REVIEW: The Bridge (S4 E4/8)

There was so much going on in this fourth episode of The Bridge – the best of the bunch so far – I hardly know where to start. It was full of twists and turns, evolving character arcs and development, and some real emotion.

Some feel that watching The Bridge is a difficult undertaking, not least because of the sheer amount of characters that spin in orbit around the core story. This has always been Hans Rosenfeldt’s way; first writing them as seemingly disparate entities and then, slowly but surely, connecting them and, where necessary, letting them go.

Take Taariq for instance. The illegal immigrant connected with Margrethe Thormod’s murder had been a key character for three episodes – he was a suspect, then someone who helped the police and then, lastly, someone who was used secretly by the police for tracking purposes. Taariq’s story came to an abrupt end tonight when he shot himself in a stand-off with police.

(An interesting sideline to this scene: Taariq, who was trying to escape to Sweden, asked Saga and Henrik if he would be able to gain asylum. Henrik was all up for telling a porkie in order to diffuse the situation (Taariq was holding a gun to a police woman’s head at the time). Saga, meanwhile, faced a dilemma she has faced several times over the course of The Bridge – bend the truth or tell the truth. As ever she chose the unfiltered, unvarnished truth – that Taariq would not be granted asylum – and he shot himself.)

(Oh, and a bit later we also found out how Saga had come to drive her iconic car – she had won it in a bet at the Stockholm police academy. Like Han Solo did with the Millennium Falcon. He didn’t win it in a bet in Stockholm, but you know what I mean.)

Even though Taariq was now out of the picture, he had led us to another character – Morgan Sonner: A confident suburbanite whose car Taariq recognised outside The Cave on the night Thermod had been seen last. Henrik and Saga investigated him, and his car – he maintained that he was out of the country on that fateful night, but CCTV footage suggested otherwise – and his wife, Malene, a PR executive for a healthcare group, one that Thermode had been a member of.

There was a link between the two.

I still think that these two are red herrings, but there is something fishy about them both: Morgan with his prowling around at The Cave and the inference that he had been unfaithful with his brother’s wife, and Malene with her steely gaze.

Still, these two were the focus of Saga, Henrik and Jonas’s investigation (Jonas was much more involved this week). It was only towards the end of the episode that they became involved in the death of the little girl in the hospital, Leonora, that their attention shifted a little. At the end of episode three, we saw her accosted by The Clown – this week we saw what happened. He had injected her with something, and she had become gravely ill. The Clown had sent a video to her arms dealer father, William, saying that the injection was poison, and only paying a ransom would produce an antidote (although, I found myself thinking: this is a hospital, surely they could find out what was going on with the child and provide an antidote themselves). In the end, William paid the ransom, retrieved the antidote and injected his daughter with what he thought was a life-saving shot. It was, in fact, poison: The Clown had made William kill his own daughter.

Pretty dark.

Now then, three-quarters of the way through you could be forgiven for thinking ‘what the hell is going on’ because everything was going on. And you wouldn’t have been alone – Saga and the team were scratching their heads too, and their suspect board was becoming extremely crowded. And there were no links between any of them or the cases either. There was Margrethe Thermod, a politician, Patrik, a clown at the hospital, and then Leonora, a child at the hospital. Perhaps there were superficial links, but links that could be joined together. Until Saga had a Eureka! moment – stoning, electrocution and poisoning… all methods of execution in the death penalty. Was the killer carrying out a warped modus operandi based around the concept of execution and protest at the death penalty? If this was the case, there were four methods left to go, including death by firing squad.

Which made me immediately think of Creepy Frank and Christoffer in The Village. The neighbours had still been kicking up a stink about Sofie and Christoffer, and Harriet – the stern matriarch – had rebuked them for doing so. (This was an interesting metaphor for the plight of migrants, I felt – established members of a community reacting badly and suspiciously to newcomers.) Fair play to Harriet, I thought. But then she also told Frank it was time for him to show them what Sofie and Christoffer’s true purpose for being in the village was. Frank then began to – what felt like – radicalise Christoffer, offering to be the father figure in his life and teaching him how to shoot with a shotgun.

With death by firing squad next on the list, or at least on the list, I did wonder whether Frank was going to get Christoffer to do something awful in the near future.

But of course, The Bridge being The Bridge, there was plenty more to digest: Saga was making headway with her therapist, slowly but surely, admitting that she hadn’t felt good when she went through the stash of her sister’s old stuff and saw that she had been erased from her life; Saga and Henrik’s relationship continued to falter, especially after Julia and Ida had done a runner and had perhaps stolen some of Henrik’s personal effects (I don’t think they did a runner, I think they were kidnapped) and some intense baby chat ensued; and, elsewhere, back at The Village, Christoffer and Astrid’s relationship became a physical one. I’m intrigued by Astrid – she likes to dress up and become other characters to carry out deeds, as we saw last week when she assumed a nasty made-up character and clobbered The Village’s main accuser over the head. And there was Lillian – dear Lillian – who was going out on a date, her first after Lars, and found the whole thing a bit too much.

Like I said, there was a lot to process, but with the killer’s MO now determined (kind of) I’m expecting the last half of this series to quicken the pace. As for these wounded people, all caught up in this clever, layered, insanely nasty crime, who knows? They’re all teetering on the edge.

Paul Hirons


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Andy D says:

    Phew! Really busy episode. The drone- delivered poison plot felt like something out of Black Mirror. Saga’s reluctance to lie in the stand off paralleled season one’s finale. I loved the betting story around the car, hilarious. I’m curious about Henrik’s AA buddy, he seems…odd. I had to admit to a bit of a blub when Lillian watched the footage of Hans. RIP buddy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Charlotte Carling says:

      It’s nice to finally get the story about how she got the car. I like how there are links between the series, as lots of people would think back to Martin and Saga first talking about the car and how much it’s worth and a cop’s salary.

      I’ve seen a few people in different forums mention not being able to keep up with all the characters and events. I imagine some of it could be due to not immediately knowing which characters are Swedish or Danish (at least it appears that lots of people don’t hear the difference). Of course, at the half way mark we’re all supposed to be a bit unsure about what’s going on and how it all fits together.


      1. Andy D says:

        I think it’s just television that demands your attention…I wonder how many people that complain about not keeping up are constantly checking their phones etc. For me it’s appointment TV and the phone is off! Saga has my complete attention! I have no problem distinguishing who’s from which country personally. Although I totally agree we’re not expected to be making much sense of what’s going on right now, that’s part of the fun!


  2. Elizabeth Macpherson says:

    Thank goodness for your reviews . I was unable to watch this episode until gone 3am & was very confused. Your review made it clear…well at least 90% ;)


  3. Akafakt says:

    I’m sorry, I’ve watched all 3 1/2 series of The Bridge and enjoyed them, but this time something happened: all of a sudden, common sense reached out and shook me hard. Somebody has conned a father into killing his totally innocent little girl? The same somebody who took over an hour to kill an also totally innocent woman with rocks? The same person who has set out to stage seven killings replicating methods of execution around the world? Really?

    All of Saga’s cases have involved warped, sadistic psychopaths with superhuman abilities devoting their entire lives to carrying out insanely complex revenge scenarios. I can buy the psychopathy. I can buy the revenge motive, even though it often turns out to be so tenuous as to appear ludicrous. I can even buy the sadism. What I’m having trouble with is the demented dedication to rigid scenarios. Not only must Mrs Thing die because she recommended the services of somebody who turned out to be responsible for something dire, but she must a) die in agony, and b) die in a way which exactly parallels the third death in Act 2 of an an obscure Jacobean revenge tragedy.

    Gimme a break. If I’m a warped, sadistic psychopath on the revenge warpath and feel I absolutely must off Mrs Thing, then I’ll push her under a train at the first opportunity – never mind the fancy trimmings. Because I can’t believe that none of these killers ever wakes up after murder number two and thinks “Sod this for a game of soldiers. Enough mucking around, I’ll go round with the old shotgun and wind this up pronto”…


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