Detective shows from far off shores have been dominating our airwaves over the last few years. From Sweden’s Wallander to the French Witnesses, our European friends have been giving the tired old British detective drama a run for its money as they have been garnering both audience and critical acclaim (though perhaps not as much mainstream acknowledgment as ruddy Midsomer Murders).
Scandinavian crime drama The Bridge, so named after the Oresund Bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark, returns for its third thrilling season. Following Detective Saga (Sofia Helin), a brilliant investigative mind, but socially awkward due to Asperger’s syndrome, season three picks up one year after the shocking events of the second season finale. With her previous partner jailed for murder, Saga is called in to investigate the bizarre murder of Helle Anker, an LGBT activist and the founder of Denmark’s first gender-neutral preschool. When Anker’s body is discovered in a morbid tableau representing the nuclear family, Saga and her new partner Sabroe (Thure Lindhardt) find themselves embroiled in a series of strange murders, each being displayed as an effigy of one of the artworks in a multi-millionaire’s eclectic collection.
As things escalate, Saga is also forced to deal with the reappearance of her estranged mother, who returns, blaming Saga for the suicide of her sister Jennifer, who had fallen ill to Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy.
The Bridge is delightfully reminiscent of such great dramas as Hannibal, with a wonderful mix of the blackest humour juxtaposed with grisly deaths and shocking twists. Helin’s performance as the troubled detective is both hilarious and touching as she truly encapsulates the everyday struggles with social interaction suffered by those afflicted with Asperger’s. Her empathy (or indeed lack thereof) is somewhat reminiscent of Gregory House, in that we cannot help but love her dispite what appears at first to be a lack of human emotion and at times outright rudeness. Her commitment to the role of the detective is admirable.
Season three’s story arc is perhaps the best the show has offered et; whilst many fans were concenred that things would not work without the wonderful Kim Bodnia as Saga’s former foil Martin, Lindhart is a worthy replacement, playing the role with subtlety and wit. The twists and turns of the investigation are in equal parts horrifying and intoxicating, throwing red herring after red herring in the ride to the final reveal.
Without giving too much away, season three has paved way for a fantastic fourth season to come, ending on a wonderful cliffhanger, and giving fans just the cure they need for a cold winter’s evening. If you haven’t watched the first two seasons, be sure to pick them up; The Bridge is one of the most unique and watchable crime drams in recent years.
Dir: Henrik Georgsson
Scr: Camilla Ahlgren
Starring: Sofia Helin, Thure Lindhardt, Dag Malmberg, Sarah Boberg, Rafael Pettersson, Maria Kulle
Prd: Lars Blomgren, Bo Ehrhardt, Anders Landstrom
DOP: Carl Sundberg, Lars Reinholdt
Number of Episodes: 10
Country: Sweden and Denmark
Episode Run Time: 60mins
Season 3 of The Bridge is out now on DVD.