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Friday, 22 June 2018

REVIEW: The Bridge is action packed in its penultimate episode.

Happily, we still have a Henrik this week. Our brave and stupid Dane gets off with a serious pain in the leg and a severe tongue lashing from boss Lillian about his ridiculous risk-taking. As predicted the GoPro killer (what is his/ her official nickname?) didn't want to shoot Henrik as death to them is the easy way out. He wants his victims to suffer.

The Case
Chris flees from crazy Frank locking him up in the old factory. Frank looks like his hobby is well-planned. He's got history in kidnapping kids.

Decapitation and firing squad are the methods left unchecked on the team's control room list. So that's equal parts terrifying and spectacular.

Mysterious dead Douglas was a Private Investigator who Niels says he hired after his wife's death to hurry the investigation along. Saga uncovers private police documents in his office that show the mole in the team is working hard on leaking sensitive information all over the place.

Saga is on to Anna, Astrid and Frank thanks to Chris' confession about killing Dan in the Village of the Damned. Frank seems so reasonable but there's a monster is hiding just under the surface of respectability. In this episode Frank's answer to everything is violence. The tension is unbearable as Frank locks the front door and goes to find Astrid toting a shotgun. ("For fucks' sake! We demand a happy ending!" is written in my notes at this point.) Why did the sniper not take the clear shot he had at Frank's squishy little head?



Solveig and Nicole are both released into the bosom of their family, and Tobias is actually very forgiving when Nicole says yes she did sleep with his brother, but just once at a drunken party. Is that old cliche true here? I'm really warming to Grandma Solveig - a vengeful crusader, unfazed by time in a prison cell or at Jonas' rather pathetic questioning techniques. "I'll get them for that" seems to be her catchphrase, and I for one don't doubt her.

Silas Tuxen from the gay bar is the next person of interest, his brother having died in the gangland shootout that Tommy was trying so hard to prevent. I love a lengthy callback and The Bridge writers are masters of this. Every character in the first two episodes could easily be the killer, and every early conversation, however confusing, is vital to commit to memory.

This nice speccy prosecutor dating Lillian needs to watch his back, leaving a restaurant late at night. Oops, too late - here's a delivery of a head in a floral bouquet. But no, it's the long-dead head of dear sweet Hans who meant so much to everyone but especially to Lillian. That's a sickening new low even for a horse killer.

And in the final moments, Julia and Ida finally prove their worth. Last time they were getting on my nerves as it seemed their story had run its course completely. But in the car with Niels and Susanne they spot a distinctive skeleton keychain dangling from Susanne's handbag, as it was on the day they stole the phone from her - the phone they then passed to Taariq (RIP); the one that traced Margarethe's (RIP) whereabouts that the police are positive belonged to the killer. Susanne! What shady business have you been up to?!

The Cast
Who is this Stephanie woman that Tommy was seeing? Why does she keep getting a name check but we're no further forward in how she fits in with everything? Is she someone we've already met?
Who is Julia and Ida's abusive step-father? Again, he gets mentioned a lot but we've got no name to go on. Is he an insignificant plot device or someone we've already met?

Saga's therapist encourages her to listen to her gut feelings and work on "not doing the right thing", exactly what she couldn't do with Martin back in that pivotal scene at the end of series 2. This works out very well for the dearly departed. Hello and goodbye (again) to Hans, or at least his head. He's re-buried with more respect and less paperwork than usual thanks to scheming Saga and her loyal gravelly-voiced pathologist friend. He's a fantastic often overlooked recurring character from way back in series 1, who doesn't even have a name.

Our heroes
Henrik is reunited with his daughter! And he's so grateful to Saga "Thank you. For never giving up". Sweetly he tells Astrid that Saga is his best friend. What a joyful moment, but of course it comes laden with dark and unsettling questions. Does Astrid remember Henrik as her real father? What's her sense of belonging now? All this talk of her acting a role is alarming - is she the 'real' Astrid now? And will Henrik be able to keep her safe? Surely she is the person he's closest to now, and she'll be the mysterious killer's number 1 target. I hate The Bridge for making me have terrible dark thoughts like this. Kevin rocks up to take Henrik to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting; Henrik gushes to his friend about Astrid being found. So now these people who were suspects up until about 30 minutes ago know Henrik has another person he loves deeply back in his life - another soft target.

As Lillian recovers from her nightmare delivery Jonas is put in charge! Congratulations on your promotion you massive creep, and potential massive leak. Basically, he's just the last Dane standing, and probably the last person you'd want in charge of a complicated and sensitive investigation.

John and Barbara did leave the office for a beer together, and more! I'm delighted. What a lovely nerdy couple. And such mutual respect between John and Saga; his twinkly smile when she says he's good at his job and she enjoys working with him is adorable. Surely being a good colleague is the highest compliment Saga can ever pay you.


And that's it guys - that's the penultimate episode in this series. It's flown by. The biggest mystery here is how on earth can the writers tie everything up to our satisfaction and their enormously high standards in just one more episode?

Two bits of info to tide you over until next week - something I've wanted to know for years is discussed in this twitter exchange:



And just imagine - the ultimate souvenir of the series could be yours if you've got megabucks:



                                                  Contributed by Sarah Kennedy
The Bridge Concludes Friday at 9.00pm on BBC Two.

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