We’re halfway there, and as yet our ultimate destination is no more guessable than it was in those opening moments of episode 1, but I am growing steadily more afraid of where and what it may be. After all, this episode included a moment so black and evil that I have not seen its like for thirty five years.
In 1983, in chapter eight of Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta, the title character kills the head of a Fascist Governmet State calculated religion, by feeding him a communion wafer. The rite of Transubstantiation: whatever the host is made of becomes the body of Christ. I have hanging on my wall the original art for the page in which Eric Finch relates that this wafer was full of cyanide. “And do you know what? When it reached his abdomen, it was still cyanide.”
I am not religious and even less Catholic, but that was an evil conception, a black design. You may say I have led a sheltered life but not until this episode have i seen anything so calculatedly poisonous since.
William Ramberg, the gun-runner, has nothing but his ten-year old daughter, Leonora, in hospital recovering from a kidney transplant. She was improving yesterday, going to be released home, but the clown injected her with something and she’s now unresponsive. A text with a video advises William she’s been poisoned, has four hours. Frantically, he complies with the demands, large bricks of money in return for a drone-delivered antidote, near the deadline. He races back to the hospital. Where the Doctor is explaining to Aunt Sarah it’s only sedatives, she’s fine.
I caught the idea then, flinched at the horror of it. William crashed in, injected his daughter to save her, but the ‘antidote’ was the real poison, and it killed her in seconds. A father kills his own daughter. A secure gangland boss is broken.
The Bridge has never shied away from darkness, long before that ending to series 1, and the death of Martin’s son. Leonora’s death is not the only one this week: Taariq has summoned the mysterious Morgan Sonning, whose car picked up Margethe Thormod and took her to her stoning. Sonning denies everything: he and his much older wife were in Hamburg, on a cash-only, card-free, mobile-free break (not suspicious at all) whilst his car was at his brother’s garage in Sweden and couldn’t have been used but had been.
Taariq didn’t get anywhere with Sonning. He stole the car, wallet, phone, shaved, slicked back his hair and tried to get into Sweden but was stopped by a diligent border guard who e had to take hostage. Henrik lied, said he could claim asylum in Sweden. Saga told the truth: five years imprisonment, deportation. Taariq ate his gun.
Ah, Henrik. Trustingly, he leaves the two young girls in his house when he goes to work. Ida likes him, wants to stay. Julia reminds her that they can only ever trust each other. Henrik gets back with Saga to find the house trashed, everything portable – including his daughter’s necklaces – ripped off. They’ve gone. He can’t find them on the streets. He can see his daughters in the rear-view mirror, complaining that he searches for them, until he tears off the mirror.
He also finds his drugs-dealer of yore, buys a bag of pills but, in one of the very few lapses into cliche that this show has ever given us, finds the strength to refuse. So far.
Meanwhile, out at Hannah’s gated village, Theo is still trying to stir up trouble for Sofie and Cristoffer. Frank promises to help. He takes Cristoffer down to the warehouse, teaches him shooting, offers a fatherly ear for things he can’t discuss with Sofie. Creepy Astrid plays Truth or Consequences with him, gets him to dress up as a circus character, a magician (not a clown), kisses him. Dastardly Dan, the taxi driver, follows Frank to the village and, when Frank takes Cristoffer into the woods for a walk’n’shoot, he sneaks into Sofie’s cottage. With a gun in his waistband.
It’s all getting more and more dark. Niels Thormod is burning all his wife’s papers, including a leatherbound journal. Morgan Sonning’s brother’s little baby isn’t his brother’s: his wife has been playing away. Mrs Sonning was in the same organisation as Margrethe but didn’t know her, even though Margrethe tried to get her deposed as Chair.
Lilian’s going on a date, her first since Hans died, but Saga’s blunt questions put her off: she goes home to drink wine and watch her wedding video.
Saga’s in therapy, seeing no logic in what her therapist doesn’t choose to follow up on. ‘Henrik’s girls remind her of her sister Jennifer, though Saga openly states Julia is a better sister to Ida than Saga was to Jennifer.
It’s a swirling miasma. There are three murder victims, with no connections. Three different murder methods. Isn’t this three separate cases? Until Saga anatomises it: stoning, electrocution, lethal injection. Three examples of legitimate state methods of execution. Three out of seven. Firing Squad, Gas, Decapitation, Hanging.
Four more long weeks.