REVIEW: Trapped (S2 E3&4/10)

We left episodes one and two – a strong start to this excellent Icelandic series – with both Ketill and Torfi under arrest, the latter suspected of killing Finnur, in the little police station. Skúli, meanwhile, was on the run in the mountains with all that the police could muster on his tail and surely closing in on him. After he kills one of the rescue dogs, the SWAT team arrives from Reykjavik to boost the search efforts. Ketill too, after he is released, starts off on his own search by quad bike. Here we see a slightly different man to the vitriolic protestor dumping dead sheep on the square. Now he is just someone who knows the dangers of the land and the exposure to the elements; a father desperate to find his son before it’s too late.

Elsewhere, Hafdís, the mayor, had been threatened by (presumably) the extremist group Hammer of Thor at the end of episode two. Not wanting to jeopardise the plant deal due to be signed, she didn’t alert the police, but painted over the graffiti that was daubed onto her house and garage. Instead, word gets out to the media by way of Kolbrún (via journalist Fréttakona (played by The Flatey Enigma’s Lára Jóhanna Jónsdóttir)), the former mayor’s widow and possibly contender for the post herself. (Nice to see this interesting character and her scheming ways return to be part of the mix again. If you can stomach standing by while you’re albeit abusive husband burns alive, what else are you capable of?)

Andri and Ásgeir pay a visit to Hjörtur at the powerplant to have a look at some security footage of the protestors. When asked why there is no security cameras covering the foreign workers’ barracks, Hjörtur despondently offers the simplest reason: nobody cares about them. He suggests they talk to Pawel, the unofficial leader of the foreign workers. Pawel, however, is not forthcoming with the police, simply stating they can take care of ourselves. Certainly, as easily replaceable workers who are forced to accept very poor wages and conditions, you are not about to talk to the police more than necessary, but are there other reasons too? What has been going on at the plant and what was Finnur, who was the overseer of the foreign workers, involved in? As they are leaving Andri introduces himself to Ebo for the second time, in order not to reveal that he met him before at Víkingur’s place.

Torfi recants his confession but lets slip in an unguarded moment with Andri that something is about to happen.

Talking to Aron in a café, Andri finds a computer that Torfi has used in the past. Now it’s time for Ásgeir to do his thing. And while cracking a password in two attempts is a bit exaggerated, it’s great to see that he is no longer side-lined or treated like a junior colleague, but someone who just has other qualities.

Skúli is found sick and weak on the mountain and is rushed to Reykjavik for specialist care. Hínrika, who has had an embarrassing and tense visit from Barður reeking of weed, at the unusually full and busy police station, is presumably happy enough to postpone any further confrontation with her husband and instead accompanies Ketill on the journey to Reykjavik.

Realising that the mayor is the target for Hammer of Thor, Andri contacts her immediately on the phone but Hafdís dismisses him without really listening and gets off the phone when she sees an apparent accident. Rather unlikely, one would think. If you’re on the phone with the police and come across someone who is seemingly in need of help, you tell the police what’s going on and get them to come or at least to send an ambulance if you believe that someone is hurt. You don’t hang up without saying anything at all. The result? She is abducted.

The police arrive too late and it’s back to procedure to try to find out who has taken Hafdís. Next day CCTV tapes from a supermarket shows a car following Hafdís from her appointment at the hairdresser. Ásgeir recognises the car and now they have a name to go on.

Trausti has arrived in town, greeting Andri with a handshake but without any real eye contact. No one is particularly happy with having to work with the other once again, but they get on with it at least. The balance they strike with how these characters relate to each other is quite good. Accepting of each other on the surface, but lots of things left unspoken that manifest in the way they interact.

A video of the mayor, bound and forced to read a statement from Hammer of Thor, is spread online and adds to the sense of urgency with the police. Soon Trausti and his team go barging in, rifles raised, to the kindergarten at the address linked to the new suspect. Andri smirks at Trausti; You’re sure it’s safe to go in now?

From there the trail leads to Hanna Stína the hairdresser and this time Andri takes charge deciding to simply talk to her himself. He coaxes her slowly to go from denying any knowledge about the abduction to show her real character, finally ranting aggressively about her land, industry and culture being sold out. The fact that she does this but is still evidently afraid of Andri, who has the upper hand, makes for a powerful scene between the two of them.

In Reykjavik, Hínrika and Ketill have somehow developed something of a connection over the situation. He understands that to help his boys he needs to help Hínrika get the information she needs. With Ketill finally drawing the location where Hafdis is held from Skúli. The SWAT team is dispatched and in the ensuing encounter out in the countryside Trausti is forced to shoot one of the abductors. Later, Andri will defend his actions to the press. Maybe they can let go of past conflicts now? No, what’s the fun in that for us viewers. This contrast in characters highlights everything we like about Andri. His confident but unassuming demeanour only rising his voice when it’s absolutely necessary. Andri certainly wouldn’t be caught dead wearing sunglasses on a shady day like a city boy.

The mayor is freed, and all the members of Hammer of Thor are being dealt with. So, at this point, things seem to have been solved and there is only the aftermath to deal with. However, it’s never that simple and we are only at episode four after all. And sure enough, here comes the raven flying against a mountain background. As we learnt from the first series, that means the worst is yet to come.

Right enough, Guðrún finds evidence to show that no one from the Hammer of Thor could have killed Finnur meaning the bolt gun with their fingerprints had been used to try and frame the brothers. The team must start again in the search for Finnur’s murderer. It’s a crime drama staple, of course, that you are meant to suspect at least one or two red herrings before finding the right trail, but it’s also the interesting part. The solution mustn’t be too obvious, and we must look around at all the other possible perpetrators who might have hidden means and motives.

Meanwhile, Þórhildur has been skipping school to spend time bonding with Aron over broken relationships with their fathers. Back at his house which has still not been released by the police, she is asking for drink before having sex with him, leading them to discover a bag full of rolls of Euros. Finders, keepers, says Aron who is rather too unconcerned where the money comes from. We had a feeling it was coming, putting the kids in danger and thus increasing the suspense until the next episode. Þórhildur deciding to send a text to a phone she found in the same bag as the money isn’t very convincing and that makes two episodes in a row where there have been very counterintuitive actions taken by the women in this series. Yes, Þórhildur is only 15-years-old and she’s not in a happy place, but she’s not that dumb. What is she trying to do here? Is this meant to be a part of her rebellion? Keeping and using some of the money, yes tempting. Texting someone who clearly made plans to meet Finnur where later he turned up dead? Sorry, that one isn’t quite covered by the suspension of disbelief. Having said that, this is a quality series, so we’ll let this one slide and move on.

And, with six episodes left, there’s a murder to still be solved.

Charlotte Carling

FOR OUR EPISODES ONE AND TWO REVIEW CLICK HERE

22 Comments Add yours

  1. Andy D says:

    Another great review Charlotte and I’m so glad you picked up on Þórhildur’s decision to text, which was met with howls of disbelief in my household. She’s a smart kid and this totally didn’t sit with her character. The concept of the unruly teenager in these shows is so overdone now it’s almost compulsory and maybe speaks to the demographic of people watching them. Her decision was one of quite a few clunky plot movements in these episodes that they just about got away with in the excitement of everything going on. The idea of Skuli being poisoned interests me, was this deliberate or accidental? Overall I think the whole case has nothing to do with the local environment or foreign business but is all connected on an old personal level to Halla and her past.

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    1. Charlotte Carling says:

      Yes, some parts were a bit cluncky. “Redeeming” Ásgeir, after the mishaps first two episodes, could have been done with just a little more finesse, I thought. Neither Andri or Hínrika knowing the significance of the number 88 in the context of right extremism felt a bit strange, and Ásgeir should have had to try just a little harder to find that password. Take the laptop to the station and work on it for half an hour or something, wouldn’t that be more of an achievment anyway? Making connections through standard police work such as clocking having seen a particular car before and paying attention to what the driver was like felt much more reasonable as a way of saying that he is good at what he does.

      I agree there is something more to what happened to Halla and her denying having meant anything by what she said immediately after the attack is rather curious.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Tom says:

      I agree with Andy D. I reckon it’s an updated version of the blood feud of the Saga of Gisli (which they briefly discussed in episode 1). I think the key is in episode 1 when Halla says to Andri – as the paramedics load her into the ambulance – something to the effect that Gisli felt she owed him something (or words to that effect).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Andy D says:

        It raised an eyebrow for me when Halla said Hafdis was an old friend, there’s something perhaps in their childhoods that is coming to fruition. Is the aside from Ásgeir that Hafdis has a child and the father isn’t in the picture something to consider? I feel like whoever is manipulating the nationalism of the locals is using it as a cover to do their deadly deeds.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Charlotte Carling says:

        Interesting idea. I’m just curious to see how many sagas Ketill will eventually mention as he talked about Egill Skallagrímsson at the hospital this time round. Njals saga next?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tom says:

    In episode 3 Andri and Hínrika questioned Aron (Thórhildur was with him) about Torfi and Skuli and Aron told them about Torfi’s laptop. It was odd; the camera focused on Thórhildur and her tense reaction. Later, in episode 4, Thórhildur told Aron about when she had stolen a laptop. I wonder if the two are somehow related.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Charlotte Carling says:

      Yes, you might be right. I didn’t think it had anything specificllly to do with the café laptop. I thought she was just generally tense around her father who, though briefly acknowledges her, has more important things to deal with in the moment than having a fight with her. As a result she’s just left feling awkward and uncomfortable not quite knownig what to do with herself. We’re likely building up to a massive eruption when all the things Þórhildur is holding back will finally come out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Andy D says:

        You guys are much more savvy than me. I took her guilty look as they investigated the laptop to mean she was the female leader of Hammer of Thor about to be discovered. Plot Twist!!! Luckily I don’t write these things, nobody would watch :D

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Charlotte Carling says:

        Haha! Oh wow! That would indeed have been quite the plot twist.
        Apart from the fact that teenagers don’t always need a reason to rebel, the divorce might have been hard for her. Then she was living with and being very close to her grandparents until that situation blew up. It would be interesting to find out more about just how things developed in the more immediate aftermath of Eirikur having been arrested and then convicted of murder. (From what little we’ve seen of Agnes, she and Andri seem to have worked things out and are able to co-parent Perla well enough at least.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I must admit when I saw the storyline unravelling of the two kids, it struck me how at that age they kind of think they know everything, and know nothing, of how the world works. And so disaster seems to happen in slow motion for anyone watching.
    I did find them plausible – a lot more so that this street-wise, the-kids-know-best attitude people foist on struggling kids at the moment.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Leif Samuelsson says:

    I’m really confused by the change of locations. Series 1 was set in Seyðisfjörður on the east coast, where the ferries run to Denmark. Now we’re in Siglufjörður in the north. At first I thought that Hínrika had moved there as part of her promotion, but the fact that so many characters from the first series have also ended up there seems to make less sense. What am I missing?

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    1. Charlotte Carling says:

      They haven’t changed location, it was a northern town from the start. If you remember they were discussing possibilities for a port in the first series and it was clear it was on the north coast and even though they might not have mentioned Siglufjörður then, they have done so in the second series which is clearly set in the same town.

      Some of the filming for series one did take place in Seyðisfjörður, maybe that’s what is confusing you. There is nothing stopping fictional ferries from going to different locations in Iceland after all.

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      1. Leif Samuelsson says:

        Thanks for setting me straight. It was indeed the ferry that made me so sure that they were on the east side in series 1. I’ve been wanting to take that (real) ferry for many years. :)

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      2. Charlotte Carling says:

        Well, I had to check the first episode and it was the Norröna they used so I’m not surprised you assumed it was set in Seyðisfjörður if you had already researched going on that ferry.

        Did you notice that there is going to be a Faroese crime series for the first time? Might be of interest to you. https://thekillingtimestv.wordpress.com/2019/01/17/trom-the-first-ever-faroe-islands-crime-drama/

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      3. Leif Samuelsson says:

        Yes, very much looking forward to the Faroese drama as well. I happened to fly on Atlantic Airways between Copenhagen and Paris recently (they flew on behalf of SAS). The crew spoke Faroese between themselves and it sounded almost as exotic as Icelandic does to my Swedish ears.

        Back to Trapped: I wonder if Aron really is as innocent as he looks.

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      4. Charlotte Carling says:

        I think he’s just a bored teenager with a few car thefts under his belt. The way he reacted to finding the money doesn’t really say criminal mastermind. There was no hint of realisation that the money might be a bad thing. There are others I feel much more uneasy about at this point. We’ll have to wait and see what the next episodes have in store for us.

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  5. Jon Snow says:

    I’ve forgotten most of the plot of series 1 and would like to recap to enjoy series 2 better. Can anyone direct me to where I can find a synopsis for series 1? Can’t seem to find on Killing Times or by googling. Thanks

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    1. Paul Hirons says:

      If you look under in the Trapped category here on the site, there are reviews of all the episodes from series one, Jon

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      1. Jon Snow says:

        Thanks Paul. Took me a while to find but I’ve now located all of the series 1 reviews.

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  6. Ros Bellamy says:

    The teenagers will undoubtedly be in danger, as this is now a staple of crime drama, rather like alcoholic cops used to be. Probably safe in the end, as this isn’t Tin Star.

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