The Bridge (Bron/Broen) s3 ep 9; s3 ep 10

At the start of episode 9 Jeannette and the precious cargo in her uterus are missing, presumed kidnapped by Annika Melander, and the search is on. But Saga was sent home by Linn at the end of episode 8, and poor Henrik gets Rasmus and his irritating ponytail as a replacement. Henrik is Not. Impressed. Fortunately Saga gets brought back in before too long, and in any event Freddie and his thugs are ahead of the game – and not obliged to find a role for Rasmus – and are accordingly able to track down Jeannette fairly swiftly. They find her strapped to a bed, barely alive, and sans baby. Then Åsa suggests that Claes is vengeful enough towards Freddie to be involved, and the police are persuaded that he’s working with Annika. Which is more than the viewers are, unless there’s going to be some serious retconning.

Anyway, Freddie gets sent a photo of Little Freddie, together with instructions on where to go and the usual on-your-own-no-cops thing. Which he obeys, but the helpful Åsa – really getting in the way in this episode, it has to be said – tells the police anyway, which means that the abductor has to shift to plan B, involving a remote-controlled bomb in a pram, leading Freddie to think momentarily that Little F is dead. (As we have already seen, and indeed as we will see again, this degree of elaboration and planning is nothing remarkable for our killer.)

The police are stung by the fact that Freddie was attempting to try to get his child back without consulting them, so Rasmus is given the job of keeping tabs on him; but when the next photo comes in, Freddie is able to outwit Rasmus – not, we are given to believe, a massive undertaking in itself – by jumping into a helicopter and flying to a disused something-or-other, where he will come face to face with the killer. Who isn’t, after all, Annika: while this is all going on she’s found tied up.

The investigation has meantime led Saga and Henrik to a fertility clinic, where it’s confirmed that, many years ago, one of Freddie’s little soldiers fought his way through and made a baby with a woman called Anne-Marie Larsson. Which takes us back to Emil Larsson, who first emerged as a realistic suspect in episode 7. And, sure enough, it’s Emil who’s holding Little F.

It’s a very good episode, but the finale is better. The show, in fact, more or less wraps up the main plot in about 30 minutes. Emil has another baroque and imaginative murder planned, with Freddie and him being hanged simultaneously, while Freddie holds Little F, so he’ll dropping the baby when unconscious – possibly killing him, possibly not. But after a visit to a reclusive artist on the island of Saltholm – long story short – Saga and Henrik work out that Emil is holed up in a barn which, luckily, is also on Saltholm. So they get there in time to save the day, although Saga takes a lot of convincing to stop Emil from hanging himself, because Hans.

With that out of the way, the show can start to tie up the stuff we really care about, which is to say the stories of Saga and Henrik. It should be said that the Claes/dead father/Annika-the-stalker arc rather peters out at this stage, mind you. (It should also be said that Freddie – ruthless businessman and all – was given a degree of complexity and neediness which means that he actually comes out of the show quite well.)

Anyway, Lillian takes Henrik aside to tell him that the remains of his wife have been discovered, but there’s no sign of his daughters, which means that their bodies are still to be found – unless, of course, they’re still alive. A grief-stricken Henrik hits the drugs again, meaning that he’s unable to escort Saga to Hans’s funeral as he’d promised to do. Saga, meantime, discovers that the case against her for the murder of her mother is going to the prosecuting authorities for consideration. (In passing, it should perhaps be noted that this week alone she does at least two things which should have Internal Affairs on her back all over again: her delay in saving Emil’s life is the first, although that’s rendered moot when she – accidentally? – manages to let him have a paperclip while in custody, with which he inevitably kills himself.) Henrik overdoses and Saga finds him in time, although he then discharges himself from hospital.

So with well-matched not-so-Secret Pain, the two of them meet on either side of the railway where Saga’s sister killed herself. There’s a train coming and it looks as if Saga might be about to do the same as her sister, even though Henrik tells her that he needs her, but of course at the last moment she pulls back. And then breaks down in tears; as, I suspect, do one or two viewers. It’s possibly the most harrowing thing we’ve seen on the show in three seasons, as Saga’s mask of indifference – which has been wavering throughout the season – finally vanishes.

And we get an ending which isn’t happy, exactly, but is satisfying: Henrik resigns from the police in order to look for his daughters (although I found the suggestion that they wouldn’t allow him some leave for that purpose unlikely), and Saga doesn’t have anything else to do pending a decision on whether to prosecute her for matricide, so they can team up, both professionally and – I think – personally.

Which would also provide a springboard into a fourth season, should all concerned want to carry on. (My guess is that there will be one in due course – ratings were strong in Sweden and Denmark.) I’m happy to say that I was proved wrong about the absence of Martin: the show coped admirably, and Henrik was able to draw Saga out in ways we hadn’t seen before. I thought this season every bit as good as the second, and Sofia Helin keeps getting better and better.


The Bridge (Bron/Broen) s3 ep 7; s3 ep 8

We start in the house of the Johanssons, Inger and Filip, a retired couple who – plot device alert – used to be foster parents. But now they have Håkan Ekdahl’s eyeballs on their Christmas tree, Inger’s dead, and Filip’s had his head sawn in half and his brain removed. So we can, after a quick oral check, chalk them up to the elaborate and details-orientated murderer who brands symbols inside the mouths of his/her victims. The good news for the people of the Öresund area, though, is that Henrik is no longer being distracted by visions of his presumably dead family. Does this mean he’s, y’know, started to move on? If so I’m not sure that Saga can be expected to bear that emotional weight.

Henrik’s one of the few people for whom life is getting better, though. Claes is still being stalked by Annika, who of course now is emboldened by the knowledge that he killed his father. Freddie is coming under pressure to hand over more money to that appalling idiot Marc, who managed to gamble away his and Jeannette’s cottage. But Freddie chases him away, and buys Jeannette the cottage anyway. It’s come to something when I like the rapacious businessman more than the penurious twentysomething, even if – not that I know anything about Scandinavian property law – I’d be surprised if it’s that easy to transfer ownership of a house so frequently and rapidly. Asa is unsurprisingly becoming more and more resentful of the young and fertile Jeannette, and of her husband’s growing affection for her.

And, meantime, a fresh indignity is being visited on Saga: an avuncular but chillingly persistent member of Internal Affairs is interviewing her about her mother’s death, now reclassified as a murder. So where was Saga at the time of her mother’s death? Well, she was on her own, as a result of the tip-off at the end of episode 6; a tip-off which, it now seems, came from her own laptop. There’s other evidence as well, plus the general feeling that Saga isn’t quite right at the best of times, and has been destabilised by everything else which is going on. So it might well be that Saga’s horrendous mother’s last act was to frame her daughter.

I was left with the uneasy feeling, though, that this might just – rather like the cancer arc in season 3 of Borgen – be a plot too far. Saga’s investigating a serial killer. Her boss is after her blood. Her old partner’s in jail. Her new partner/fuckbuddy hasn’t got over the disappearance of his wife and children. Her mentor is gravely ill in hospital. Her father’s dead. And she grapples every day with what we might euphemistically call social awkwardness. Do we really need something on top of that? There’s a limit, even with fictional characters, to how much grief I want to see someone being put through.

But she’s still doing her job, just about, and by the end of episode 7 suspicion is focussing strongly on Emil Larsson, one of the floppy-haired young men from previous episodes: he knows about Freddie’s art collection, he was fostered by the Johanssons, and he’s connected to Hans, Håkan, Lars-Ove, and Andersen T. But, even though the Scandis have form for revealing the killer quite early, I wasn’t convinced that the show would kick for home with fully three episodes left. Sure enough, at the start of episode 8 Emil turns up badly wounded. A bit of tech later, and our next suspect is – and really I should have seen this coming – Annika, the mad stalker. She was also fostered by the Johanssons, and her house is full of, well, the sorts of things you’d need if you’re going to kill people in elaborate ways.

Mind you, there’s still a ways to go, and I don’t expect her to have been responsible for all the deaths; not on her own, anyway. Fortunately, episode 8 is full of people who might or might not be up to no good: Åsa’s pregnancy ruse is photographed by Tina, but by then Åsa has visited ex-husband Claes and told him about it as well. Claes – who until this point I thought was more or less dedicated to getting back into Åsa’s good books and, in due course, bed – leaks it to the media, and is remarkably sanguine and unrepentant when confronted about it. Might there be more to him?

Freddie’s increasing affection for Jeannette reaches its inevitable conclusion, admittedly an episode later than I thought it would, when he tries to kiss her and is rebuffed, whereupon Jeannette and Marc run off, with Freddie and his thug in pursuit. But when they reach the cottage Marc is dead – if it was Annika, she’s redeemed herself in my eyes just a little by bumping the little creep off – and Jeannette and the contents of her womb are nowhere to be seen. Ruh-roh.

And, to add to Saga’s woes, Hans’s life support machine is (I think) turned off, and she forgets to search a suspect, who when they get him back to the police station turns out to be armed. He shoots John the Tech Guy’s daughter, fortunately not fatally, but Linn has had enough, and sends Saga home for a few days. Much as we love Saga, and much as Linn is the pantomime villain of the workplace drama in this season, she kind of has a point. Henrik’s concern for, and loyalty to, Saga is rather sweet, mind you. Two excellent episodes.

The Bridge (Bron/Broen) s3 ep 5; s3 ep 6

After four episodes which flung plot and characters – especially all those floppy-haired young men – at us, the mist started to lift in episode 5. Consequently, it was the best of the season so far. And it started and ended with two genuine OMG! moments, which also helped. The first of those was the shooting of gangster Lukas, who while in hospital remembered where he’d seen Henrik before: something to do with illegal drugs, and Henrik’s enthusiastic consumption of them. Lukas then does a runner from the hospital, turns up on Henrik’s doorstep blackmailing him into smuggling him out of the country, then is shot – this time fatally – before Henrik has the chance to do anything about it.

But that wasn’t the only connection to be made. Jeanette, the pregnant girlfriend of hopeless gambler Marc (who barely looks old enough to shave), is snatched out of their car, and taken to the house of slash-and-burn businessman Freddie Holst (Thomas Buch from season 2 of Forbrydelsen). But they all know each other: Jeanette is carrying Freddie’s baby as a surrogate for his wife Åsa, who – presumably to maintain the illusion – wears a prosthetic baby bump in public. Freddie is worried – rightly if you ask me – that being with Marc isn’t good for the health of his unborn child. And Freddie’s also connected to inspirational speaker and stalker-prey Claes: the two of them had a business disagreement a few years back, which Freddie came out of much better, ending up with money, art, and Åsa, who used to be married to Claes.

All of which suggests that Freddie is somewhere close to the centre of the murder investigation. Meantime, though, what looks like a burn mark has been found in Hans’s mouth. As none of the other victims’ mouths were inspected, it needs to be done – and in the case of Helle Anker, this means interrupting her funeral, a sensitive task which is handled by Saga with all of her usual tact and discretion. The marks will turn out to be numbers from the Babylonian system – Trying Too Hard, Mr/Ms Murderer – and Saga will get called out for her behaviour at the funeral by Linn, who actually has a point, and it isn’t unreasonable for Linn to think that Hans has been indulging Saga for too long. What might be unreasonable, though, is Linn’s apparent investigation into everything Saga’s ever done, and bringing in season 2’s dullard Rasmus to do it.

But the episode’s second big OMG! moment belongs to the storyline featuring Anna, the cougar from last week: her affair with Benjamin having been discovered, she gives the usual it-was-a-mistake-working-on-my-marriage interview while ignoring Benjamin’s phone calls. But then she realises that she was, in fact, happy with him, and leaves a voicemail on his phone telling him so. Unfortunately he won’t get to hear it; he’s lying in his bath, wrists slit. Suicide? Let’s presume so for now.

And by the end of episode 6 Anna’s arc will have been well and truly folded into the main storyline: her cuckolded husband Håkan had purportedly gone to their summer house, but instead he’s the victim of yet another complex murder. Another floppy-haired young man, this time a museum worker, has already turned up at the police station to tell Henrik and Saga that he thinks he’s found a connection between the murders: they all bear a resemblance to works of art in the collection of one Freddie Holst, who is definitely moving front and centre. The more he pisses off Åsa by cosying up to Jeanette, though, the more she hangs out with her ex-husband Claes. And this, in turn, pisses off the increasingly stalkerish Annika, who in her role as mortician has now worked out that Claes euthanised his father. This makes her dangerous, one would think, to Claes; well, that and the fact that she’s a stalker.

Also – and I’m not sure if this is just a minor detail yet – Tina, the photographer who took the photos of Anna and Benjamin, who is sacked from her newspaper job, is the girlfriend of police tech dude John, who works with Henrik and Saga. John isn’t above doing a little detective work for Tina either, and he manages to find out that the initial tip off which led Tina to the story most likely came from Benjamin himself. Mind you, Tina gets a text offering work, which involves an email address which is the same as a code found on Morten’s fridge – and which seems to be prompting the characters found inside the mouths of the victims – so we probably haven’t seen the last of her. Unless we have, if you see what I mean.

There’s yet another suicide in episode 6 – this time Saga’s mother, who frankly is no great loss, although it gives the increasingly unpleasant Linn another chance to poke her nose into Saga’s private life. We know that Saga must have been thrown, though, because she turns up at Henrik’s house just looking for company rather than sex, and they share a terrific scene, spooky and moving, in which Henrik confesses that he still sees his wife and children. Much as I’m missing Martin, #Henga is starting to grow on me.

By the end of the episode Saga, too, has had a secret tipoff about the murders, although her informant doesn’t show up. By this stage suspicion is starting to focus on Kjell Soder, an employee at the building where Helle’s body was found. He might have gone to Singapore, but I’d be prepared to bet that the budget doesn’t stretch to that, so I think he’ll be in Malmö, or perhaps Copenhagen. Anyway, it now looks as if we’re over the hump of establishing characters and plot lines – these episodes were excellent.

The Bridge (Bron/Broen) s3 ep 3; s3 ep 4

No let-up in the pace this week – lots more new characters, lots more new storylines, and I’m not going to pretend that I always found it easy to follow. Also, two hours is still far too much. So I offer absolutely no guarantee that I’ve got any of this right.

Enough complaining. We start with another death – Morten Anker, the estranged son of last week’s first victim – killed, according to someone who heard his last words, by his “brother.” This leads Saga and Henrik to one of Morten’s army comrades, Lukas Stenstrup. Now, Lukas is ostensibly a community worker, but is clearly a bad guy, although just how bad remains to be determined. He lays down any number of markers this week, though: forcing Marc, an idiotic young gambler in debt to him, to play Russian roulette to “win” extra days to pay back the money; getting Marc’s pregnant partner to pick up a bag for him, which is then snatched off her before she can take it to Lukas; and lying just about every time he opens his mouth. And, since he ends up with the bag anyway, although we don’t get to see the McGuffiny contents, it’s very clear that he’s up to no good.

Another new character: Claes, who euthanises his sick father in the first few minutes – I’m not sure whether the show expects us to disapprove of him for that, or whether we’re supposed to regard him as humane and merciful. Anyway, he’s an inspirational speaker/writer, who despite looking a little uneasy when approached by Annika, a stalkerish fan at a book signing, nonetheless beds her later on. Although when she then offers to sort out his father’s funeral – she’s totally a funeral director, she says – the uneasiness quite properly returns.

And another new character, Anna, a good-looking woman in her late 30s (?) is installed as CEO of the family building business. But she’s having an affair with the 17 year old son of a friend, yet another of the blond young men who make their first appearance this week. They take the opportunity, while out of town, to do it in one of her showhouses, but photos of the assignation turn up on a newspaper website, and poor Anna has to take a disapproving call from her mother, which might almost be worse than her husband finding out. (Anna, incidentally, is played by Melinda Kinnaman, who as well as being Joel’s sister was in the utterly wonderful My Life As A Dog [1985].)

It’s a bad couple of episodes for Saga as well. The Scandi-variant on the mom-who-turns-up causes as much trouble as the American kind: her father is dead, but Saga doesn’t want to go to the funeral. Hans is still in hospital, minus a hand but just about alive, and temporary (?) boss Linn isn’t quite as indulgent of Saga’s idiosyncrasies: she suggests that Saga might profitably have some coaching on her manner, as she’s “insensitive” and “unpleasant”. Then, in what struck me as way over the line, she drags Saga to her father’s funeral, which at best isn’t her business, and at worst is remarkably cruel. Linn also goes toe-to-toe with Hans’s wife Lillian.

On the bright side, Saga and Henrik pick each other up at a singles’ night, and have presumably satisfactory sex. It looks as if Henrik is being serially unfaithful to his wife, but towards the end of the second of these two episodes he gives Saga a cold case file to review, which seems to be about missing persons. One of whom is the woman we’ve seen as his wife. So either she’s hiding in their shared house – seems unlikely – or she’s a Henrik hallucination. Oh great. I see dead people.

And they manage to stop last week’s creepy cleaner Rikard, who escapes after trying to kill Natalie Anker, then takes as a hostage the daughter of bigoted blogger – sorry, vlogger – Lise. Saga, gun in hand, manages to get into Lise’s apartment and rescue the girl while not shooting Rikard, in what struck me as a remarkable piece of police work. I thought it very Scandinavian of everyone to worry about the fact that Saga smacked Rikard once or twice with the gun, rather than thank the Lord that everyone was alive.

But the corpses continue to pile up: Hans’s severed hand is found at another staged murder scene, this time that of a retired PE teacher. It happens while Rikard is in police custody, so it isn’t him; and as far as we know the deceased wasn’t in favour of marriage equality, so Lise hasn’t called him out on her vlog, meaning there’s no apparent connection to some of the other victims. But, to be honest, I’m really not sure what’s connected to anything at the moment. It would be difficult to fault the pace, ambition, and indeed humour of The Bridge, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an easy watch. Sofia Helin may never have been better than she was in these episodes, though.

The Bridge (Bron/Broen) s3 ep 1; s3 ep 2

No Martin. Not good. Anyway, we start in Malmo with a murder victim who has been placed in the sort of artfully-displayed tableau which never happens IRL. It’s Helle Anker, campaigner on gender issues and high-profile gay rights activist, who lives with her wife and kids. Our old friend Saga is assigned to the case by her boss Hans (who is now married to Lillian, his oppo in Copenhagen).

But because Helle was a Danish citizen, Saga needs a new Martin, and Copenhagen provides Hanne Thomsen, an older woman who doesn’t think much of Swedish attitudes in general – she’s particularly unconvinced about one of the victim’s projects, a gender-neutral preschool – and takes agin Saga almost immediately. It’s partly because Saga is, well, Saga; and partly because of what happened to Martin. At one point Saga is making one of her endearingly awkward attempts at small-talk, which gets nowhere: “If you wanted a colleague to be personal and friendly with”, snaps Helle, “then maybe you shouldn’t have put Martin in jail”. Ooh, burn.

Anyway, that apart the first episode follows the usual Scandi-templåte, in which we’re thrown several apparently unconnected storylines, which we know in due course will be very much connected. Previous experience, for me at least, suggests that there’s little point in trying to work out what’s happening; it’s best just to sit back and see where it all leads, particularly as at least three of the male randoms have facial hair which looks like it’s supposed to mean something.

There’s Henrik, a pill-swallowing dude (neatly trimmed goatee, almost Frank Zappa-esque) who hooks up with a woman at a social event at a museum (?) then dashes home to tell his wife about it. There’s Aleks, a released prisoner (hipster beard) who doesn’t go to his halfway house, but instead tries to find the money which was presumably the subject matter of the case which landed him in the jail, and when he can’t find it goes to ask his former partner-in-crime – now living very well, thanks – if he knows anything about it. And there’s Morten, a former soldier with PTSD (unkempt facial hair, you wouldn’t want him sitting next to you on the train), who is Helle’s son from her first marriage.

On the non-beard side of the house we have Lise, a nasty piece of work in many ways – she’s an anti-gay vlogger – but who is also (quite rightly, if you ask me) furious about the fact that her daughter is being bullied, but the school’s approach is all, why can’t we just get along? She’s married to the CEO of the company which owns the premises where Helle was murdered. And there’s Lise’s cleaner Rikard, who has some creepy pets and what looks like an unhealthy fascination with his employer.

It’s a lot to take in, and I found my attention wandering once or twice. On top of that I very quickly found myself becoming irritated with Hanne and her sour antipathy towards Saga. The point about Saga is that she’s dissociated from everyone (and, frankly, I think the show sometimes tries a little too hard to make that point); it isn’t just that she rubs some people up the wrong way. In a happy development, though, Hanne gets her leg blown off when she and Saga go to visit Morten’s boobytrapped shack, so with any luck we’ve seen the last of her.

With which we’re into a much better second episode. There’s another murder – this time a liberal priest who conducts gay marriages and who, like Helle, has been called out on Lise’s vlog – and another new Martin. At which point the pill-popping aficionado of the Copenhagen singles nights, Henrik, rears into view, because he’s totally a cop, and he actually makes a point of volunteering to work with Saga, an offer which Lillian accepts immediately. Interestingly, he’s actually a good cop – it may be that Saga’s off her game because her mother is in town, dredging up their shared past, but Henrik picks up on a couple of potentially crucial details in the investigation, which pass Saga by. He’s also somewhat more tolerant of Saga’s quirks, although he almost immediately invites her out to dinner, presumably so that he can tap that and tell his wife about it…? Hmm. But of course Saga declines.

And if that weren’t enough, Hans is kidnapped by Aleks, who’s been holding a grudge ever since (he says) Hans turned him into a grass. Hans is then freed, but it’s by someone who – I think – kidnaps him again? Which is pretty bad luck, you’d have to say. All of which means that by the end of episode 2 we’re rolling along nicely. I still miss Martin, though.

Public Service Announcement 56 of 2015: Elementary, The Bridge (Bron/Broen)

Elementary’s back tonight for UK viewers: one of the best US network procedurals around just now, with a Cumberbatch-equalling performance from Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes. The show really hit the heights in the first half of the last season with the Kitty arc, and I’m not sure whether it’ll ever match that. Mind you, there’s an excellent reason to watch this time round as well, with the news that John Noble – a terrific actor – has been cast as Sherlock’s father. I won’t be reviewing this season, not to start with anyway, but I’ll definitely be watching (tonight, Sky Living, 9pm).

Saturday, meantime, sees the return of Scandi-drama The Bridge (Bron/Broen) for its third season. I thought season 2 was significantly better than the first, but in my view the success of both was attributable in large measure to Kim Bodnia’s performance as Martin, the cop everyman grounding Sofie Helin’s Saga in something approaching reality. Bodnia, though, won’t be appearing this season, and for me that’s potentially a problem. Whether it’s a fatal one we’ll find out soon. Weekly reviews again, even though the BBC is persevering with the asinine double-bills (Saturday 21 November, BBC4, 9pm).

And two streamers: Amazon Prime has The Man In The High Castle, an adaptation (and apparently a loose one) of Philip K Dick’s counterfactual novel set in an America under German and Japanese rule, they having won World War 2. And Netflix has Jessica Jones, yet another live-action adaptation of a comic. Both are available tomorrow.

The Bridge (Bron/Broen) s2 ep 9; s2 ep 10

A terrific double-bill to finish a terrific season. In episode 9, it all kicks off chez Nordgren/Kofoed: Gertrud has found Oliver’s little perv-camera system, and is thus able to watch when Oliver turns up at his sister’s house, first to play nice, then to confess to most of the unpleasantness of episodes one to eight, and finally to kill her. Gertrud runs across the road and is just in time to intervene forcefully with a lamp to the back of the head. In view of Oliver’s confession and subsequent lighting-assisted death, the police decide that the case is closed.

There’s one more bit of tidying-up to do, when it becomes apparent that one of the eco-terrorist gang has introduced pneumonic plague, or something, onto a plane. The perp is tracked down and interrogated as to which plane has been infected, although it’s a situation which really needs a Bauer rather than a bearded Scandinavian cop shouting a bit. Still, everyone lives, thanks to some yummy Scandinavian antibiotics. Perhaps just as well Jeremy from off of Borgen wasn’t on the plane, eh?

And it’s another bad week for relationships: Mette finally kicks Martin out, claiming that she doesn’t love him any more, like that’s a reason to end a marriage. I still think he’s better off without her. And Saga is finally relieved of the burden of trying to be a good girlfriend to Jakob, who’s had enough. Even the key Martin/Saga axis is strained, as Martin reveals that he’s been investigating what happened to her sister, much to Saga’s fury. But Saga isn’t distracted for long: while everyone else is celebrating the end of the case, she works out that Oliver wasn’t acting alone.

This took us into the final episode, which had pretty much everything you could want from an episode of The Bridge. It looked as if the big question for episode 10 was going to be the identity of Oliver’s accomplice. As it happened, that was only part of it: the mysterious person behind the mask was revealed to the viewers before the halfway point, and as the police had also worked it out we had a tense few minutes as they tried to work out what the endgame was, and how to prevent it.

The body count was impressive as well: it was pretty clear throughout the final double-bill that at least one of the police team was going to croak. I must admit I expected that it was going to be poor old Rasmus – when he started investigating the crime on his own, I thought he might as well have pulled a red jersey on. But I was wrong: Viktoria was turned, rather neatly, into a walking biological weapon at the EU summit, and as soon as Pernille tracked her down in the conference centre you knew what was going to happen. (Martin, newly separated from Mette, didn’t even get to hit it.)

But there were two final shocks to go: the person Oliver was working with was killed by someone we didn’t get to see (Marcus Stenberg – remember how a connection between Viktoria and him was established? Or that dude who was in Thailand?) presumably meaning that this plot can be revisited in season 3. And, of course, Jens, season 1’s Truth Teller, died in prison, apparently from an overdose, although Saga pretty quickly concluded that Martin was responsible for it.

The writers have to be praised for how this was handled: everything was largely in character, or at least in keeping with the plot. As Mette finally decides that her marriage to Martin is incapable of being revived, Jens starts to seep back into Martin’s subconscious, and it seems reasonable – indeed, accurate – that he would blame Jens for much of what had gone wrong in his life. And as the season 1 climax turned on Saga’s inability to lie, it again seems reasonable that she would dob Martin in if she believed that he’s killed Jens. (I have seen it suggested that she was motivated by revenge because Martin had gone poking about in her private life. Personally, I don’t buy that; there’s been literally nothing in Saga’s behaviour over the two seasons to suggest that she would behave in that way.)

As to whether Martin did indeed take Jens’s life – well, there, I think, we’re going to have to wait for season 3, in which we’re promised he’ll return. And it should be worth waiting for. As I said a few weeks ago, I wasn’t quite as bowled over by season 1 of The Bridge as a lot of others were. This season has been significantly better, though, on just about any measure: the plotting, dialogue, and acting have all been excellent. In particular, of course, the two leads have been irresistibly watchable: Kim Bodnia, my choice as season 1 MVP, has broadened and deepened his portrayal of Martin; and while I thought Sofia Helin’s portrayal of Saga was occasionally a little bit too caricatured in the first season, over the past ten episodes she’s added infinite shades and nuances to the character of Saga, making her someone with whom you can truly empathise, meaning that the season as a whole became, in its final scenes, considerably moving. Adding it all up, this season of The Bridge achieved greatness, and goes into the Scanda-pantheon with the first seasons of Forbrydelsen and Borgen.