I’m catching up with a few reviews tonight, and the one show I wanted to return to was this 12-part Swedish drama, Ängelby. The first episode was poor on many levels but there was intrigue at several key levels – Mia Skäringer as main character Vera Fors was excellent, and Vera herself as a character was someone you rooted for instantly. And the premise or rather this place called Ängelby was just about intriguing enough, and I wanted to find out more about this place and who murdered the star hockey player.
With her kids now in Brussels with her estranged husband, Vera was now alone in Ängelby, which was a good thing for her and a good thing for the drama. It allowed us to get to know the odd-ball characters of the town at our leisure, and take its time to let the story unfold.
Vera was beginning to make her mark in the town for positive reasons (as opposed to running over teenagers). With her job with crazy-haired Torsten now on hold, she took a job at the local café and made friends with frumpy-cool and pregnant Petra. Torsten was not happy about this, and neither was his girlfriend Britt-Louise, who reprimanded her cuckold for letting her go elsewhere for a job. How can we keep an eye on her now, she asked. He told her that “she hadn’t said anything yet”. She told him he looked like a carrot.
This all implies that Torsten chose Vera to come to Ängelby for a very specific reason. We’re yet to find out.
Vera herself was beginning to take on the mantle of amateur detective after she received an anonymous package containing a parish history of Ängelby, 1810-1910, with a note attached to it: if you want to know the future, you must understand the past. She started to delve into the past alright, and sought the help of traumatised local priest Markus, who, we found out later, was carrying around his own baggage.
Elsewhere, Amos and Therese were investigating the teen’s murder by snooping around his school friends and parents who, it seemed, were hiding something.
The beauty of a 12-episode series is that you can let things evolve at a nice, slow pace, and in a town like Ängelby, which has a touch of the Twin Peaks about it, characters can come and go and gain significance as time goes by. The appearance – and then subsequent disappearance – in the church where Vera was doing some digging, was a case in point. Who is this child? And is Ängelby all it seems? (Of course it isn’t.)
For our episodes one and two review, go here