Review: Fortitude (S2 E8/10), Thursday 16th March, Sky Atlantic

If there’s an unstated theme to this season of Fortitude, it’s communication – or rather the lack of it. Everyone is keeping secrets or avoiding the truth in some way, and no good ever comes of it – only when the full picture is revealed can the evil be halted.   

Hildur’s tragic death was due as much as anything to her failure to communicate with Eric – by the time she was ready to talk to him, he didn’t want to listen. Obviously he’s regretting it now, but smashing up the office furniture isn’t going to help much.  

Natalie can’t talk to Vincent, and instead is confiding in Munk – a potentially fatal mistake, as Khatri has poisoned Natalie to shut her up. Munk, of course, is the keeper of the biggest secrets of all, though they are beginning to leak out as the policewomen put together Hildur’s last movements. They too have their secrets, Petra’s her increasing reliance on booze, Ingrid’s that she has slept with Vincent (though that doesn’t stay secret long).

Freya has been keeping the secret that she has been hiding Vladek, in the hope that he can cure her – but Vladek’s secret, of course, is that he is the murderous shaman. Oddly, though he affords Elena a touching sea burial, Vladek is quite prepared to slaughter a couple of innocent mine-workers to keep his hideout a secret. Surely this will have karmic repercussions?

Both Vladek and Khatri are happy to share with Dan the secret of his coming metamorphosis into ‘the demon’ – but do they actually have the right man? Apart from killing Elena, who was presumably doomed anyway, Dan seems to be one of the less threatening characters. So far the main evidence of his demonic status seems to be a lot of grinning and the ability to survive in icy waters.

Khatri, of course, keeps the secret of her research from Michael, and anyone else who sticks their nose into her affairs. In fact Michael is the only character who is open with everyone, tells the truth as he sees it, and wants to bring the secrets of the Russian weatherstation into the light; hence, if anyone is the saviour of Fortitude, it must be him. It might have been a mistake, though, for him to bring the infected corpse of the Russian soldier back to town.

With events coming to a climax – Munk’s corruption about to be revealed, Vladek’s rituals to be performed and Dan’s transformation to be completed – all the secrets and lies will soon be dragged out into the light. But who will still be around to witness them?

And it occurs to us that if there’s another season of Fortitude, it will have to compete with the long-awaited return of what is arguably its TV precursor – Twin Peaks. If you want an iconic example of a scenario in which a small town is shot through with mystery and supernatural dread, David Lynch’s eccentric masterpiece must be it. It’s back in May, and from that point on, Fortitude will perhaps have to seek another direction if it isn’t to be seen just as an icy reflection of a revered prototype.

Chris Jenkins

For all our reviews of Fortitude go here


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