NB Spoilers Inside
We reach the halfway point in the first season of Before We Die this week, and with Christian’s actions in the previous episode threatening to destabilize the investigation into Operation Krajina, the race is on to uncover the true scale of the Mimicas plan to take over Sweden’s criminal underworld.
Last week Before We Die focused on the dichotomy between the Mimicas and Mobsters matriarchs, as they strove to ensure their families were protected by any means necessary. This week saw another dual lead explored in detail, as we dug into the twisted relationship between Stefan and Christian – which threatened to implode in nearly every scene between them. Despite Stefan’s worst fears coming true after witnessing Blanka’s unfaithfulness, he still has a dogged loyalty to the man who saved him from being raped in prison. Peshang Rad plays Stefan incredibly well; a weak man on a constant knife-edge of emotion that can explode at any moment – as evidenced this week when he coolly witnesses Christian being brutally assaulted by the Mobsters prospects they ripped off before stepping in at the very last minute to shoot one of them dead.
Once again, Stefan’s impetuous nature has severe consequences that play out across the episode – not only threatening his own safety but also jeopardizing Davor’s plans for underworld domination. Davor could do without having to send his henchmen to dispose of random gangsters, and you suspect that if Stefan wasn’t family he’d have had his card marked a long time ago. The killing doesn’t stop the Mimicas meeting with Ulrikk and Petter one final time to try and resolve the issue of the Istanbul connection, but Ulrikk is steadfast in his refusal to work with the Croatians, despite Davor’s offer to deliver Sara’s killer to him. Petter desperately pleads with Ulirkk to join forces with the Mimicas, knowing that the partnership will resolve the little matter of his own blackmail for her murder. Ulrikk’s recalcitrance is his ultimate undoing however, when Petter kills him to ensure his own survival. With the Mobsters boss out the way, Petter gives Davor the drugs pathway he wants and sets into motion the final stages of Operation Krajina.
Inez notifies Hanna of the Mobster killings and back at the OCU it’s a continual game of information restriction as the ‘inner council’ attempt to work the Mimica case hidden in plain sight, whilst the rest of the team try to pin the murders of Frank and Ulrikk on Petter as a clear power play for the presidency of the Mobsters. A subsequent stakeout of the Mobsters HQ reveals Stefan and Christian dumping Ulrikk’s body outside the bikers’ clubhouse, leading to the gang baying for the blood of the Delincuentos who they assume are responsible.
Elsewhere, Hanna and Christian’s relationship hits new lows after she suspects him of returning to drug dealing and then goes for broke in trying to win the Mum of the Year award by organising a drugs raid on his flat. Although the subsequent search reveals nothing, the situation compromises Christian badly with the Mimicas – first for not telling Davor it happened in the first place, but secondly by Stefan’s awareness of it proving he knows about Blanka’s affair. These revelations lead into an emotional scene where Christian confronts his mother and tells her their relationship is over forever – and considering her behaviour it’s an understandable demand.
Unfortunately for both parties, things aren’t ever that simple. Hanna follows Mobster Adam to a meeting with Petter and Stefan which is designed to smooth over the killing of Frank with the offer of some cash and drugs as a payoff. In her pursuit she loses her target but finds Christian instead, having finished texting her about the meeting. Finally Hanna realises just who Inez is, and you can bet your shirt this will change the dynamic of the show from here on in. It was another complex and intriguing episode of Before We Die, which seems to become increasingly compelling the more time we spend with this set of characters. Roll on next week.