Saturday SkandiKrime: Modus 2 – No Go


Convincing or not?

For anyone looking forward to my acid commentary upon the second series of Modus, I’m afraid I’m going to have to disappoint you.

Despite managing to get to see episode 1, I’m finding it impossible to get hold of episode 2 without having to register for the BBC iPlayer, which I refuse to do. It is possible to get hold of a complete set of the entire series without having to register for something (same thing applies), but despite being clearly marked as having English sub-titles, they don’t have them, and I don’t speak Swedish.

From what I did manage to see, I don’t think I (or you) am going to miss anything. Ing is now living with Ing and is heavily pregnant by him, her two children, autistic Stina and young Linnea, are still there but are obviously going to be side-lined for series 2, and Inger Johanna is heavily pregnant by Ingvar the Absence (eight months, judging by the size of the bump).

We started out with a long flashback in English, showing us why Inger Johanna left the FBI to return to Sweden four years ago. Despite a later flashback suggesting that she had fallen in love with her FBI boss, Warren Schifford (Greg Wise), and planned to leave her husband to live with him, the open directly implies that he beat her up and raped her.

But that’s not all. The bruised and traumatised Inger suddenly finds herself confronted by a blonde American woman, Mrs Schifford, who starts by being all ssisterly about the appalling thing her husband has done, before pulling out a cheap card: they have four children and the youngest is autistic…

You and I and the gatepost know that if Schifford has raped the fair Inger, not to mention beaten her up as is being signposted (this is the opening sequence of an eight part psychological thriller series so let’s not go overboard on believing everything we’re shown), this doesn’t make a blind bit of difference, but becauseĀ Modus 2 is clearly setting out to be shit-on-a-stick, Inger promptly drops the charges and goes home to Sweden.

Schifford gets delivered this news by his soon-to-be ex-wife, along with her terms: she will get what settlement she wants in the divorce, she will get full custody of the kids and he will never see her (hint: not the wife) again.

Jump four years. US President Helen (Kim Cattrall) Tyler, successor to Obama, arrives for a 36 hour visit to Sweden, with seventeen year old daughter Zoe (ironic reversal: Tyler used to live in Stockholm and Zoe was conceived there) and her Special Advisor, FBI Chief Warren Schifford.

Who’s displaying absolutely no interest whatsoever in the current whereabouts of Inger Johanna Vik, oh, nossir!

Then, because there has to be a plot, President Tyler goes missing from her room. The most secure room in all of Sweden, except for the secret tunnel that everybody knows about but nobody remembers until the tracker dogs find it. The sonic boom you hear at this point is the programme’s credibility disappearing through the sound barrier with my suspension of WTF? in close pursuit.

Of course, Inger Johanna, despite it being the middle of the night, and eight months pregnant, and an entire Hazmat-suited team of CSIs having bUggered off out of the suite AND nobody but the bloody tracker dog going down the steps into the tunnel after the missing President of the United States, goes down into the tunnel armed with only a torch.

Where she meets Warren Schifford…

Cue most obvious cliffhanger since the Stone Age. No, I was dubious from the moment I heard that Modus had roped in a cast of American stars to validate its second series (say what you like about Follow the Money/Bedrag 2, and I certainly did, at least it let Maverick Mess fuck things up with pandering) and this opening episode was a trial just to get through. Apart from the thought of the potentiality for snark, I am not in the least bereft at the possibility of not watching the rest of it, though if an easy and convenient way of accessing the rest crops up, I may return.

Instead, I shall now pop off to ASDA. I need to buy some milk…

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