REVIEW: Black Lake (S2 E3&4/8)

Last week’s opening two episodes of the second series of Swedish crime/horror drama Black Lake were entertaining enough – in a creepy, locked, single location thriller/haunted house story sort of way – but it also very much stuck to the structure of  the first series: a group of young people were flung together in an isolated place with a scary house with a back story, a main character who might be suffering from psychosis or who might actually be seeing ghostly things, and character dynamics within a group of people that see arguments, secrets and a whole bunch of mistrust and brouhaha. And probably a bit of death, too.

It was actually pretty watchable – Johan was as risible as ever, but Minnie was intriguing; as was the location and the premise.

As ever with a large(ish) cast of characters, I’m going to structure my review around the individuals.  But really, this review could be best summed up with the phrase: and they all had sex with each other on a gorgeous-looking island.

Poor old Minnie. She spent most of the episode once again skulking around the corridors of the house, searching for clues about the missing person from last year’s retreat. Things started off badly, too, when Uno’s old-school laundry exercise went a bit pear-shaped – transfixed by a burning sheet (and seemingly quite oblivious to the fact that flames were creeping up her leg – she slipped into reverie. She later confided to Uno what happened to her daughter, Luna, some years before: she got drunk one night, passed out and left some candles alight. Her place burned down with Luna in it.

The rest of the episode saw Minnie have a bit of a thing with Uno, and then team up with Johan to find out more about the person who went missing – a presence she was beginning to feel more and more around the house and, especially, in her room.

We left Minnie very pissed off indeed with the rest of the group and, quite naturally, Uno.

Johan and Uno’s territorial pissing matches are hilarious to watch, and in episode four Johan spent most of it STILL trying to get hold of his mobile phone and/laptop, to varying degrees of comedy (Gittan, especially, was absolutely on his case). But this insistence on contact with the outside world and his suspicion of Uno (brought on by his snooping into his past life) meant that he wanted to find out more – leading to some discoveries in Uno’s room about his past and the person who went missing the previous year.

Her name was not Maja, as Minnie was told, but Josefine. And Uno was not Uno.

Suddenly Johan and Minnie were forming a bit of a detective team. Still boffing Bella.

The man with the Starsky an Hutch cardigan was still going with his wide-eyed enthusiasm for all things wellness and self-improvement, although some of his tasks (old-school laundry) probably wouldn’t make it onto many retreat curricula these days.

There has always been the suspicion that Uno is a wrong ‘un (actually any leader of a retreat in a thriller series), and here Uno didn’t really help himself. In fact, his conduct was, frankly, ridiculous – yes, he helped Minnie a great deal, but having sex with her? Come on now.

And, when Johan found out that Uno was really an Erik Larsen and that he had been boffing Josefine last year, you had to ask yourself what Uno/Erik was in this for if not to have sex with lots of women. But is he a killer? I think not.

Poor old, creepy Oscar. Suffering from debilitating anxiety, his role this week was, much like last week, to shuffle about, not say much and be in scenes where other characters who told him, “it’s ok Oscar, last year wasn’t your fault”. Bella was being very nice to him, but Amina was not – she couldn’t understand why he had to come back again this year, especially after last year. And, after seeing a flashback with Josefine, we were left to ask: what was Oscar’s role in her disappearance?

Aw, we like Bella – she’s kind and seems fairly switched on – but what she’s doing falling for a narcissist like Johan is anyone’s guess. Not much of her backstory was revealed tonight, so we think there may well be more from her next week.

Agnes is a funny one, and I’m convinced there’s more to come out from her in future episodes. Why is she so dedicated to Uno? Does she have a sneaky territorial/protection thing going on with him? We’ll soon find out no doubt, but in these episodes, she was delving into Johan’s past, revealing his ex, Jennifer.

Gittan was being Gittan again – more to come from her, for sure, but in the meantime, she’s just grumpy and foreboding.

In one of Uno/Erik’s truth splurges, it was revealed that Vincent has a little brother who, back in the real world, is in prison for armed robbery and murder. This obviously plays on his mind and, he told the group, feels guilty for his incarceration.

Vincent is rapidly becoming one of the group’s most interesting characters. Especially when he laid bare his feelings to Amina, who rebuffed him in a cruel way. Speaking of Amina…

Anima spent most of the episodes freaked out by Oscar, but ended them with a shovel in the face. Yes, it looked as though Amina was the first to be offed – this confused woman had finally had a meltdown with Oscar (or was it the other way around?), was upset with the revelation that Uno/Erik had been boffing Josefine and had decided to storm off the island (not before she was very rude to Vincent). She found the body wrapped in netting (Minnie wasn’t going nuts! Was this Josefine??) in the boat, and was then taken out.

Bye bye, Amina.



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Have to admit that Gittan became my fav early on (and a dog called Grim?)- and is she the shovel-wielder? Distinct possibility, there.
    Uno/Erik really gets off on people’s vulnerabilities/breaking down. That’s his big thrill – and like all leaders, wouldn’t last 5 mins off the island.


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