Celebrated Jewish neuroscientist Leonard Sheinkman is found murdered, strung up from a tree in a Jewish cemetery. A group of women escape from an immigration board hostel, where they are being exploited as prostitutes, and flee the country. A body is found half eaten in the wolverine enclosure of a Stockholm zoo. Jenny Hultin’s ‘A Unit’ is called to all three crimes and soon their resources are stretched to breaking point as they follow up several macabre leads. Hultin pushes them hard as, unbeknown to the team, she is fighting budget cuts that would mean losing nearly half of them. Away from the office family lives are fraught – Arto Soderstedt, feeling the stress of raising five children, finds he has inherited three million Swedish kronor from a distant relative. His wife makes immediate plans to buy a holiday home. Paul Hjelm, busy reading Sheinkman’s war diaries for the investigation, is no closer to patching things up with his wife Cilla.
These police procedurals are rapidly becoming crimes on which to peg soap-opera-like stories. Hultin faced with needing to get rid of three of her team starts looking closely at what each member of the team brings to the table and what bits of their personal life are likely to interfere with the team’s workings.
Each has an impediment of sorts –
One is the male version of Old Mother Hubbard with so many children he doesn’t know what to do, despite the fact he has just inherited a healthy amount of money. He is soon spending even more that he has inherited just to keep his wife sweet – if only there had been a pre-nup he jokes. The cleaner’s “Easy come, easy go” comment is probably going to be significant because every little thing he does seems to be important later on.
Another is just about to be allowed to be the foster parent to her own child. This was the child she gave up for adoption seven years ago whose adoptive parents are murdered and his birth father is also dead. If not Kerstin, who? But as a driven 24/7 cop how will motherhood fit in?
Two of the others are the new couple who are still trying to decide whether or not to have children and so far haven’t been that incisive in their investigation but historically they have been able to see things others have missed.
The original member of the team that Hultin brought in has just found out that his girlfriend is pregnant again, and by the way he has a suspicious lump on his chest.
Heljm is looking a bit content these days even although his wife Cilla is already wondering what will keep them together once the children leave in a couple of years. “A dog?” he suggests. Well it would work for me, but she did not look impressed.
The final member of the team is finally trying to date a woman who likes him but his idea of a date is buy her dinner, have a brief awkward conversation and then go back to her place and break her bed with his bulk. At least she laughed.
As to the triple investigation of the murder of a pimp, the disappearance of sex workers from an asylum centre and the murder at the start of the investigation of an apparently Jewish neuroscientist who survived Buchenwald but is struck down after placing flowers on two Jewish graves? The florist points out that stones are what are normally left, not flowers. The team by the end of the episode have found out that the three cases are linked – but this has happened to them before.
I wonder if the answers will all be revealed at the end of episode 10 next week or if the need for cliffhangers will win out?