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Saturday, 2 March 2019

REVIEW: Trapped Episodes Five and Six



Welcome to a couple of subdued but pivotal episodes as we reach the halfway mark in Trapped, despite Andri admitting he's really back at square one in the investigation. Episode five in particular is quite slow and introspective as it centers around Gisli's funeral. It marks a break in the action and a pause in the investigation. Gisli's gravediggers remark on his ancestor who had "bad blood which contaminates the soil" and we get our first hint of what exactly is tearing the family apart - Gisli, Halla and Elin are the three siblings whose father went missing when they were children and his body was never found.


The Case
Young Aron's flash car was bought by his father with cash. And as Asgeir says Finnur had a fleet of cars, with not exactly a massive wage from the plant. So this is where he spent his dirty money, and the rest is stashed in the house for Aron and Thorhildur to find after his death.

Stylish Halla is burnt but unbowed and goes to her brother's funeral. Sister Elin accuses her of doing it for the media attention and if she hadn't managed that already just by attending she gives a speech to the congregation and is treated like a hero. This has to be very good for her long-term political career. All the villagers scrub up well for the service in the tiny church, apart from Bardur keeping his trademark wooly hat on until Hinrika jabs him in the ribs.

This show of togetherness all falls apart at the wake as Vikingur gets drunk and dishes out some difficult home truths particularly directed to his Mum who seemed to be in floods of crocodile tears at the church. He resents her leaving them for Uncle Oli, ditching her confused and and angry son with his useless Dad. It's a complicated family relationship and a twisted family tree. Thankfully some clever person has worked it all out and put together a chart - I found it on Twitter, but sadly I can't find the original credit for what would have been very hard work.

 trappedfamily

Vikingur broke Finnur's arm after the homophobic bully taunted him about being gay and his relationship with Ebo. Ebo is already in trouble with Pawel the dodgy Polish guy at the plant who runs, I imagine, illegal side businesses, and isn't a big fan of paying his employees. There's the threat of blackmail here again, just as Ebo's brother-in-law decides to stand by him for the sake of the family back in Ghana. Vikingur is an agent of chaos in these episodes, a drunk, angry, violent young man who it turns out had a career as a chef in Copenhagen. Something went terribly wrong for him to give up and come back home. And by the end of the episode he's suspected of another terrible act of violence, but did he really murder Pawel in the dark factory? Add that to Andri's already full list of problems to solve.

Ketill is back on the hillside and finds a large number of dead ducks washed up on the shore. He has his proof that the local water sources are being poisoned by the aluminium plant, and his son lying is hospital drank that same water.

Andri digs deeper to figure out why Finnur hid such a large amount of money and where exactly it came from. "You don't hide 10 million kroner in cash if you have a clear conscience". This money is clearly linked up with dangerous people. Aron and Thorhildur are crazy to try to hide this cash and the damning paperwork in the bag. It's a geothermal map of Gisli's property which Andri thinks Finnur had plans to buy for cheap and sell it for mining, which Halla says would never be approved by the Ministry of Industry. Is it just me or do those dead ducks from earlier cast doubts on her trustworthiness? And do we really think a pro-American Aluminium Mayor who took a bullet for her beliefs will do a thorough investigation on the poisoning?

Brightest Moments
Not very many moments of joy in a pair of bleak episodes where it feels like everyone is lost and alone. Andri might be starting to form an alliance with his big-city college Trausti. He seems to be a better man, haunted by the specuatular helicopter suicide in the last series that he blames himself for. And Asgeir seems to have a soft spot for the forensics team leader - their phone call cut short by the demands of work was really sweet. Now they're in the same boat as they've both made pretty serious mistakes on the case.

The only thing that made me laugh was Hinrika suggesting that Andri was more a "bear on the wall" than a fly on the wall at the funeral.


Family Values
Thorhildur is determined to do everything in her power wrong and her motivations are not exactly clear. If this is just a way to stick it to her Dad then this is spectacularly over the top. The old cemetery as a place to meet someone who may well be Finnur's killer? Does she think she's Buffy the Vampire Slayer?! Now this mystery individual knows who she is. Her phone and laptop are confiscated by Andri and he's all set to send her back to Mum in Rekyavik. He's got enough to deal with without platitudes from his sister-in-law "All children go through this" says Aunty, as if all teenagers get caught up in high-profile murder investigations. It's just like growing pains. She really is such a useless guardian!


There's a magical moment as people leave the wake where chiaroscuro lighting is used beautifully to show the little bubbles of the dark cars as people go home, taking their own personal family baggage with them. It's the perfect little private space to have an argument. Hinrika and Bardur's sorrowful decision to separate is punctuated by stirring strings and the sadness is actually really  beautiful. The only time we get to see real emotion on Halla's face is when her sister says "I saw you. I know what you did". There's something in the shadows here too, layers upon secret layers. How long do we have to wait until we find out what's happened? Why did Halla leave the countryside and run away to the city? What did Gisli think she owed him? If Andri can unravel this decades-old mystery we'll be well on our way to finding the killer.

Contributed by Sarah Kennedy 

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