REVIEW: The Bridge (S4 E7/8)

We’re now entering the final straits of The Bridge, and this fourth and final series has tried to juggle several tricky storylines. At the start of this episode, we still got a lot to sort out, but there was a sense in episode six that things we beginning to work themselves out on all fronts and episode seven took the ball and really ran with it.

We got Tommy Petersen’s backstory, and the motive of the serial killer – he (or she) had been avenging his death by taking out those who had let him down. Which meant that Henrik – now fully off the rails – was in the firing line. Or at least one of Henrik’s loved ones was.

Which is why he survived his encounter with the killer at the end of episode six.

Saga was told that Henrik had been shot and she reacted the way we might have thought she would react – a flicker of emotion, but business as usual. Jonas had told her he had taken a bullet to the leg and that he was going to be ok – because the killer was after the people Henrik loved.

In fact, we didn’t see Henrik for the first 15 or 20 minutes even though his story was to be resolved in this episode. It was a breathless chain of events – Christoffer had been imprisoned by Frank after last week’s altercation, but had managed to escape; he drove straight to the police (hello again Linn) and told them everything. How he shot Dan, how Frank had covered it up, how Frank had turned weird, and how Frank had imprisoned him. And… Astrid. As soon as Saga heard the name Astrid, she knew she had found her and solved the riddle.

And so, with a slightly shell-shocked Henrik in tow, they went to The Village and a tense armed stand-off ensued. When Astrid finally emerged from the smoke, Henrik tenderly embraced her. You got the impression that she didn’t really know who he was, and I felt these scenes were slightly rushed – I perhaps wanted Henrik to have been present when Christoffer had turned himself in, to have had longer conversations with Saga and Linn and for us to properly see the impact of a resolution to a situation that had been haunting him for eight years. It had been built up, quite rightly so, as such a part of his character, defining even, and yet the impact of his daughter’s return was rushed, I felt. Yes, these longer, expositional conversations came later in the episode where we (eventually) found out what had happened to his wife and Anna (both dead, one from an ‘accident’ and one from an unexplained stomach condition), but I felt there could have been more dramatic impetus if Henrik had been involved from the top of the episode.

So this scene didn’t quite have the emotional punch it perhaps could or should have done, but judging by many people’s reactions on social media it hit the mark for them. One thing that did hit home for me was Saga’s reaction. She stood in the driveway watching Henrik and Astrid embrace and… it was difficult to know what she felt. Were her eyes misting over? Was she surprised, confused, jealous even?

(I also thought there might be a wider conspiracy in The Village, but in the end it seemed that Harriet and co were just benign utopians, trying to create a sanctuary for those who needed it. It was only Frank who was the rotten apple and had abused his powers of benevolence.)

Still, Saga was feeling pleased with herself, or at least as much as she would allow herself, and Henrik, too, was thankful for her help. He described Saga to Astrid as she was being observed at the hospital as her ‘best friend’.

You could argue that Saga had taken one child away from Henrik, but had returned another.

As for the rest of the episode, it really did feel like a procession of throwaway scenes featuring all your favourite Bridge peripheral characters. WIth the denouement next week, they were, essentially, saying goodbye. John said a few nice things to Saga (he had hooked up with Barbara, which was good to see.. I do like John), and David the pathologist was called away from his lab to carry out one final favour to Saga. Even Linn’s scenes felt like they were almost manufactured so that we got to see her one last time.

And Hans made an appearance, too. Yes, Hans.

Lillian has been really going through the emotional mill in this series, trying her best to reintegrate into the world, albeit tentatively. Tonight she actually made it out on a date and enjoyed herself, but when she got home a flower delivery man brought a huge basket of flowers for her from an unknown admirer. Lillian, of course, was also on the list of people who had wronged Tommy, so immediately these flowers looked and felt extremely threatening. And, sure enough, beneath the flowers lay the decapitated head of Hans, stolen from his grave.

A particularly nasty and gruesome way to get at someone.

Elsewhere, Silas from the gay bar where Taariq had worked had been built up and swiftly eliminated from enquiries, and the final scenes saw Julia and Ida escape Niels and Susanne’s car after they saw that Susanne’s handbag had a keychain on they recognised from a robbery they had staged – the same bag that had contained the phone that was used to track Margrethe Thurmod with earlier in the series.

I think Susanne is another red herring. With Astrid now at Henrik’s the two were edging around each other, carefully getting used to each other and their new circumstances. You always felt that this was a lot to take in for the teen: one minute she was living in a village with Frank, the next she was reunited with a father she had all but forgotten. Now he was cooking her duck and showing her her old toys.

But now she was back in Henrik’s fold, she now becomes a potential target. And, sure enough, there was a knock at the door: it was Brian/Kevin, calling round to take Henrik to their addiction meeting. Henrik told him he couldn’t come because his daughter had been found and that she was inside.

Could this have been a mistake?

And all this in the shadow of Saga’s new-found way of thinking: instead of doing the right thing because she knows it to be the procedurally correct thing to do, she was now trying to feel what was the right thing to do and go by instinct. She had already bent the rules slightly in this episode, and I do wonder whether she will be faced yet again with another scenario that will test her morality in next week’s finale.

Paul Hirons




Spiral featurette hints at series seven storylines

Earlier this year, we brought you news that series seven of Spiral had begun filming in Paris. This seventh series is to be the show’s last, and now information and images are starting to be drip-fed out into the ether.

This is what we know so far:

While the group of Laure Berthaud has shattered, a double homicide in a Chinese restaurant in Belleville will bring together the tandem formed by Laure and Gilou. What appears as a simple robbery that went wrong turns out to be a complex case that will bring the group to investigate hidden financial networks. Our heroes will be faced with unexpected obstacles, drawn up by their own hierarchy.This time, the small arrangements with the procedure will not be enough and they will be faced with a dilemma that everyone will have to manage in their own way: to renounce the truth or to betray the institution they have always served.

A few days ago, the show’s official facebook page released this behind-the-scenes featurette including a snipper on series seven, as well as showcasing other dramas on Canal + later in the year.

We asked a French-speaking friend to translate for us, and this is what she said:

Thierry Godard (Gilou) sais that there will be new characters in this “explosive” seventh series, as a new investigation into large amounts of cash turning up in bundles.

So we’re getting somewhere with Spiral. The seventh series starts in France this autumn, and we’re expecting it to follow on BBC Four early next year.



Transmission date for Indian crime drama Sacred Games confirmed

A couple of years ago we brought you news (read that here) that Netflix was adapting Vikram Chandra’s Mumbai-set novel, Sacred Games.

Now we not only have a trailer but also a transmission date… and it’s soon!

Set in Mumbai, Sacred Games delves into the city’s intricate web of organised crime, corruption, politics and espionage that lie beneath India’s economic renaissance. It is an epic masterwork of exceptional richness and power that interweaves the lives of the privileged, the famous, the wretched and the bloodthirsty.

It features Sartaj, the only Sikh inspector in the whole of Mumbai, who’s used to being identified by his turban, beard and the sharp cut of his trousers. But ‘the silky Sikh’ is now past 40, his marriage is over and his career prospects are on the slide. When Sartaj gets an anonymous tip-off as to the secret hideout of the legendary boss of the G-company, he’s determined that he’ll be the one to collect the prize…

Now for the trailer:

Sacred Games: Netflix, from Friday 6th July

Netflix releases trailer and transmission date for series two of Ozark

Ozark – starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney – made it into the top 10 of our Best Crime Dramas Of 2017 list (see that here) and series two has been gearing up for a while now.

Deadline reports that:

In the anticipated second season, the Byrde family continues to navigate the troubled money-laundering and drug cartel waters. With Del (Esai Morales) out, the crime syndicate sends its ruthless attorney Helen Pierce (McTeer) to town to shake things up just as the Byrdes finally are settling in. Marty and Wendy struggle to balance their family interests amid the escalating dangers presented by their partnerships with the power-hungry Snells, the cartel and their new deputy, Ruth Langmore (Garner), whose father Cade (Trevor Long) has been released from prison. The stakes are even higher than before — and the Byrdes soon realize they have to go all in before they can get out.

And here’s a trailer, complete with transmission date announcement:

BBC Four snaps up German hostage drama

We’ve been hearing whispers in the wind about what is coming next in the Saturday-night, 9pm foreign-language crime slot on BBC Four, and now we’re hearing that the Beeb has bought a new hostage drama from Germany.

No stranger to hostage dramas – thanks to Denmark’s Below The Surface shown earlier this year – the channel will broadcast 54 Hours, described as one of ‘buzziest German dramas of recent times’.

Variety reports that series is based on real-life events.

The Gladbeck crisis was one of the biggest crime cases in postwar German history. The series dramatizes the events following a bank raid gone wrong. The robbers took several hostages and, while being pursued by police and tracked by the media over several days, traveled across several West German state lines. The ensuing murder and carnage unfolded in a media circus that saw reporters interview hostages while they were still being held at gunpoint. The debacle ultimately led to new rules governing media coverage, and the police were accused of bungling their handling of the case.

“’54 Hours’ is a finely crafted, enthralling drama based on one of the most notorious real-life incidents in recent German history,” Sue Deeks, BBC head of program acquisition, told Variety. “We’re incredibly pleased to bring it to BBC Four later this year.”

So, look out for it… likely to be incoming in the autumn.

BBC announces details of new daytime crime drama

The BBC has had some success with its daytime crime dramas – Father Brown, The Coroner and Shakespeare & Hathaway have proved to be mild hits, all of which have been recommissioned for more series.

Now we hear the corporation is to add to its daytime crime slate.

The Mallorca Files, set amongst the expat community on the eponymous Spanish island, features a British and German detective clashing over their very different approaches to policing the island. While self-confessed introverted Brit Miranda Blake takes her career (as well as everything else in life) seriously, German Max Wolf is a classic extrovert and unashamedly unconventional. The combination of these two characters and the sun-drenched setting sets the stage for humour as well as thrills, as the duo do battle to solve each new crime.

Created by Dan Sefton (pictured), no casting has been announced yet.

More news etc.