RECAP: The Bridge Season 3 Episode 2 gets our hearts racing once more
Who is this new Danish partner? What is his motive for putting himself forward to work with Saga when she is considered a pariah at the Danish police force? Who is Aleks, and what is his connection to the case? Was Helle’s son, Morton, involved in her murder? Will Saga respond to her mother’s plea? So many questions that need answering. Let’s hope this episode gives us some answers!
Firstly, we found out that Saga’s new Danish partner is Henrik Sabroe. He took it upon himself to interview Lars Andersen, CEO of the shipping company whose container was used to kill and transport victim Helle, before he even reported for duty at Saga’s office. Acting outside the bounds of protocol, this behaviour is a far cry from Saga’s strict adherence to rules. Something tells me these two might not get along so well.
After witnessing a comforting hug that their boss Hans gave Saga, Sabroe wasted no time in asking about it when the partners made their way to search a suspect’s shack in the woods. Saga responded that Hans was merely comforting her, and gave a very emphatic ‘no’ when Henrik asked if she needed comforting. The subject of Saga putting Martin in prison was also brought up, to which and Saga told Henrik: “We have a justice system and you can’t set yourself above that”. Then, at their first search together, Henrik tried very hard to impress Saga by telling her how that he was very good at what he does. Predictably, Saga was not at all impressed. At this point we again question Henrik’s motivations for putting himself forward for this assignment, as he clearly tries too hard to ingratiate himself to Saga.
In a further conversation, Henrik also revealed that he was a member of a rather sketchy-sounding singles’ club, and went out to meet random women; one of whom he recently met at a museum and had sex with. All this was rather perplexing, as we had already seen him in a family set-up with a woman and child in the first episode. As was already flagged in episode one, where we were privy to his constant pill-popping habit, we suspect that Henrik’s character will not be a straightforward one.
Moving on to the mystery of the Noren family, Saga’s conversation with her boss Hans revealed that the woman who waylaid her outside her flat in episode one was indeed her mother, whom she had not seen in twenty years until now. It was whilst relaying this, and the fact that her father was dying in hospital, to Hans that Saga struggled to maintain her composure, leading to that big, comforting hug which was was seen by Henrik. Above all, we were surprised that Saga did not protest or refuse the hug, which would have been our expectation. In fact, she even seems to lean in for it. Is our Saga learning to accept the milk of human kindness? Surely not!
Later, there was another intense encounter where Saga accused her parents of being instrumental in her sister Jennifer’s suicide. Her mother handed Saga Jennifer’s old medical records to prove their innocence, but Saga told her that there would be no reconciliation. She did not want one. Saga sent the medical reports to the police’s autopsy doctor to obtain his medical opinion, who later told her that there was no medical evidence to support her belief that her sister was medicated and made ill deliberately, as Saga had always believed. It was a blow to Saga, and she stormed out. As we saw her long-held certainty of her parents’ guilt crumbling before our eyes, especially after the heated accusation thrown at her mother’s face, we couldn’t help feeling very sorry indeed for our resident ice queen.
The drama doesn’t stop there though, as a second body with the same ‘clown face’ as the first victim was found in this episode. This time the victim was a priest; the first in Denmark to conduct same sex marriages at his church. During the questioning, the victim’s widow was very distracted and unable to respond to Saga’s grilling, whilst Henrik took on the compassionate, personal approach and learnt that the priest and his wife had an anniversary dinner reservation, and offered to leave the room and cancel it for her so she could concentrate on answering Saga’s questions instead. She later told them that her husband had received threats, and singled out Lise Friis Andersen; an internet blogger who condemned people like Helle and the priest for destroying the values of conventional family units as they championed same sex families. Could this be our suspect?
The duo then went to the blogger’s home to question her about the deaths, as the victims had both been killed after her condemnation of them on her site. On leaving, Henrik told Saga that Lise was married to Lars Andersen, the CEO of the shipping company, as he saw their wedding photo at the flat. The plot thickens! We were very taken aback that it was newcomer Henrik who noticed that detail and not Saga. What is going on here? Has Saga indeed met her match in this new partner, in terms of good policing work? Let it not be so! First the hug and now missing this vital clue? We are unseated by these lapses!
Henrik proceeded to ask Saga to join him for dinner at the restaurant which the priest and his wife had their anniversary dinner reservations. He confessed that he did not actually cancel the reservation like he said he would, as it was one of the top restaurants in town. Ha! Saga turned him down and he suggested another time, but she told him that she did not enjoy social activities and needed to get back to work, in a way that only she can.
At the autopsy, Saga was told that chloroform was used to render Helle unconscious before the perpetrator cut into her and ripped her heart out. An aside here – the couch detectives amongst us would recall and co-relate this important bit of information later as the story develops!
Back at the office, it was discovered that Hans had been kidnapped from the office carpark. On checking Hans’ email, they learnt that he had been contacted and threatened by Aleks Dover, a criminal whom he had put away and who has just now been released. The duo went to Aleks’ last known address to question him, but he denied that he had anything to do with Hans’ disappearance. He told them he did indeed have a grudge against Hans as he forced him to grass on his fellow criminals by threatening to take away his wife and children. Saga told Henrik that Aleks was lying as she was sure that Hans could never have resorted to something like that.
We saw later that Aleks had Hans restrained in a wooden shack somewhere and was taking a video of him demanding a ransom of two million from the police for his release. The police received the video and on watching it, Henrik very quickly observed that the newspaper used by the kidnapper to date-stamp the film was one he noticed at Aleks’ house earlier, as it had an identical coffee stain on it. Once again, we felt that Henrik had trumped Saga with his powers of observation at this very crucial juncture!
The armed police stormed Aleks’ house but were unable to find Hans. We then cut to Aleks holding a gun to Hans’ head as he listened to the footsteps of the police searching overhead. The tension was unbearable at this point as Hans was within a hair’s breadth of being killed. Then someone burst into the room and shot and killed Aleks. While we were unable to see who it was in the dark, we knew it wasn’t the police, as the killer placed something over Hans’ nose to render him unconscious – chloroformed is the inference here! Viewers can probably work out that this was to point to the perpetrator of the original murder. Only a personal supposition.
From these opening episodes, I can say that the plot development is as tight as ever, and although there were several disparate side stories to begin with, the pieces are all very slowly being assembled together. Clever writing drips feed us information as the story moves along and we, like hounds picking up on a scent, follow on relentlessly.
I was left quite breathless at the end of episode two as the tension built up. I can’t remember the last time a television programme created such an effect. Sadly we now have to wait an entire week before we rejoin this marvellous hunt.
New episodes of The Bridge air Saturdays at 9pm on BBC Four.