This is a full review of The Bridge: Series 4, Episode 2. Catch up with my episode 1 review here. Don’t read on unless you’re completely up-to-date on the BBC2 schedule.
It’s business as usual for episode 2 of The Bridge which after the hardship and the outright panic of episode 1 is a blessing for viewers.
This week we learn more about suspect number one Taariq and his amazing fluffy yet angular hairdo. Turns out he’s a hero; saving two girls from violence and giving them a hot meal. These young thieves won’t win any acting prizes but they seem to make a living from scamming people and pickpocketing wallets and passports. But this is The Bridge, so no good deed goes unpunished. Taariq’s desperate situation is getting worse – he’s grassed up to the cops by his horrible boss, and worse still it seems he’s been set up with a phone that tracked the victim’s whereabouts. Poor Taariq has got to be the unluckiest man in all of Scandinavia, and despite my still being convinced he’s not the killer he is not out of the woods yet.
Taariq’s relationship with Margarethe sounds unlikely. He tells us that he met her secretly in the gay club because she wanted to make amends for the cruel decisions of the state. By day she’s the immigration department’s Bruce Wayne; all above-board, all business, but by night she’s Batman; out to right the wrongs and offer help to the helpless. Was she really this strange split personality, riddled with guilt? At the moment we know so little about her. Her husband Niels looks dodgier than ever “They have nothing” he says in a secret phone call, “stick to the plan”.
The abused Sofie and son Christoffer’s benefactor is Frank, recruiter for the Chernobyl-style hideaway village. Sofie is excited to get a new house but wants to check the small print – she’s told “the last tenants broke our agreement”. We see Sofie and Christoffer drink the Kool-Aid, or whatever it was it certainly wasn’t elderflower tea. The old woman (Frank’s mother?) reminds me of Saga. She’s direct and uncompromising. Nothing is explained, and politeness is a waste of time. The key clause of the agreement is to be the “best version of yourself” and hope that’s enough to keep you with a roof over your head. Is this group Red October as people on the internet suggest? This cult sounds less religious and more Hollywood. It’s very Gwyneth Paltrow. Don’t touch the jade eggs Sofie – you don’t know where they’ve been!
As for Richard and Patrik. One is a hard-hitting journalist and one is a hospital clown. I did not see that coming. I wonder which twin Mum boasts about to her friends? Anyway, Patrik as Patch Adams meets a girl in hospital. Leonora Ramberg is terrified of clowns. Sensible child. Her very well-dressed father seems rather threatening. We’ve had a random meeting and a full name to add to our list. Keep her in mind. I bet you all the meatballs in Sweden she’ll be important.
Hello to the two girls making their living stealing from the unassuming public. How did they get hold of what looks like the murder’s phone? Did they set Taariq up or did they not realise the true significance of their gift? And how long will they stay on the run?
Hello to Astrid, Frank’s daughter, who turns up right when Christoffer needs a friend. Is she a good person or is she just ready and willing to manipulate him for Frank’s mysterious cause?
And hello to Leonora Ramberg and her angry father – just a few seconds on screen but I’m sure they will prove crucial.
Goodbye to Patrik, the victim of an ingenious and extremely brazen jacuzzi tasering. The cops are positive a nasty end like that was meant for his brother Richard. I’m not so sure, but what sort of threat might a hospital clown be?
Now Saga is acquitted and recovering from her prison shanking Lillian is easily convinced she should come back to work. This is great for us and great for the story, but shows poor people skills. Jonas, a man not exactly known for being reasonable is increasingly sidelined from his own case. Don’t piss him off Lillian. You never know what might be capable of. And no one likes hot desking.
So Saga is back in her uniform – leather trousers, greatcoat and in her iconic vintage Porsche. Putting all these familiar elements together is like an action hero’s origin story. And Saga isn’t giving up on Henrik’s case, not because of any sense of duty or warm feelings towards him but because she needs to be constantly occupied. So will the murder of Henrick’s wife Alice and the disappearance of his daughters eventually link up to the current case? Saga is looking for a creepy male colleague of Alice’s who may have helped her and her kids disappear. It’s not a clear MO but could this man be Frank?
Henrik wants a ‘real’ relationship with Saga but confides to his over-friendly NA buddy (jostling with Neils for the top spot as dodgiest character so far) “I need her more than she needs me”. I’m not sure that’s quite true. Saga’s bloody flashbacks are horrific, and her struggling to breath during a panic attack feels so real. She might be released and acquitted, but her time in prison lingers long in the memory.
As predicted BBC Four fans are sad we don’t get the episodes in packs of two any more but BBC Two must be pretty happy with 1.4 million people watching the first episode live. That’s pretty much double the average overnight for BBC Four. My top tip is not to watch to the end of the credits – extremely annoying that the trailer followed immediately and contained major spoilers. Hopefully the Beeb will try harder! Having set up the chess pieces in episode 1 this is where the game really begins. It feels like the start of a story we can really get our teeth into. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.