces him to confess to Driss' murder — shortly after, Jeff hangs himself in his cell — though he actually survives.
    • The Chief himself in Season 2 — racked with guilt over accidentally shooting Clemence Lorent and unjustly sending Dany Bastin to prison, he gets ready to shoot himself in his car, but backs down.
  • Fall Guy: Dany Bastin was framed by the police for murdering his girlfriend, Clemence Lorent, in 2009. This is partly the reason why Jasmina Orban thinks he's innocent of the murder he's accused of in 2018. He isn't.
  • For Want of a Nail: At least that's what Ines believes is what led to all of this, with the abortion of her and Peeters' baby when they were teenagers.
  • Functional Addict: Peeters, who is in a combination of antidepressants, sleeping aid pills and whatnot.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • Krojan, the Albanian. His fixing match scheme indirectly leads to Driss' death and is directly responsible for Ivo's death.
    • Pera, the guy behind the Dam project. He has cattle poisoned in order to scare farmers into selling their properties. It only really works after the accidental murder of one of the farmers.
  • Harassing Phone Call: Fischer, the Mayor, starts to get this.
  • High School Sweet Hearts: Ines and Peeters were this, but then he left and she stayed behind.
  • Hot for Teacher: Driss for Ines. Or so we are led to believe; it's actually the other way around.
  • How We Got Here: The series starts after the events of Heiderfeld, with Peeters relating what happened to a psychiatrist, as part of an inquiry.
  • Ignored Epiphany: When he finds Jasmina Orban dead at the hands of Dany Bastin, Peeters gets another vision from Drummer, who implores him not to shoot Bastin. Peeters does anyway.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: The killer wrote a suicide note and left it at Driss' apartment, but the killer forgot one thing, Driss was practically illiterate, which is what convinces Peeters he's on the right track that Driss' death is foul play.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Peeters catches Timothee and Camille having sex.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Jeff Lequais, which makes it easy for people to pin Driss' murder on him.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Driss. Everyone just wants to believe this is what happened, except for Peeters, and he's right.
  • May–December Romance: Myriam, Camille's girlfriend in Season 2, is 20 years older than her. It's only one of a long list of things Peeters finds distateful about the relationship.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Well, mistaken for homophobic in this case. Peeters doesn't approve of Myriam, Camille's girlfriend, for a lot of reasons, but contrary to what many seem to think, the fact that it's a same-sex relationship isn't one of them.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Timothee, who looks a lot like Sid Vicious when throwing parties.
  • Noodle Incident: Operation Berger. All we know initially is that Peeters was involved in it and that it ended with four cops dead. It is one of the reasons he moves away from Brussels. It is eventually revealed that Operation Berger was a surveillance mission on a drug cartel gone awry when their cover is blown; during the fracas, a child is held hostage and Peeters commands his unit to rescue him without backup, which results in four cops dead, but the child is rescued successfully.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Chief Rudy Geeraerts. He initially wants to rule Driss’s death as a suicide and it just goes downhill from there.
  • Perma-Stubble: Peeters.
  • Post Humous Character: Driss Assani. He pops up from episode to episode either as part of people’s dreams/hallucinations, flashbacks or in video logs.
  • Properly Paranoid: One of the farmers complains to Geeraerts that his cows are being poisoned. Geeraerts sends Peeters and Drummer just to calm him down, but further investigation proves the farmer is not entirely wrong.
  • Racist Grandma: Lucien. Despite calling colored people "darkies" and being a nazi, he actually liked Driss and even shared meals together.
  • Rasputinian Death: Driss, by accident. Poor guy gets shot, run over, beaten with a shovel, before finally meeting his demise at the hand of his actual killer.
  • The Reveal:
    • For Season 1:
      • Driss accidentally killed a farmer he was meant to scare, on behalf of the Dam Construction project.
      • Operation Berger, in which Peeters was commander of, ends with several cops death, including his own wife.
      • Ines is the one that killed Driss, after he spurned her.
    • For Season 2:
      • Dany Bastin did in fact kill Astrid. He was innocent of killing Clemence Lorent, however.
  • Red Herring: All over the place in relation to Driss' murder. Basically, every episode ends with a Red Herring Cliffhanger.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: The Albanians, which are involved in match-fixing with the local soccer club.
  • Sanity Slippage: Peeters starts to get more irrational as the case progress.
  • Scenery Porn: Given it's filmed in the Belgian Ardennes.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Sorta. Camille willingly takes the drug offered since its part of the initiation if you want to take part of Heiderfeld's special party scene - the effect is the same though.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Zoe Fischer has one. It's Drummer.
  • Wham Shot: In season 2, Marjo comes to talk with Dany Bastin about his alibi. When it's clear he was lying, the supposedly innocent Dany strangles and stabs her, showing he's not nearly as innocent as he claims and is probably involved in Astrid's death.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: A bunch of the secondary plot threads raised from all the Red Herrings and Greater Scope Villains either are completely dropped or resolved off-screen. The only one we get any sense of closure is Lucien saying he'll likely get prison for concealing/damaging a crime scene because of his prior conviction and his nazi tattoos.

Alternative Title(s): La Treve