We’re into the home straight now with this bonkers, sometimes brilliant, sometimes unintentionally hilarious Swedish thriller and I’m certainly none the wiser as to what’s going on. Which, in all seriousness, is a testament to how good the plotting is. It’s kept me interested without revealing too much – you never quite know how this is going to go. To pull this off, you have to have absolute conviction with your story, even though it’s the daftest yarn seen on television this year. Then you have to follow this conviction through with utter, determined commitment. If you believe in what you’re doing, so will the audience. And that’s what Henrik Björn and his team have displayed through these five, and now six episodes. Once you’ve bought into this, it’s hard not to be at least intrigued by Jordskott and, on some levels, completely gripped by it.
We saw in the last episode that (the now late) Olof Gran had warned Eva that the mysterious person who had been leaving bottles of Essence Of Forest for ‘Josefine’ and archaic notes that in order to get her daughter back she was to swap her with another young girl – Emma – at the stroke of midnight on the night of the next full moon, which just happened to be 24 hours after he had deciphered the message. There was no doubt that Eva was going to do this, despite the extreme moral implications of kidnapping another young girl and giving her over to ‘the forest’.
This whole episode was building up to that moment, and up until the last 20 minutes it meandered along. And then it all went bang, almost literally. Not in a True Detective hyper-real way, but in a mysterious Scandinavian way.
Göran Wass, who had finally been revealed to be something extremely odd at the end of the last episode, had used his super humanimal sniffing sense to determine that it was Eva who had kidnapped the child, whose disappearance pushed the town towards a frenzied breaking point. He had visited Yylva earlier in the episode to check up on the tadpole-like creatures she had collected from the babbling brook in the previous episode, who by now were emitting such a screech while they thrashed away in the old lady’s bathtub that she had to wear headphones while she fed them. What they are we still don’t know yet.
Elsewhere,Tom Aronsson was interrogating Esmerelda after the murder of the young teen at the party. While he started off his questioning in a sympathetic manner, part of this episode’s dénouement saw him take a more aggressive tone, accusing the tear-stained teen of murdering the boy. This Esmerelda did not like, and she flew into a kinetic rage, her eyes turning a funny orange colour and her voice all horror filmy. What’s more she somehow messed with the very atmosphere in the room, warping it this way and that until lightbulbs exploded and Aronsson was lying on the floor with a pen in his neck.
Despite all this drama, all we wanted to know was what would happen with Eva and Emma.
Eva managed to circumnavigate a roadblock or two to get to the forest where she attached a tracking device to her captive/sacrificial lamb and set up camp behind a mossy tree stump, rifle aimed and at the ready. She wanted to have her cake and eat it – she wanted to make it look as though she was offering Emma to the forest people, but in fact wanted to trap them at the same time. Suddenly Eva, who had seemingly succumbed to the madness that was sweeping Silverhöjd, was back on the good guy’s side.
But predictably enough, things soon went lingonberry-shaped and Emma, in the blink of an eye, was gone. Eva’s plan had disappeared into thin air. What’s more her real abductor left Emma’s pair of Wellington boots at her mother’s doorstep. (Let’s not forget Emma’s mother is something to do with Gustaf and the Thörnblad corporation, who were on the cusp of razing the forest. Could this be the unifying theme? After all, missing Anton’s father is on the Thörnblad board too.)
So now ‘the forest’ had the child it wanted, how did that leave ‘Josefine”s state? She wasn’t altogether healed but Little Miss Flower Pot did lead Eva to a secret room inside the house, where her father did all his studying. There she found ancient documents detailing the Thörnblad’s existence in the forest since the 18th century. She also found drawings from this period of those suffering from the same parasite-based condition both her father and daughter had and are suffering from. With Wass on his way to the house, Eva pondered this new wealth of information.
And then there was a shot. Eva had taken a bullet to the stomach and, with blood oozing out of her wound, she fell to the floor incredulous as to what had happened.
She wasn’t the only one.
For our episode one review, go here
For our episode two review, go here
For our episode three review, go here
For our episode four review, go here
For our episode five review, go here