Have you ever been so excited you put your fist in your mouth to suppress a squeal of glee? Have you ever been so excited that you could swallow your own fist down and keep going up past the elbow and beyond, squealing away regardless? It’s not often I go full fangirl about anything, but guys, it’s nearly time to see the very last series of The Bridge! And I am so excited. You can keep your Infinity War. This is the original most ambitious crossover event. It’s time for Denmark and Sweden to put their differences aside and work together again on outrageously gruesome killing.
It goes without saying that someone is murdered near to the Oresund Bridge. Yes, it’s a woman and yes it’s totally brutal. However you feel about that on TV more generally, you have to admit this is The Bridge’s classic calling card. Why change now? This woman is Margrethe Thormod, the head of the Danish Immigration Board. And she and her team have recently been in the news for all the wrong reasons – filmed clinking champagne glasses and celebrating the deportation of a gay man back to a Muslim country where he will most probably be executed. Taariq Shirazi has gone to ground and Margrethe is murdered in a way that seems to have cultural and religious connotations. Is there a connection?
It’s not exactly clear, but this takes place 2 years after the hellish events of the Series 3. Saga (the incomparable Sofia Helin) is in prison awaiting sentencing for the murder of her mother. As you’d imagine, she’s not doing well; actually preferring solitary confinement over interacting with the general prison population. Yes, she needs routine, but none of these imposed routines are her choice. Stuck mentally and literally in a bad place, how will she and Henrik be able to to work together?
Henrik (Thure Lindhardt ) looks to be doing better, off the drugs and going to a support group to talk about his missing children. He looks less on edge, despite being worried about Saga, and less likely to unravel at any moment. How long this upswing will last though, we just don’t know.
Jonas (played by Borgen and The Killing II’s Mikael Birkkjær) is the charmless unreconstructed cop, dishing out offence like it’s 1979. He keeps referring to Taariq as “the homo” and keeps being told to learn his name. The cuddliest part of him is his lovely sweater, but honestly it’s refreshing not to have yet another cop on the payroll struggling with some deep unresolved trauma.
The murder investigation quickly leads to the left wing activist group Red October. Yes, Henrik and Jonas are literally on the hunt for Red October. Journalist and apparent expert on these groups is Richard, working with his creepy twin brother who apparently thinks it’s fine to impersonate his more famous sibling to impress women in bars. Alongside these men (who look to be about to bite off more than they can chew) we’re introduced to violent and unpredictable taxi driver David, his abused wife Sofie and their son Christoffer. We know that despite seeming disparate,eventually these people will link up to the case and to each other in an elegant fashion.
As for everything else, I’m happy to report that it’s all still there and it sounds and looks beautiful. If the story wasn’t so engaging I’d recommend you pause on every cityscape as each one is a beautiful painting. And the theme ‘Hollow Talk’ by the Choir of Young Believers skillfully rises to that incredible crescendo and makes you salivate for one more episode. It’s so hard to be patient!
Writers Hans Rosenfeldt and Camilla Ahlgren have promised an extraordinary end for Saga, and it will be final, no take backsies. Broadcast in Europe earlier this year, (so do be careful as you can run across spoilers accidentally) critics and fans hailed it as the best series yet. Given the outstanding storytelling and mesmerising acting over the past three series I couldn’t be more excited if I tried.
In honour of the last series and with a little help from my friends at The Custard TV I will be reviewing every episode and spending the week hunting through the internet to recap you on anything you’ve missed, keep you abreast of all the fan theories and work out those unreliable subtitles together.
Series 4 will air on Friday nights at 9pm on BBC2, starting on the May 11th. Do the right thing and cancel all your Friday night plans until the end of the run.