Ooof! Once again, it’s hard to believe that was only two episodes, only two hours of TV, when it turned through so many developments, so much intense content, and yet with a pace that was all but slow. There is more, or so it seems, in a night of The Bridge 3 than in an entire series of most regular shows, for all the action they might cram in.
Again, I hardly know where to begin or where to go. Episode 5 felt like a quiet zone, a period during which the main plot made no advances, with neither further deaths nor significant breakthroughs. Where this part of the story developed, it was in half-directions, in tiny clues, such as the accidental discovery that all of the victims to date – save Father Copycat – had a small burn mark in their mouth: a brand, using the ancient Babylonian numbering system (which Saga, naturally, knows), and Henrik’s realisation that the numbers are part of the code on Morten Anker’s refrigerator.
What progressed further in this section of the unfolding wavefront of tales was the increasing undermining of Saga by new boss Linn. Linn has been described by others as Hobbit-like, with her compact, dumpy form, and rubbery face, but she’s increasingly becoming a troll. Saga’s mother has been in, laying accusations, which Linn obviously believes implicitly, because she’s having the case that put Saga’s parents in prison, so long ago, re-investigated, and she’s only gone and brought in the arrogant fool, Rasmus, the idiot of series 2, who is of course completely unbiased when it comes to our Saga.
I mean, he’s only drinking in avidly Mrs Noren’s blatant lies about Saga threatening her last night, so when Linn the troll brings Saga the news, late in episode 6, that her mother has killed herself, carbon monoxide poisoning in a garage with the engine running, it’s not difficult to foresee where a considerable portion of next week’s two episodes will be leading.
No, episode 5 deliberately stalled its investigation, leaving Linn sighing heavily about Saga’s lack of progress, undermining her focus by directing her away from areas where empathy might matter, and generally raising doubts in Saga’s mind about herself and her abilities.
What we had instead was the intensifying of the subsidiary, seemingly unconnected trails started last week. There’s Anna, the future CEO and ex-Eurovision star, exposed as a teenager shagger and, with her oh-so-understanding family around her (what a mother, almost as bad as Saga’s) forced to deny her young lover, with whom she is truly besotted. He’s besotted too, enough to slit his wrists when he’s publicly denounced as a mistake.
But once we get into episode 6, and meet beautiful, sexy, blonde Tina, the photographer who took the saucy snaps, we learn that she was tipped off by young Binjamin himself. Sexy, responsbility-denying, sacked and blacklisted Tina, who happens to be shagging Saga’s computer whiz colleague John. Tina, who ends episode 6 by getting a text offering her a job: reply to a Russian e-mail address. That’s the code off Morten’s fridge.
Oh, and it should be mentioned, if only in passing, that Anna’s husband Hakan becomes victim no 4 in episode 6, in the usual bizarre circumstances, with one (1) additional penis and two (2) eyes missing, awaiting victim no 5.
There’s nothing this week of the young boy obsessed with Lisa (nor of the lovely Lisa, sad to say), but a replacement attractive blonde of a certain age pops up. She is Asa (played by Anna Bjork). Where does she fit in? Hang onto your hats, I’m going to see if it can all be made to fit.
Asa is married to Freddie Holst (played by Nicholas Bro of Killing 2 and 1864), an asset stripper and art lover, whose art collection contains works that echo certain recent bizarre crimes scenes. Asa is as heavily pregnant as young Jeanette, except that when she strips off her dress we see that she has maintained her trim figure and is wearing a plastic bulge. That’s because Jeanette is a surrogate, carrying Freddie’s baby, which is why Freddie, to whom Lukas’s bag was taken last week when it was nicked off Jeanette, has her kidnapped and separated from the idiot gambler Marc, so she can come to term in peace and quiet, despite Asa loathing the very sight of her. Marc, meanwhile, accepts 30,000 kroner to take his little self off, which he promptly bets on a hand of cards, with the keys to his and Jeanette’s house thrown in.
Still with me? Asa’s first husband was positive thinking guru Claes, who was also Freddie’s business partner before Freddie got him dried out (and promptly sold Claes’ company for a profit that Claes never saw). Asa’s sniffing around Claes again, much to the consternation of stalker Annika, who makes the mistake of getting too overtly stalkery with Claes, who chucks her out of his car in Denmark, except that he leaves Daddy’s body in her funeral parlour just in time for the post-death bruises that prove Claes suffocated dear old Daddy to come up. Annika promptly snaps them and blackmails herself back into Claes’ life (and presumably his bed, but we won’t go there, which is pretty much what you can see rushing through Claes’ mind every time he looks at Annika.
There may be no lovely Lisa this weeks but laconic Lars, her incurious husband, turned out to barely be hanging on to his company whilst Fat Freddie downsizes it. All the toys and stuff from Helle Anker’s death scene were bought out of a catalogue in Lars’ offices, ordered by and delivered to the workman who was first in and found Helle, and who just happened to quit to travel the world the next day.
Except that a car matching the colour of his came for the unlucky Hakan.
What else? I mentioned Lukas, didn’t I? Episode 5 started with someone setting him up for a rifle-shot through the shoulder, and ended with him being blown to buggery with bullets just as Henrik was about to drive him to the German border and wave him through. Why would a fine, upstanding policeman like Henrik do that? Because a fine upstanding policeman like Henrik is, as we already know, something of a druggie, and guess which dealer was blackmailing him with photos of Henrik getting his fix?
Henrik lies, big-time: Lukas wanted to confess to his drug-selling, clear himself of the murder, and no Saga, his wasn’t the text message that dragged him out of your bed at four in the morning. A mess of lies there that our determined detective would already be penetrating if it weren’t for Linn the troll constantly cutting away at her focus.
I’ve found Henrik creepy thus far, but as episode 6 moved towards an end, the programme turned him on his head for me. Saga, not knowing how to feel about her mother’s death, unable to talk to the still-in-a-coma Hans because it’s after visiting hours, turns up at Henrik’s home and sanctuary. Unable to find a logical reason otherwise, he lets her in.
And in a quiet scene, he admitted to Saga not only his loss of wife and children, but that he sees them and hears them. That Alice is sat at the table, listening to them, visible to him, invisible to Saga, even as they speak. It’s a confession of madness, madness accepted and absorbed so deeply that it has become normal and real, and the helpless ruefulness Thure Lindhardt brought to this scene, underlit by a wilfulness that emphasised his determination to cling to it, had tears forming in the corners of my eyes. Quite the very best moment in the evening.
Only four more episodes to go, and I’m buggered if I can even see a line of dots yet, let alone how anybody’s going to join them, but I’m dreading the Saturday after next, because then it’ll all be over and how bloody long is it going to be until we get The Bridge 4?