So we’re two episodes into what could have been the next great Scandinavian crime drama, but instead we’re teetering on the edge of the supernatural genre, with plant-based humans with roots for fingers creeping around the place. For police investigator Eva Thörnblad, who has returned to her hometown not only to deal with her father’s funeral but also try to find out what really happened to her daughter (who had disappeared eight years earlier, presumed drowned), an encounter with Flower Pot Girl added fuel to her fire. People told her that the hospital-bound Flower Pot Girl wasn’t her daughter Josefine, and indeed a DNA test confirmed there was no connection between the two, but she was having none of it. Mother’s intuition told her that Flower Pot Girl was Josefine, and that was that.
Except, of course, Flower Pot Girl had done a runner at the end of episode two, and Eva was quite keen to find out what had happened to her.
In the meantime, there was a new thread to the story – three teenage boys were out in the forest having a few shits and giggles with a shotgun (as you do). One of them investigated a disturbance down by the river bank, only to find an excruciatingly high-pitched wheezing sound, which made him double up in pain. As his friend rushed over to help, a clammy, webbed hand came out of the water and grabbed one of the boys. As they tried to shield their ears from the eardrum-destroying noise they also tried to evade the clutches of a… a thing. A human-shaped thing with pallid skin and webbed hands. Eventually they got it together to shoot it, and The Thing drifted off down the river. Despite a vow of silence, one of the boys felt so guilty he went to the police. After some expert interrogation in the interview room Göran Wass then did his best Ray Mears impression and tracked the boys’ movements, and used a sort of dog whistle to call out into the wild.
Let’s talk about police guy Göran Wass for a second. He’s so normal, both in the way he dresses and looks and the way he deals with people, so relentlessly dull and unsmiling I can’t help but think there’s something more to the man than meets the eyes. And so it sort of proved in this episode. After he and Tom Aronsson found The Thing in a nearby treatment works, Wass returned to the wilderness to pick up a hidden bag of something to put in his car. What’s Wass’s game? Regardless, he’s fast becoming the most interesting character in all this strangeness.
All this meant that Eva’s arc was sidelined for a bit, which was actually quite refreshing. I understand her obsession with finding Flower Pot Girl/Josefine, but it’s starting to grate. No wonder Tom Aronsson lost his temper with her. It seems every noise in the bushes, every piece of CCTV footage and every teenage girl with blonde hair is greeted with, “JOSEFINE!” Now promoted to a similar standing to Göran Wass in the investigation, she addressed the team and instead of being all cool and calm and logical in her briefing, she started to bang on about her missing-daughter-that-may-not-be-missing, Josefine (“JOSEFINE!”). Way to inspire confidence from your new colleagues.
There were other things going on: the mysterious man who seems to be in cahoots with Eva’s late father’s lawyers had to change his appearance after the cops found his stash of weapons, and Tom opened up to Eva about his autistic daughter. Eva didn’t seem bothered. Elsewhere, the crone who wheels around a shopping trolley all day talking to crows visited a man in an old people’s home. When they were alone together, they dropped their respective ‘I’m a mad old person’ acts and chatted as if they both knew what was going on in the town. Also… the old boy who Eva took the mysterious symbols to last episode? He had deciphered them, and told Eva they said something like “You can have her every full moon”. Was this referencing Josefine? Who was telling her father he could have her every full moon?
Of course, it’s all ludicrous and far-fetched and there were elements of less-than-subtle story telling on show. For instance, there was a scene where Eva approached a young policewoman going through CCTV footage of the hospital, looking for clues as to Flower Pot Girl’s disappearance. The policewoman told Eva she was knackered, so Eva suggested she take over for a bit. Once the policewoman was out of sight, Eva popped in the disc of the moment when Flower Pot Girl took off from the hospital. Eva noticed something (someone?) in the shadows… of course Eva noticed, for the sake of dramatic storytelling the policewoman whose job it is to look through CCTV footage couldn’t have seen it. Oh no.
For our episode one review, go here
For our episode two review, go here