This has been a funny old series. I’m not generally into the horror genre, nor, to a lesser extent, the supernatural genre, but this crime drama has been suffused with heavy influences from both. However ridiculous it has seemed – and it has – I now find myself utterly absorbed by it and slightly addicted to it. This is down to not only the acting and direction, but the fine writing, too, which has kept us guessing right up until the last episode. If you have all of those components in place and firing, you can make any sort of story seem like a winner. And now we’re into the penultimate episode, and I was stealing myself for big things to happen. I wasn’t disappointed.
We were straight into it, with Eva and Wass having a little chat about the video she had found at the end of episode eight, featuring her father Johan. Eva tells Wass she thinks he was murdered, thanks to the end of the video where Johan goes to investigate a noise and doesn’t return. Wass, as he has done throughout the whole series, nodded sagely then shows Eva something he has found out – bounty hunter Harry Storm, who has been busy readying to blow up the tunnels in the forest, has been profiled on a website, which speculates that the reason he now hunts down members of The Parasite Club and the forest people is because his own wife and children were murdered by ‘non humans’.
So now we have a murder to solve in two episodes, with Harry Storm the main suspect. Except… we saw in the last episode that Gerda was revealed to be the driving force behind Gustaf’s determination to bleed the forest dry for silver so she could secure the future of her son, Nicklas. Could her resolve in providing her son provoke her to murder, too?
This put Eva squarely up against Gerda who, Johan revealed in his Big Brother diary-room-style videos, was someone he had had an affair with and fathered a son, Nicklas. So it was all a big old family affair, and the two mothers were ready for a battle. They had demonstrated throughout the series that both of them would do anything to save their children, and now they were at a stalemate. They finally met towards the end of the episode, where Gerda revealed it was she who had killed Johan, who was feeling guilty about his treatment of the forest and had realised his mistake. Gerda told Eva that if she wanted to see Josefine again (whose condition was deteriorating by the second), she needed to sign over her shares in Thörnblad Cellulosa and get out of town. Immediately. Then she would get Josefine back. Maybe.
But there were other things to clear up elsewhere. Wass met his superior, the boss of the shady organisation we’re yet to fully understand the nature of. The Boss was disappointed and expressed an interest in taking out Eva and said that this situation was worse than the Kiruna pithead scenario in 1970s, and asked Wass to remember how many ‘we’ had to silence then. Wass countered by saying that he had had enough with his boss’s shift in policy and suggested enough was enough. The Boss warned that outside investigative forces were coming into Silverhöjd, namely a man called Reisner, which elicited a shiver from Wass.
The Boss finished their conversation with the phrase naturam vita nostra tuemur: with our lives we protect.
There was also the small matter of the prying Tom Aronsson, who had continued his snooping all the way to Wass’s house, where he found all manner of evidence his boss had concealed. When Wass returned, Tom was ready to bring him in, but Wass pleaded with him not to and told him the whole story. Eva, The Parasite Club, the forest… everything. He told Tom he was part of an organisation that were sworn to protect special people like Esmerelda, who was a being called a huldra.
I didn’t buy this, especially as Wass had promised his boss to keep schtum about everything. The fact he just capitulated was either because he had had enough of the secrecy, or that he realised that he needed Tom onside. But the way he spilled everything? That could only have been only be for expositional purposes.
Finally, after Ylva had let go of the creature in the bath and wised it “good luck” as she let it go into the wild, Harry Storm had taken it upon himself to follow the crow back to the old lady’s house where he found The Essence Of Forest kitchen. He had found Wass and Ylva’s bolthole and now he was stomping through the forest in a bid to find the her, until Wass stopped him in his tracks.
Like Harry Potter and Voldemort in the forest clearing, there was an almighty showdown, ending with both men lying on the ground with a bullet in each of them. Storm managed to stagger off but soon lost consciousness at the wheel of his car.
Wass, meanwhile, clung on for dear life with Eva making her way back to Silverhöjd.
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