REVIEW Beck (S8 E2/4)

Now that Martin Beck has an allotment, can we expect him to come into the office offering his colleagues a look at his massive marrow, or the pick of his aubergines? Seemingly not – as his daughter says, you can take Martin out of the police, but you can’t take the police out of Martin.

He’s fascinated by two complex cases that turn out to be connected. A goldsmith has died of a heart attack while his workshop was being robbed, and the police have bungled the investigation. Josef foolishly gets involved in the case, as the victim’s daughter was an old flame, and soon he’s tracking down the burglar while getting into Cissi’s bed.

In another case, an antiques dealer is found dead in a forest – his partner suggests gangsters wanted to buy the business. But his story doesn’t quite add up.

As Martin doesn’t seem to do any gardening – his allotment seems to be used only for al fresco dining – he’s happy to get involved in the two cases, which turn out to be connected by the same hit-man, a failed share-dealer who is found dead at the scene of one of his hits. His victim, the goldsmith’s cleaner, seems to have been responsible for the burglary – so who paid to have her killed? Could it have been Cissi, or was it her unstable sister?

Josef should certainly have learned the lesson not to mix business with pleasure, particularly when he has previous chewed out Alex for doing the same thing, as she points out. But, having spectacularly messed up with Cissi, he has the consolation of Alex comforting him. (Hopeless Oskar seems to have given up on finding love, a relief to every woman living in Stockholm.).

When the hitman’s employer turns out to be Cissi’s sister, but she is also found dead, another suspect is identified by CCTV – the cleaner’s father. Since he’s been quoting Robert McCall from Equalizer 2 on the subject of revenge and murder, that one should have been easy to spot.

The climax comes in Cissi’s place of work, an adventure room, where she takes out her tormentor using night vision goggles, in a scene reminiscent of The Silence of the Lambs. The antique dealer’s killing was paid for by his own partner – as shown by money transfers from his bank account. Aren’t hitmen always paid in cash, though?

Not as action-packed as last week’s episode, but satisfyingly twisty-turny, this episode maintains the standard, and gives us a bit more insight into why Josef is so shouty and furniture-smashy; he had an abusive childhood, and his older brother, who he visits in jail, killed their father. That would be enough to make anyone a bit twitchy.

As Martin’s eccentric neighbour Grannen sings in a final barbecue scene on the allotment (and since when does Grannen come out of his apartment? We don’t think we’ve ever seen him in the open air before), don’t try to swap pants with someone when you don’t have any pants to swap. A lesson that Josef could certainly do with learning.

Chris Jenkins

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Beck is shown on BBC Four in the UK

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Zeke says:

    Beck has come a long way. Beck is becoming more and more difficult to commit to. What way way back was Martin and Gunvald solving murders now seems to require taking notes, and psych evaluations. A different show to watch. For me, the Jury is still out.


  2. Thank you for cheering me up on a wet Sunday evening. I rely on The Killing Times for recommendations and often pass them on to crime addict friends (and suggest they sign up of course). 🙂👍


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