Review: Fortitude (S2 E4/10), Thursday 16th February, Sky Atlantic

1000Fortitude is a pretty grim place to live. The work is hard, the cold could kill you in minutes, and if the forces of nature aren’t enough, the local inhabitants seem to be determined to bump each other off. What Fortitude emphatically does not need is someone called The Man With No Face who goes around beheading people.

But that’s exactly what the township is faced with, according to the sulky Rune, who reckons that his drug-fuelled parties with Hindemith were attended by the goggle-wearing killer.

Now, if wearing googles and being bonkers marked you as the embodiment of Death itself, half the population would qualify – so what’s so special about the faceless man? Okay, apparently he cut out Tavrani’s tongue – but as Eric points out, he could still write, so job very much not done.

While Eric investigates a second murder victim, shopgirl Bianca, Michael Lennox, who Bianca supplied with the hacked crab shoal data, is planning to find medical treatment for his wife Freya. Hmmm… we wonder what he’d think if he knew that Dan and Elena had shown apparently miraculous powers of recovery after being exposed to the wasps?

Dr Khatri quotes Nietzsche, ‘what does not kill you, makes you stronger’ – well, there’s plenty of evidence for that in Elena’s tissue regeneration.  But will Tavrani’s tongue grow back, or his hand after he chops it off to escape?

Like Eric, we wonder whether anything went on between Michael and Hildur in Vukobejina (incidentally, is it true that the name of this Russian township town is Croatian for ‘place where wolves fuck’? – colloquially, ‘shithole’?)

Hildur’s determination to break into Munk’s office and find out why she was sacked seems destined to cause trouble for her and Michael, but Munk is such an insensitive bastard, and obviously a spy, that we’re sure he will be dead soon and will leave a job vacancy. Hildur finds her evidence as Dan and Michael scrap in the bar, and Ingrid has the uncomfortable duty of separating her father and her boss, which she does by the time-honoured tradition of shooting in the air, surely a bit over the top for a bar brawl.

Dan and Dr Khatri, straight talkers both, waste little time dancing around the subjects of where Dan has been for nine weeks, and what Dr Khatri is researching. But which has the upper hand in the power struggle? And is Dr Khatri reporting to the same master as Munk?

Eric’s cracking up over the collapse of his relationship with Hildur, but at least he has a real-world theory about why Bianca was killed  – Petra’s theory is that there’s bodysnatching and shamanistic shenanigans going on. Perhaps they’re both right, but Petra seems to have gone doolally, drinking in her squad car and listening to The Clash.

After the body-count of season one, inevitably we’re being introduced to some new characters, one of whom is Vladek (Robert Sheehan). He’s lurking in Freya’s outhouse, but she’s clearly not worried or surprised to see him – so who is he, and what does he bring to Fortitude? Is he really the shaman, or spirit-healer, he claims to be, or is he a trickster, possibly the Man With No Face? And how has he reached Elena?

Vladek, we feel, will be key to the mystery – maybe he’s one of the demons we’ve been warned about, or maybe the blind hunter is. But Dan may still prove to be the saviour of Fortitude; and at least he’s wearing trousers now, which has to be a good start.

Chris Jenkins

For our episode one review go here

For our episode two review go here

For our episode three review go here


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Mike Sargent says:

    Are you enjoying it? Do you think it is actually any good? I watched the whole thing (apart from the very gory bits) with mounting incredulity and ultimately felt it had been a waste of my time.


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