The gloom factor is at critical this week, when an ex-policeman, Rickard Birgersson, and his family are found shot in their home. Is it something to do with his security work, or the stash of stolen weapons found in a panic room in his house?
While we’re still missing the ineffable Larsson, this week Beck at least gets to do something more positive, both in terms of police work and his love-life. It’s still up to man-mountain Hoveland to crack the case, though.
Prints on the stolen guns lead to a line-up of the usual suspects, one of whom, Santos, has fled to Greece after being investigated by Beck’s fey boss Freden in connection with two murders and missing money from a bank robbery. Freden won’t discuss the case, so what’s he covering up? And there’s no point hoping for help from the Greek police, says Ayda, nothing works over there.
Another suspect, Johan Wredin, accused Birgersson of making off with money from a bank robbery, but Wredin has an alibi, though since it’s from his mum and her cats, it’s not very reliable.
But we suspect cop Sylvander, whose insistence that Wredin is guilty leads us to imagine that Sylvander himself has something to hide.
Beck’s actually had a date with delectable pathologist Gunilla, so he’s not entirely given up on life, but her jealous husband is following her around, so maybe it’s an ill-starred relationship. Eventually Beck gives Gunilla the brush-off rather than get involved in a potential divorce, so he can’t have been very passionate about her – unsurprisingly.
Nutty neighbour Grannen is trying to get Beck interested in weight-lifting and steroids, so maybe that’s a more practical alternative.
Hovland is still running around looking for his wayward daughter, who has fallen in with yet another drug addict – we blame the mother, who seems to be completely ineffectual. Mind you, the daughter proves completely obnoxious when he tracks her down, so maybe he’s better off without her. Unfortunately she ends up taking an overdose, and he promises to take her in, so it looks like he’s stuck with her.
Oskar too is suffering marital problems – his wife has moved out with the children, and Hovland’s relationship advice is hardly helping matters – in fact it lands both of them in the shit with Beck when a surveillance goes to pot as Oskar makes a call home.
Sylvander slips up when Wredin kidnaps Santos’s wife, convinced that he’s still alive and has the money from the bank robbery. Sylvander bumps off Wredin, making it look like self-defence, but Hovland sees through him, tricking him into a drugs arrest which will produce DNA linking him to the Birgersson murders.
Although the plot just about hangs together despite the constant interruption of the cops’ family problems, it’s one of those cases where the evidence has been obtained by such underhand means that it would surely never stand up in court. You can maybe bend the rules now and again, but if you’re going to do it every time, it becomes implausible.
Beck at least has the satisfaction of proving that his slimy boss Freden messed up an investigation into police corruption, but as Freden reveals he’s moving on to another job, there’s not much time to gloat.
We’ll be glad to see the back of him anyway – Freden was nothing but an irritation to Beck as much as to the viewer. Perhaps his replacement will prove a more compelling character.
We find out a little more about Hovland’s angst this week – he doesn’t like to carry a gun because he shot a 17-year-old previously – but it’s Beck we’re really sorry for, always having to clear up other people’s mess, and never having any time for himself. Somehow we always imagine that in his retirement he’ll move in with Grannen, and maybe then he’ll cheer up a bit.