Saturday SkandiCrime: The Bridge 3 – episodes 3 & 4


Sonja Richter

To be honest, I am not having a good time of it at the moment, for reasons I don’t propose to go into, and I mention this only to explain why the two hours of Saturday night that are devoted to The Bridge 3 are the two most important of the week, because they are the two hours that I am furthest away from myself, immersed completely in this series, that is developing tracks and lines and branches almost beyond my ability to keep up.

For instance, a quarter hour into episode 4 and Saga and Henrik have captured the killer, which turns out to be creepy Rikard, the tarantula keeper, necklace-borrower and altogether creepy guy who’s obsessed with the lovely Lisa  (as who wouldn’t be if you threw a brown paper bag over her extreme right-wing principles). It’s far too soon for a solution, which is why a large part of episode 3 had already been used to set up another curious situation that I’ll get to in a moment.

But Rikard, who’s refused lawyers and responses to questions, turns out to be a red herring. Oh, he’s killed Father Christiansen and tried to get Helle Anker’s wife, Natalie, but he’s not responsible for Helle herself, nor Hans (recovered, strung up in the Ghost Train in a deserted funfair, minus right hand, currently in coma), and the new third victim, Lars, a 72 year old Swede, retired PE Teacher, whose missing bit appears to be his meat’n’veg.

To add to the various trails by now crossing the viewers’ path, if not yet the Police’s, Morton Anker, he of the bushy beard and PTSD, who didn’t even get in to last week’s review, is shot dead at the start of episode 3 by three closely grouped bullets to the upper left chest. Morton manages to declare that he was shot by his ‘brother’ though clearly not a biological one, since the only qualifier in that category is four years old.

Morton’s ‘brother’ is likely to be his brother in arms, Lukas Swendstrup, now the only survivor of the trio accused of army rape. Lukas has turned himself into a self-made social worker on the surface and a local gangster underneath. There’s a very intricate bit of business with a stupid little sod who’s gotten himself into 78,000 kroners worth of gambling debt with Lukas, whose fat is pulled out of the fire by his heavily-to-the-point-of-waters-breaking-any-moment pregant girlfriend Jeanette.

Jeanette has to drive to Sweden, collect a very heavy bag and bring it back. Unfortunately, it is stolen for her in very professional manner, examined by two complete strangers, and pronounced unneeded. Jeanette returns empty-handed , having lost the bag, only for Lukas to wipe the debt and tell her and her idiot boyfriend to piss off. His assistant then produces the bag.

Then there’s the new CEO of Ekdahl Homes, a family house-building business just expanding into Denmark. In the midst of all this elevation and expansion, she’s finding time to shag the balls off the teenage son of her best friend. Except that episode 4 ends with her indiscretions being exposed, with photos, across the Danish press.

Episode 4 also introduces the inspirational lecturer and bookwriter whose father is dying in hospital. Compassionately, but effectively, he sticks his fingers up Daddy’s nose and suffocates him before going off to his next lecture. He’s being stalked pretty obviously by the vivacious but somewhat creepy Annika, a funeral director, who then turns up at his hotel that night to tout for business – after she’s slaked what will no doubt turn out to be a very small portion of her lust on his lily-white body.

Where all of this is leading and how it all connects is utterly unfathomable this far, but I am hanging on every instant.

Sex is definitely in the air (especially every time Sonja Richter’s on screen: she did go out and get those leather pants, you know). There’s creepy Henrik still (the adjective creepy is applicable to a lot of people in this series). It’s weird how he denies being married to John the computer bod, yet he’s got his lovely dark-haired wife and two golden-haired daughters at home. There’s an early clue in the way he switches off the TV whilst the girls are watching it, which is done so casually it’s barely noticeable. And lovely wife is pestering him to approach Saga with this case he’s worrying about.

But yet again he’s off to the singles group, this time at the local trotting stadium. Episode 1’s dark-haired lady gives him the cold shoulder but look who’s here? None other than Saga Noren, needing to relax with some sex (strictly in accordance with her strictures) and reasoning that Henrik’s singles group is an easy way to get some complication-free fucking.

You know it’s a mistake, it’s a serious mistake, and nothing good is going to come of this, but yes, they do. Saga, having never had sex with a colleague before, asks Henrik if they announce it at work and thankfully he says no. Fur hilven!

I’ve refrained from commenting upon Saga until now because she is simply the most compelling part of these two episodes. As much as I miss Martin, I’m not missing Martin, if you know what I mean, because Saga is carrying this series single-handedly. She’s missing the hell out of Hans, and even she’s beginning to become aware of it, but she’s coming under serious pressure from two angles now, and I’m starting to get seriously worried about where this is going to go.

The first is her mother. Mama Noren is invading Saga’s life more and more, inviting herself into the squadroom, contacting Hans’ substitute, the overly-serious Linn. Papa has died, but that’s entirely secondary to Mama trying to get Saga to admit she was wrong over Mama hurting both Saga and her sister with her Munchausens by Proxy. Mama’s calm, almost smug insistence on Saga changing her mind is creepy and controlling and she seems to have taken in Linn, who is pressing Saga to behave, well, normally, and giving entirely too much credence to Mama. To the point of leading Saga directly to Papa’s Memorial Service which Linn is convinced she must attend. Saga drives away, but that’s not going to do her any good with the uncomprehending Linn.

There’s one more thing. Henrik does ask Saga to give a fresh perspective on his case. It’s a Missing Persons file from 2009, pretty thick too. Not Henrik’s case. Then we see Henrik back at home. His wife, dresses in a silver nightie, looks in on him. A second later, she’s not there. Between that and the TV earlier… But my intuition comes only just before the punch.

The Missing Person case involves three people. One lovely dark-haired woman. And two golden-haired daughters…

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