Saturday SkandiCrime: Arne Dahl – Eye in the Sky


This one’s Sara. She’s really not made a mark this season.

Well, that’s it for Arne Dahl, demonstrating yet again the validity of the bell curve by running down to the bottom again for the last episode.

Eye in the Sky wasn’t completely worthless, though it maintained this series’ record of titles that have absolutely nothing to do with the storyline. It managed to run several separate strands that appeared for most of the time to be unconnected but which proved to be all tied together. It contained egregious cliches, two of which it managed to subvert, though not without succumbing to the audience’s expectations along the way. And it was as one-paced as a military medium bowler.

We started with a treacly Xmas song being sung in English whilst a woman was being whipped, cut or lashed whilst being taped to a makeshift frame. The woman managed to get out, despite excessive blood-loss, and collapse in the street in front of Gunnar and Ida, who are out Xmas shopping for the former’s maybe-girl-friend (in whom he’s going to show a lot of not interest here and there, making this a subplot of considerable irrelevance).

The tortured woman turns out to be part of a vicious and, by all accounts, not undeserved campaign of revenge going back to schooldays and relating to a bunch of Queen Bees. However, because it’s taken place in a sportshop where several boxes of steroids are being stored, it puts A Unit onto the trail of Maximus, a drug-smuggling operation.

Meanwhile, Paul’s having lunch at his desk with Tore, the bald Sapo (Secret Service) agent who we met last week. Didn’t I mention him? No, I didn’t. These are on-the-spot, instant impressions of a show that’s not that interesting to begin with, I don’t go into every detail.

However, Tore’s pretty important this week, though he’s also cryptic with it. He’s going off for six months, after warning Paul to trust no-one. he arrives at a ramshackle caravan in a deserted spot, at night, all alone. Thirty seconds later, to the shock and consternation of the audience, who hadn’t seen this coming, the caravan catches fire and burns to the ground.

So, Tore’s dead. His boss, Signe, goes out of her way to tell Paul, and also ask him to assist Tore’s colleague Helena in the investigation. Helena is played by Charlotta Jonsson, who is blonde and very attractive. I mention that because, although it too is an irrelevant detail, I happened to notice it and find it of more interest than the story.

Since absolutely everything about the case is classified above Paul’s level, he can’t really be of any use, which is why he’s free to follow a trail of oblique clues that lead him to a former Sapo agent named Junker, who was sacked for drug-smuggling. Drug-smuggling? Bing bing, bing bing, bing bing. He even looks like Walter Englund, the prime suspect in the case of the Queen Bee murders which, incidentally, are not A Unit’s remit, nor are they taking anyonre anywhere near Maximus, though out of some psychic recess, Kerstin fishes out the notion that Walter is the head of Maximus.

It’s all very complicated and it’s all very dull at the same time.

Anyway, the cliche of the blown-up caravan is subverted when it is revealed that Tore is not, and has never actually been dead. He’s gone underground to flush out the mole in Sapo who’s been shielding Junker/Englund. The second cliche is subverted: no, it’s not the lovely Helena who’s the mole, it’s actually Signe (a relatively safe guess by this stage since in the whole double-parter we’ve only met three Sapo agents all told).

A Unit have tracked down the revenge killer to Englund’s girl-friend and drug-mule Mikaela, though not in time to stop him putting a silenced bullet through her head. Signe’s arrived to warn Junker, so that establishes that link, only Junker starts shooting at Helena and Paul. She gets away with one in the shoulder whilst Paul runs until he is trapped and turns his back as Junker raises his pistol…

A shot rings out! But this is the cliche that got away, for the shot is not by the killer it’s of the killer and predictably its Kerstin, shooting Junker/Englund dead and saving Paul’s life. Hooray!

Even better, she gets to spend Xmas day with her poorly son after all, complete with Santa Paul, who’ll no doubt be back in her bed before the Yule Log goes out…

I’ve been very perfunctory about this final episode because, without doing much wrong, it contrived to do very little right. The story was well-plotted, but the overall inability of the cast to generate any kind of passion into what they were doing and the lack of any serious urgency at any point made this a dull experience and one I found incapable of retaining my attention. It didn’t matter what went on, not even on the most basic level, and I hung on more out of duty than anything more positive.

And the BBC have at last confirmed that The Bridge 3 is back in this slot, starting next Saturday. That’s five weeks, taking us up to the Saturday before Xmas. My spirits are already on the rise.

 

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2 thoughts on “Saturday SkandiCrime: Arne Dahl – Eye in the Sky

  1. Yes, yet another odd episode in a very odd series. This episode seemed to be one of contrived complication. IMO the dialogue and acting were atrocious throughout the series, and the relationship stuff just doesn’t seem to blend in properly. However we are hooked on the Saturday night 9pm BBC4 slot, so we will watch any old foreign rubbish! Looking forward to The Bridge.

  2. The books are supposed to be reasonably decent, or so the Amazon reviews suggest. As for the series, it gives the unfortunate impression that Swedish TV isn’t anywhere near as far along as Danish.

    I’ll always be favourably disposed to the Eurocrime BBC4 slot, may it long continue, though I’m not attracted to the ones like Spiral or Montalbano where they’re already long established.

    I intend to blog The Bridge, even if if I can come up with nothing but pools of drool every week.

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