Saturday SkandiThriller: Below the Surface 2 – episodes 5 & 6


Our Russian Friend

Well.

The first half of this week’s double bill kept us alert with a revelation, two connections and a twist at the end of episode 5 that, in a UK series, we’d see through in an Oresund heartbeat, and which even here was pretty hard to take completely seriously. With three episodes left, even the most hard-edged, risk-taking thriller series is not going to kill off both of its two leads at once, but just how the trick was going to be worked was something that set a high bar for episode 6.

Like a high-speed 24, we’re now into the daylight hours of the series, dawn creeping up and everyone still working overtime to be ready to resolve the hostage situation on the ferry. But the revelation, which explains just why the Russians are behind Yusuf and the kidnap plot, comes in one of two flashbacks for June. Remember that infamous footage she has of Danish solidiers being killed in Syria? They are being killed by the Russians: hence our cool peroxide blondewith the sleek Nineties hairdo being so eager to recover the mobile phone with the footage.

Which is currently held by dog-groomer Herdis, who sat next to June on the plane out of Syria, with her do Benji: that’s the connection. And by the halfway pointthis week, the Russians have Herdis’s name and her whereabouts.

But the trail is developing, and of course it’s the reliable SP and Simon who are on it. After his moment of indecision last week, Garnov is out, and the guy who stepped in (whose name and position I can’t at this moment recall or determine) has taken temporary charge. Meanwhile, our two most professional lieutennts have picked up Rafiq Hussain, owner of the apartment where the self-styled Brothers of Islam have their ‘mosque’ and hauled him in. And when the self-righteous Rami, out there on the boat – the biggest kind of religious idiot, sure he is right and everyone else will roll over because Allah is on his side – decides that Yusuf isn’t as smart as Rami thinks and calls Rafiq to get them to Syria (just like that: Allah will provide, remember), that gives SP and Simon what they need to link Rafiq to the Ferry, and turn him.

We learn that Yusuf is a nwcomer, more radical than though. Remember, that’s Ola Rapace under that face-fuzz, so just as Alpha in series one was only playing being a Muslim, I’m anticipating tht Yusuf too is playing a part we don’t yet know about.

Rami, however, is your original radical. Little brother Mahdi will be safe and will achieve paradise because Rami the blind fanatic says so. All he’s got to do is put a bag over June’s head and Philip’s head, shoot them both, film it. Philip, who’s been frozen half to death, sprayed with scalding water and hung several times and who consequently is not at the top of his game, tries to talk him out of it. He has a wife (Rami has already written her off for Mahdi) and he’s going to have a son. Philip’s offering a kind of Witness Protection.

And Mahdi puts a bag over June’s head and Philip’s head, shoots them both, films it. Both bodies go in the water under Raman’s proud-of-my-little-brother eye. How did they get around that?

Actually, it’s easy. There are two dead bodies hanging round, one male, one female, one dead terrorist convert, one dead canteen lady, and all that’s needed is a change of clothes. And now Philip’s got a certain freedom of movement on the boat, with the assistance of a blind eye from Mahdi, who wants back to his wife and son-to-be, but can’t bring himself to let the engineer (who’s been hiding out in the engine room all this time) gas Rami to death.

Rami and Mahdi’s little trick with ‘philip’ and ‘June’ has gone world-wide on the net, even as far as our dangerous Russian blonde (who hasn’t yet got to Herdis in Jutland in episode 6: the roads must be busy). Yusuf is now on his own with no reason to trust his amateur allies, so he starts negotiating with Garnov, who has to be brought back into the fold for this.

Philip’s also able to liaise ship-to-shore, guiding the authorities towards a plan to pretend to offer the terrorists a plane to Syruia whilsat guiding them to an island from which there are multiple attack angles. So the Ferry starts to move. As do SP and Simon, doggedly following June’s trail, discovering her home laptop is bugged by military hardware (Bulow denies it’s Danish), and now they’re off to Jutland. I have a bad feeling about this.

It’s all starting to turn inwards towards the end-game. According to the Observer, we’re heading towards a climax even bigger and better than last season. I don’t exactly see eye to eye with the Observer on a lot of things and their idea of better isn’t necessarily mine. But I’m watching very closely…

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