Review: The Bridge (S3 E5&6/10), Saturday 5th December, BBC4

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Programme Name: The Bridge - TX: 05/12/2015 - Episode: The Bridge - series 3 - ep 6 (No. 6) - Picture Shows: Saga Norén (SOFIA HELIN) - (C) Filmlance International AB - Photographer: Carolina Romare

(C) Filmlance International AB – Photographer: Carolina Romare

Saga’s coping with her increasingly deranged mother, and Sabroe’s deep into something dirty, so who’s going to solve the Clown Killer case? At least we have a suspect now; ex-soldier Stenstrup has been lying about a van seen on CCTV near the site of the first killing. So will the cops get a break?

Well, seeing as Stenstrup promptly gets shot by a sniper, maybe not – he survives, but taunts Sabroe that he knows his dirty secret. Is it that Sabroe has been buying drugs from him? Guilty or not, it will be hard to force anything out of Stenstrup, and when the questioning gets too hard he goes on the run.

Sabroe also wants action on his personal case – his wife and two daughters disappeared six years previously. So who are the people in his house? Saga promises to help, but not immediately. First she has to question the sister of murder victim Abrahamsson. Saga’s knowledge of sign language comes in useful, as Margareta is deaf; she reveals that teacher Abrahamsson had a history of sexually abusing his pupils (why are we not surprised?) – but she can’t suggest a link to any of the other victims.

The discovery of burn marks on some of the victims, but not others, suggests that a copycat may be at work; Saga glances quite impaassively at genital mutilations which make Sabroe flinch. She also doesn’t hesitate to interrupt the funeral of first victim Helle Anker to check for burn marks. Cue another lecture in sensitivity from Linn.

Motivational speaker Sandberg has turned the arrangements for his father’s funeral over to his fan Annika. She’s started following him to events, and is clearly nutty.

Gambler Marc and his pregnant girfriend Jeanette are buying a house on his winnings, but they are run off the road and Jeanette is kidnapped. It turns out she’s carrying the baby for asset stripper Freddie Holst, whose wife Asa is faking a pregnancy. Her ex, Sandberg, still seems to have a thing for her though.

Sabroe makes a late-night visit to Saga, who tells him she’d rather be alone, unless he wants to have sex; after hesitating for a nanosecond he assents. Cue another bout of loveless coupling.

Stenstrup turns up at Sabroe’s home, threatening to expose his drugs habit unless he helps him get out of the country. As they set off, Stenstrup is killed by a drive-by shooter; Sabroe takes the opportunity to steal his phone with incriminating photos, and to invent a cover story that Stenstrup was handing himself in.

Saga’s nutty mum turns up again and spreads lies about her to Linn, prompting her to call in Rasmus Larsson (Henrik Lundström), who may have a grudge against Saga after having been dismissed from the main investigation in Season Two. Larsson questions Saga’s mother, who invents all sorts of lies about her, but Saga’s off on another tangent; the burns on three victims turn out to be Babylonian numbers (how does Saga know this stuff?!). The numbers connct to a code found in murder victim Morten’s home.

Businesswoman Anna is suffering the fallout of her affair with the younger Benjamin; after being forced to relinquish the relationship on TV, she calls to tell him she wants to be with him, but it’s too late – he’s killed himself.

So, clearly there are at least two ‘Clown Killers’ , the genuine one, and a copycat; plus another killer who is something to do with drug dealing, and possibly a fourth manipulating Anna. Does any of this tie in to Sabroe’s missing family? Is Linn determined to put halt to Saga’s operations, or will Hans come back in time to protect her?

As Anna mourns Benjamin’s death, her husband Hakan becomes the latest victim of the Clown Killer; suspended in a barrel and beaten to death in a parody of a children’s game.

After a press conference, a young man comes to Saga and Sabroe pointing out that all the staged ‘Clown Killer’ murder scenes are based on works of art owned by asset stripper Freddy Holst; Sabroe’s sceptical, but Saga buys it. Holst denies a connection. What he doesn’t know is that his wife Asa is secretly meeting old flame Sandberg.

When nutty Annika turns up in Sandberg’s car, he gives her the heave-ho – she isn’t going to like that. She suspects that he killed his father, and confronts him; will he give in to her demands or silence her? Worse, he’s now a suspect in the Clown Killings. Holst has stolen his company, his art collection and his wife, so he has a motive for getting back at him. But Saga and Sabroe can’t crack his facade.

They do, though, make a link between Holst’s business dealings and transport boss Anderson’s company; and a houseware catalogue there seems to have been used to order props found at the scenes of the murders. Was Soder, a disgruntled ex-employee, implicated?

Tina (stunner Ida Engvoll), the journalist who broke the story of Anna’s affair, suffers the fallout from Benjamin’s suicide when she is sacked. She thinks that Benjamin himself gave her the tip-off, but her editor doesn’t see that as a justification.

Marc visits Jeanette at Holst’s mansion, but Holst offers him money to make himself scarce; but he’s still gambling, and soon loses the lot.

Linn confronts Saga with news that her mother has died, apparently a suicide; she understands that Saga must be affected by both her parents dying so close together, but as Saga responds, if she is affected, she doesn’t know how yet. In fact her sigh seems to be one of relief and she’s more concerned with the declining Hans. She admits that she doesn’t recognise Sandberg’s definition of happiness, and concludes that she can never have been happy; but Sandberg’s definition was, in the words of Asa, pretty unscientific.

Saga goes to Sabroe’s place, and his neuroses finally come to make sense; his family is entirely imaginary, which is why his wife seems so compliant about his womanising and drug-taking. Saga, oddly, seems to understand the situation, and stays the night, though she seems a little miffed that there will be none of the sex.

Finally, journalist Tina gets a job offer, and the reply address includes the mysterious code from Morten’s home; will she crack the case, or become another victim?

Once again, we don’t seem to have made much progress on the case in these two episodes, with further victims and more clues appearing, but still no sense of how they’re connected.

Saga, though, has really been put through the mill, with Linn’s lack of faith, the reappearance of Larsson and the death of her mother to cope with. But is there now a chance that she could find happiness with Sabroe? It doesn’t seem likely. Macmillan and Wife, they ain’t. And will Sabroe cope if Saga finds out what happened to his family? Some questions are better not answered…

Chris Jenkins

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