The French suspense mystery Black Spot (Zone Blanche) continues in season 2 with more of the same dark crimes and inexplicable events in the forest that we watched in season 1.
We get a few answers in season 2 of Black Spot (Zone Blanche). The police Major, Laurène (Suliane Brahim), remembers more about her 20 year old kidnapping and capture that opened season 1. It relates to events all the way through season 2 and ties a few things together.
Laurène figures out who the mysterious presence in the forest is. But she doesn’t capture him or learn anything about how he does what he does. That’s a cliffhanger waiting on season 3. (If there is a season 3. I haven’t heard anything about it yet.)
Some of the murders are solved. They mostly relate to normal human factors like greed, power, and stupidity rather than mysterious forest creatures – but not all the murders are solved.
Speaking of greed and a lust for power – the Steiner clan, including Bertrand Steiner (Samuel Jouy), his wife Léa Steiner (Anne Suarez), and the family patriarch Gérald Steiner (Olivier Bonjour) are still running the town for fun and profit.
The poor schlub of an investigator Siriani (Laurent Capelluto) almost figures out where the Steiners are stashing barrels of toxic waste, but his big bust is a bust. Siriani has a romance with another newcomer, Delphine Garnier (Marina Hands). Their relationship ends with an unexpected twist, like a lot of things in Villefranche.
Laurène’s daughter Cora (Camille Aguilar) remains mixed up with people from the protest group Children of Arduinna. In season 2, we learn who’s behind the group. They become more militant and do something in the last episode that brings the season to an explosive climax and creates a major cliffhanger.
An interesting dynamic between Laurène and Nounours (Hubert Delattre) develops in season 2. He doesn’t believe all the talk about strange stag head creatures, or Celtic gods, or Roman treasures. Laurène thinks they have something to do with the mysteries of the forest. They argue about it a lot. He finally sees her point when they are trapped in an impossible situation together.
Sabine (Brigitte Sy), who runs the bar/hotel/cafe continues to be important in season 2. We learn some really interesting things about her.
What we don’t know
But even more than what we do know after seeing season 2, are the questions that remain for another season.
The doctor, Leïla (Naidra Ayadi), gave Laurène a very surprising bit of information about her DNA that relates to many things that have happened in both seasons. That’s a big unanswered question.
Laurène and Bertrand Steiner have a thing. He wants it to go somewhere. She might, too. That’s a big unanswered question.
The Children of Arduinna do something that may have huge consequences. That’s a big unanswered question.
The thing in the forest is, or was, human. But how does it catapult people into the treetops or grab people with tree branch arms in a split second? How does it move so quickly? How does it make those weird, frightening sounds? Does it have something to do with Laurène? That’s a big unanswered question.
The Suspense Elements in Black Spot
The cinematography is always filtered, even in full sunlight. Misty, dark, shadowy, and spooky all apply to the style of filming. Many scenes are shot with a blue filter that makes everything darker.
The secrets of the forest and of the characters are revealed slowly, strategically. Sometimes things seem to be magic (or magical realism). The wolves and the stags and the bees and the crows seem to be participants in events – is that real or imagined?
Flashbacks have no cues to let you know you’re not still in the normal timeline. Flashbacks take a while to understand because of that. Are people hallucinating?
Suspense builds because things move slowly. Sometimes the pace feels glacial. Then it suddenly hits you in the face.
The characters do things without exposition and you often have to figure out what’s happening from visual clues.
The subplots and episodic mysteries are often red herrings. They seem to bear on the overall problem plaguing the town, but they are mostly dead ends.
If you’ve already seen season 1 of Black Spot (Zone Blanche), you know what to expect from season 2. Let’s hope for a season 3 and some answers to the blazing cliffhangers season 2 left us with.
Have you watched season 2 yet? What did you think of it?