A few weeks ago I was sure that I was glad should this turn out to be the final series of The Bridge. Now I’m not so sure. On one hand I like Henrik and he’s turning out to be quite a match for Saga. But on the other hand liking him and acknowledging that does not change how much I miss Martin. And if there were to be another series then Hans would not be in it either. For me that would be a step too far, accepting Martin’s absence is one thing but I’m not sure I could tolerate both him and Hans not being there.
It’s a good thing I think if you feel like this, if on one hand you don’t want to leave the characters but at the same time you can see the story is complete and that you wouldn’t change any of it. I feel much the same way about The Killing, that I’d love to see another series yet at the same time I’m glad there’s no more. Hans Rosenthal said that the body count of series 2 was absurd and that they corrected that in the third series. They have done so but I think they’ve made a similar mistake, instead of too many victims they have too many sub-plots. It’s not so much that it’s hard to keep up with them, it’s just annoying knowing that half the stuff you’ve been working on paying attention to ends up being completely unrelated. Not only that but time you waste on pointless subplots is time wasted away from developing the main plot.
So it seems they finally have a real suspect but I’m not convinced. Their suspect is Annika Melander. She was a foster child along with Emil, they were both fostered by the couple found dead at the beginning of episode seven. The scene was again staged, a Christmas tree put up with Hakan’s eyes used as one of the decorations and the man was wearing a Santa hat which hid the fact his brain was taken. The woman had an apple stuffed in her mouth, like a pig. That message is obvious, the man not so much. As Henrik put it, is he a mastermind or an idiot. Is it because of something he knew or didn’t know. Or is it because something he thought, evil thoughts which led to evil actions. The message behind both the brain and the eyes becomes clearer later on when it’s revealed that Hakan was the social worker who placed Emil there. It’s obvious, the eyes were placed there because Hakan should have seen what was going on. Curious, I can’t remember if they said Hakan was both their social worker or just Emil. If it’s the former then it would mean it’s him with the connection and not Annika.
Plus it’s him who worked at T&L Andersen, it’s him who has a connection with Freddie Holst and is interested in art. But Annika may be working with him, the workshop at her house suggests that, unless Emil is framing her of course. It’s possible that Annika has been murdered by Claes. He’s seen going back into his flat holding a shovel. He was with her earlier and was meant to pick her up from Malmö Central Station. If Annika were the killer and she was working alone it, and she is indeed dead then it makes no sense. If that’s so then who kidnapped Jeanette. I think it’s likely that Annika and Emil are working together, or that she at least knows what she’s up to. Annika is pretty focused on Claes, I’m not sure she’d care about getting involved in anything else. Yes she’s unbalanced but she’s also focused.
Getting back to Emil, he’s also the one who went to the police to tell them about the murder scenes resembling works of art. Now if he was the killer this may seem odd but actually it can be explained. It might have been part of his plan, or he wanted to know how much the police knew or more simply he was annoyed they hadn’t figured it out yet. He might have wanted to see first hand the results of his work, to enjoy taunting the police that way, going on a power trip like that is not unheard of in serial killers. It’s not uncommon for criminals to insert themselves into a investigation for various reasons.
Another thing to consider is that there was a bed and a painting in the basement, like someone had been living down there. The painting made me think of Emil and the fact that his own flat is bare and hardly looks lived in. Is that because he’s got another place where he spends all of his time or because it’s how he used to living having grown up as a foster child?
The two victims both have burn marks in their mouth but they are different to the others. The coroner thinks it looks like an A and a percent sign. Saga tells him it’s not, that it’s most likely a L and a G but she doesn’t know what alphabet. Before they talk about the case he’s examining a body which has been burned beyond all recognition. He says she was of average height, with no visible fractures and that she was buried in clay. I’m thinking they wouldn’t be showing us this unless it was relevant, surely it can’t be her mother’s body? Or could be Annika’s body, we did see Claes with a shovel and this body was buried. Of course it could be red herring to make us think that. Seeing the body you would of course connect it with Claes and the shovel and jump to the conclusion it’s Annika’s body, unless that’s just what they wanted us to think.
Getting back to Emil once more, he has a connection with some of the victims but not all of them. Hakan was his social worker, Hans was the police officer who took him back when he ran away when he was eight and Abrahammson was a teacher at his secondary school. He’s also connected to Holst through his job at the gallery and he’s been to his house to pick up paintings.
Serious doubt is seemingly cast on to him being the killer by the events of episode eight, he’s seen stumbling into the road, half naked and covered in blood. But then this doesn’t rule him out as being the killer or at least being involved. It could be part of their plan or they could have had a disagreement. Question is why did the killer let him escape, a question which he’s able to answer himself. It’s one of the paintings on the list, it’s called “The One who got away.”
Except he claims he didn’t escape, that he was let go. He says that he thinks he was drugged and when he woke up he was in the field. Lets say Annika is the killer and she’s working alone, if Claes killed her then this would leave her work unfinished and would give Emil the chance to escape. Two major flaws to this theory, Emil says he didn’t escape and secondly if Annika was working alone then who shot Marc and kidnapped Jeanette at the end of the episode?
Alternate theory, Annika and Emil are working together. They both have the skill set required for this particular set of endeavors. With his interest and knowledge of art he stages the scenes and comes up with the ideas and Annika with her knowledge of the human body deals with this side of things. Maybe the reason there’s not a connection between Emil and all the victims is because he didn’t choose them all. They both would have reason to want their foster parents and Hakan dead. Equally they may both have reason to want revenge of some kind on the teacher. But where do Helle Anker and Morten fit into it?
Another theory is that maybe there’s not just two of them, perhaps another former foster child is part of this too. Like Gustav whom Saga and Henrik talked to. What he told them about Annika contradicted what Emil told them. Emil said that she was at the bottom of the pecking order and she had it worse than everyone else. Whereas Gustav said this was not true, he said that Filip their foster father treated them all equally. But then they aren’t really talking about the same thing, are they? Because Gustav is talking about how their foster parents treated them but I think Emil was talking about how the kids treated each other. He said she was at the bottom of the pecking order and that you took your anger out on those beneath you, add that with him saying he’s not proud of it, I think it’s not too far fetched to take it as him meaning he mistreated Annika himself. He also said Annika didn’t approve of him coming back, now he could mean because she would have taken his place in the pecking order were he to stay away or he could mean she was relieved her tormentor was gone.
It’s also possible that Emil is working alone, that staged the scene himself. One thing that wouldn’t fit is what they found at Annika’s house, they found photos of the murder scenes, the foster father’s brain and several lights like the ones used to stage some of the murder scenes. But what they don’t find is the models, we see this same model at the end of the episode with whoever it is that kidnapped Jeanette. This could be interpreted in a few different ways. Firstly the things have been planted there by Emil to cast suspicion away from himself, he didn’t leave the models because he wouldn’t be able to part with those and it would be too much evidence to leave behind. Or he’s been using that space with or without Annika’s knowledge, such a fact being true would explain why his own place looks so bare. Again I’m not sure she’s a part of this, she seems very focused on Claes and not at all interested in anything else.
I’m not sure I believe anything Emil says, there’s something off about him. Plus his information about what he heard whilst tied up is very specific. I’m not saying he couldn’t have heard all that, it’s certainly possible. It just feels like it’s too good to be true. He heard an ice-cream van, sirens and he was sure it was more than one and children singing and playing. It was this information which John used to locate Annika’s house. It just seems too perfect, too easy. Like Emil wanted to lead them there. Another fact in favour of him being the killer, the number six was found in his mouth, meaning he’s the last victim. It would make sense, killing all the people who didn’t do what they were supposed to do, he might feel that he didn’t either, that he didn’t stand up for himself. Plus every other victim had a body part missing, he has none. But what does the code mean?
As for whether she’s dead or not when they question Claes about Annika and her whereabouts he tells them very little. Obviously he can’t explain to them why he’s going along with her, he can’t do so without incriminating himself in the death of his father. He claims he was meant to pick her up at the station but that she didn’t show up. Now if he did kill her it would be better to say that then admit he did pick her up, because then he’d be admitting he was the last person to see her.
Then there’s the question of where the Holsts come into this, with the events of these two episodes it’s safe to say Freddie has nothing to do with what’s going on. The killer driving Kjell Söder’s car was following Asa and planned to kidnap her. We know this because of the bottle of chloroform on the seat. But they changed their plans upon getting the e-mail from Tina whom they’d hired to watch the Holst’s house. They changed their plans because they learnt she’s not really pregnant, obviously the baby is important to them in some way.
In a strange quirk of fate Marc who needs money to buy back the cottage (not knowing that Freddie has bought it) breaks into the yellow car and steals the iPad. This leads to the death of the person he sold it to. The police are tracking the iPad at the same time as the killer but they don’t get there in time. They do manage to follow the signal and find the car but it’s empty. The suspect escapes on a train, I wonder if that’s meant to make us think of Annika. If that’s why we saw her tell Claes to pick her up from Malmö Central Station, so we would make that connection. They manage to retrieve the iPad but it’s useless to them.
As for the Holsts and their plan of keeping the surrogacy secret all of that goes to hell when Asa stupidly tells Claes, he then gives or sells the information to the tabloids. It’s so obvious he would have gotten his revenge in some way, I don’t know why she would think she could trust him. It’s obvious that it’s not the business he cares so much about losing but her and especially to Freddie. He can’t have her but he can humiliate them.
One thing the press don’t know is the identity of the surrogate. There’s one person who does know, who has pictures at least anyway. Tina does but for once she does the right thing and she gives them to John. There she tells them about the job and they see the e-mail address, which is the same code on Morten’s fridge. He knows that code so he must know something about this, that would be too big of a coincidence, for them to both to know the same code but for different reasons, wouldn’t it?
The code’s complete now which means there should be no more victims. So if the code is complete why did they take Jeanette? I got to thinking about the code, if the order of the victims is important, if each character was assigned to each victim for a particular reason or if it’s just random.
Towards the end of episode eight Saga and Henrik pay a visit to Annika’s ex husband. He runs from them but he doesn’t have anything to do with this, turns out he has a weapons cache and has some dealings with biker gangs. He’s irrelevant, almost anyway, he would be totally unimportant were it not for the fact Saga either failed to search him or didn’t so thoroughly enough. Either way it doesn’t matter, he had a gun and tried to escape, in the process shooting John’s daughter. This annoyed me, I don’t see what purpose it served in regards to the story. I guess it’s just meant to show that Saga is upset and does respond to things emotionally even if other people think she doesn’t. Part of her realising that even she can make mistakes and that her feelings can affect her actions and behaviour.
Saga and Henrik’s relationship is as interesting as the case. The scene in e7 when he’s making breakfast was nice, it was a little strange, a normal domestic scene with Saga. But it was ruined somewhat when he freaked out upon realising his family aren’t there anymore. I like the way Saga handled it when he mentioned it to her. The matter of fact way she speaks and sees things I think is helpful to Henrik. Her way of handling it is brilliant, most people would probably be freaked out and maybe even a little scared by the conversation but she’s not even fazed. She just asks “Should you have seen them?” And when Henrik admits he doesn’t know her simple answer is “You probably decided not to.”
He’s not himself however, partly because he decides not take whatever drug it is he has in his car. This combined with his confused feelings leads Saga to think he’s off with her. Before I thought that maybe Henrik wanted Saga to find out what happened to his family because he may have hurt them and he badly wants someone to find out so that he doesn’t have to live with it anymore. Now I’m thinking the opposite, which admittedly could still be true if he did harm them. I’m thinking that he doesn’t want to know what happened to them because if he finds out then he’d have to face up to it, to admit they’re gone and to let go of them.
Meanwhile Saga has to contend with being questioned by internal affairs. A lot of the questions they ask are barely relevant, in the end she has no choice but to tell the truth about what happened with her parents. She admits that she made false allegations of sexual abuse against them in order to get her sister out of there. Naturally they don’t believe her explanations when they find a nail of her’s in her mother’s car, nor when they discover the e-mail was sent from her computer. Of course they wouldn’t, on the face of it you have to admit it sounds crazy. Unless you know what the person in question is capable of and the the lengths they would go to. Rasmus is annoyingly still around, internal affairs talked to him too and he continued spinning his web of lies. I was also annoyed to find out that not only is he the last two episodes but it seems he actually plays a part in the investigation.
Internal affairs is not the only thing Saga has to contend with, there’s also the issues of Hans’ death. I liked Henrik’s reaction to it, he really is starting to get Saga:
Henrik: You know it’s not lack of interest that I’m talking about the case and not Hans? That’s how you want it, right?”
In all of this they still find time for a funny moment, or at least I though it was funny anyway. At the murder scene Henrik quips in English upon seeing the tree “Merry Christmas.” It wasn’t just his deadpan delivery which made it amusing. There’s also the fact that Thure Lindhart who plays Henrik has been in two Christmas films. A very funny film entitled The Christmas Party which has quite a few familiar faces in it, not least Søren Malling, aka Det. Jan Meyer from TK1. Also the actress who played the murder victim Nana Birk Larsen also from TK1, plus the actor who played Robert Zeuthen in TK3.
The other Christmas film he was in is the aptly titled “One Hell of a Christmas.” Aptly titled bearing in mind his quip and the scene in question, not only that but it’s a truly terrible film. When I watch a film I always try to find at least on redeeming feature in it, this was one of those films where the only redeeming feature is that it ends.