Netflix’s 2023 action-thriller series, Blood Coast, isn’t just your average cop show about chasing criminals and putting them behind bars. Rather, it chronicles a group of meticulous and unorthodox cops who know that playing by the book won’t get you anywhere, and in order to catch a criminal, you’ve got to think like one. Lyès Benamar (Tewfik Jallab) and his team didn’t really have a clean image in the department, mainly due to his unconventional methods of busting criminals and drug dealers.
Lyès was the sort of cop who hardly flinched before torturing criminals to get the information he needed. Thanks to his methods, Lyès and his team had always attracted criticism from his superior, Commissaire Fabiani (Florence Thomassin), who had lost count of exactly how many times she’d told Lyès to play by the book and not spark unnecessary fuss. Thus, Fabiani had Lyès team up with Alice Vidal (Jeanne Goursaud), an Interpol officer with an impeccable record. Lyès’s methods had also put him on the radar of Miranda (Diouc Koma) from Internal Affairs, who desperately wanted to see Lyès getting kicked out of the force.
Why are the Indians and Murillo working together?
After one of their drug busts, one of the jobbers (drug peddlers) told Lyès that a new drug dealer who goes by the alias “The Indian” was trying to introduce his volatile drugs in Marseille. The rumor had it that those who consumed it lived no longer than 6 months, while some perished only after their first dose. This so-called drug dealer was using teenagers to peddle his drugs, given that they were easy to scare and influence. The Indian wasn’t alone and was aided by Franck Murillo (Nicolas Duvauchelle), a criminal with his own agenda. Together, they had joined hands to take out Ali Saïdi (Samir Boitard), the man who controlled the drug market in Marseille. Ali Saïdi was also allegedly responsible for Murillo’s son, Lucas’s death. Thus, Murillo wanted revenge, and the Indian wanted to gain control of Ali’s drug business.
Since Ali controlled his business from Dubai, the duo forced him into the city by murdering his beloved nephew, Kamel, who oversaw his dealings in Marseille. Alice Vidal had also specifically arrived in Marseille to catch Murillo, as he was behind the death of her father, who died when the latter tried to escape the police. Since then, Murillo has tried his best to remain under the radar and even staged his own death, but he couldn’t escape the watchful eyes of Alice. During one of their stakeout missions near an abandoned factory, Alice found out that Murillo was working with the Indian but decided not to tell Lyès. In reality, Murillo and Lyès had a history, and the latter was under the impression that Murillo had died in Venezuela.
What Does Ali Want From Lyès?
As soon as Murillo got word that Ali was in town, he started going after the rest of his family, who ran his business. After Kamel was taken care of, Murillo approached a brothel owner, who supplied Ali’s nephew with prostitutes to spend his nights with. Hesitant at first, the brothel owner had no choice but to agree when Murillo threatened him with his daughter’s life. Soon after, Foudil was killed, and Murillo had his men place his corpse outside his uncle’s house. Murillo wanted Ali to suffer as he did after his son’s death, and then he planned to take over the empire that he had built over the years. Foudil’s death was a message to Ali that no matter how strong or well-connected he was, he wasn’t safe. Ali also realized that if he didn’t find his attacker, he would soon end up like his nephews. Ali started his revenge by killing a couple of the jobbers who were peddling his enemies’ drugs while being loyal to him. However, no matter how hard Ali tried, he couldn’t learn anything about his mysterious attacker. Thus, he met with Lyès and pressured him to find out who killed his nephews. Lyès and Ali used to be friends and grew up together in the housing projects, but their friendship hit a speed bump when Ali started dealing drugs.
How did Lyès find that Murillo was alive?
During his beachside drug bust, Lyès arrested a man named Paretto, who was buying drugs while he was out on bail. At first, Paretto refused to say anything, fearing what would happen to him and his family if he talked. However, he had to break his silence when Lyès threatened to re-investigate his old murder case, in which he was surely guilty. A re-investigation of the case would slap Paretto with another 30 years of jail time without even the possibility of parole. Lyès got this information thanks to another one of his unconventional and illegal tactics of breaking into criminals’ homes and forcing them to reveal secrets while holding them at gunpoint. Paretto told Lyès that he could find his man at a bar near the Spanish border. It was at the bar that Lyès saw Murillo picking up his old flame (ex-girlfriend) Fanny. This came as a huge shock, as Lyès was told that Murillo’s fully torched body was found in Venezuela. Since Lyès knew about Murillo, Alice figured that there wasn’t any point in keeping secrets now and revealed her real agenda. Alice stated that she was there to find and arrest Murillo. However, Lyès advised his team not to say a word about this to anyone, especially Commissaire Fabiani.
Why Did Lyès Destroy the Confiscated Drugs?
One of the Indian’s men led Lyès to Mr. Seratti’s house, a middle-aged man who was storing one hundred kilos of drugs and millions of dollars. Seratti was an unemployed man, living on welfare checks after an accident at his workplace rendered him incapable of working. Maybe that was why he couldn’t refuse when a total stranger offered to pay him thousands of pounds just to keep the bags safe. It was then that Lyès was informed that the real identity of the Indian was Tarek Hamadi (Moussa Maaskri), an Arab drug dealer. As per procedure, Lyès confiscated all the drugs and money and even informed Ali that Hamadi and Murillo were out to get him. Hamadi and Murillo realized that they needed to get back their drugs by hook or by crook from the police, or else they would have no money to fund their operation. Thus, they abducted Audrey, one of the members of Lyès’s team. They beat her to a pulp and gave Lyès a deadline, which, if not honored, would result in Audrey dying a very horrible death. Murillo knew Lyès would do anything to save Audrey, even if it meant betraying his job. Fortunately, Audrey got out, and Lyès destroyed the drugs before Murillo could take control.
What was Miranda’s real intention?
As established earlier, Miranda wanted to take down Lyès by any means necessary, even if it meant bending a few rules and blackmailing the people on the force. Miranda was convinced that Ali and Lyès were in cahoots, and the latter was taking bribes in exchange for passing off viable intel to his drug dealer friend. The fact that Lyès and Ali were childhood buddies further cemented his suspicions. Miranda approached Arno and threatened him that he would tell his wife about his infidelity if he didn’t give him actionable intelligence on his team leader. To pressure Arno further, Miranda even gave him a two-week deadline. Arno wasn’t the only cop Miranda was bothering. He was constantly breathing down Fabiani’s neck, asking her to fire Lyès, but she had always refused, saying that the department needed Lyès and his team to keep the streets clean. When nothing worked, Miranda threatened Tatoo for the same. The long-haired cop was pressured to give dirt on Lyès in return for dismissing a disciplinary meeting against him. In reality, Tatoo badly thrashed a criminal who was making obscene videos of kids to force them into illegal business. Miranda offered to quote his outburst as self-defense in his report if Tatoo gave him evidence that proved Lyès and Ali were working together.
Who Killed Murillo’s Son, Lucas?
Hamadi had maintained that it was Ali who shot Murillo’s son, Lucas, but in reality, it was he who fired that bullet. Hamadi was there to kill Ali and take over the business, but unluckily, Lucas caught the bullet that was meant for Ali. When his plan failed, Hamadi tried to bait Murillo into attacking Ali by feeding him lies about his son’s death. Murillo was trying to leave the city, but after learning the truth, he changed his mind. Lyès’s plan was to use this new-found information about Lucas’ death to lure Murillo into the city. Hamadi was killed, but Lyès spread the word that he was still alive and hiding in a hotel. Murillo took the bait and was arrested by Alice and Lyès. Since they made a big arrest, Alice, Lyès, and the others were praised by the entire department, including their boss, Commissaire Fabiani. As for Ali, he was arrested, but his friends in high places managed to get him out to protect both their interests. Miranda also got proof of Lyès’s illegal tactics from Mr. Jaborska (the same lawyer whose house Lyès broke into) and was given the green light to place him under arrest. This is done to make sure that Lyès doesn’t create any more problems for Ali and his friends.
Blood Coast was decent, with a couple of action scenes and suspense, but it would’ve been better if the showrunners had explored the characters rather than squandering the entire show by concentrating solely on the cat-and-mouse chase between the police and robbers. I won’t lie; Blood Coast did have my undivided attention at first, but just a couple of episodes down, it lost it, and six episodes seemed too much to handle. With more finesse, the entire show could have been condensed into three episodes. Since Netflix is on a scraping spree, I have serious doubts about the show even securing another season. But, if it does, it would focus on another cat-and-mouse chase involving Lyès and the police department. At the end of Blood Coast, Miranda is told to arrest Lyès on multiple charges, but we all know that Lyès would probably flee with Alice. Also, the next season could show us who is protecting Ali and why.