This review contains spoilers.
Early in this episode, we see Saga and Henrik at an aquarium, watching the sharks swim past. Their dark figures stand out in sharp relief against the serene blue of the tank, a beautiful image that lingers in the memory. Henrik asks Saga whether it’s true that sharks die if they stop moving, and she reels off a potted description of their behaviour. He doesn’t call her ‘Wiki’ anymore, the affectionate nickname that used to be a trademark of their interactions; now, he just turns to her for information, secure in the knowledge that Saga is a reliable repository for exactly the kind of pub-quiz trivia that comes in handy when cracking cases. There’s an easy familiarity between them now: an understanding.
They’re at the aquarium to consult marine scientist Lene Jansen (Amelia Høy) who understandably bristles a little at Saga’s typically direct questioning, but is able to give them the very interesting information that the toxic cone snail extract used in Leonora Ramberg’s murder is the product of creatures farmed for medicinal purposes. The nearest centre for this is Hamburg, which, coincidentally enough, is where Morgan Sonning (Johannes Kuhnke) and his wife Malene (Charlotte Fich) went on the city break they’ve been using as an alibi. With the discovery of Margrethe Thormod’s hair in Sonning’s stolen car, things aren’t looking good for the businessman.
There’s another killing, but this time, we learn immediately who’s responsible. Dan Brolund’s campaign of harassment was always going to end in violence, and it’s his son Christoffer who finally brings the cycle of despair to an end when his rifle goes off accidentally as he tries desperately to prevent his father from killing Frank during a confrontation in the woods near the village. They dispose of the corpse in a river, but it’s not long before the discovery of Dan’s abandoned taxi brings Saga and Henrik to the village. Was it just me, or did Frank seem to recognise Henrik’s name? Saga’s philosophical discussion with the formidable Harriet is a treat. The sharp-witted detective is sceptical of the closed community’s aims; she doesn’t think it’s possible to create an ideal society. “So you think we should stop trying?” “No, just saying you won’t succeed.” Harriet gives her a steely but thoughtful look; it’s hard to tell whether she’s angry or considering inviting Saga to join them.
Henrik is finding himself cast as a shoulder to cry on for a number of people in this episode. Despite – or, perhaps, because of – his innate kindness, the emotional exertion is taking its toll. Kevin (Elliott Crosset Hove), his friend from the support group, calls him in a drunken state, as he’s concerned that he’s going to take drugs again. He pours out his feelings about his father’s death. The man was a criminal and an unpleasant character, but Kevin misses him and their shared love of Manchester United. His grief for his father led him to substance abuse and a drug-induced bid to ‘fly’ from a balcony that left him paralysed from the waist down. This interesting subplot takes on new meaning when we’re invited to the baby naming party being thrown by Morgan Sonning’s brother Tobias (Jakob Fahlstedt) and his glamorous wife, Nicole (Patricia Schumann). Kevin, it transpires, is her son by her first marriage: a union that evidently ended in murky circumstances, judging by the disruptive appearance of her former mother-in-law, the bitter Solveig (Ina-Miriam Rosenbaum). Still, at least they’ve got that marvellous baby-shaped cake to enjoy.
Henrik is let down once again by the sisters, Julia and Ida, who concoct a photofit image of the owner of the stolen mobile that is based on nothing but an urgent desire to return to the safety of the sympathetic policeman’s home. Still, there’s a breakthrough: Saga’s realisation that the victims are not being killed for themselves, but in retribution against the person who loved them most. This becomes clear when Lillian’s likeable suitor, public prosecutor Lars (Karsten Jansfort) brings word that a colleague of his has lost her beloved horse, brutally gassed by a scumbag who left her a video of the crime. The method of execution, along with the telltale dead pixels John finds in his analysis of the recording, link this bizarre incident to the broader case, while the discovery of a similar video of Patrik Dahlqvist’s slaying in the spam filter of his brother’s confiscated laptop underlines the point.
While the case is getting really intriguing now, long-time viewers won’t be thinking about it by the time this episode concludes. Saga has chosen to terminate her pregnancy, and she’s done it without telling Henrik, despite the slightly far-fetched plan they’ve agreed to for him to raise the baby alone while they continue their detached affair. Henrik is shocked into silence and walks away. Later, she follows him to his house. He’s standing in the kitchen in darkness, his cold, quiet fury more devastating than any amount of screaming could ever be. Saga’s totally confused; she thought he’d understand that she couldn’t be around a child if she wanted to live with him permanently, which she realised she did after conversations with both her psychiatrist and Lillian that made her aware of just how important Henrik is to her.
She tries to explain to him, as he sends her away, delving for the only words she can manage. A scientific explanation, linking dopamine and oxytocin and lots of things you’ll never see on a Valentine’s card. She’s analysed it all, and come to the only logical conclusion: she’s in love with him. Henrik turns to her with brutal calmness, and tells her that she isn’t capable of the emotion. It strikes her, and us, like a knife to the heart. Watching her make this colossal error of judgement based on her confusion, her trauma, her utter lack of experience of meaningful relationships, is nightmarish; this beautiful, awkward relationship potentially shattered – like that misshapen, prison-made mug Henrik sweeps to the floor in anger – by the realisation that perhaps they don’t really know each other, after all. After that stunning moment of revelation, as Saga watched the love of her life sleeping earlier in the episode and her face softened in a way we’ve never seen before, there’s only one question on our minds. It can’t end like this, can it? Not for these two, not after everything they’ve been through together.
Actually, for those of us who still give a toss about the case at this point, there’s one other question. Who the hell is Tommy?
Read Gem’s review of the previous episode here.