I’m clearly not as clued in as I used to be because the latest BBC4 SkandiKrime series actually started last week, so I’m going to have to do a bit of catching up. And I was rather surprised to see Bedrag (aka Follow the Money) returning for a third season when the finale to season 2 seemed to leave no further ground upon which to stand, especially given the decision of Maverick Mess to get out of the Fraud Squad in which he’d always been so ill-fitting.
But here we are again: no Maverick Mess, no Amoral Claudia, not even the Fraud Squad. No familiar title sequence, no familiar theme music, just what do we have that links us to two prior seasons except the name Follow the Money? Not a lot, obviously.
What we do have are Thomas Hwan as Alf Nyborg, the Chinese-Danish detective who spent all his time looking pained at everything Maverick Mess was doing and who now spends all his time looking pained for his own personal reasons, and Ebsen Smed as Nicky Rasmussen, the former marginally more sensible half of Nicky and the Bozo.
Nicky has gone up in the world: he’s now the main man in Denmark for invisible drugs kingpin Marco. Alf’s gone sideways and down, into Task Force Nabarro, where he’s working with but under another forceful idiot, Moeller, who’s all big beard and crack heads together. The Task Force are tackling drug-running, but they haven’t the patience for following the money trail, unlike Inscrutable Alf.
Alf isn’t having a good time of it. Ever since being shot through the spleen two years ago (and despite spending only half an hour in hospital over it), Alf is suffering from PTSD, in the form of not sleeping more than an hour a night. This even applies when he’s been shagged out by his married lover, Isa (the local equivalent of the Crown Prosecution Service Lawyer, played by Maria Askehave, looking very much changed from when she was Rye Skovgaard in The Killing series 1).
On the strength of episode 1 it was obvious they’d taken out all the stupid crap, the idiot characters with their brains in their egos, and the general silliness, but they’d forgotten to put anything individual, distinctive or just plain interesting in its place. Episode 2 started to show a bit of intrigue in the form of third star Maria Rich, as Anna Berg Hansen.
Anna’s a middle-aged, married employee at Kredit Nord Bank, We see a lot of the back of her head at first, until we learn that, despite management’s fulsome compliments as to her skills, she’s been passed over for Branch Manager in favour of a pretty brunette not much more than half her age, about whom the same compliments are made when she’s officially announced.
Before then, we’ve discovered Anna has a boorish husband, whose construction business is less stable than he’s let her think, and a twattish teenage son. At least the son doesn’t bully her into illegal covering up potential money-laundering by one oof the business’s suppliers. Having crossed that line, Anna comes home with ‘good’ pizzas to an empty house, so she takes up Rune’s offer of dinner, drinks lots of wine and enjoys herself (without anything being tried on. In this episode at any rate).
Rune knows other businessmen who’d pay for what Anna’s done, but she’s insistent it’s a one-off for her husband’s benefit. Until Nete is unveiled as Manager under the exact same compliments as she got in being turneddown. Then she meets Rune outside, and I don’t think it’s because she likes the taste of his wafer thin mints (thugh i give it no later than episode 5…)
So, we’re back in business with a pile of reservations. At least we’re being spared Maverick Mess and you know what they say about small mercies.