Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Fall of Man

 

The Bridge, Episodes 5-8

***May Contain Spoilers***

Oh Martin, no! How disappointing. All it takes is for a bird to lop off their wig and touch your hand and you’re anybody’s, it seems. Even slightly creepy Charlotte.  And after knocking up your wife with twins as well. Tut, tut.

So it was Martin’s turn to have a bit of a frolic this week, perhaps out of jealousy that his son was staying with Saga. Though they didn’t have sex, as she clarified to the entire murder squad, just to avoid any awkwardness. Personally, I could’ve done without Martin’s marital difficulties but I’m enjoying the way Saga’s character is developing. Her little white lie to Anja in the hospital was especially touching. We also got to find out a little more about her background, with a tragic bit of backstory made all the more poignant by her matter of fact rendition of it. It will be interesting to see how her relationships develop with both Martin and Anton in the final episodes.

The plot moved on very rapidly in these episodes but there was a subsequent loss of the tension that the writers have managed to create so well in the first few episodes. To be honest, I felt these episodes were just a bit flabby with too many characters and scenarios introduced, then just thrown away without proper development.  In part, this might be down to watching all four in a big, hungover lump but we’re a boxset generation and that’s how many, even most, people watch things.  Both the schizophrenic and the immigrant killings seemed a bit wasted and would’ve been better served with a couple of episodes each of a proper build up.  12 or 15 episodes might have worked better but we’ll see how things come together in the end.

The moments of real tension we did see just served to highlight what was missing elsewhere: Anja, wandering in the car park; Stefan in the flat with a corpse while Martin hammers at the door. Fair play to Stefan though – ironing always makes me feel like that, too.  The idea of the children being held to ransom until members of the pubic set fire to various companies was interesting and fresh, but again, rushed through and squandered.

I was totally confused as the ending of episode 8 was drawing nigh as I had it in my head that there were only eight episodes in the series.  The cop suspect turned out to be just a common or garden variety sexual predator and was shot in a ferry queue and now we’re onto the headless horseman of Copenhagen as our chief suspect, discounting the fact that he’s dead, of course. I’m pleased we have another two episodes to see how  things pan out with that one.

The climax comes next week and I’m looking forward to seeing how many loose ends will be tied up. Will Martin sort things out or will Mette be seduced by the sleazy software rep? Will August learn that people on the internet mat not be who the claim? Will Saga learn how to be a real boy? Can’t wait.

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Bodies Interrupted

I have fallen into a hole of hen night organisation and I can’t get out. I should have my grappling hook in order at the start of next week with a bumper crop of TV and book reviews. See you on top.


Tuesdays are the new Sundays

The Bridge, Episodes 3 and 4

***May contain spoilers***

Well, for this week anyway. My apologies for the lateness of this post; the internet has not been co-operating and as a TV-less intellectual, I am reliant on the wonderful i-player for my scandi-crime fix. My subtitles were a bit glitchy and out of synch, making the whole experience a bit more dadesque than I believe was intended.

Nevertheless, this week’s double bill was worth waiting for I’m glad, actually, that BBC4 is showing this programme in two-episode chunks like this, not least because I found episode three a little slow going, in contrast to the pace and drama of the opening two. I think this was down to a couple of things. For one, it is clear now that this show is pretty complex, with a huge number of characters and plot strands. As with many of the Scandinavian crime shows we’re seen across here, this not just a linear whodunnit but something a fair bit more interesting and rich. It takes some getting used to and I don’t know if the writers can successfully bring it all together in the end, but for now I’m happy to watch the tapestry unwrap. Episode three was putting in place the groundwork for future storylines, bringing in Anja, the troubled teen with dreadful parents, and introducing the theme of police corruption (ruptured eyes – yuck!). This meant we didn’t get to spend much time with Martin and Saga which was a little disappointing but made up for, in part, by a few flashes of Saga-tastic dialogue.

The Anja storyline engrossed me from the start but I was a little indifferent to Bjorn. That all seemed a little too familiar. The Morse Code was a genius touch, though, reinvigorating the victim-slowly-dying-as-we-watch-online trope. Learning Morse Code for when I’m kidnapped is now firmly on my to-do list. It wasn’t clear at all how Anja was going to fit in,though, and tension was definitely ratcheted up as we watched her go into a strange man(in all senses)’s apartment and be locked in. As seems to be typical for this show, our expectations keep being confounded. Although, Anja’s new friend is definitely not the full shilling, as we’d say in Scotland, she seems better off with him than with her terrifying mum.

As episode 4 progressed, we got to see a bit more of Martin and Saga. One of the things I like about European crime drama is how unchoreographed and inexpert-looking the action sequences are. The confrontation with the balaclavaed baddy in Episode 4 was typically bumbly and shambling, with both our protagonists taking a beating. Martin definitely took the brunt of it, though, with that kick (ruptured testicles – yuck!). Saga’s confusion about the guilt she felt over Martin’s injury was oddly touching.

Increasingly, it seems to me that Stefan is being set up as a red herring, with all the links between him and the case. He always seems to be around, his sister was one of the poisoning victims and he works at the shelter where Bjorn met his abductor. Surely all this is too obvious, though? I’m going to be really annoyed if he turns out to be the killer. Plus, does anyone else think he’s kind of attractive? It must be that moustache.

The biggest revelation of this episode was the presence of No One and his relationship with Anja’s deranged flatmate. Is this the Truth Terrorist? How many disciples does he have? I’m not so keen on serial killers who network so this was a bit disappointing if I’m honest. It smacks of producer-logic to me: if one serial killer is scary, then a whole heap of them must be terrifying. Plus, it seems so unlikely. How would a serial killer even go about getting disciples, advertise on Craig’s List? Our disciple’s plans for the morrow don’t bode well, especially if he keeps swishing that sword around. On a serious note, I hope the BBC4 programmers are treading carefully with what’s ahead as a maniac on a violent killing spree is not an appropriate thing to show in the midst of the Breivik trial.

Forecasts then, at this midpoint? I think Saga will continue to develop her nascent human qualities under Martin’s tutelage. I also think that Martin will find he has some connection to the killer as why else wouldn’t he shoot him? Thinking about the set-up of the police corruption idea, this may well be the killer’s next target, the next ‘problem’ he wants to expose. I have no idea who the killer is at all, which is either a really good or a really bad thing. What do you think is going to happen in the next instalment?