Welcome to Scandi on Screen, a feature that celebrates the best film and television on offer from Scandinavia. Channel your inner Swede or Dane by practicing your ja and nej (that’s yes and no in Swedish and Danish) and grab a jumper in awe of Sarah Lund, as February sees a review of the third season of The Bridge.
PLEASE NOTE: this review contains spoilers regarding the first three seasons of The Bridge.
A couple of months have passed since the third season of The Bridge drew to a close on BBC4; fans are already suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Saturday nights just aren’t the same as when an explosive and unmissable season was taking place.
The opening episode of the 10 part series, set on both sides of the Øresund Bridge in Malmö and Copenhagen, proved a somewhat anxious and sweaty experience. News had emerged in 2015 that actor Kim Bodnia (Detective Martin Rohde), who found himself behind bars by the end of the second season for the revengeful poisoning of his son’s convicted killer, would not be returning to join forces with the antisocial, emotionally thwarted and implicitly autistic Swedish detective Saga Norén (Sofia Helin), whom we all love and cherish.
As the first two seasons saw events begin with an incident, usually involving some form of body sliced in half or pneumonic plagued youths, the third season works slightly differently. This time, with the assistance of an older conservative policewoman Hanne Thomsen (Kirsten Olesen) who instantly takes a dislike to her, Saga is sent to investigate the staged murder of Danish LGBTQ+ campaigner Helle Anker.
As the investigation erupts with more gruesomely staged murders, Saga’s relationship with her new partner ends before it even begins, as Hanne meets her maker in a booby trap shed. Saga is soon assigned to work alongside the seemingly dodgy, drug-induced Danish detective Henrik Sabroe (Thure Lindhardt).
What makes this season more exciting and thrilling than the previous two is that Saga, one of the most intriguing characters on television, begins to unravel as her mother makes an unwanted return, her boss Hans Petterson (Dag Malmberg) disappears, an incompetent colleague Rasmus Larsson (Henrik Lundström) makes an unwelcome return to the investigation, and, above all, she must face the ghosts of her past as the circumstances of her sister’s suicide are unveiled.
Meanwhile, Henrik certainly proves a worthy substitute for Martin, despite his somewhat concerning drug addition and strange habits of continually seeing the ghosts of his presumed dead wife and children. Throughout, he seems to genuinely care for Saga and proves that he has the same perceptive, astute and oddball mind as she. By the time the finale chimes, your loyalties are tossed overboard, making you struggle to recall who Martin was.
What the creators of The Bridge do so brilliantly is managing a vast web of characters. Each episode sees different characters introduced, whom at first, seem completely irrelevant to Saga and Henrik’s investigation, but with patience, they soon become linked and connected to the murder investigation and oh boy, there plenty of red herrings to swallow in a gullible fashion.
What did you think of The Bridge: Season 3?
Comment with your thoughts.
– Anna Richards