Up until now we’ve seen Dicte Svendsen, crime reporter for the local Aarhus newspaper, get herself involved with cases that have touched a nerve – cases that have involved motherhood, and the concept of motherhood, that remind her of her own past. And, wouldn’t you just know it, in tonight’s feature-length episode she at the forefront of a case that has elements of motherhood yet again.
Tonight’s episodes pretty much featured all the elements that have niggled me in the first two episodes – Dicte just happening to find a dead body and then working uneasily with Wagner to find the culprit, often staying one step ahead of the repressed, uptight copper (much to his consternation). I often like to think there should be a moment in every episode where Wagner finds out Dicte has stolen another march on him and stand there, hands on hips in his office, tutting in a comedy fashion “Ooooh, DICTE!”. But there was something slightly different tonight – Wagner’s character was developed a bit, showing hidden depths of emotion beneath the nervous exterior. And the series was all the better for it.
It started off with – you guessed it – Dicte finding the dead body of a baby, floating in a plastic tub along the canal while she was having a coffee with Anne. It was soon determined that there was a Muslim connection to the murdered babe.
Things took a turn for the super-tense when Ida Marie gave birth to her baby. Her husband, Theis, wasn’t around so instead it was down to Wagner, whose friendship with Dicte’s friend was deepening by the hour, to take her to hospital and Dicte to give her support during the birth. You got a sense that something was going to go terribly wrong. Earlier in the episode Ida Marie had visited Dicte, telling her she was convinced something was going to go wrong. She was being set up for an almighty fall. She has also had awful luck and she’s a nice person – they’re normally enough reasons in crime drama for someone to draw the short straw. Despite some health scares post-birth, all looked to be rosy until Dicte found a condom in Theis’s jacket while she was getting some clothes from Ida Marie’s house and then, shockingly, her baby was stolen from the hospital while she slept behind him.
That’s when Wagner got all hero on us. He went into overdrive to make sure his crush’s baby was found at all costs. He found out about Theis’s affair and admonished him for it (much to Bendtsen’s surprise), and then came down hard on his department to find some sort of clue – any clue – to help find the infant who, it had been determined (by Dicte, naturally), had been stolen by someone who had
He even employed the services of a clairvoyant/hypnotist to unlock one of Dicte’s secrets. Wagner had found out that Dicte, straight after she had had to give up her son for adoption, she had stolen a child during a fugue. It only lasted a matter of hours and the child wasn’t harmed, but she had stolen a child. She couldn’t remember what had happened, suffering selective amnesia when trying to recall the incident. Wagner wanted to know what motivates a young woman who had lost a baby to steal another, so a hypnotist it was. Poor Wagner – I would have thought it was pretty obvious what motivates a young woman who has just lost a baby to steal another one.
But at least the shackles of repression had been shaken off and Wagner was acting on pure emotion for a change. Before that he had been tightly wound, condescending, slightly misogynistic and ever so slightly lascivious when questioning Bendtsen about her sex. But here he was empathetic and caring, even if he was keen to fulfil that traditional male role of hero. This made him much more of a likeable character, and with Ida Marie’s relationship over there’s the suggestion that they’ll be getting together pretty soon.
It was an emotional story, once again concerning motherhood – found and lost – and, once again, this plugged right into Dicte’s personal experiences. I like how the cases in this series have personal ramifications, but I do wonder whether three similar stories in a row might be blunting the emotional impact a bit.
There was, however, something interesting going on in the first half of this story that I feel needs to be commented upon. Dicte has always acted upon impulse, running around convinced she’s right pretty much all the time. To be fair she is right 99 per cent of the time, but this unshakable, headstrong confidence was challenged tonight, when one of her hunches ended up spectacularly wrong. You could tell her normally supreme confidence was dented.
So there goes Dicte – still headstrong, still out-smarting the cops, but there are closening relationships with Wagner and her family all the while. Despite its flaws it’s still very watchable.
For our episode one review, go here
For our episode two review, go here