I don’t know about Bridges but a bottomless pit opened up in episode 5 and I don’t think there’s a bridge in the universe big enough to get over the sinking feeling that developed in my stomach at that moment.
This was a rough episode to watch. We’re past the halfway point now and, without accusing Skandi drama of having any formulas, recent series have very much been about the copious mysteries of the first half beginning to be knotted together in the second half. Football metaphors are appropriate, having regard to one connection being made herein.
Once again, there was so much happening that it was hard to comprehend how it all could have taken place in one hour and still have all the time it needed. Starting with Sofie and Dan the Bastard taxi-driver, we have the heavy signalling that he’d exercised what he’d no doubt regard as his conjugal rights (and what we the sane call rape) between episodes, and now he’s going to drag her off out of there.
One brilliant thing about The Bridge throughout has been its occasional propensity to set up pretty cliched cliffhangers and then explode them almost instantly the next week. Utopian Harriet turns up on the spot, doing the casual chat bit whilst Dan and Sofie try to edge away – and there’s a bunch of villagers on hand because Harriet isn’t in any way naive, she’s got Dan’s number, and he’s forced away into the woods, alone. Yay!
Where he meets Cristoffer and Friendly Helpful Frank. The Bastard starts on Frank, who’s trying to be peacekeeper here but when he movs towards his son, Cristoffer backs away, panicky, trips over a root and his gun goes off. Through Dan’s throat. Bye Dan, rolled into the river to be borne away, hurry back!
Frank’s extreme helpfulness extends not only to dumping the body and reassuring the traumatised Cristoffer that it was an accident, but swearing him to secrecy, even from Sofie, and concocting a cover story about threatening Dan into running away forever. Needless to say, Sofie knows Dan well enough to know that nothing will stop him from coming back and, in panic, wants to leave, until Cristoffer fesses up (don’t tell Frank I told you!).
When Dan’s abandoned taxi comes up near Harriet’s village, Saga and Henrik start to investigate. Friendly Frank reacts to the name Sabroe (hmm). Cristoffer has a moment with Astrid, Frank’s daughter, half-talking about his Dad. Astrid doesn’t talk about her mother either (hhmmm). And when Frank goes round to Sofie’s to help her fold bedclothes, he offers to have her and Cristoffer move in with him (hhhmmmm). It’s all above board, everybody will have their own room. Only, when Sofie doesn’t instantly drop to her knees in gratitude, ol’ Friendly Frank gets a bit huffy, heads for the door, if you don’t want my help, you know best, and she agrees to his proposal. Hhhhhmmmmmmm!
Meanwhile. There’s going to be a lot of meanwhiles about this. Temporarily, the investigation has stalled, and Lilian is getting pressure from above, especially over how all their leads get into the press. So she puts Danish IT specialist Barbara onto checking out all the calls, texts, Skypes etc of… Jonas. Is our unreconstructed detective the leak?
Neils Thormod goes back to work. He’s a psychologist. He works in prisons. His first case is Julia and Ida, the pseudo daughters. They won’t speak to anyone but Henrik. When they tell him they sold his daughters necklaces, he turns to go, so they claim to have seen the murderer. Ida produces an e-fit that looks a lot like Morgan Sonning but when it comes to a line-up, she confesses they lied because they wanted to go back to Henrik’s. He boots them back into Social Services, refusing to have anything more to do with them.
This is not a good week for Henrik. It is so not a good week for Henrik, but let’s leave that there.
Meanwhile, Morgan is looking an increasingly good fit for the role of Bad Guy. Since the snail venom used on little Leonora is pretty damned rare, our heroes investigate and and how and who has gotten hold of it. The nearest manufactury is in Hamburg… where the Sonnings were away for an untraceable break whilst Morgan’s car was being used to take Margrethe Thormod to her death. The car that was in brother Tobias’s garage under lock and key.
Except that Tobias’s full-bodied wife Nicole, mother of his one year old baby, is in the habit of borrowing the flashier cars in his garage to go out for joyrides. This is why you should never use the same PIN number for all your security devices, such as the key safe in your garage.
Park Nicole a moment. Henrik gets a late night call from Kevin, his acquaintance from the Rehab group. It’s the fourth anniversary of Kevin’s Dad’s death and he’s close to going back over the line. Kevin’s a Manchester United fan, introduced by his Dad. The same Dad who gave him his first joint at age 17, leading Kevin to harder drugs, an attempt to fly off a balcony and a lifetime of confinement to a wheelchair.
In which he turns up at Baby Sonny’s birthday party. Why shouldn’t he? After all, tightly-clothed Nicole is his mother.
And Nicole’s in demand. Morgan wants to speak to her. In private. And look who’s here, the spectre at the feast, Solveig. Solveig’s Kevin’s granny, Niccole’s ex-mother-in-law, here to confirm the rumour she’s heard, that Nicole is shitting all over her poor son. Hmm, again.
Along the way, there’s an accidental confirmation of the next murder, from the unlikely source of Lilian’s would-be prosecutor suitor, who mentions a bit of work-related gossip, that his colleague Vibeke has had her beloved horse gassed to death. There’s a video too, filmed on the same dead pixel camera. Barbara recovers some deleted frames showing a distinctive watch, identical to one owned by… Morgan Sonning. Who also owns the exact model of video camera these murder videos are being shot on.
Or rather owned. It was in his car, you see, the one the Police are holding in connection with the Thormod murder: I thought you had it… He’s such a smug bastard, you want him to be the Bad Guy, even as you know he won’t be.
Everyone gathers round the picture board, juggling theories, connections, until the silent Saga sees the link. The horse was gassed to cause pain to its owner, Vibeke. The real targets aren’t the victims, they are the ones who loved the victims. Margrethe’s husband, Patrik’s brother, Leonora’s dad. In the silence that follows, Jonas speaks up, with real praise, “That’s bloody brilliant.”
And then the bottom falls out of everything. This has not been a good week for Henrik. He’s lost the two necklaces that were the last physical link to his lost daughters. Saga has reached a dead end in her investigation of their disappearance and closed the case. She agrees to his proposal that she bears their child and gives up complete right to him. The two girls who have been a near-daughter substitute have let him down and he has driven them off. Then Saga has a stomach cramp. She’s been in Malmo this afternoon. She’s had an abortion. Oh, f***!
There is a reason for it, and she tries to explain. She has done it because she wants to live with Henrik. She can’t live there with a child. But if there is no child, she can live with him. Because even if she can only explain it in terms of oxytocin and seratonin, Saga thinks she has fallen in love with Henrik. And he throws her out, with hatred on his face. Oh mother.
Saga drives back over the Bridge. Henrik can’t sleep. He grabs his little plastic bag of pills and heads to Police Headquarters. We see him take one. He pulls an all-nighter, researching, old files, stacks, online. By morning, he tells Lilian he has found it., he has found the link. It’s Tommy.
But who’s Tommy?
If I could find a link to stream or download versions that have English sub-titles, I would give up everything I have to do today and watch the last three episodes straight through. Can’t do that though. It’s down to next week. But I do have a prediction about who Tommy is. I bet he’s Nicole’s ex, Solveig’s son, Kevin’s Dad. What the hell else he is, I haven’t the faintest idea. Which is one of the many reasons I think The Bridge is bloody brilliant.