NB: THERE ARE SOME LIMITED SPOILERS HERE. SOME ARE APPARENT OR INFERRED IN THE TRAILERS OR THEY COME UP VERY EARLY IN THE FIRST EPISODE. HOWEVER, IF YOU WANT TO WAIT UNTIL YOU CAN WATCH IT ALL YOURSELF, HERE IS WHERE YOU NEED TO STOP READING.
After a two year wait, we once again return to Malmö and Copenhagen for the final instalment of this very popular series. The Turning Torso flickers by, though Saga no longer lives in its shadow, the courtyard of Police HQ in Copenhagen is once more a reassuring backdrop for discussions of horrible things. (Is it even possible for self-respecting crime series set in Copenhagen to not include it in a scene or two?) And of course, we are back at the Öresund bridge. Underneath it, a vicious murder is perpetrated, and we can only assume there are more to come. After all, the body count doesn’t typically land on one for The Bridge. Multiple, carefully planned, staged-for-effect and mercilessly executed killings is what we’ve come to expect.
So, we’re straight back in and Lillian has dispatched Henrik and new partner, the bit obnoxious and decidedly non-PC, Jonas Mandrup (Mikael Birkkjær, Borgen, The Killing) to the crime scene. They soon find out that the victim is Margrethe Thormod, head of the Danish Immigration Service, which days before had figured in headlines after a champagne celebration of the decision to deport a gay Iranian asylum seeker. With an appropriately current societal theme in hand to set the story to, it’s on with the procedural detective work. Tracing the victim’s last movements, interviewing her husband Niels (Thomas W. Gabrielsson, The Killing, The Last Kingdom), finding the asylum seeker, Taariq Shizari (Alexander Behrang Keshtkar) who promptly went underground when facing expulsion and now could be a potential suspect. We also come across what looks like a domestic violence side plot but it has the potential to develop into something even more sinister. The story begins to form.
A link to a Swedish left radical group called Red October means Henrik heads over the strait to have a chat with Linn in Malmö and to meet an expert. Afterwards, he goes to see Saga.
When we last left her, Saga knew what was coming. ”I will be prosecuted. I will be convicted.” No more Saga Norén, länskrim Malmö. Instead, we find her in prison awaiting the verdict of her final appeal. There is a small chance of being acquitted, if not, eight more years. Sofia Helin, who is the very backbone of The Bridge, is in excellent form. She plays a Saga who is utterly tormented by life in prison and the hope of getting out.
Henrik visits, when Saga allows him to, but she will not help with his new case and he worries about her. He’s still fighting his own demons as the case of his missing daughters grows ever colder.
The interaction between them is both tense and familiar. We know that each find with the other that acceptance that they have with no-one else but a visiting room in prison isn’t the most comfortable place or the most inducing of openness. Though the situation is different from the last series, this is what we’ve been waiting for: Saga and Henrik on our screens again with a big case looming waiting to take on its full form and then be solved and personal journeys to travel. As we’ve been told in the trailer, every Saga has an end. Now finally we get to discover what that end will be.
There is sometimes a worry that the creators of a series won’t be able to repeat the success of previous instalments. That they end up taking things too far and ruining the legacy of something great by going out on a low. Having seen the first of eight episodes, I’m not worried. The script is great, the acting likewise and I’m entirely confident the plot will live up to expectations. I’ll simply sit back and enjoy it all the way to the end. This is The Bridge with all its necessary bleak components. Noir at its finest.
Those of you who may have already seen this episode, please don’t put any further spoilers in the comments as this is meant to be an appetiser, not the full meal. Though feel free to agree or disagree with me in suitably vague terms.
ED’S NOTE: AND, BEFORE YOU ASK, THERE IS STILL NO WORD FROM THE BBC ABOUT A UK TRANSMISSION DATE
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