Spoiler alert: Contains plot details for Series 4 of The Bridge
Writers Hans Rosenfeldt and Camilla Ahlgren promised great things with the final series of this international Scandi hit and viewers arrived back on the iconic Øresund Bridge with high hopes for our heroes Saga Noren (Sofia Helin) and Henrik Sabroe (Thure Lindhardt). Were they the awesome crime-fighting duo we’d seen at the end of series 3? Were they working together to solve the disappearance of Henrik’s daughters? Well, yes and no.
The series begins with Saga behind bars serving time for her wicked mother’s murder, patiently awaiting a re-trial. We know she didn’t do it, but how on earth can a cop with such limited social skills survive the system unscathed? Devoted Henrik who is trying hard to turn his life around is a frequent visitor. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder – their relationship seems much stronger than ever before. And a good job too, as there are some incredible storms to weather in this series – new highs and desperately tragic lows that are quite alien to Saga’s usual even keel. There’s heartbreak for all here, especially Saga as she finally has to confront her dreadful abusive childhood, and how it’s shaped her adult life. Saga in therapy is powerhouse acting from Sofia Helin, pushing at the limited scope in her character’s movements and facial expressions. I’ve not seen more entertaining and revealing therapy sessions since The Sopranos.
And in this series everyone could do with a supportive and intuitive therapist. The theme is family, linking everyone we meet; difficult and capricious relationships with those you love, how we construct personal identities and the people who influence us, for better and worse.
It is an emotional series, but rest assured the perps are just as villainous as before, with a vast repertoire of violence and really upping the ante on human (and in once instance mammalian) misery. It’s not giving too much away to say that the theme this series is the death penalty, and the murderer is very inventive in how s/he replicates executions performed by the state. And the cast is very strange and varied – prepare to meet gangsters, yummy mummies, an illegal immigrant, a crazy grandma, what seems to be a reclusive cult and a hospital clown.
The writing is elegant and poignant, and the way the series bows out has been hailed by a vast majority of fans as extremely satisfying – a rare treat in 2018 where all successful dramas must continue well past their prime up into double-digit seasons. The Bridge series 4 is an absolute must-see for fans of the past three series, and a compelling and fairly compact introduction to Scandi noir if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about.
The DVD & Blu-ray of The Bridge Series 4 is out today – Monday 2nd July. It’s on the top of my Amazon wish list.
I’m definitely in the drama doldrums now it’s over. It’s been in the front of my mind for the last 8 weeks as I wrote Dead Pixel Test’s first ever episode-by-episode guide for this series. If you want to dive into spoiler territory you can find it here.