REVIEW: Twin (S1 E3&4/8)



Twin left us a bit confused last week as to what tone it was trying to set in its tale of estranged brothers played by Kristofer Hivju, but with these two new episodes already bringing us to the half-way point of the season, it was clear that the show had settled into a more familiar Nordic groove – with varying results. With the establishing premise done and dusted in the opening run, there were less thrills this week but certainly more drama as things began to rapidly fall apart for Ingrid and her family.

With the accidental death of Adam seemingly wrapped up by the police assuming it was Erik’s body that was dragged from the water, Ingrid sets to actualising her plan to have his twin brother abscond once the coast is clear. Unfortunately, Erik has other ideas and is proving somewhat hard to hide in a basement under the auspices of being sick with grief over the death of his brother. The ramifications of his actions start to hit home once his girlfriend Mary visits Ingrid with his belongings, and she reminisces about their relationship whilst surfer pal and eyebrow model Lukas charms a smitten Karin.

Despite attempting to lay low, the unfortunate re-appearance of the boat Erik used to try and ferry Adam to safety washes up on a remote coastline, forcing him into teaming up with Ingrid’s dad Alfred (wonderfully played by John Sigurd Kristensen) to recover it. Alfred isn’t the first (and surely not the last) character to look like he’s processing a complex equation when confronted with the information that the police thoroughly searched the water near where the boat was shored, so why was ‘Erik’ found miles away? Not only this but Erik’s confused actions around driving what is supposedly his own vehicle – or his sudden willingness to repair the boat – are both out of character red flags to anyone that might know him, which sets Alfred’s brow to magnificently crumple. This is further compounded when best mate Frank turns up and delivers a moving eulogy about his friend whilst Erik has to choke back the tears.

With the burden of his actions weighing him down, Erik decides to use the travel money Ingrid has given him to instead drive to his surfers’ paradise Unstad and payback Mary the money he owes her. As plot contrivance would have it, Karin has also made the journey ahead of him, slightly giddy from the attention her supposedly super-cool uncle’s death has brought her from friends, as well as being keen to meet up with Lukas again. There, she gets to sample the care-free lifestyle Erik enjoyed with his (very much younger) pals before demanding a surfing lesson from her new beau. Unfortunately (predictably…) this leads to her becoming lost in the choppy waters, forcing a passing Erik to launch himself into a super surf session to rescue her. Much like Alfred before him, Lukas’s formidable eyebrows crunch in disbelief at this scene, and as to who this person really is.

Meanwhile, Ingrid is frantically chasing teenage boys around town as she searches for her missing daughter. A few choice words from wannabe lothario Glenn (put on a shirt for god’s sake boy!) soon put her into a new perspective about her relationship with Karin, something that may or may not be a distant echo of her own misspent youth. It’s fair to say Ingrid doesn’t have the best 48 hours in these episodes, as she fluffs presentations, ruins kids’ birthday parties, berates Erik relentlessly and generally is one chunky-knit cardigan away from a nervous breakdown. Quite what Ingrid hopes is the eventual outcome in this scenario becomes increasingly blurred as she begins to rely more and more on Erik to bail her out from socially awkward situations by standing in for her deceased husband. Sympathy fluctuates accordingly with her actions, especially in her dismissive attitude toward Erik, but it’s clear she dearly loves her children and is desperately trying to hold it together for them.

But quite where that desperation stems from, was a bit of a larger question this week. The pressure from the police was certainly non-existent, with barely any activity from Margrete or Sander to compound the situation bar a few walk-on scenes. So with the case ostensibly closed, the main focus was on Ingrid trying to clumsily navigate her life without Adam. It was also much more familiar territory for us as viewers in the sense we weren’t really watching a thriller or crime show anymore, but a traditional family drama played straighter than the opening episodes. In a strange way, it held my attention more. The scant pieces of detective work that did appear were solely Frank’s, based on a hunch around that ill-fated camper van (now scrapped under a false signature from Erik…will that come back to haunt him?), and the obtuse mutterings of a drunken Karin – again found AWOL at another house party (what is it with these shows and torrid tales of teenage delinquency?).

There was some back story to unpack this week, and for what it’s worth we probably already guessed the contents. A boyish Erik romances a teenage Ingrid before jetting off to Indonesia, maybe mistakenly leaving her with Adam in his absence. Upon his return, it’s clear that neither his newly-purchased poncho nor his ample charm is still enough to ignite her ardour, with Ingrid eschewing a smooch upon reconciliation when it’s clear she’s moved on with Adam. And so as the new couple build a resort together, Erik skulks back to his rapidly desiccating teenage lifestyle on the beach shore. That doesn’t seem enough for a rift between the two brothers – not least because the animosity was more on Adam’s side – but given that the rift occurred 15 years ago and based on the somewhat stilted conversation Erik had with Karin around her birth as he drove her home, it’s a fair guess to suggest she is actually his daughter. That would mean Adam was not the biological father of either of his children and given Ingrid and Erik’s romantic history is it too far-fetched to wager this tale ends up with them all becoming one big happy (and/or) unhappy family with a pretty whopping dark secret? Only time will tell.

Andy D

Twin is currently showing on BBC4










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