The 10 Best Wallander Episodes

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It’s the last ever episode of Wallander tomorrow night (Saturday 21st June) and we couldn’t really mark the occasion without doffing our cap and doing something listy. Lest we forget, Henning Mankell’s archetypal obsessed, wracked and tormented Scandinavian cop has blazed a trail – well, more like scowled a trail – for a new breed of Swedish and Danish shows that have found global success. We have no idea how tommorrow night’s finale is going to go, but until then here are our 10 favourite episodes. So in no particular order…
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Mastermind 
(Series One,  Episode Six)
The disappearance of a policeman’s daughter is connected to a grisly murder, and it seems the killer has very close knowledge of Wallander’s investigation. A mole on the inside? Where is this person getting their info from? Enough to drive an already hangdog Swedish copper to distraction.
Hemligheten

secondColumn (Series One, Episode 13)
The 11-year-old son of Stefan’s friend is sexually abused and killed, but Lindman is unable to assist Wallander’s investigation because he is facing suspension pending disciplinary proceedings.  The prime suspect is a man seen chatting to Johannes at a supermarket, but is soon found dead. His neighbour, an ex-policeman, had already arrested a similar child killer years earlier, so who is the perpetrator? The case’s descent into child pornography hardly lightens the mood.

Hämnden
(Series Two,  Episode One)
Wallander has finally achieved his dream of an idyllic life by the sea, but his peace and quiet is shattered when an explosion destroys the town’s power station. When more acts of sabotage follow, the detective is forced to work in darkness as he tries to track down the culprits. Typical, just when you thought it was safe to retire to the seaside…
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Tjuven 
(Series Two, Episode Four)
A Polish builder is reported missing by his wife, and a spate of burglaries prompts a group of neighbours to form a private guard for the streets of Ystad. Though neither case is treated as a priority, it does not take long for Wallander and the team to uncover much more than they expected. A theme that has been a frequent in Scandinavian police drama, expertly covered here.

Skytten
(Series Two,  Episode Eight)
The detective and his team investigate when a petty crook is killed by a sniper, who turns out to be a 16-year-old boy who may or may not be trying to impress a gang leader. Turns out he isn’t trying to impress the gang leader – he has altogether more surprising and personal reasons for his sharp-shotting.

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Indrivaren 
(Series Two,  Episode 12)
As Isabelle and Pontus’s traineeship comes to an end, she discovers the a woman killed during a burglary was an instructor at her gym. This suddenly opens the list of suspects to a cast of dozens rather than one or two, and the episode becomes a classic whodunit. Gyms these days, eh?
Innan Frosten
(Series One,  Episode One)

The cops are following up on a particularly sadistic killer when Kurt finds himself working with his estranged daughter Linda, a new member of the force in Ystad. Working together is very stressful and short-tempered Kurt finds her rookie failings annoying.  “Didn’t they teach you anything at the academy?” he rages, in front of her colleagues in the field. Not the World’s Number One Dad yet.
Deborah Shrewsbury

Mörkret
(Series One,  Episode Four)
When a two-year-old boy is found in an abandoned car, inquiries reveals that the father is missing and the child’s 14-year-old sister had committed suicide months earlier – causing her mother to be admitted to a mental institution. Wallander and his team’s investigation uncovers a sordid secret at the girl’s school. 

Den Orolige Mannen
(Series Three, Episode One)
It is a highly subjective choice, but it is a joy to see to see a few tender exchanges between Kurt, Linda and grand-daughter Klara early in this opening episode of the final third series – especially as we know these close family moments will be few and far between. Kurt is at Linda’s home and goes into Klara’s bedroom to watch her sleeping for a while before going out to investigate more death and mayhem. It is probably a more tender moment than he has ever shared with his own daughter.
Deborah Shrewsbury

Mordbrännaren
(
Series Three, Episode Five)

The heart-rending scene where Wallander and his colleagues realise that deranged arsonist Tommy (Christoffer Nordenrot) has finally snapped under the pressure brought to bear by the village’s opprobrium and is now going for broke.  He takes hostage his young cousin Alex, one of the only people who has shown him acceptance. Kurt persuades him to let innocent Alex go – but then he douses himself in solvent and brandishes a lighter.
Deborah Shrewsbury

Wallander: Saturday 21st June, 9pm, BBC4

For our episode one review, go here

For two episode one review, go here

For three episode one review, go here

For four episode one review, go here

For five episode one review, go here

 

 

 

 

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