It's been a long wait for The Bridge to return to the BBC, and although its return is marked by a bump in programming from BBC Four to BBC Two, there's a bitter-sweetness to the Scandi noir thriller's come-back. This fourth series of this thrilling, fast-paced Swedish drama that we love, is set to be its last.
Still, there's time enough to enjoy the return of the series' soft blue-green palette, faces forever cast in chiaroscuro, the spine-tingling organ that plays in the background and a heart-racing new plot. From the look of the first episode, this series marks The Bridge as the absolute equal of those other Nordic noir drama masters, Borgan and The Killing.
The mysterious body buried up to her neck turns out to belong to the Head of the Danish Immigration Board, a woman embroiled in a scandal since her staff were filmed celebrating the successful deportation of an Iranian homosexual condemned to execution upon his return on his home soil.
Homophobia, terrorism, immigration and refugees: the embrace of such hot-button issues is exactly the kind of move we've come to expect from The Bridge. But what about the personal? Where are Saga and Henrick?
Set two years after the end of the third season, the bad news is that Saga (Sofia Helin) is in prison, of all places. The final act of her cruel mother's sadistic games has been to frame Saga for her 'murder', and that's where Saga is sat awaiting her appeal. She's too much time to think, and spends it making wobbly clay pots so that she doesn't have to talk to the other inmates, and looking as despondent and humourless as usual.
Henrick (Thure Lindhardt) and his partner Jonas are distracted by the case that they're left to tackle without Saga. But things are looking bleak, Henrick is even talking about abandoning the search for his missing children, when Saga's fate takes a sudden, frightening turn. If you're expecting the rest of the series to cheer-up, think again. We've been promised a plot that 'does not allow for further continuation', according to the show's co-producer. Sinister stuff.
Cold, bleak and deeply human, the first episode's topical and twisted plot have set a high, but depressing, bar for the rest of the season. What will happen to our stoney-faced heroine and our dogged policeman? All bets are off as this pace-quickening drama sees out its last few episodes. Cancel your Friday plans.
|What||The Bridge season 4, BBC Two|
|Where||BBC Two, BBC Two , BBC Two , BBC Two | MAP|
11 May 18 – 30 Nov 18, The Bridge airs 9pm Friday 11 May