Review: Ängelby (S1 E8/12), Wednesday 12th October, ITV Encore

angelbyWe now know that Ängelby is properly bonkers – not just the place itself, but the series. Last week was the most bonkers episode yet in an already bonkers series. In the Swedish countryside there was an Egyptian sarcophagus, astral charts, flashbacks to ancient Egypt (which provided the effect of thinking that your TV had suddenly switched to the History Channel, so jolting was the transition from between the greys and greens of Sweden to the reds and golds of Egypt). We also know that there is a link between the two places (you can throw in Pompeii into that mix) – a kind of mismatched town twinning. It was like Bishops Stortford being twinned with El Dorado.

In this eighth episode, you got a sense that things were starting to fit into place, after weeks of bizarre plot twists and strange characters ghosting around the town.

There were three strands: Vera finding out who her biological mother (and father) was; Therese and Calle finding out who the little boy on the bicycle was; and Amos and Viveka starting to get to the bottom of why there were bodies as old as 400 years buried in Rudi’s field.

First off, Vera started to do some digging, which eventually led her to a nursing home. A nurse explained to her that her mother was indeed a patient (obviously not worrying too much about the confidentiality agreement she had to sign at the time), who was brought in from the woods as a 16-year-old with third-degree burns, severely malnourished and… raped. Vera was, naturally, distraught. The person who took her from the nursing home was none other than her old friend Torsten. He had known who she was all along, and there was the reason he got her the job in Ängelby. Vera went to Torsten’s cottage and met her mother – it could only be one person – Britt-Louise.

Britt-Louise, who was overcome by emotion at meeting her daughter for the first time since 1980, explained that she had bugged Vera’s flat and had been listening to her and her children. This was not the way to get close to an estranged daughter. Vera, already disorientated, was freaked out. The episode ended with Vera walking away from Britt-Louise, who screamed that her that Stige was her biological father.

Who, of course, had been buried in the field with all the rest of the bodies after hanging himself. Amos (who, as far I know, still part of the Ängelby/Cairo conspiracy) and the excellent Viveka had been exhuming and examining the field, where they found the main element in the soil was lime… the same substance sarcophagi are preserved in. So…

Elsewhere, Therese and Calle were doing their teen Nancy Drew act, this time following creepy Eva around. After scarpering from a nighttime raid on the teacher’s home, she bumped into the spectral child on a bike, who she recognised. The boy (who we saw earlier hanging out with Atlas) told her that he would soon be able to return. She went home and looked through her photos, where she found it – a picture of Jesper when he was a child. Yes, there’s a ghost cycling around town.

So what do we have here – Atlas still seems to be intent on either bringing people back from the dead and acting as some link between ancient and modern worlds, and Vera, poor old Vera, is suddenly the step-sister of Jakob and Markus.

As daft as ever.

Paul Hirons

For all our episode reviews of Ängelby, go here




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