This is a full review of The Bridge: Series 4, Episode 5. Catch up with all the reviews here. Don’t read on unless you’re completely up-to-date on the BBC2 schedule!
This week is Tommy’s story. The guy Henrik picked out of the files and put at the top of the investigation board gets a 18 minute long pre-credit explainer. I’m not usually a fan of this way of storytelling, but we are presented with a perfect concise package – a gift to the viewer that comes packed with answers we’ve been dying to find out for weeks.
Four Years Ago
Tommy Peterson worked for the dangerous mob boss William Ramberg, and was a police informant trying desperately to keep a violent gang war from happening. Henrik and Lillian promised to intervene before the shooting started, but couldn’t get sign-off from the prosecutor’s office. All this takes place on Tommy’s son’s birthday, and his son is revealed as wheelchair-user Kevin from Henrik’s NA group. Only four years ago he had the use of his legs and was called Brian.
Tommy is a patient of Niels the psychologist who can’t help him other than by prescribing drugs. And he goes to Richard Dahlqvist to do a tell-all for a newspaper – “Six Dead in Gang War. Police Informed, Did Nothing”. Unfortunately Richard’s eye for detail is Tommy’s ultimate undoing. The way he smokes a cigarette is distinctive and described in the article. In a terrifying meeting with William it’s clear the gangsters know he’s the snitch and they’re preparing to kill him. Turns out Danish cigarettes can kill you in two very different and equally nasty ways. Tommy is clever though, and has set up an escape route but is let down by his friend Moyo. In a classic gangster movie scene it’s William in the car who comes by to sweep up poor Tommy. There’s nowhere left to run.
So with this new information about his father could Brian/Kevin be the brains behind all this? He certainly seems clever enough, and a young man robbed of his beloved father seeking horrible revenge on those who let him down sounds like an excellent motive. But is Kevin too obvious, especially in a series so concerned with fractured parent/child relationships? What about Grandma Solveig Peterson? She’s furious about how no one protected her son from his grizzly death and that anger hasn’t gone away, especially as the enquiry at the time failed to assign any blame to the police or prosecutors. But a man in a wheelchair and an elderly woman seem an unlikely partnership in these horrific murders, however angry they both are. And how about Nicole, the mother of Tommy’s son? She’s undergone quite some plastic surgery, maybe to hide from dangerous men, and is now married to Tobias who might have some shady gangster links via his brother Marcus. Is she lying when she insists she just want to leave the past behind?
Be careful who you hand your baby to Nicole. Not everyone feels comfortable holding little Sonny. Poor Saga’s abortion happened just yesterday and she gets handed the baby as she’s the only woman in the room. Saga points out baby Sonny’s eye colour to supposed dad Tobias in a pretty full list of the most awkward things to ask about a birth. She’s still learning about appropriateness in her actions both big and small. “Should I go back and apologise?” she asks. “No” says Jonas, “it’s too late for that”. Which could fit equally well with her actions towards Henrik. Lovely Viking mechanic Tobias shows his dark side, and assaults brother Marcus yelling “You’ve ruined everything!” Is this about being Sonny’s biological father, or something more murderous?
Away from the revelations about Tommy, Theo is creating division in the village “It’s about our values!” he insists as he assembles his mob against the newcomers. He could have a bright future in politics. And this week Sofie finally realises that her bolthole is actually Hotel California “You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave”. Her sinister protector Frank will be make sure of that.
Douglas is a man barely introduced one minute and shot in the head the next. He’s linked to Neils by a phonecall, and to the Sonning’s because he has photos of them all over his desk. What was he investigating them for?
Moyo’s wife Sandra gets even less of an introduction. We see her with Moyo four years ago and then dead in this episode at the hands of this vengeful killer. Oh well. It’s a simple way to keep any new characters in check!
Worryingly as they were both involved with Tommy as an informant, Lillian and Henrik are both likely victims. Lillian says Saga is the closest person to Henrik so needs protection. Ouch. And Saga, without malice, asks Lillian who would miss her if she died. Double ouch, especially as we see Lillian staring at a blank piece of paper as she tries to write a list. Now dear old Hans is gone, who loves her?
Saga wants to find a way to stop Henrik being disappointed in her. It’s heartbreaking to watch her pointed glances across the office and his flat-out refusal to have anything to do with her. In the scene with her therapist Saga’s usually steady hands twitch non-stop. We’ve never seen her this anxious before. Henrik meanwhile reverts to type, and is back out on the pull exactly as we met him (and judged him) at the start of Series 3. He may have said Saga is incapable of love but it looks to me like he’s trying pretty hard to break her heart.
Saga’s best guess at ending her conflict with Henrik is to find his daughters even though she put aside that case as impossible. But we do move forward, and yes, as many other online commenters suspected Frank is linked to Alice Sabroe – he was her counselor. And that’s why he reacted strangely to the surname when Henrik introduced himself. Franks’ daughter Astrid speaks Danish, and had a sister Anna who died. Surely, surely this is Henrik’s daughter, kidnapped and brainwashed by master manipulator Frank.
This is a hell of a twist to leave the episode on, but we’re not done! Moyo, Tommy’s friend who let him down so terribly four years ago, needs to be located and given protection. Too late of course. His wife Sandra is hanging from a noose on a door in her house. In a classic horror sequence, Henrik goes to the body and we see a shadow at the end of the corridor illuminated only by a red GoPro light on his forehead. There’s a flash, a gun shot and that’s all she wrote. Another blinding cliffhanger, and another week of unbearable tension awaits!