It’s hard to believe but Icelandic drama Trapped comes to an end this weekend. The Guardian called it the unexpected TV hit of the year, perhaps referencing its own reluctance to cover it on a weekly review basis. But a big hit it has been, and certainly up there with other Nordic titans like The Bridge and The Killing in terms of quality and intrigue. And now it comes to an end. Because there will be a double bill lots can and no doubt will happen before we reach the end and I’m pretty sure there will be plenty more twists and turns. So now seems like as good a time as any to review where we are and who the suspects (currently) are. Siglufjörður may be a small town, but there’s a lot going on…
It’s easy to forget that after everything that has happened in Siglufjörður – murders, avalanches, suicides, illicit sex, lots and lots of weather – we started the whole story off with a tragic tale of two young lovers, Dagný and Hjörtur, enjoying a beer and a smoke in an abandoned factory. Only one of them escaped with their lives, and the scarred Hjörtur has been carrying around crushing guilt and bitterness ever since. So let’s start there, shall we?
He survived the fire that killed his soulmate but was held responsible by Dagný’s family, especially Eiríkur, who – until Andri’s intervention – struggled to move on from his daughter’s death. Hjörtur was a suspect because he was on the ferry that chugged into Siglufjörður, his general outsider status and the fact he knew victim Geirmundur. He seems to have been crossed off the suspect list and is currently preparing to leave the town, and his rites of passage – the journey from bad boy to forgiven misfit – is now seemingly complete. But is there a final twist in his story? I’m not so sure.
Lest we forget, there are three murders to solve in this show. In our interview with writer Clive Bradley, he stated that everything goes back to the original fire at the very start of the series. At the end of the very last episode, however – episode eight – we saw Andri fish out the key to third murder victim Hrafn’s shed from his father-in-law’s pocket. It presented Andri with an awful situation – the man whose house he lives in, the man who’s grandfather to his kids, and the man who’s father to a wife he’s hoping to win back, is now a major suspect. Let’s think hard about this. The shed (and Hrafn) was razed by a fire. So was the factory where his daughter died. Could these two incidents be linked? Could Eiríkur – who was told by his wife to let the anger he felt towards Hjörtur – have been holding onto that same anger because he was angry at himself for causing the fire? But if he is linked to the Hrafn murder, why did he do it? And if he was the man behind the factory fire, why did he do that?
Guðni and Leifur
The slick-haired, slightly swarthy (at least for an Icelander) hotel manager has already been implicated in the people trafficking operation, and is best mates with fish factory manager Leifur. Together they visited Sigurður before he scarpered and commented after his death that at least he was not a worry anymore. They were in cahoots with Hrafn, too. What does this all mean? It probably means that they’re running the town and the port with aplomb and making a nice little earner from the people trafficking business. The fact they’re very much pro-Chinese development only deepens suspicion on these two. But the question remains: why kill Geirmundur? And if they were involved, why kill their colleague, Hrafn?
Hrafn’s widow could well have killed her husband, and, frankly, we wouldn’t have blamed her. Especially after the verbal and physical abuse he meted out to her on a regular, humiliating basis. Why did she take it? The inference is that she was content to take his abuse in return for all the privileges being a mayor’s wife brings with it. But did she finally snap, realise she couldn’t take it anymore and at least conspire against her husband? When Andri visited her in episode eight and left her house, a male figure emerged from the shadows. Who was this? Perhaps she’s in cahoots with Guðni and Leifur, and like a Shakespearean play, usurped her husband and instigated his demise. After all, she’s very pre-Chinese development and obviously stands to profit, somehow, from the deal going through.
Elsewhere… will we see Rögnvaldur – the voyeur in the wheel chair – again? And what about Hinrika’s husband, Bárður? There are cracks in their relationship and perhaps there’s more to him. Unlikely, as he seems like a decent sort. And finally, there’s Agnes’s new boyfriend Sigvaldi. He’s been a bit of a peripheral figure. Is there more to come from him?
I may have got lots of this wrong and left some things out. Let me know what your theories are in the comments.
Trapped: Saturday 12th March, 9pm, BBC4
For all out Trapped news and reviews, go here
For our interview with Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir, go here
For our interview with Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, go here
For our interview with writer Clive Bradley, go here