We’re less than a week away from the start of the eagerly awaited third series of The Bridge, so I thought it’d be fun on a wet and windy weekend to re-watch the first two series and pick out some of my favourite Saga Norén moments. Why? Because I’m quite convinced that she’s my favourite TV police person of all time, her blend of unconventional social interaction and vulnerability giving her a slightly enigmatic, beguiling quality. Of course, her interaction with her partner – Danish policeman Martin Rohde, the complete opposite of her – made the pairing hugely watchable. The fact that Martin isn’t there for series three is a great shame, but what I’ve seen of the third series suggests we may not miss him as much as I initially thought. Still, here’s some of my favourite Saga moments from series one. The second part of this exercise will up later in the week. Tak.
Series one, episode one: The clothes change
The prospect of working with someone else is freaking Saga out a little bit, especially someone who disregards the rules as much as Martin. She’s already filed a report on him because of his conduct on the Øresund Bridge, and can’t quite figure out how to read her new partner. The feeling is mutual. Saga’s lack of social etiquette is evident when she takes off her t-shirt and changes in the middle of the office, in front of Martin. He’s shocked and slightly amused, but for us it showed that as much as Martin likes to disregard the rules when it comes to police work, Saga likes to break them in social situations.
Series one, episode two: Am I annoying you?
Journalist Daniel Ferbé has been saved, but due to his links with the killer Martin wants to interrogate him. Saga wants to stick to protocol. It’s one of the first times she seems out of kilter with her carefully controlled reality, and she feels uneasy. “Am I annoying you?” she asks Martin. “No, not yet,” he replies. “I’ll get a search warrant [when referring to their next lead],” she proffers. “Or we could just go and have a look,” Martin says, going on instinct and not the rule book.
Series one, episode two: Do you want to have sex at my place?
With Martin ‘enjoying’ some family time, Saga was left at home on her own, reading up on the case. Coming out of the shower she feels a twinge of horniness, and decides to do something about it. She goes to a club where she’s instantly hit upon by a handsome fellow. “Can I buy you a drink?” he asks. “No,” she replies. He thinks this is the end of the conversation, but she follows him and asks: “Do you want to have sex at my place?” It’s slightly comical but also reveals a lot about Saga’s character – almost without knowing it, she has stripped down social interaction to its absolute basic form in order to fulfil a need. She doesn’t want to engage in small-talk – she’s here to pick up someone for sex and and that is all. Her lover, Anton, gets a shock when, post-coitus, she turns over and shuns a cuddle. She doesn’t want any emotional contact. Het gets another shock when he awakes to find her poring through pictures of the murder victim on her laptop.
Series one, episode five: No, it wasn’t tasty
Saga calls around to Martin and Mette’s place to tell him the recently discovered identity of the 14-year-old girl who’s been living with Lars Jönsson. August opens the door and is instantly smitten with her, while Martin has to persuade her to come inside. Their two worlds collide – Martin, with his large family around him in a warm and welcoming family house, offers Saga a seat (after she hands him the wallet he left at Charlotte’s house… eek). Saga, used to eating microwave food on her own, looks around the table with mild confusion. When Martin asks if she likes the food, she answers: “No, it wasn’t tasty.” Later, after Saga brusquely deals with the missing girl’s mother, telling her that her daughter might be dead, Martin admonishes her, asking her: “Are you aware of the things you say? Are you aware?!!” Looking quizzical, Saga asks him: “So people want to be lied to?” “Yes Saga, sometimes they do,” he replies.
Series one, episode six: No, you won’t die
By this stage we’re starting to find out more about Saga. Her sister took her own life when she was 14-years-old. Saga blames herself for it. Anja, also 14, is in a hospital bed after being shot. The wounded teen asks Saga if she will die. Saga, for the first time, takes Martin’s advice, twists the truth and tells her no, she won’t die. She dies 20 minutes later and you can see the pain bubbling under Saga’s surface – Anja’s death recalls that of her sister’s.
Series one episode seven: He’s annoyed with me
Martin is reaching out to Saga after his own life is beginning to fall apart. Mette has found out about his dalliance with Charlotte, and Martin’s son August spent the night at Saga’s. Not only that but a former colleague was murdered and there’s the prospect of one of his own force being the man behind all the terror. When Saga tells Hans August spent the night with her (“Martin might be annoyed with me”), she tells him that he’s 18 and can’t see why Martin is upset with her. When Hans looks horrified, she tells him they didn’t have sex, he just stayed the night. “Have you told Martin?” asks Hans. “No. What for?” she answers. Hans asks he to tell him as a favour to him, so, in the middle of a busy incident room, she blurts out to Martin that she didn’t have sex with his son.
Series one, episode seven: I’m no good as a girlfriend
After Martin is thrown out of his family home by Mette, Saga reluctantly puts him up. She treats him to some home cooking (microwave pizzas) and they engage in conversation. After briefly talking about her sister, Martin asks her if she has ever lived with a boyfriend. “No, I’m no good as a girlfriend.” They’re interrupted by a the door. “This is Martin, his wife kicked him out so he’s staying here. Martin, this is Anton,” she introduces the visitor. “We have sex now and again.” An awkward silence ensues, broken by Saga, asking Anton, “Do you want to go to bed right now?”
Series one, episode eight: Just chatting
Saga is trying. She’s really trying. Thanks to Hans and Martin’s tutelage when it comes to small-talk, she’s engaging Martin mid-drive in the Porsche.
Saga: “Mette’s ok with you staying at mine?”
Martin: “She doesn’t know but it’ll be ok.”
Saga: “She doesn’t think we’ll have sex?”
Martin: “Not at all.”
Saga: “Why not?”
Martin: “You’re not my type.”
Saga: “Have you got a type? Charlotte and Mette are dissimilar. Will you get a divorce?”
Martin: “No, it’ll work out.”
Saga: “Have you worked it out before?”
Saga: “So you’ve cheated before?”
Martin: “What the hell are you up to?”
Saga: “Just chatting. As colleagues do.”
Martin: “Don’t. You’re no good at it.”
Saga: “Am I annoying you now?”
Saga: “Sometimes I do?”
Martin: “Yes, you can be very annoying.”
Saga: “More than others?”
Martin: “In a league of your own.”
Martin: “Why do you ask? You don’t care what people think of you.”
Saga: “No, it’s important what you think of me. Does Mette cheat at all?”
Martin: “No, not at all.”
Saga: “I’ve read that in unhappy relationships both often seek happiness elsewhere.”
Martin [shouting]: “We’re not unhappy!”
Saga: “Then why do you cheat?”
Martin: “Stop right there! Do you really care what I think?”
Martin: “Then give it a rest. Thank you.”
Series one, episode nine: You can’t think like that
Saga had gone on a character development, but this was a moment when her matter-of-factness suited the situation. Saga and Martin now realised that Jens was the man they were looking for, but why? As they looked into it, Martin came up with a curveball: the man Jens’s wife, Mikaela, went to meet on the night she died was him. They were having an affair. Martin feels immense guilt. “Without me there would have been nothing to tell,” he said. “Without a bridge, she wouldn’t have crashed,” replied Saga. “You can’t think like that.” Later, she uncharacteristically kept his secret connection to Jens from the team.
Series one, episode nine: Saga cracks
Hans, who’s a father figure to Saga, reveals that his transfer to Göthenberg has been accepted and he’ll be leaving as soon as this case is finished. After he leaves the room, she sheds a tear – the first piece of genuine emotion we’ve seen from her.
Series one, episode 10: Martin, I’ve found him
And so the final battle of wits between Jens, Martin and Saga. In a tense stand-off, where Martin is seconds away from killing Jens, she uses all that she’s learned and tells him that August is still alive. Martin pleads with her, asking her if she really is telling the truth or if she’s telling him what he wants to hear. She tries so hard, but in the end she cannot lie to him. Martin, thankful for the truth, turns to finish Jens off, but Saga is quicker on the draw, shooting both men to nullify their threat. It’s an incredible finale.
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