Danish/Swedish crime drama The Bridge has left us as quickly as it returned, its haunting yet nonsensical theme tune filling our living rooms no more.
Series one saw a body on the border between Denmark and Sweden, on the Øresund Bridge connecting the two countries. To solve the crime, socially inept Swedish detective, Saga Norén, had to work alongside the more amiable Dane, Martin Rohde. Camaraderie developed between the contrasting cops, despite the fact Saga’s brow furrows at Martin’s displays of friendship.
Minutes into the first episode of series two, an unmanned boat veers – coincidentally, of course – into the same bridge. Below deck, there were five barely breathing teenagers, whom one by one begin to die from a volatile strand of plague. Saga and Martin are reunited, working together again on another wide-reaching investigation, the disease spreading to both sides of the bridge. Though Martin is still gripped by grief, following the murder of his son at the end of the previous season, Saga shrugs off this past trauma. Her blunt questions and baffled looks seem to steer Martin’s focus away from this too close to home homicide. Against the muted palette of Scandinavian skies, the two begin battle to incarcerate an extreme group of eco-terrorists, who are to blame for the spreading disease.
Despite the somewhat sinister plot line, characterisation lifts the mood of this Scandinavian series. Saga is unchanged by time, and by attempts made to steer her toward socially acceptable behaviour. She strips down to her bra in the office when her body odour dictates a change of t-shirt, is ruthless in the reinforcement of what is right and wrong, even when it concerns affects her colleagues, and is shockingly open about her recently revamped sex life. She may seem far too audacious, but on some level we all desire to be as brazen.
Apparently, Swedes and Danes don’t actually understand one another that well, but this doesn’t stop Martin and Saga working together to tackle the most trying cases. Will they be able to alleviate both sides of the bridge from potential terror? With a third series rumoured, I imagine so.
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