We waited three years for this second series of Trapped and now it feels as though it’s over in a heartbeat. The last two episodes had a lot to tie up and, perhaps, throw in a twist or two, so it was time to settle in and see what happens.
We start off in a heart-breaking way. Badly injured and barely hanging on, Ásgeir is dragged to his car by the killer and driven away as the urgent calls from Hínrika come in over the radio. When there is no reply they track the car and see it’s heading out of town. Racing after it they soon find it on fire. They are shocked and horrified as they put out the flames and see Ásgeir dead in the back seat.
This series has focused a lot on the glitchy interaction of the trio and to know that Ásgeir (played so well by Ingvar E. Sigurðsson) won’t be returning for the third series, is very disappointing. The balance of their different personalities has been one of the best parts of Trapped.
But still, the show must go on.
In the morning, Andri is talking to Þórhildur to get some information about the phone that is now lost. I’ll say this for scriptwriters Sigurjón Kjartansson and Clive Bradley, they are very consistent in their portrayal of this teenager. She remembers nothing of the texts. This is astonishingly ridiculous, as there is no way Þórhildur wouldn’t remember every single text. They weren’t flippant comments about the weather. At this point, the character is almost caricature. It’s truly odd as all the others are infinitely better written, and the depth of characterisation is one of the show’s real strengths. Fair play to Elva María Brigisdóttir, though, who plays the part as well as the script will allow. (Please give her something better to work with next time round.) Distressed and overcome with emotions, Andri cries quietly in the bathroom until Hínrika tells him they’re losing Ásgeir’s murderer and need to get moving. Only then does Þórhildur remember one of the texts and it puts the killer at Gísli’s funeral.
Stubborn Ketill has teamed up with the reporter and shows her where he has found barrels of toxic waste in a hole on the heath from where it leaks into the lake. He informs the police and they come to investigate. Car scenes with Andri and Hínrika must be the most frequent ones in this series, they form an intimate setting, usually with stunning background, in which to discuss personal issues or speculate about the case. Now they try to understand what made Ásgeir go to meet the killer alone. Both feel guilty but maybe, as Hínrika says, he wasn’t trying to prove anything but just doing his job. It’s a subdued conversation.
Everything points to this being waste from the plant that was recently dumped at the site. The mayor ponders, maybe the old woman was right about the curse, but Ketill scoffs that it’s nothing but typical Icelandic greed.
Andri and Hínrika continue to the plant to talk to Stefán, who they have found out is head of waste management there. He’s off sick but a worker tells them the waste is typically shipped abroad. They go to talk to Stefán at home. As they arrive a raven caws repeatedly, never a good sign. And as Tom has pointed out in comments previously, there are other indicators that Andri and Hínrika are now on the right track. (I had some bad feelings about him from the start too, but only because Arnmundur Ernst Björnsson played a neo-nazi copper in a previous series of Shetland, so not really a valid reason.) Once inside, suspicions increase as Stefán isn’t home and may have been out all night. The gun safe is ominously empty. Trapped is considered and methodical taking its time to explore the plot without feeling slow. Then there are the intermittent waves of dangerous situations or breakthrough in the case which gives a sense of urgency and pace to the narrative. It’s well balanced just what you want from a great crime drama.
Laufey, had agreed with Andri earlier that she should drive Þórhildur and Aron to Reykjavik to keep them safe. But the killer was following them waiting for his opportunity. It comes when they stop at a petrol station and we now have confirmation that Stefán is the killer when he attacks Aron and abducts Þórhildur. So here is the situation we’ve been expecting since the trailer came out, our detective’s daughter in serious danger.
Luckily there are already plenty of extra police officers in town and Trausti is also back with his SWAT team. Roadblocks come up in a hurry forcing Stefán onto small side roads.
Andri, who remarkably is still allowed on the case, and Hínrika are unsure what Stefán’s motive is or where he might go. To find out they visit his friend Víkingur. But instead it’s Ebo who has information about the toxic waste that was dumped, though he’s not keen to share it at first. Stéfan was paying Finnur to get rid of the barrels rather and when Finnur died without having paid the workers Pawel tried to get the money from Stefán directly.
With Þórhildur in harm’s way, others start talking about secrets from the past. Jórunn opens up to Hínrika and tells her that Stefán is Halla’s son who she gave up. The second domino to fall is Elín who reveals that her father was a violent sadist and Gísli killed him and with the help of Halla fed him to the pigs. Pigs eat everything, Elín says. It’s both matter of fact and poignant at the same time.
Meanwhile, the police are closing in on Stefán. Some riders have seen him trying to ford a river but getting stuck and continuing on foot with Þórhildur. The police have something to go on and a helicopter spots him at an old ski cabin in the countryside.
Andri and Hínrika ask Halla, who is back in town to come with them to help. In the car she completes the gruesome story the other two women started. Andy’s prediction from last week turned out to be correct. Her father raped her repeatedly and she’d lived in fear until Gísli killed him. The flashbacks are disturbing. The thought that Gísli might have told Stefán the truth sickens her. She admits that when Gísli came to her for help she refused it. This is what led to his desperate act of revenge when he had lost everything.
Arriving at the cabin we have a clear setup for a final showdown. Andri is allowed in the cabin to talk to Stefán, who is armed, while the SWAT team remains outside. So far Andri has seemed too calm considering his daughter has been kidnapped but now there is some emotion and he is asking Stefán to tell him where she is, but he refuses. Two weeks ago, you were a normal man with a normal life, Andri says in an effort to get Stefán to start talking. And he tells his side, how Finnur had taken the money because he wanted to buy Gísli’s farm and everything snowballed from there. The point of no return leading to three murders being when he found out who his parents were. He’d felt like a freak and that everyone knew it. Without it he wouldn’t have snapped.
Hínrika brings in Halla and for the second time a son is shouting at his mother in pain over having been given up. Over having apparently been deemed worthless. While emotions run high Hínrika manages to throw out Þórhildur’s jacket for the search dogs. They find her where she’d fallen, at the bottom of a slope with hands tied and mouth taped, struggling to keep her head over the cold water.
The situation in the cabin is tense and when they hear over the radio that Þórhildur is safe, Stefán puts the gun under his chin and ends it. It’s a desperate end but almost inevitable the way the plot was laid out. The family secret was a curse after all.
Hope instead rests with Víkingur and Steinunn who might mend their relationship and Elín and Aron who could find a new and happier life in Reykjavik.
Andri also has a chance to mend things with Þórhildur. It’s a sweet moment when he visits her in hospital and rests his head on the pillow next to hers and she tells him “I will be ok, and you too”.
It’s interesting to see how often they chose to link back to the events of the previous series of Trapped. Þórhildur talks about Eirikur killing Hrafn because her aunt was killed in a fire. Hjörtur’s experiences as wrongly accused and convicted effects how he reacts when Víkingur is in trouble. Trausti talks about how he feels responsible for Sigurður’s suicide. It’s very reasonable that such horrible events should leave a deep impression on people and quite natural that they resurface from time to time.
There are also many parallels between the crimes in the two series. In both cases, rape is the original crime, which leads to other immediate crimes and has further consequences years down the line when the past comes back to haunt those involved. Notably, four people; Dagný, Hrafn, Gísli and Ásgeir were all burnt alive with Hjörtur and Halla also injured.
So what do we make of this second series of Trapped?
It wasn’t quite as perfect as the first, it has to be said (perhaps because of Þórhildur’s storyline, perhaps because it was missing that central, explicit trapped theme). However, it wasn’t far off and certainly another high-quality series, with Andri and Hínrika once again proving that they’re a formidable partnership and one of the best police pairings (if not the best) on television at the moment. Add in an emotional storyline and those familiar Nordic Noir socio-economic and cultural themes and it really did deliver. Inherent in a second series is that we get to know the recurring characters better, and there was a sense we got that in this one. At the end of this series, I’m already curious who we will meet again in the third series, whether it be main or peripheral characters. Just too bad Ásgeir won’t be one of them.
FOR OUR EPISODES ONE AND TWO REVIEW CLICK HERE
FOR OUR EPISODES THREE AND FOUR REVIEW CLICK HERE
FOR OUR EPISODES FIVE AND SIX REVIEW CLICK HERE
FOR OUR EPISODES SEVEN AND EIGHT CLICK HERE