Review: Trapped (S1 E5&6/10), Saturday 27th February, BBC4

Programme Name: Trapped - TX: 27/02/2016 - Episode: n/a (No. 5) - Picture Shows: (L-R) Andri (ÓLAFUR DARRI ÓLAFFSON), Ásgeir (INGVAR EGGERT SIGURÐSSON), - (C) RVK Studios - Photographer: Lilja Jonsdottir
(C) RVK Studios – Photographer: Lilja Jonsdottir

After last week’s thrilling fourth episode we were left with the awesome, majestic and terrifying sight of a full-blown avalanche – started by Guðmundur – tumbling towards Andri, Guðmundur and his son Sigurður from what seemed like the night sky. Surely not all of them could survive this angry outburst.

NB: If you haven’t seen these episodes yet, do yourself a favour and don’t read beyond this point – there are all kinds of spoilers ahead

The fifth episode of Trapped more less concentrated on the aftermath of the avalanche and the efforts of those immediately trapped by it to free themselves and help those who were still trapped, while the townsfolk below were left to lament from more bad luck and a lack of electricity. It was pretty obvious Andri was going to survive the avalanche, but the way he emerged from the snow was just fantastic – not content with looking like a bear, who burst up from the powder roaring like one and stumbled across the snow to retrieve Sigurður and Guðmundur moving like one. And, comfortingly, he was wearing a hat.

Elsewhere, Hinrika was holed up with The Sad Man In The Wheel Chair – aka Rögnvaldur – and the two of them talked. Rögnvaldur told Hinrika about his deceased wife and explained that his telescope was the now his only link to the outside world. He also told her about Hrfan beating his wife and about all the other interesting things he had seen recently. They were strangely touching scenes between these two characters who, if it hadn’t been for the avalanche, would have talked at such length. I guess this is one of the things being trapped does – it forces characters to interact with those closest to them, both geographically and in a familial or spousal sense.

The town was now fully cut off from the rest of the world – it had no power and all the roads were impassable due to the avalanche’s wrath. This narrowed the focus even more, making the townsfolk feeling even more claustrophobic. By the end of the first episode of the night, Guðmundur and his maligned son, Sigurður in his state of shock and delirium, told Andri about ‘that bastard’ coming back to the town out of the blue. That bastard turned out to be Geirmundur – the original murder victim.

The final scenes of the fifth episodes saw a stunning twist. Throughout we saw snapshots of Hrafn, showing no sympathy whatsoever for the death of Guðmundur and generally being presented as a major suspect, but at the end, as he retreated to his shed after all the pesky avalanche business had died down, he was assailed and knocked unconscious by a heavy-set figure, who then proceeded to burn the wooden structure down. As the flames engulfed him, he screamed for his life, but his wife Kolbrún, who had been alerted to the commotion outside, looked on as her husband burned.

Episode six clicked back into gear again, with Andri, Hinrika and Ásgeir following leads, searching Hrafn’s papers and interviewing Kolbrún, among others, but the rising death count was beginning to take its toll on the three of them, especially Andri and Hinrika. Andri was asked to give a speech to the townsfolk at the church, which he did reluctantly, and afterwards he received comfort from Agnes. Once again, being trapped is forcing people to look at the relationships immediately around them.

But there were breaks in the case. Ásgeir found the camera, reported missing by the German tourists holed up in the school hall, and the mysterious Swiss man, missing from the ferry, both at the school swimming pool, which, since it wasn’t being used by the kids had been commandeered by the town’s teenagers as an all-night party venue (there were touching scenes during one of these parties, where tortured Hjörtur began to regain his confidence). On the camera was footage showing Sigurður arguing with Geirmundur only hours before he went missing. Andri and Hinrika went to interview Sigurður, who did a runner. He tried to escape on a boat with rifle in hand, but when the trio of police people caught up with them they found, in the boat’s cargo hold, Geirmundur’s missing corpse.

What was Sigurður doing with this body? And why was he arguing with Geirmundur on the day he died? We’ll no doubt find out more next week, but until then we’re being led down the path of Hrafn and his cadre of businessmen friends, including Leifur and Guðni (who looks more like a member of the Soprano crime family than an Icelander), being heavily involved. But there was more: by the end of the episode, Hjörtur was once again a suspect. So who can we trust? No one. I’m still not too sure about Eiríkur (don’t ask me why, it’s just a hunch), but what is interesting is the emergence and use of Rögnvaldur as a character. He helped Andri and Hinrika locate Sigurður on the boat, but what his character brings to the story interests me – the fact that we can see his telescopic snoopings makes us voyeurs, too, while it also helps to build suspense because we can see things unfold before Andri and his team. It’s a clever ploy.

Elsewhere, the weather had cleared enough for Trausti and the Reykjavik police to get into a helicopter and speed towards the embattled town. His arrival, and the obvious disdain he and Andri have for each other, will no doubt alter the dynamic in the remaining four episodes.

But that’s for next week’s double bill. Tonight we got more poignant interaction between well-drawn and well-written characters, and then a quickening of pace with more traditional procedural elements. Really, Trapped has a bit of everything.

Paul Hirons

For our review of episodes one and two, go here

For our review of episodes three and four, go here

For our interview with writer Clive Bradley, go here

For our interview with Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, go here


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Valgerður Ósk Einarsdóttir says:

    Hrafn and Eiríkur :)


    1. Paul Hirons says:

      Thanks, corrected!


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