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The Bridge

The Bridge – Denoument

So, to wrap up…

The Truth Teller appeared to be Jens who had faked his suicide after the death of his wife and son on the bridge years before. His wife had told him she wanted a divorce and he had been so angry he had plotted his revenge ever since.

Saga continued to learn from Martin about social conventions like giving colleagues praise because they were doing their job well. She just thought they should do what was expected of them. She fretted about lying to cover for Martin. She later cried when given bad news by her boss. Martin later needed her to tell a series of lies towards the end of the final episode to give him the best chance of avoiding police interference. She cannot, however bring herself to lie to Martin when it matters most even although her face is tortured.

Martin assumed that TT hadn’t killed him when he had the chance because of  his earlier friendship with Jens. Martin revealed that he was the man Jen’s wife had been having an affair with but initially Jens hadn’t known about the affair. Meanwhile the handsome man who had been doing business with Martin’s wife Mette was Jens after his plastic surgery. Unfortunately no-one realised that this was who he was. When he turned up at the house to do business, he inveigled her in to letting him go to the zoo with her and the children.

August had a job interview so got out of babysitting his half siblings. He bumped into the girl he thought he was having internet chats with and found out that she hadn’t been talking to him at all. It meant he realised he’s been giving information to someone who might be dangerous. August was the real target of Jen’s campaign as he wanted Martin to feel the same loss of a son that he had felt years earlier. Jens had felt let down by his friend, deceived, and everything had been meticulously planned to ruin Martin’s life in  a similar way to the way Jens felt his life had been destroyed.

The star of the show for me however was the Scandinavian interiors. There hasn’t been an episode where I haven’t lusted after some object or another.

Some basic vocabulary to help you with future shows:

Yes  –  ja

No   –  nej

Thanks – tack

Stop   – stoppa

Police   –   polis

Car   –   bil

Gun   –   kanon, pistol


The Bridge – Episodes 5 and 6

Lars, the schizophrenic samurai, began the episode by killing his doctor and then trying to commit suicide. This was part of a synchronised campaign by TT to draw attention to the “care in the community” support given to the mentally ill. Lars refused to talk about “No One” which enraged Martin to the point that he hit Lars despite knowing the interview was being recorded. Martin’s wife was amused by Saga’s lack of social grace but if only she had known about who was really being insulting to her at that dinner table.

Henning, the compromised police officer, worried that his change of heart about committing perjury might lead to being frozen out by his colleagues or worse still losing his job. He didn’t tell the truth in the end, which led to his apparent murder at the end of the episode.

Stefan was attacked in his own flat by the husband of the woman Stefan had rescued. Stefan used his hot, heavy iron to beat him to a bloody dead pulp. Annoyingly for Stefan, Martin chose that moment to ring Stefan’s door bell. The body had disappeared by the time  they came back to the living room, with Stefan having apparently moved it before answering the door. I wondered momentarily if he had imagined the whole thing.

Saga continued to worry about unwritten laws and social niceties. Martin picked up a box of files from Charlotte and bedded her while he was there because she looked quite vulnerable when she took off her wig. He claimed to have cheated on his wife once before a long time ago  – aye right! Presumably this alluded to August. August looked very shifty in a later scene when Saga turned up at Martin’s house just as dinner was about to start.

Anja’s mother feigned concern for her missing daughter. Lars gave a description of No One, allowing the police to check the illegal shop camera which had recorded him bumping into Anja. Anja was shot just before Saga reached her. Saga, having learned that people find lies reassuring in times of crisis, told Anja she’d be fine so she spent her last moments drawing a sketch of the eyes and nose of No One. He looked like the “actor” from the earlier episode.

Saga went to her usual nightclub and again bumped into the random sex partner from an earlier episode. this time though she wanted dinner first – he followed like a puppy. She must have been good first time.

Saga and Martin entered Stefan’s flat looking for evidence. Although there was no body, there was blood in the gap between the floor boards.  There was also a store cupboard full of medical supplies including the kind of drain that Bjorn had been hooked up to the week before. I guess now we know why  Stefan went into the hospital store when he was visiting his sister. There was also an empty box of wine which was the same brand as the wine which was used to kill the homeless people.

Henning turned up in the basement of the shop which was run by Saif the brother of the murdered boy in the trial that Henning gave false evidence at. He was tied up and both were confused about how he had got there. Saif needed to get Henning out without his family being implicated. “Fuck” sounds the same in Swedish but was translated anyway. Saif didn’t have the killer instinct and despite his best intentions didn’t managed to beat Henning. Henning was released and walked right into the sights of TT who, dressed as a policemen, raised his gun and shot him dead. Perhaps he really is a police officer?

Ferbe was given an exclusive by Martin who then accidentally spilled coffee over him and used the distraction to replace the sim from his phone allowing Saga to receive the next call from TT instead of the press. TT was determined to work with Ferbe however and called a fellow journalist to demand to talk to Ferbe. How did he know that number too? This week’s issue was the inequitable treatment of immigrants by the law.  TT did eventually call Saga back and asked her some questions which are obviously clues for her to work out.  Ferbe later took a lot of drugs at the nightclub and collapsed on the floor. He died during the night and was out for more than 2 minutes. What perturbed him most was that there was no tunnel, no light, only darkness.

Martin’s wife worked out that he had slept with Charlotte and kicked him out. He gave some idiotic excuses about being worried about his manhood after the operation but she wasn’t impressed.

Saga was followed home by August who stayed overnight. She really didn’t get why this was such a problem for Martin.

The Bridge – episodes 3 and 4

There was some really odd translating in the subtitles this week – e.g. “Martin a dog is alerting!” I’m taking it that the subtitles are done in the country of origin?

Saga opened the episode by finding a bloodied corpse of a homeless woman with a bottle of red by her side. The homeless man in the wheelchair from the last episode pointed her in the right direction. The scene cut to the opening titles with that very haunting theme tune. 

Stefan turned up at the hospital bedside of his sister Sonja and asked her for forgiveness. She later awoke from her coma and implicated him when asked who had given her the wine.

Bjorn, a homeless man who had been in the navy, was tied to a chair after being hit with a stun gun and linked to a live internet feed. He managed to escape only to be caught again by a man in a big black four by four. Disconcertingly he was played by the same actor who plays Brix in The Killing. Bjorn was eventually revealed on the live feed to have been slowly dripping his blood away via  tubes and only five million from each of three rich business men- and Charlotte, the bewigged blonde widow of another – would stop it. He tried to send a message by blinking his eyes in Morse code. Improbably he was blinking an electricity meter registration number.

Martin, disheveled as ever, laughed throughout his conversations with Saga, finding her frankness about random sex and her misinterpretations of other people’s statements  funny. He found his oldest son less amusing though when August showed the younger children the live feed of Bjorn. August seemed to have a very clear idea about what the truth terrorist’s aims were. It became clear in this double episode that Martin’s wife was pregnant despite the vasectomy. Disheveled but potent. Although perhaps not so potent after the kicking he got in the stairwell. Oddly the killer spared Martin but shot at two other policemen later, killing one and critically injuring the other.

Ferbe, the odious journalist, made the most of his moment of fame by appearing on tv shows and negotiating with the killer on the phone whenever he called.

An androgynous teenager, Anja, was caught after a chase in a shopping mall with stolen goods. After being taken home her mother ignored her protestation of sorrow and read her newspaper. The teenager knocked over the vase to get some attention and the mother gave her the slap we all knew was coming. The mother was remote and coldly calculating, later cooking for herself and not for her daughter. Her step mother was no better when she went to her father’s new house and told her to wait for her father in the garden. It was clear that she was not welcome there either and her father claimed he didn’t have enough time to drive her back home. Instead of going back home she wandered the streets in the rain, eventually taking refuge in the flat of a seemingly innocuous man who gave her a cup of tea while locking her in. She found out the next morning that he had his medicine carefully boxed in daily sections and he claimed to be a Samurai but couldn’t remember why she was there. She didn’t seem that bothered but I suppose he was paying her more attention than either of her parents did.

Charlotte finally took the wig off after meeting her husband’s paramour and realising that even his daughter had known of her existence when Em turned up at the remembrance ceremony. I think we were meant to be shocked but it had been such an obvious wig. She then went to the police and said she would pay the 20 million by herself as an act of revenge because the last nineteen years of her marriage had been for nothing. On reflection I wondered if Charlotte had worn the wig to look more Swedish for her husband as her dark hair had been a reminder of her Danish roots. She was therefore shocked that his mistress had been quite foreign looking. It was certainly after seeing the mistress that she momentarily took the wig off in distress.

The double episode ended with Anja returning to the samurai sword wielding man and Saga reinforcing the point about the killer leaving Martin with just a kicking, just in case the audience missed that Killing-type plot moment.

The Bridge – double episode opener

Scandinavian crime drama serial. A woman is found murdered in the middle of Oresund Bridge, exactly on the border between Sweden and Denmark. Saga Noren from Malmo CID and Martin Rohde from the Copenhagen police department are called to the scene. What at first looks like one murder turns out to be two. The bodies have been brutally cut off at the waist and joined together – the torso of a high-profile Swedish politician and the lower body of a Danish prostitute. The Swedish and Danish police need to cooperate in a race against the clock, desperately searching for a murderer determined to go beyond all moral limits to get his message across.

The murderer makes his presence known and chooses sharp-witted tabloid journalist Daniel Ferbe to act as middle man to communicate with the outside world. The murder on the bridge was only the beginning, and the purpose of that heinous act was to draw attention to the unpleasant truths and problems in society that most turn a blind eye to, the first one being that ‘we are not all equal before the law’. Saga and Martin now realise they are dealing with a ruthless killer.

With Sofia Helin, Kim Bodnia, Ellen Hillingso, Dag Malmberg, and Puk Scharbau.

Episode 1 thoughts:

  • Saga is obviously on the autistic spectrum – totally focused, no idea about social conventions. Changing her top when she needs to rather than going to a separate area. Those who know her treat that as normal and no-one stares. She doesn’t want to have to share the case and doesn’t quite understand that filing a complaint about her new partner’s behaviour on the bridge,   Øresundsbron, would cause him to be annoyed.
  • The journalist whose car was used to dump the body exactly between Sweden and Denmark  was trapped in the biggest 4×4 I’ve ever seen.
  • Road signs which would be black and white safety arrows in this country are yellow and blue in Sweden – nice touch.
  • Who is the girl being encouraged by  her father to leave her abusive partner and why does he have the keys for an idyllic country cottage?
  • Why is it important that the Danish cop has just had a vasectomy? Is that just to add detail or to indicate something else about his life?
  • Is the fact that the theme tune is in English a nod to the countries which are snapping up Scandinavian drama?
  • Charlotte Schroniger is very determined to get her husband a new heart, insisting that an ambulance gets through a crime scene, trying to persuade the father of a brain dead boy to pull the plug so her husband can have his operation. She must be significant to the case in some other way – or at least she would be if this was an American drama.
  • 5 points are going to  be made by the killer. The first one was that we are not all equal before the law. The disappearance of the prostitute  13 months earlier was shelved after only two weeks. Will the buying of a heart by a rich man be the second point?
  • There was quite a bit of full frontal nudity in this episode, all integral to the plot of course.
  • Saga approaches men directly when she wants sex, no dissembling or artifice. The man can’t handle the typically male attitude when it is directed at him. He handles this better than the photos of the corpse though.
  • Sonja is Stefan’s sister which is why they have the same tattoo although from her smoking, drinking, fighting and living on the street it is obvious that their lives have diverged.
  • Martin’s ring tone is exactly the same as Wallander’s, Coincidence?
  • The next issue is homelessness.

Today on BBC Four from 9:00pm to 11:00pm

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