REVIEW: Follow The Money (S3 E9&10/10)

We are at the final two episodes of a great series. The third instalment of Follow The Money has taken things in a new and exciting direction, bringing only two characters along from the previous series in the transition, and filling it with plenty of interesting new ones. It has maintained a very high quality from start to finish.

In any crime series, but especially when we know it’s the grand finale, we want not only the case brought to a satisfying close, but also to have a sense of where the main characters end up in the aftermath, especially when we’ve been made to care for them along the way. It must be said: Jeppe Gjervig Gram and his team have succeeded excellently.

At the end of episode eight, we left off with a couple of major twists as Nicky turned out to be Marco and Lala well and truly ended their partnership by stabbing him. The stakes are duly raised, and the pace is high. Before the finish line is crossed there are quite a few turns yet.

Having been taken to hospital by Sahar, Nicky is sufficiently patched up to survive the stabbing and narrowly manages to evade capture by the police. In a scene that is reminiscent of the one in series two, when Milas was momentarily lured away as a warning, when the family was out for a walk, Nicky takes Milas from his kindergarten group without anyone noticing. The intention is to go to Spain and start a new life there. This, of course, means he needs his money. However, Anna discovers that, this time, she’s the one that has been manipulated. Abbas refuses to transfer the money from Dubai, stating he works only for Lala. To make matters worse Nete is standing up for herself despite Anna’s threats and has decided to fire her. Both Anna’s and Nicky’s options are running out. For Nicky the next step is obvious.

Nicky uses Lala’s daughter Sofia let him in to their home. It’s a risky strategy to involve family when trying to keep a son safe. Nevertheless, and though he has a weapon at hand, Nicky threatens to gouge out Sasha’s eye with a spoon. It’s horrendous. Though he gets some of his money from Lala, as Nicky is about to leave with Milas, he has a change of heart, realising what he is doing to his son. In what is probably the best parental decision Nicky has ever made, he delivers Milas back to the foster parents.

Anna too, in desperation after having her family threatened by Nabil, turns to violence. She means to attack Nete with a hammer but hesitates and ends up putting her in a coma by pushing her down the stairs. Her job is safe for the time being.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of obstacles in the way for Alf too and he is lucky to have Stine on his side in the search for Nicky. She shows enough compassion and patience to give him a final chance as he promises to stop taking pills immediately. He trusts her, and she is an ally when Alf discovers someone new is leaking information to the Chief of Police so that he may tamper with the investigation. Before they find out who the leak is, Alf’s secrets are exposed, and he’s suspended by Storm who doesn’t want to risk the investigation.

In another turn of events, Alf isn’t out for long as Nicky suddenly knocks on his door. It’s a different meeting than the one they had in the juice bar. The chase is over, the tension is gone, and they are both worse for wear. Once Isa arrives, Nicky offers names and evidence in exchange for a good deal and witness protection.

Nabil’s unpredictability frightens Anna and she reaches her breaking point. In a parallel move to Nicky, she decides to flag all the accounts at the bank, cooperate with the internal auditors and simply accept whatever the outcome may be. Anna still needs to face Lala and Nabil a final time to get out. In a scene lit red by rear lamps, Anna takes her chances and comes clean to them. It seems uncharacteristic that Nabil should chose not to kill her, but he is content with a mock execution in front of her husband.

When for the first time in a long time both Nicky and Alf are calm, the Chief of Police shakes things up again by getting to Nicky first. The classic and satisfying final chase is on. Stine convinces Storm to let Alf back on the team. Bjørn was the leak and he redeems himself by telling the group where to start looking, but the task force are one step behind. Nicky manages to send them a message by combination of house alarm and toy train decorated with a flight number. A mad rush to the airport ensues but the flight to Dubai has just taken off. Alf is frustrated and feeling the effects of coming of his pills but finds Nicky weak and bleeding in a toilet stall. He’d managed to get rid of his guards by opening his own wounds and making it impossible to board the plane.

With Nicky safe, he is soon able to directs the team to evidence against the Chief of Police. In a personal victory Alf delivers the news to him in person in front of his oblivious wife. Meanwhile the rest of the task force, having what they need to prosecute, arrest Nabil and his gang as well as Lala.

Gratifyingly, in the final series the bad guys are caught and brought to justice and though we care about Nicky, his end must also count as just deserts. He seemed to have made it. He was being transported to another prison to serve his sentence, but then he relaxed and smiled and of course that meant he was about to be killed. Who by? Well there’s no shortage of candidates.

Tragically, there was no salvation for Alf either. On leave from work and with him and Isa done, he returned quickly to the downward spiral of self-medicating. Possibly taking his last breath while tuning out a news report on the impending vote in parliament to legalise hash.

Anna, then, is the one who is still standing at the end and finally getting promoted to a new position as head of New Compliance. Though if she can live with what she did to Nete is another matter.

It’s easy to watch Follow the money and feel invested in the main characters. We’ve followed Nicky from mechanic cum car thief via fixer for Evil Swede and Christensen to finally a big fry in the hash trade. Alf had been the steady, calm and kind partner to his more emotionally involved and impatient colleague for the two previous series but then suffered PTSD affected him badly and altered his personality. Though Anna was a new acquaintance, the rapid development of the character has been quite fascinating too: From not wanting to show her disappointment at being overlooked and trying to please and not impose, to taking charge and revelling in cheating the system. We were as eager to find out her fate as we are with the other two.

So, it’s not the ending we hope for, but it is the right one, the believable one. Its plausibility heightened by impeccable timing with the unfolding of events in Denmark as the series was filmed and broadcast. Violent gangs and shootings on the streets. Banks sweeping money laundering under the carpet rather than involving the police, until they are found out.

The theme and the timing are surely accounting for some of this series’ popularity and high praise in Denmark, but more importantly it is, in every aspect, a top-quality series. Screenwriting, casting, acting and directing – all spot on.

Charlotte Carling





17 Comments Add yours

  1. sel539 says:

    What a wonderful series it has been. Probably the best thing I have seen this year. Just such great characters, acting and staging. I cried more than once in the final episode. When Milas stroked his Dad’s head, that was it! Just such a fantastic performance from Esben Jensen (Nicky) and all the main characters really. It was perfectly done, no schmalz, no cheesy moments – just pure class. What a fitting way to end a great series.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Charlotte Carling says:

      I just love it when a series goes out on a high! They managed to balance everything perfectly to the very end.

      (He goes by Esben Smed.) I’m quite curious about seeing him in a rather different role in Lykke-Per


      1. Maria says:

        ‘Lykke-Per’ is currently available on Netflix under its English title ‘A Fortunate Man’.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Charlotte Carling says:

        Thanks for letting me know, Maria. Unfortunately I don’t have an account there (there are just too many streaming sites) so will have to find it somewhere else.


  2. Harveyemm says:

    I agree that this series has been wonderful. The characters are so well-developed and I found myself caring about each of them. They are complex and human and not many TV shows manage to create this type of feeling. Esben Smed has been fantastic as Nicky—I cried at the end–I wanted him to get away. I hope the actor appears in many more films and TV shows that we get to see. Thanks for reviewing the show because it seems to have been ignored by other reviewers.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Charlotte Carling says:

      I don’t know how the previous two series were received in the UK or how extensively they were reviewed. The Killing Times didn’t review them, but as this one works well as a stand alone series, it made it easier to join in for the final ride.

      I personally liked series one and two, but thought that the basic crime plot of the second was maybe a little “too far out there”, especially the ending, to feel completely engaging, and I was more interested in the characters’ stories.

      This time round every single detail drew me in. Both as an individual series but also in terms of ending a longer journey with Alf and Nicky, I found this to be done with perfection.


      1. Seija says:

        I so agree with you, CC! It was a wonderful final series for FTM in which everything worked, the storyline, all the characters/actors, the setting (the streets instead of corporate or financial buildings), the title music (Spirit by Evangelist = Gavin Clark &Toydrum:… Superb!


      2. Charlotte Carling says:

        Oh yes, love the music as well as the opening credits.

        I’m still impressed you watched the original broadcast!


      3. Seija says:

        Well, thank you CC! I’m proud of myself, as well. And the other day I managed to watch Team Bachstad on NRK with Norwegian subs. Another accomplishment :)


      4. Charlotte Carling says:

        Making progress! They’ve got Brødrene Dal on the site if you want to have a laugh ;)

        I’m looking forward to Twin with Kristofer Hivju, but I think it won’t be broadcast until autumn.


      5. Seija says:

        I did notice the Broedrene Dal on NRK, and contemplated having another look at them after soooooo many years, but nah, decided not to. They wouldn’t be the same anymore *lol*

        According to imdb: “When a young mother is responsible for the accidental death of her husband, she persuades the dead husband’s identical twin to take his identity.” Hmm, Twins sounds intriguing. I wonder whether it will be shown in Finland… Probably not, as basically, we don’t get that many Norwegian series.


      6. Charlotte Carling says:

        Haha! You’re probably right.

        Twin will have some lovely scenery from Lofoten as well. There is a good likelihood that NRK will make it available internationally in which case you can practise your Norwegian skills some more. Will keep an eye out for dates and let you know.


      7. Charlotte Carling says:

        Spam time, Seija: DR has a nice series with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau travelling through Greenland. Good alternative for those of us who aren’t into GoT.


      8. Seija says:

        Thanks for the tip, CC! I’ll be having a look though Nikolaj Coster-Waldau isn’t my most favourite character in GoT ;)


      9. Charlotte Carling says:

        I’ve quite liked NCW since Nattevagten from way back when with Sofie Gråbøl and Kim Bodnia. He was also good in Blekingegade. (Great cast but severely lacking in female roles.)

        (Enemies for tomorrow then, Seija ;) I rather think you’ll get the better of us…)


      10. Seija says:

        Oh no, don’t tell me there’s a Finland – Sweden ice-hockey match on tomorrow?!?

        No worries, CC, you’re not my enemy – I can’t stand spectator sports *LOL*

        Liked by 1 person

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