This review contains spoilers.
Had a fun week, everybody? Probably not – unless, that is, you’ve already been at the spoilers to find out whether Henrik met an untimely end after those chilling gunshots at the end of the last episode. Anyway, the more virtuous among you can now rest easy in the knowledge that it was only a leg wound. It seems as if the killer wasn’t interested in claiming Henrik’s life as s/he escaped the murder scene. The only victim was poor Sandra, the wife of garage mechanic Moyo (Roger Matthisen), whom our favourite duo – well, we still love ‘em both, even if they’re at odds right now – had identified as the next likely victim, after the revelation that he let his old pal Tommy down at a crucial moment before the luckless informant’s violent demise at the hands of William Ramberg and his thugs. Sandra’s death by hanging is yet another to add to the list of execution-themed slayings carried out by someone with a major grudge against all those who contributed in different ways to Tommy’s fate.
Henrik’s as miserable as might be expected after his ordeal. Saga’s staying away for now, and Lillian irritates him by asking pointed questions. Has he been taking stupid risks like visiting the dead woman’s house alone because he’s been abusing drugs again? He denies it, but we know better. Saga’s clearly worried, and even Jonas has noticed that the formerly ‘inseparable’ pair are behaving very oddly. He’d do well to focus on his own predicament; Lillian’s been extremely suspicious for a while now that the embarrassing leaks to the press are coming from him, and has tasked an unwilling Barbara with digging up anything that could prove his guilt.
More bodies are piling up. The murder of a private detective in Niels Thormod’s employ is evidently a matter of interest to the inquiry, especially as his body is found in an abandoned van alongside that of Silas Tuxen, the owner of the bar Taariq was hiding out in. Neither man had relatives with any connections to Tommy, so it’s quickly established that both were killed for what they knew rather than for who they were. It��s a surprise to see a character from so early in the investigation return, but that isn’t the only apparent red herring to make its presence felt in this episode. Sisters Ida and Julia make a shocking discovery as Niels tries to win their trust when a simple trinket jogs a memory that could prove to be the key to the entire case. It’s exactly the kind of late-stage twist that we expect from The Bridge, and it’s going to make the long, long wait for the finale even harder to bear.
That said, a much more enduring mystery is finally laid to rest tonight, in a manner both dramatic and oddly low-key. Somehow, that makes the realism and emotional heft of the scenes all the more affecting. Christoffer’s fled the village after being brutalised and imprisoned by a vengeful Frank, but he’s determined to break the hold his mother’s ‘friend’ has over them both, and goes to the police to confess to Dan’s murder. As he discusses Astrid, the cogs are turning in Saga’s mind, and it’s not long before she and Henrik are involved in a siege. Anders Mossling’s portrayal of a man whose placid façade conceals a maelstrom of delusions and resentments continues to impress, while Thure Lindhardt does astonishing work as he comes to terms with the death of one daughter and the reappearance of another, after so many years of agony. He’s given sterling support by Selma Modéer Wiking, who effortlessly rises to the difficult task of depicting this emotionally reserved, troubled young woman whose lonely world implodes as her crazed ‘father’ points a rifle at her before, mere moments later, she walks into the waiting arms of her real dad.
It’s The Bridge, though, so we were never going to go to bed completely happy. Our ration of warm, fuzzy feelings is tainted considerably by the horribly cruel trick played on Lillian by the killer. She’s only just warned off her would-be boyfriend when a basket of flowers is delivered to her flat. It’s a rare and welcome gesture of affection, or so it seems. The discovery of Hans’s decomposed severed head beneath the blooms is calculated to cause utter misery. She’s forced to take time off work, and finds unexpected solace in Saga, who – accompanied by the pathologist – sets off on a mission to rebury her former mentor’s head. This requires a level of duplicity most unlike Saga as she forges Lillian’s signature on the release documents to get the Danish police to relinquish the killer’s grim trophy, but her act of compassion soothes Lillian’s grief. That, as Saga is learning after taking her psychologist’s advice, is sometimes more desirable than sticking to the rules at all costs.
Everything in moderation, though. It’s the hard work and diligence Saga so prizes that liberate Astrid from her captor. And it’s those same traits that cause Henrik, with a smile on his face, to tell his daughter that the woman who inadvertently caused him such pain is, he now knows, his ‘best friend’.
Read Gem’s review of the previous episode here.