Monday, 21 May 2012

The Bridge episodes 9 & 10: 'A nagging sense of unease' and some very accomplished striding


So what did you think? Tv-ooh thought episodes 9 and 10 of The Bridge were probably some of the best television so far this year, if only for pace and plot and scary grenade-in-hand acting - and that's all before some very accomplished striding about, too.

But at no point was The Bridge an easy or comfortable ride.

Along with several scenes of Saga and Martin walking purposefully towards various houses, or along a remote, windswept pier with intent in their eyes, there was a nagging sense of unease that not everything would end well.

And for Martin, it didn't: his 20 year-old-son August was the killer's final victim; bound, kidnapped and hidden in a box behind a stud-wall in the killer's mother's garage. He presumably suffocated before he could be found, thanks to Saga's computer-like powers of deduction. But us finding out about August's death only when Martin did made it all the more sobering. Grim.

Jens' revenge

Main cop Martin was who the killer wanted to hurt and he did it by targetting his son. Jens, a former police colleague, wanted revenge for Martin's affair with his wife Mikeala which, he believed, had lead to the car crash on the bridge in which she died along with their son.

Martin confided in Saga that he was the 'other man' - but he didn't believe Jens knew that.

Except of course he did - and that was when the tension really increased.

And that came from a lot more than watching Saga trying to get her logical mind around the nuances of lying (as Martin asked her not to tell their colleagues of his involvement with Mikaela) and not doing it very well at all.

Ill-advised zoo trip

And proving that you should never ever visit a zoo with a man in a raincoat you've only just met, did Martin's wife Mette allow herself to be taken in by Sebastian a little too easily?

On one hand you can understand her attraction to a man who had showed her attention after her husband cheated, but on the other, she'd just taken her husband back.

And when that same mysterious man takes her to a remote country house with boarded-up windows and then asks her to close her eyes before placing a grenade in her hand - alarm bells should have rung much, much sooner, especially with her kids in tow.

Not that we mind - after all it made for thrilling television, but Mette, you should have said no to the zoo!

'Elaborate and complicated'

The elaborate and complicated lengths Jens went to, to exact revenge, were almost comedic if they were they weren't so dark. As well as everything else he's done in the preceding eight episodes, we also learned he had faked his own suicide, changed his name to Sebastian, had extensive plastic surgery so he looked almost implausibly different, killed the surgeon who did it, and then set up his own software company so he could impersonate August's ex Frida online.

The two of them had been chatting over the web and as a result August had been persuaded to talk more to his father, meaning that Martin's eventual loss of his son would hit him harder.

It was also how the killer knew poor teenage runaway Anja was involved - and so killed her.

It was these little details that helped pull the story together, as this and other loose ends were tied up, like the discovery of the other half of the torso that formed the 'body' found on the bridge in episode one.

Take it to the bridge

And that's all before the gripping climax, staged - inevitably - on the bridge itself, with Sebastian strapped up with explosives and an innocent girl brought along as hostage, before Saga comes along to save the day.

But given the straightforward motives of Sebastian, why did he even bother with the 'truth terrorist' ruse as a cover for his revenge killings, when the police would have eventually connected the killings correctly? As August said, "All that talk about opening people's eyes. It was just talk."

Instead, Sebastian made the project his life's work. His basement office that Saga and Martin discovered at his apparently abandoned house indicated years of meticulous planning that seems obsessive to the point of Scooby Doo-villain proportions.

That's one hell of a hobby.

And as tv-ooh has noted before, he is quite the multi-tasker. If only he had used his skills for good, not bad...

So with Sebastian shot and caught, Martin recovering in hospital and mourning his son, Saga sorts herself out with a dinner date - and we really, really hope we'll see them both again.

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