Good News Swedish noir thriller fans! “The Bridge” Season 2 is now up and out from the ever-surprising MHz videos! “The Bridge” Season One was one of the best of its’ kind. A hum-dinger of a thrill ride starting with the body of a dead woman found on the Oresund Bridge, right on the demarcation line on the Bridge that marks one side as Sweden and the other as Denmark, therefore involving police of both countries.
The kicker was that it was not one woman’s body, but two. Placed together to seem one corpse. The one on the Swedish side was a high-placed Swedish/Icelandic politico, and the other half of the body, the lower half ,was a Danish prostitute. Symbolically setting up what was to be a season long twisty mystery that bound the two countries police forces together to solve this grisly crime.
And it also introduced us to two unlikely crime-solving partners. One, the beauteous blonde young Swede Saga Noren of the Malmo police and the other the bear-like, grizzled, middle-agaed Danish investigator Martin Rohde.
Played by the excellent Sofia Helin as Saga, The seemingly perfect Saga is not all she seems. Saga is an intense workaholic, and incredibly dogged and bright, but socially inept at everything except sex. Saga now seems to be a victim of Aspergrer’s Syndrome.
Kim Bodnia, an equally adept Danish character actor, plays Martin with a deep, earth-shaking anguish this season because of certain events that culminated on Bridge 1.He’s a family man, and we now see him separated from his good wife Mette (Puk Scarbau), and his children. He’s living in a hotel and doesn’t like it and flriting with the new female cop, Pernille, as he fights his inner demons of his tortured recent past..
“The Bridge” 2 continues this Swedish/Danish conceit with a freighter sent crashing into one of the abutments of the Oresund Bridge, with no one on board, except six nearly dead students, who seem to be infected with the pneumonic plague, as they call it here. (Do they mean bubonic?)
The body count grows and grows and the charismatic duo of Helin and Bodnia hold us as they go on one extreme assignment after the other.
Saga now has a live-in boy-friend, who she characteristically doesn’t get along with. And Martin reconciles, then de-reconciles with his understanding wife, who now has learned one important thing. It’s very dangerous to be married to a Danish policeman.
This hit Scandinavian TV series has been seen all over the world, and is spoken in both Swedish and Danish,with English sub- titles.Though I speak neither language, “The Bridge” is making me wish I did. Maybe I’ll take a class.
There is also a strong Lesbian sub-plot much to my(and the audience’s) surprise. But no spoilers here. I will say however that “The Bridge” does strain credulity with Martin’s constant visits, for no apparent reason, to see the mastermind/killer of Season One in prison. Played by the excellent actor Lars Simonson, he is a subtle enough performer to suggest many things. Including the deep relationship that led them both to the place (a prison) where they are now meeting face-to-face at Martin’s insistence over and over again for the entire length of the series. The Danish prison cell of the killer looked like a rather posh motel, I must say.
But the characters and the stories of Saga and her tormented counterpart Martin are enough to compel watching as the murders and catastrophes increase incrementally. They get along. They don’t get along. She’s an ice queen, but brilliant. He’s a big, warm, huggable, grizzly bear, but they do work well together, and it is their unusual chemistry that keeps “The Bridge” required viewing for all of you Swedish noir fans out there. I couldn’t stop watching all ten-hour long episodes.
And interestingly enough, too, most of the director/writing staff behing “The Bridge” is female, perhaps giving “The Bridge” its’ freshness and unique watchability.