Television Review: The Bridge (Episodes 7 & 8)

Television Review: The Bridge (Episodes 1 & 2)
Television Review: The Bridge (Episodes 3 & 4)
Television Review: The Bridge (Episodes 5 & 6)
Guardian interview with Sofia Helin (Saga)

What was it like? – Saga on learning that Martin slept with Charlotte

I got my period this morning – Saga’s idea of conversation on a coffee break

The Bridge moved into high gear in these two episodes with the final social problem, a genuinely happy resolution, and a firm candidate for the real identity of TT. It was also stuffed full of Saga quirkiness, for which I’m very grateful, since her oddness seems to have been toned down a bit recently.

TT’s fifth and final social concern is the use of child labour by Swedish and Danish companies. He hijacks a school bus containing five children and threatens to kill them if the offices and stores of five companies producing chocolate, sports equipment, clothing, furniture, and toys are not torched. A fire at each company saves a child. TT helps them out a bit by leaving the school bus in a furniture factory and booby-trapping it to explode when the police investigate. He’s all heart, but it’s up ordinary people to torch the rest, which they do in time to save all the children. Even Daniel, fired for reporting the threat against his editor’s instructions, helps out by setting a fire in the chocolate company’s main office.

But wait, there’s more. TT gasses Daniel in a repeat of the set-up by which he recruited him – trapped in his SUV. This time it’s for real, to show his contempt for “journalists that can be bought. Cowards.” I’m sorry to see Daniel pop his clogs. He is such a morally ambiguous character that I can’t help being interested in him. After his near death experience with the drug overdose, he was starting to see things differently. He even apologized to Ake for demonizing the psychiatric patients. And you have to like him for printing the arson story, getting sacked, and setting fire to the main offices of the chocolate company in order to save a child.

The investigation closes in on Jesper Andersson, a Swedish police officer, based on Sonja’s hysterical response to his picture. Held for 72 hours to bolster a very circumstantial case, he escapes with the help of an accomplice who leaves a gun in the toilets for him. Kent’s credit card is tracked down to a ferry terminal, where Jesper is shot resisting arrest, and Kent is arrested. So Jesper must be TT, right? No, he’s been preying on underage girls and homeless women to make illicit porn films. Sonja was one of them, hence her extreme reaction on seeing his photo. But he was looking good for it, with personal connections to Emil, Henning, and Ekwall.

Stefan is definitely out of the picture, though he did kill Soren, whose body has just been discovered. So the blood discovered in his bedroom will prove his guilt. Stefan is arrested while trying to escape with Sonja. I feel a little sorry for him. Soren was a wife-beating scumbag who attacked Stefan first, and he does love his sister, having only just been re-united with her.

The odds-on best candidate is Jens, a Danish task force police officer. He’s an ex-colleague of Martin’s, and an excellent cop, until his wife and son were killed on the Oresund bridge by a drunk driver. Ekwall, then a prosecutor, dropped charges against the prime suspect – Sixten Rockstad, son of a wealthy industrialist. Daniel investigated the incident and, though he knew Sixten was drunk at the time, allowed himself to be bought off with a job and a free apartment. Sixten died of drink under his own steam. When Jens’ life began to fall apart, Henning wrote a bad report on him, and Emil gave him a bad psychiatric evaluation. Bjorn repeatedly beat him up when he tried to stop him stealing Sonja’s stuff.  Oh, and Jens blew his own head off 5 years previously. That sort of rules him out until you realize that he did it so thoroughly he couldn’t be identified, and the Danish police didn’t take DNA evidence or hold an autopsy out of respect for a brother officer. As Saga points out, he starting planning his revenge 5 years before.

Which brings us to Saga, in the full panoply of weirdness in these two episodes, with laugh out loud moments. Hans gently asks her to explain to Martin that she didn’t actually have sex with August when he stayed over at her apartment. Which she does – in front of the whole office. Martin is really pissed, particularly when she asks about him being unfaithful to Mette, pointing out quite logically that he hadn’t internalized the idea of marital fidelity. I loved her reaction to the news it was Charlotte. “What was it like?” Genuine, pure, innocent curiosity. Saga is also interested in how people react to her, whether and to what extent they’re annoyed with her.

Another high point is when Saga discovers her team taking a coffee break and the concept needs to be explained. So she decides to join them, thus killing the free and easy atmosphere stone dead. Her idea of appropriate kaffee klatsch conversation is to say, “I got my period this morning.”

Despite Martin’s annoyance with Saga, they do get along very well. Martin is clearly fascinated by her. When Hans finds him sleeping in the office, after being kicked out by Mette, he suggests to Saga that she put him up on a camp bed. As it turns out, August got to share the proper bed with her, even if they didn’t have sex. Then Anton knocks on her door. So of course Saga asks him if he wants to have sex now, right in front of Martin, reassuring him that Martin would be using the camp bed. Anton declines and leaves, after a meaningful look from Martin.

But Anton is persistent, presenting Saga with a bunch of flowers in the office. He wants to “rewind” and get to know her better, offering a no-sex dinner date. She is clearly gobsmacked by the whole idea and can’t get her head around it. She has already told Martin, “I’m no good as a girlfriend,” so he passes by with a grin at this development.

Martin is sailing pretty close to the wind in his relationship with Mette, though he doesn’t know it. She has eyes for a silver-tongued software salesman at work, who has effortlessly converted 5 minutes of strictly regulated presentation time into a 90 minute conversation, including coffee. They’re talking about one thing and meaning another. When she has cramps, he insists on taking her to hospital. It turns out to be two kidney stones and two babies – twins after all, as she and Martin joked. He is genuinely remorseful, as well as opening up to August about being an absent parent. So Mette and Martin stay together, recognizing that two more kids will be manageable if their relationship can “get by.”

Everybody except Saga now thinks TT/Jens is finished, and it’s just a matter of finding him. Saga knows differently. “It’s not enough. He’s not done.”

4 thoughts on “Television Review: The Bridge (Episodes 7 & 8)

  1. I’m wondering if the silver tongued salesman might be the missing Jens and that the computer girlfriend August hangs out with online might not be all she seems.

    • Great minds obviously think alike, about Frida at least. I’ve also been wondering about her. Apparently she’s an ex-girlfriend from college, and we should see her in the next 2 episodes, since August is taking her out to dinner.

      As for Jens, I don’t think he’s the silver-tongued salesman. All along, he’s had access to police secrets and equipment, and didn’t even raise any alarms when he stole the police car. Perhaps his new identity allowed him to be re-employed by the police, which would be a ridiculously easy thing to check, so it’s probably more complicated than that.

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