Review: Fortitude (S1 E9/10), Thursday 23rd March, Sky Atlantic

Surrounded by the dead and dying, hopped up on reindeer juice and nailed to a pit-prop, Dan still makes more sense than the crazed Vladek – but with Michael in pursuit, will Vladek have time to complete his demon-killing ritual?    

NB: Spoilers inside

So now we’ve finally seen the results of Vladek’s spare part surgery – using bits of Hindemith and Tomak, animal bones and odds and sods he found in the kitchen, he’s constructed a tupilaq, in Greenlandic Inuit traditions, an avenging monster fabricated by a shaman. As part of an out-of-body experience, he expects the tupilaq to destroy the demon in Dan – but as Dan points out, other than killing Elena, Vladek’s done a lot worse than he has. Perhaps Vladek is the demon after all.

Dan’s hallucinations of Elena are interrupted by the despairing Freya, who burns the effigy; a pity, since in the trance state we might have received some insight into what’s going on.

Both Freya and the poisoned Natalie are at death’s door, and with Eric missing, it’s up to Michael to track down both Vladek and whoever killed Hildur. Fortunately Ingrid’s weak bladder leads her to finding Hildur’s car, and Michael figures out Munk’s crime.

In a scene of truly leg-crossing intensity, Vladek castrates himself to gain some form of feminine mystical energy. Now, say what you like about Vladek, he certainly has the courage of his convictions. Not many people would be able to castrate themselves, but it takes a special kind of resolve to cauterise the wound with a soldering iron. He’s up and about in no time though, but he probably won’t be riding a bike for a while.

Petra manages to lock up Vladek, though she blots her copy-book by letting Dan shut her in the cells, and she can’t stop Dan from killing Vladek – if either she or Ingrid were having their performance assessed, they would both be found unfit for purpose. But has Dan truly spoken to Elena through the medium of Vladek, or is it the reindeer juice talking?

Michael confronts Munk and finally puts two and two together, realising that Khatri’s research could help Freya. Well, we saw that coming a long time ago – but Khatri’s research clearly isn’t at a stage where it could do anyone any good, hence her need for Natalie as a test subject. If Michael goes ahead and fills Freya with wasp juice, it can’t end well.

With Munk’s mercenaries flying into town to capture Dan, who is clearly deranged even if he isn’t possessed, the scene is set for an OK Corral-style showdown, with Dan as Wyatt Earp, and Michael as his slightly inebriated Doc Holliday. Who will be left standing? In a series this willing to kill off major characters, there are no guarantees. The snow is certainly going to be stained red in next week’s conclusion.  

Chris Jenkins

For all our Fortitude reviews, go here


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