Review: Trapped (S1 E7&8/10), Saturday 5th March, BBC4

Programme Name: Trapped - TX: 05/03/2016 - Episode: n/a (No. 7) - Picture Shows: (L-R) Ásgeir (INGVAR EGGERT SIGURÐSSON),, Andri (ÓLAFUR DARRI ÓLAFFSON), Hinrika (ILMUR KRISTIÁNSDÓTTIR) - (C) RVK Studios - Photographer: Lilja Jonsdottir

(C) RVK Studios – Photographer: Lilja Jonsdottir

Since those very first scenes in Trapped, when a Danish ferry crawled into the remote coastal port of Seyðisfjörður, the town and its locals had been engulfed in a storm that had cut it off from the outside world. At the end of episode six that storm had finally abated, allowing a team of officers from Reykjavik – led by Trausti – to helicopter in and finish the investigation. We knew that as soon as Trausti had touched down the dynamic of the show would shift – Andri, the bear-like hero of the show would have to come to terms with someone with higher authority muscling in on his patch and his investigation. Not only that but it had been pretty obvious that Andri and Trausti had previous, and lots of it, which made this showdown potentially explosive. Tonight we were going to find out what that previous was, and much, much more.

NB: This is a review. And there are spoilers. Lots and lots and lots and lots of them.

As soon as the mustachioed Trausti and his team of Reykjavik police people strode into Andri’s offices there was tension in the air. Sigurður, who was being questioned by both Andri and Trausti, had clearly lost it – the combined events of losing his father in the avalanche, being involved in the murder of Geirmundur and the discovery of his limbless and headless corpse aboard his boat rendered him into a glazed-eyed wreck. Andri could see that this man had lost his marbles, but Trausti was keen to exert his authority regardless of Sigurður’s mental state. And of course all the while overlooking some crucial pieces of evidence in order to get his notch on the bedpost.

Despite his protestations, Andri was shunted off the case. This was no bad thing, both for the character and for the plot. In fact it was a very clever way to propel the plot. With two story strands left to investigate – the murders of Geirmundur and Hrafn and the sex traffickers – and the episodes speeding by, one investigation splintered into two. This allowed Trausti to concentrate on the murders and Andri, after a calm, measured pep talk from Hinrika (why use lots of words when you can use only two or three and a well-placed frown?), could focus on the sex trafficking strand.

This helped to move things on considerably.

The moment Trausti touched down in Seyðisfjörður he was being set up as the bad guy, and his handling of the investigation led to the suicide of poor Sigurður. We also, finally, got to find out about Andri and Trausti’s beef – they were once partners in Reykjavik, working on the case of a missing girl. Andri admitted to Hinrika that his questioning of a 20-year-old male suspect went above and beyond what was acceptable, and Trausti dobbed him in to the higher-ups. And this after Trausti had just berated him in a cafe for not being the holier-than-thou hero that the town believed. Andri had run away from this unresolved case (perhaps this is where series two, if there ever is to be one, will go), desperate to hide from his guilt and to now make amends by being the best person and policeman he could be. The maelström of cases that had engulfed Seyðisfjörður offered, we now understood, a chance for Andri to redeem himself.

And he was getting somewhere. He and Hinrika managed to get a confession from Joy, and they promptly arrested the ferry’s captain, Soren Carlsen. As we edged into episode eight, Hinrika got to work on the captain who sneered that she had no idea what was really going on in her town, implying that the tentacles of this thing reach down deeper into the fabric of Seyðisfjörður than anyone realised. As is her wont, the deputy went about her business with her beguiling mix of calmness and directness, finding chinks in Sorensen’s armour until he spilled the beans to Andri and Hinrika that it was the ship’s so-called engineer – a man originating from the Faroe Islands called Dvallin Knudsson, who the Reykjavik police had been tracking – that was behind this whole trafficking operation.

So that strand was neatly tied up, or, after Knudsson was captured, at least for the most part. Now we could concentrate on the Geirmundur and Hrafn murders. With Trausti back in Reykjavik with his tail between his legs Andri was entrusted with the rest of the investigation. (Andri’s report on Trausti’s shoddy investigation had been leaked to the press, which meant that there was now a consensus that Sigurður was innocent, at least of Geirmundur’s murder, and that the investigation was back on.)

But not before some interesting character development. In 10-episode series you always get a little dip in the action to concentrate on characters – to see how far they’ve come, review their relationships and to tie up some loose ends. With the final two episodes next week, episode eight felt like that episode: the calm before the storm; the deep breath before the plunge. And it was so beautifully and believably done, demonstrating that each of these characters that we’ve come to care so much for have so much depth and dimension, and are worn down and scarred by life, relationships and the fall-out from crime.

We saw Hjörtur, partly healed and newly at peace with himself, prepare to leave the town; we saw Andri and Agnes reconcile in the most animal, carnal way possible (did you see the way he picked her up, and both of them clawing at each other like I would at a Terry’s Chocolate Orange straight after Lent? I’m sure there was more than a palpitation on Twitter when this happened); and the cracks in Bárður and Hinrika’s relationship (after Bárður became angry with his wife at the way she was handling Joy and Nishadi’s case) beginning to widen. Smooth hotel owner Guðni, Leifur and Kolbrún were waiting in the wings – they are obviously all in cahoots with either the developers and/or Knudsson and were probably behind the Geirmundur and Hrafn’s death. How and why we’ll have to wait and see.

But there was still time for a big, fat twist at the end. Everything was looking rosy for characters who had been through so much. Andri, who was trapped by his own secrets and was so exhausted from his redemptive journey, felt free and was on the road to reconciliation with Agnes. And the ferry left town, a full eight days after it had arrived, the surest visual metaphor that changes were changing and moving on. Its departure cleared the way for the final push – there are no complications now to solving the case.

It was a classic case of false sense of security.

As Andri was doing his washing Þórhildur asked him to wash Eiríkur’s trousers. As he was putting them in the washing machine, out fell a key. Could it be? Andri exhaled a huge, anxious sigh. Could it be the missing key to Hrafn’s shed? The one he was burned alive in?

Of course it was.

Paul Hirons

For our episodes one and two review, go here

For our episodes three and four review, go here

For our episodes five and six review, go here

For our interview with Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, go here

For our interview with Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir, go here

For our interview with writer Clive Bradley, go here







14 thoughts on “Review: Trapped (S1 E7&8/10), Saturday 5th March, BBC4

  1. Mike Sargent

    They presumably reeked of gasoline. You’d think what’sisname would have been more careful to cover his tracks, especially with the head policeman in and out of the house! The problem I find with the series and indeed reviews such as this is remembering people’s names. Maybe you could write (Police chief’s wife’s boyfriend) after Eirikur, for example! Or should I just take notes?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul Hirons

      It’s not just you Mike, I have to keep re-winding and referring to the cast page when I write the reviews. Aside from that, enjoying it?

      PS. Perhaps there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the key find?


  2. Mike Sargent

    Yes I’m enjoying it a lot. I visited Iceland in late 2014 so enjoy spotting a few familiar locations, well mostly the big church in Reykjavik! We knew the man behind everything had to be a character we’ve seen. Clearly the Captain was a contender as a major Danish actor. I did suggest to my wife that it was the pot smoking husband of the policewoman, but that theory had no legs. If it isn’t Eirikur, who’s left? But what is his motive?


    • Paul Hirons

      I think it probably is Eirikur… I’m going to do a post about it later this week. I’m not sure about his motivations, either. Lucky you re Iceland – would love to go!


  3. charlottecarling

    I’m really enjoying the little things in Trapped. Towards the end of episode 8 when it says “Day 8, February 13, Friday” as a raven crosses the screen, you just know things will really go from bad to worse…


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