The Break TV series from Belgium, now on Netflix, is full of dreams and surprises. A murder mystery and police procedural set in a Belgian village, The Break (La Trêve) starts as standard, but interesting, fare. Then it increases intensity, taking us under the surface, where the locals lead criminal, dark, or dangerous lives. Some have trouble with the line between fantasy and reality.
Yoann Peeters (Yoann Blanc) is a cop from Brussels, newly arrived in Heiderfeld, where he lived as a teenager. He is immediately pulled into the investigation of an apparent suicide. Peeters, more sophisticated and experienced than the locals, suspects murder. Turns out he’s right, but he doesn’t get much help from the other police. They take cues from their chief, who wants an easy answer.
Peeters also has a teenage daughter (Sophie Breyer). He is now a single dad; details about his past are teased out slowly. Like most teens in this situation, Camille is not happy about the move. Before long, she is hanging out with characters that may be involved in shady activities.
The Break uses a couple of effective techniques to establish a mood and keep us intrigued. Most episodes open with dream sequences. Are they based on real events? And, we shift back and forth from the investigation to a series of sessions with Peeters and a psychiatrist. These happen after the main events in the story. Did Peeters have a “break” with reality? Something significant happened that we don’t know about.
The landscape also plays an important role here, beyond transitioning viewers from scene to scene. The region is heavily forested with rivers and ponds that figure in the story. The green colors are heavily saturated, and there is often a dreamy mist. It turns out there are plans to dam the river, displacing a number of local families. It’s another source of tension.
The Break shifts dramatically in the third episode, peeling back layers from the quaint village facade. Some may find it disturbing. There are clear influences in style and story from Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, where small town folks are up to no good. The opening credits and even some of the themes draw from the first season of True Detective. If you like those movies and series, The Break is a good fit.
Minor spoilers in this paragraph. Skip it if you don’t want to know! There are numerous threads in the story that may all tie together. Drug dealing, game fixing, bribery, livestock poisoning, sexual assault, domestic abuse, and an S&M club. It’s a lot of activity for a small village! A big part of the mystery is wondering how – and if – these are all connected.
The Break TV series was written by Benjamin d’Aoust, Matthieu Donck, and Stephane Bergmans and directed by Donck. It first aired in 2016 in several European countries. There are 10 episodes of The Break season 1, each 45 to 50 minutes, all on Netflix.
Scroll down for comments, which include discussion about the ending.
‘The Break’ (La Trêve) Trailer
The trailer below is in French, but it will give you a taste for the series.
I loved this show! It’s complicated and riveting.
Thanks for commenting! Yes, ‘The Break’ went in some unexpected directions. Though it had some of the “usual” elements, it was not the typical thriller.
Great twists, although I began suspecting his old girlfriend
Yes, there were several good twists along the way!
Very interesting–and you may learn another language—
That’s one of the fun things with foreign TV shows – hearing other languages.
I don’t want to post any spoilers BUT I’m so confused with the ending. I thought I heard police sirens? Did he turn her in? Or was he crying so hard with his daughter because he was telling her goodbye because he was taking the fall for the lady and was going to say he was guilty instead of her? So confused at the ending!! But it was good.
There were definitely sirens. And, there was ambiguity at the end – one of the interesting things about this series. I’m more inclined to think he was taking the fall for her, but it’s open to interpretation. Thanks for posting – I think spoilers are fair game in the comments section, and you did give warning in your first sentence!
I didn’t get that ending either!! And i did not hear sirens. At first I thought he had been stabbed. He looked so agonized. I don’t think he was going to take the fall…the police know he didn’t kill his subordinate. I need more analysis!
I’m really lost on this ending. When he says “it going to be alright” to his daughter, does this mean he’s forgiven himself for abandoning Ines and their baby long ago, and therefore needing to forgive her in the heat of the moment? Does he realized her anger at Driss is misdirected and should be at him? Is she getting a “get out of jail free” card here? The sirens start but fade away, and when the camera zooms out at the end, you don’t see police coming up the driveway, which would be a predictable finale. Ines looks confused also, she’s unharmed, he’s unharmed, it doesn’t look like he read her the riot act. The actors looks as confused as us viewers in the final scene… Where are the writers, they need to explain pls, like in Season 2, if its happening…? Will have Peeters anxiety sleep disorder tonite, =))
I thought he turned her in. He’s still around in the next series.
Will there be a season 2? I just loved this series!
We have not heard anything yet about a season 2. It was an excellent series!
Hey, i’m from Belgium,and i can tell you, they try to got a season 2, and normally the show will have a season 2 to get inform you can follow the page on Facebook it’s called “La Trêve”
great show! will there be a season 2?
We have not heard anything yet about a possible season 2. Hoping there will be….
I don’t think he took the blame at all. They knew that he didn’t kill the black African and that he didn’t kill his partner. He was finally free and relieve and happy to be with his daughter. She is his whole world. Why leave his teen daughter alone with a psycho woman?
I liked this show (but i prefer the other French Belgian serie “Ennemi public”). The atmosphere is dark and oppressive, the landscapes are beautiful. But the scenario even if it is interesting, becomes too more complicated in the course of the episodes and i ended up to be more interested by the policemen’ lives than than the investigation. Moreover at the end of the season, too much points (such as the dam, the relationship between Zoe and his BF, the poisoned cows, the child abuser football coach, Peeter’s addiction and his relationship with his GF) remain unsolved.The end is disappointing : i didn’t know if i was watching “La trêve” or “Broadchurch” anymore. The creators were too much inspired by the best police series : they performed a copy/paste and during the final episode i had the impression that the showrunners neither handled the scenario nor created their own denouement.
Thank you for your comments. Yes, there were several unresolved plot points. Season 2, maybe? ‘Ennemi Public’ does not seem to be available in the US yet. We will keep looking for it.
I love everything on his show and I can’t stop watching it on Netflix. The cast are great, the story and the sceneries are fantastic Is this town existing i Belgium? Just curious. Cheers from Canada.
Felt a lot like True Detective from our perspective; perhaps a few too many twists, and some characters just “disappeared” -the son of the traveling diplomats who seemed to model his party make-up after that of Floki in “The Vikings” ? And the inspector who held a grudge against Peeters for his perceived role in the death of his son in the largely unexplained tragedy that occurred prior to the small town assignment for Peeters? He convinced Sebastian that Peeters was ultimately responsible for the death of his own wife….do we, the audience accept that version of the facts as opposed to the leukemia version? What does the daughter believe?
Karen, I agree that the story regarding Peeters’ wife’s death is an interesting twist making us doubt Peeters for a portion of the story. However, I believe she was dying and yet was still working cases until she couldn’t. The vindictive detective from the former city where Peeters left was out to get him and thus I think he was twisting the truth regarding the death of the wife. It is possible she did die on the job but was dying of leukemia at the same time. It is a puzzle.
I understood it as she died as part of the failed operation Berger or whatever.
It was easier for him to move on with life saying it was leukemia that killed her (which she may or may not have had)
And I think the other detective also twisted her death to manipulate drummer.
I mean unless the other detective falsified a file, we see a file regarding her case and peeters says to the doctor it’s like he killed her. I took that to mean she was one of the officers lost in the botched operation he’s responsible for
It was very puzzling to me that Peeters never had to really answer for his totally botched attempt to talk Kevin (Zoe’s brother) away from the edge of the cliff. That was quite unrealistic. He abandoned protocol completely and an innocent boy died.
This is a great comment page. I think I heard sirens at the end also. I am not inclined to think Peeters is taking the fall for his girl friend’s crimes, but that he had that final break that the doctor was warning him about if he were to be exposed again to an extreme shock. After all the series is called The Break. It is ambiguous at the end because it leaves us questioning whether or not he will be able to recover once again. Thus I think there is room for a second season though I doubt that there will be a long drawn out continuation of the same story plot. If there is a second season it would need to have Peeters recover to protect his teenage daughter from the woman who is guilty of the crimes in Season one. I am not sure there is at this time enough of a story plot for that to carry a whole second season. I truly liked this series. Well developed characters.
Yes, I liked this show – even though the multiple plots stories going on (the dam, the diplomat’s son, the drug addiction, the sexual abuse on the soccer team, the abusive bf, etc. etc.) got to be a bit much – it was also entertaining and somehow it never seemed too overwhelming or implausible on the screen (in my mind, I was like that’s a lot) but it on screen it was okay.
I hope there is a Season 2 – and my prediction would be that it would about Camille and Peters starting over (again) in another town while he recovers from drug addiction yet, another complicated, twisted case comes calling again.
My most burning lingering questions are: How did Ines know that Drummer was going to expose her to Peters? And, why was the sexual abuse not revealed?
Great cooments! Thank you!
Didn’t get the ending. Thanks for all the comments!
Exactly whay I love; to be blown way and the main character was also blown away which took me further into my amazement! Driss was the man Lol … Ole Inez couldn’t get enough of him then she lied to the cop portraying it as if Driss had fallen in love with her. I wonder was she sick mentally or just plain ole love sick. That lil hooker the daughter fell for was screwing out both draw legs Lol Good Show, I went straight into the 2nd season which I will comment on separately.
Ines was totally bonkers. Over the top mentally sick.
What happened to the creepy diplomat’s son? How come he had the same symbols painted in his house that were painted near a grave that was supposedly dug for Driss (but then never used)- and then the same symbols were later painted in blood in Driss’ apartment? How come he knew that Driss had killed someone? This thread was left completely loose at the end.
Yes. Why leave so many loose ends?
Love watching sunset every night 1