REVIEW: Wisting (S1 E9&10/10)

It was only a matter of time.

I am, of course, referring to the three cases that were left precariously and simultaneously spinning on sticks by the end of episode eight. We had seen Wisting have a cosy chat with Haglund, who told the detective that he knew who had fitted him up and switched cigarettes for the multiple murders a decade and a half ago.

And yet this information was not forthcoming right until the very end of episode 10. It was a bit of a mystery why it took so long for Wisting to act on this information. Instead, we – and he, of his own making – had to go round the procedural houses to finally figure out what had happened.

And wouldn’t you know it, all three cases came together like they did in the first, five-part story.

To start with, Wisting decided to ask one of his old team for the arrest logs from the original case, who then dobbed him into the ruthless Terje Nordbø. So perhaps that was why it took Wisting so long to get his hands on the evidence Haglund had pointed him to. In the end, Wisting took matters into his own hands, snuck into the police station and retrieved what he needed himself. From there, he asked Haglund’s lawyer – who had stitched him up on live TV and had helped to get him out of a holding cell after Nordbø had issued a warrant for his arrest – to help him. Once he had got the evidence bag with the cigarette butts in, he was able to ask a trusted friend to pull some fingerprints (even though the bag was 17 years old and god knows how many people had touched it since).

But there were more procedural avenues we had to travel down before we got to where we needed to get to.

Looking at the logs, a familiar name stood out: Jonas Ravneberg, the man who was murdered in Oslo, and the murder Line had been investigating (before she shacked up with Tommy and to said to hell with it all). Together they began to investigate, and it wasn’t long – after they found his mate Roxrud murdered –  Ravneberg’s ex had passed on a package from him to give to Wisting (it had conveniently arrived in the mail a few days before).

Inside was a videotape, which showed Cecilia in her holding room, bathed in red light, terrified and doing a forced dance to the camera. It was pretty chilling, and awful to watch.

These scenes never are.

Together they found out where this room was – an old military bunker where Ravneberg kept his motorcycles – and sped to the scene.

Elsewhere, we found out at the end of episode nine that Linnea was alive, and bathed in the same red light in the same room Cecilia had been kept in.

So we knew now – like the first story – that it was a race against the clock. And running that race was Benjamin, who was desperate to find her to assuage the guilt he felt after his poor handling of Linnea’s pleas for help in the first story.

With Hammer at his side, they followed a dead-end – although it proved a useful red herring for dramatic purposes – when they got involved with Danny Flom, a local photographer who, they had found, took photos of Linnea before her disappearance. He was also a suspect in the original Cecilia case.

But it was Wisting and Line who got to Linnea first, along with one other person: Mad Frank Robekk. Robekk had been causing a nuisance all throughout the series, obsessively investigating his niece Ellen’s death. So much so, he became a suspect for a fleeting moment in these last two episodes.

But there he was, in the bunker before Wisting and Line, having followed his own clues and getting there first. They managed to find a young woman’s clothes and sneakers in the back of the red Saab (another Saab in another Nordic Noir) that it was claimed Ravneberg used to drive.

Following a staircase down, they found Linnea in her red room. But it was the end for Frank – appearing out of nowhere Haglund shot him, before Wisting took him down.

So… Haglund was guilty after all, and Robekk – who had maintained this all along – was vindicated in his obsession that he was guilty.

But wait.

It was Ravneberg’s car they found with the clothes and Ravneberg’s bunker in which they found Linnea. And, while forensics were sweeping the area, they found the remains of another young woman, who it was reckoned, was Ellen. The fact that Ravneberg sent Wisting the videotape with Cecilia on suggested that he wanted to tell the cops what he had done (why?).

But then Haglund steamed in and was deemed responsible for Linnea’s abduction and likely subsequent murder, even though he was framed for the first two young women’s murders (Wisting later confirmed that his boss, Vetti, had doctored the evidence to send Haglund down).

So was Haglund responsible for all the murders? If so, how did Ravneberg have the videotape?

And who killed him, and why?

As I write this, I think Ravneberg killed the first two women, and then Haglund abducted Linnea. But why? If he was off the hook for the first two murders, he was an innocent man.

And what was the connection between the two men if Haglund used Ravneberg’s bunker for his crime?

(Seriously, if anyone can help here please do in the comments section.)

While Wisting was welcomed back onto the force, I was really left scratching my head. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a series that left so many questions unanswered or caused so much confusion. Which was a shame because there were things to like about Wisting. Wisting himself, while a little dull, had a bit of the Jimmy Perezes about him – he was righteous and avuncular but showed some fire about him when he was backed into a corner. Larvik and the surrounding areas looked terrific (although with all these serial killers, abductions and murders you might not want to take a holiday there any time soon), and there were some nice story arcs involving Line (a strong character), Benjamin and Hammer.

But really, over two stories Wisting will be remembered as a series that perhaps tried too hard. Complexities and structures that work in novels (I’ve heard good things about Jørn Lier Horst’s books) don’t necessarily work in TV series, and maybe these two stories needed to be scaled back a bit because all the questions I had after the credits rolled overshadowed the good bits of the series.

Paul Hirons





12 Comments Add yours

  1. sel539 says:

    I needed your review because I was so bored I missed half of what was going on in the last episode! Not a good one for me, should have ditched it earlier….Currently watching Occupied on Netflix which is excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elizabeth Macpherson says:

      I also fell asleep. However I did re watch it, just to try & make sense of it.
      Still confused.


  2. marijo1951 says:

    I couldn’t help thinking it was rather irresponsible of Wisting to go off to the military bunker with Line and without letting the police know about it. I know he’d been treated badly by his bosses, but surely his natural police instinct and his concern for Line’s safety would have made him contact the police and let them know what he’d found out.


  3. Elizabeth Macpherson says:

    Thank goodness it isn’t only me who’s confused. I originally thought it was because I couldn’t follow the unfamiliar names. After reading your review I feel vindicated.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John Dutton says:

    Perhaps Ravnerberg, Roxrud and Haglund were a gang who killed the first two women. When Haglund was arrested and sent to prison he thought the other two had stitched him up. So, when he got out and was ‘cleared’ he killed his mates for revenge (also knowing they had the video) and then started up again as he thought no-one would suspect him. It explains why he knew about the bunker.
    To be honest I lost track of it all really but many thanks for your synopsis above – really helps. Thank goodness for your blogs.


    1. Jane says:

      Yes I thought they must have been working in conjunction but the relationship between the men was never explained.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fran Stacey says:

    Absolutely agree – so confusing. Please never stop your blogs. They keep me sane. I thought it was my age! (advancing…) but now I know I’m normal.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charlotte Carling says:

    Huh? Are Saabs over represented in Noirs? I’d never have noticed that, but will obviously have to keep it in mind when watching other series.

    You probably have a point about what works well in novels vs tv series, Paul. If they make a second series (very likely, I reckon), maybe it would be good to dial back a little on red herrings and complications and dig a bit deeper into the characters instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jane says:

    It frustrated me that Benjamin followed Danny Flome, a possible murderer, without telling anyone too!


  8. Elaine says:

    I have just read the book (which I enjoyed immensely but is very different from the TV show) so may be able to help. In the book Ravneberg was a quiet, loner who had an interest in model cars. So did Haglund and so they knew each other. Roxrud was barely in the book. Haglund used Ravneburg’s property and car for his terrible uses, and although Ravneburg knew, he was not a part of it at all. He moved away once Cecilia had been killed to try and forget about it. He was killed because Haglund knew that he had the video tape and that would prove he was guilty (in the book Haglund appeared on the tape) rather than The innocent he portrayed. Hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paul Hirons says:

      Brilliant, thank you Elaine!


  9. Andy D says:

    I felt totally confused by the second story and who was doing what to whom. All I can add is they theorized in E6 (I think) when Leanne went missing that it was the perfect opportunity for Haglund to kill as the police couldn’t touch him due to the older case being investigated again. But that doesn’t explain who murdered Ravenberg, nor who was the assailant that beat up Line when she went to his house. I think we’re too assume it was Haglund all along but that doesn’t fit with Ravneberg having the video tape of Cecilla, or why he kept it for 17 years if he wasn’t the killer. All very puzzling!


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