Review: Jordskott (S1 E2/10), Wednesday 17th June, ITV Encore

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jordskott

So Jordskott then. It’s a bit of a head-scratcher. For 57 minutes of its opening episode it proved to be an intriguing, dark and capable crime drama, using its Scandinavian roots (no pun intended) to permeate a feeling of isolation and dread throughout a small, isolated and rural Swedish community. It did this well. But then the very last scene of the episode threw the baby out with the bath water, and it turned into something very different. Something supernatural. Something odd. Something I wasn’t sure about. The previously very sick, bed-bound teenager that may or may not be the main protagonist’s long-missing daughter was found with her hand in a flower pot, eyes rolled back into her head like she was receiving some sort of ambrosian nourishment, in a reverie like a child sucking on its mother’s teat. Pulling her hands out when a nurse walked in on her, her digits were revealed to be root-like things with tendrils. Yep, it had changed tack all right.

Aside from Flower Pot Teen, we were left with a few questions from episode one (although admittedly the Flower Pot Teen did preoccupy our thoughts). Specifically, I was intrigued about the crime element of the show and wanted to know whether Eva Thörnblad’s father – one of the reasons she had returned to her hometown of Silverhöjd in the first place – had anything to do with the disappearance of her missing daughter Josefine.

We got some answers. Holed up in her late father’s grand house in the middle of nowhere, and after a chat with his doctor who revealed that her father, Jonas, was suffering from the same parasitic condition ‘Josefine’ was suffering from, she went through his videotape collection. On them Jonas had documented his physical decline. As they got more and more distressing, he described his condition as like having something growing inside of you and feeling as though his head was about to explode.

In one of the video cases Eva found a small scrap of paper, which had some mysterious symbols scrawled on them. She decided to take them to the old guy she met in the library in last week’s episode, who had agreed with her that her daughter had not drowned. He had some choice words for Eva in his shack – he believed that her father did indeed have something to do with Josefine’s disappearance and that she had been taken, not drowned. Why? He believed that because of his logging company, he had pissed off the forest and that it was taking his revenge.

Let’s just review that little snippet once again because this is surely the way Jordskott is going: the forest is angry and is taking its revenge of the family Thörnblad and perhaps humans in general.

I’m chuckling to myself even reading back that daft line, but this is what Jordskott seems to be and, however hard I find to take this flight into the supernatural seriously, there are some slightly intriguing things here that are just about keeping me watching.

There is still a crime element to the show. Little Anton is still missing and, after Eva was struck on the head, tied to an anchor and lobbed off the side of a ferry to drown, she was rescued by, erm, a sort of glowing light under water. Lying in her hospital bed she was asked by the creepily neutral and normal copper Göran Wass to officially help them investigate the disappearence of Anton and, perhaps in turn, find out what really happened to Josefine. She could hardly resist. There’s also Jonas’s lawyers and Anton’s father who are in cahoots and are working to placate an unknown kidnapper, which suggests Anton is still alive. If Anton is alive does this mean Josefine is, too? But what is their game? Why are they keeping quiet and what have they got to lose?

So Jordskott then. It has sort of morphed into a dark fairytale, horror series, mixing in a few tried and trusted crime elements. There’s an isolated town, strange characters (a homeless woman who talks to crows, and a cab driver who collects trinkets), lots of lush, dense forest… it’s the perfect place for a horror story.

If you can get your head around the fact that Jordskott is not the next Killing or Bridge as many hoped it would be, and suspend belief to point you can buy into the fact that a forest is waging war on its human inhabitants, Jordskott, like Fortitude before it, might be an enjoyable, but daft series.

Paul Hirons
@Son_Of_Ray

For our episode one review, go here

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