There was a bit of confusion at the end of episode four of this bonkers Swedish crime drama (when hasn’t there been?), when Eva Thörnblad chased an intruder into a secret passageway that linked her father’s house with the forest outside. Before he escaped into the foliage he left a bottle of the black gunk (Essence Of Forest, as one of our excellent commenters called it… I think a Diet version is coming out soon) and a small pile of papers that, seemed to me at least, to indicate that the teenage girl tended to by Eva was not her daughter Josefine, but a girl called Emma. Wrong again.
We joined the craziness with Eva seeking answers from the authority on all things weird, Olof Gran (the old fellow who helped her translate some runes). She had gone to him in the hope he could translate some more of the nonsense scrawled on the notes left for her in the secret passageway.
“Once nature gets hold of you it will never let go of you,” Olof frowned. He went on to explain that ‘nature’, or the people/beings representing nature, were offering a trade – the life of her daughter for someone else’s. Who? The ‘other girl’ Olof said. Perhaps ‘the other girl’ meant Emma in the photograph, left next to the bottle of Essence Of Forest.
Before Olof went on, he made Eva promise that she would not concede to these demands. She said ok, I won’t concede. But we all knew that as soon as she was out of the door she was straight off to concede to these demands. It’s Josefine for God’s sake, there’s absolutely no way she’s going to let something so trivial as another young girl’s life get in the way of being properly reunited with her daughter. Once Olof was satisfied that Eva was not going to trade anyone for her own daughter – sucker! – he told her that the note had said that a trade must take place at the next culmination of the full moon, which was tomorrow night at midnight.
But what of the rest of Silverhöjd? Last episode we saw that people were getting strange rashes, and this week we saw the water turning green and becoming undrinkable. And the body count was escalating slowly but surely, making this pretty little place begin to rival Midsomer for its inherent danger. Thanks to (an unseen) Harry Storm, a young teenager had his throat cut at a party, with a wan, wide-eyed doll-like teen called Esmerelda found with the victim’s blood on her hands. Tom Aronsson (who was STILL carting his young, mute daughter around with him while he investigated with him… that wouldn’t happen in the real world, surely?) was on the case, interviewing every emo he could find at the foster home where Esmerelda lived.
Later, after a ‘moment’ between he and Eva (please don’t let these two get together, they’re the least likely couple since Paul Daniels and Debbie McGhee (non UK readers only google before you’ve eaten)), Esmerelda popped up in the back seat of his car, telling him she didn’t kill the teen and she needed his help.
But back to Eva and Josefine. The clever person/being who left the note in the secret passageway also left a bottle of Essence Of Forest: just enough to keep Josefine fed for a while but not enough to keep her going for that long. It forced Eva’s hand (very clever Passageway Person/Being) and we all know what Eva’s hand will be – even though she went to meet the sweet little girl Emma at her school and promised she would protect her from ‘monsters’, she was fully intent on nabbing her and trading her for Josefine. Or a functioning, pre-kidnapped Josefine, at least.
Elsewhere, there was some other stuff going on. Yylva went on a little day trip out to the countryside, where there was an unintentionally hilarious moment – she purposefully strode up the side of a mountain with her shopping trolley in manner that belied her age, with some overwrought classical music on the soundtrack. It felt like an advert for multivitamins or an OAP version of Rocky, a Swedish version of climbing those steps in Philadelphia. She finally got to her destination – a bubbling river. She dunked a jar under the fresh water and captured some sort of magical tadpole creature that made a cute squealing noise.
I have no idea.
Back in Silverhöjd, the terrifyingly normal Göran Wass started to unravel. Olof went to him to let him know of the impending doom the town was facing, but instead of letting people know he kept schtum (to be fair to Wass, you wouldn’t hold a press conference to let the rest of the town know they were about to be overrun by pixies from the forest). Wass went home after a long, hard day, allowing himself a guzzle or two from his hip flask as he did so. There waiting for him was a man, whose enormous, portentous ring was highlighted before his face was. He felt like he was the boss of something, and told Wass that he thought everything they had been working towards was under threat and that Olof needed to go (Olof did indeed go). And perhaps even Eva, too.
So Wass is part of something sinister. We don’t know what yet.
But, with Gustaf preparing to raze the forest and initiate a full-scale war between his company and the Humanimals, you get the sense a reckoning is coming very soon.
For our episode one review, go here
For our episode two review, go here
For our episode three review, go here
Four our episode four review, go here