REVIEW Beck (S8 E2/4)

If you like your Scandis miserable, this is the episode for you – between infant mortality, mental illness, drug addiction and senile degeneration, it’s got the lot. 

In The Fall Guy, new man Josef, who only got his place on the team last week, is almost immediately suspended after a hostage situation goes wrong and suspect Hampus falls eight storeys out of a window.

It’s hard to say who handled the situation worse, hot-headed Josef who wouldn’t wait for backup, or bumbling Oskar who got grabbed by the nervous junkie. With a dead baby found in the suspect’s car, the case rapidly became complicated. The baby wasn’t the suspect’s girlfriend’s, and no babies had been reported missing – so where to start? 

Beck is wandering about, imagining he can hear a Schumann piano piece, but he reassures his daughter that he’s well and happy. Alex and Josef almost have A Thing, but wisely avoid it – that sort of complication is the last thing either of them need. Police chief Klas Fredén (Jonas Karlsson) is still trying to make trouble for Josef, suggesting to Oskar that he’s not the type of cop they want in Stockholm (well, any cop who was half competent and could follow orders would be welcome at this stage). 

But lurking in the background is a girl who has obviously recently given birth, but who is being held in an isolated house by a strange young man.

If she’s the baby’s mother, how did it end up dead in the boot of a stolen car? When her captor turns out to be the half-brother of dead junkie Hampus, and the girl stabs him and escapes into the arms of Alex and Oskar, we’re not entirely surprised by the twist – her ‘captor’ is in fact her husband, a doctor who has been caring for her because she has fallen victim to paranoid schizophrenia, and has forgotten that she killed her baby.

Hampus had been roped in to dispose of the body, but in the words of the old song, ‘then he got high’. Oskar redeems himself by saving Alex from the paranoid girl, and by pulling Josef’s meatballs out of the frying pan at the disciplinary hearing – so everyone’s happy and heads down the pub, except for the perennially absent Martin. 

Whether he has anything to be happy about or not – he puts his good mood down to cycling, or has he met someone on Tinder?  – the phantom piano music continues to haunt Beck.

Is it in fact coming from barmy neighbour Grannen’s flat, or is it, as Grannen suggests merrily, a syphilis-induced hallucination? Whatever the cause, Martin’s clearly not a well man, and the episode ends with him collapsing on his balcony. With only Grannen to help him, we don’t hold out much hope. See what we mean about it being a grim episode?

We know that these Scandi dramas are notoriously depressing, but when the funniest thing that happens in an episode is a joke about syphilis, you know you’ve reached new depths. Next week, a Nobel Peace Prize candidate is murdered – maybe some laughs there? No, maybe not…    

Chris Jenkins

Rating: 3 out of 5.



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