Fortitude Episode 5 – The DVDfever Review

Fortitude Episode 5

Fortitude Episode 5 didn’t really help the cause for this overhyped series as it was merely treading water throughout, at a time when the series, as a whole, has been doing little else.

It starts off with Ronnie teaching his daughter all about glaciers while they’re surrounded by them, then cuts to Shirley chancing upon the place where the mysterious carcass is held, not that she realises and, thus, develops a bit of a cough as she walks off.

As Doctor Allerdyce tends to Frank’s wounds, she attempts to give Dan the third degree about punching him, but it’s more like one-and-a-half degrees, as it’s done in such a half-arsed way.

Morton half-saw what happened between Dan and Frank, but makes out to Hildur that he saw everything, and while she tries to act like Frank could’ve resisted arrest, Morton has to remind her that, even though she’s a lawyer, Dan should stay away from interviews with Frank (even though we know he won’t pay any attention). This is a conversation which feels mighty stilted. And for a place that has seemingly had no crime going on, why would Dan kick off over Charlie’s murder when the guy had only just turned up recently there? Plot holes galore!

Petra tells Dan she doesn’t have the capacity to study DNA blood in Frank’s shirt, while both stand staring at each other like static characters in the CGI cut-scenes from a late ’90s videogame. Dan’s later all set to do what he wants with some self-collected evidence, namely a few eyebrow hairs from Charlie’s body, but Hildur catches him in the act and demands them from him.

And because it’s such a close-knit community, no-one’s allowed the evening off, so Petra thinks nothing of interrupting Vincent and Natalie’s pub evening meal to practically insist they spend the next 5 hours of their time processing the eyebrow hairs! Their lab also contains reindeer abortions which mysteriously have turned into hermaphrodites. We know it must be down to that weird carcass, but no-one else does. How long will they draw that out for??

Frank confirms in the interview, with Morton and Hildur, that the blood on his shirt came from his son after a swelling in the throat ruptured. Morton tries to counter and speculate that the former Afghanistan soldier’s discharge from the army, due to temporary blindness, is an issue in all this as he never declared it when he came to work at Fortitude… although it’s difficult to see where he was going with that. Unless I started falling asleep. Which is a possibility.


Dan and Petra stand staring at each other like
static characters in the CGI cut-scenes from a late ’90s videogame.

Other dead-in-the-eyes discussions include Eric telling Trish about finding the blood-stained shirt, after which he comforts her with a hug, just as Hildur spots her hubby in what she thinks is an embrace, making this worse than an Eastenders episode for coincidences! This happens again later when Frank’s being interviewed, and Jules walks into the monitor room just as her husband amidts how he indulged in some “How’s your father” with Elena!

But Elena’s not all sweetness and light because it transpires, from an interview with Morton, that she was once dating a chap and it led to the death of someone we’ve nevr heard of before called Ricardo Scelsi – stabbed through the right eye with scissors, going into the brain. Ouch! Both Elena’s and her lover’s fingerprints were on the scissors, but the murder couldn’t be pinned on one of them specifically, so, basically, she’s got form as a wrong ‘un! She spent 7 years in chokey for it, though, and maintains she’s a different person, now. Not least because she changed her name from Esmerelda, but also because the body regenerates everyone one of its atoms over a seven-year period. Yep… specious reasoning, love(!)

Meanwhile, Markus is fattening up Shirley with ice cream, Hildur berates Dan for keeping Elena’s past a secret from her – while he stands still like the aforementioned late 90s videogame character, Dan susses that Morton’s really in town over Billy Pettigrew’s bear-related death, the blood on Frank’s T-shirt DOES belong to Charlie Stoddart, and Ronnie’s hand is almost falling off because it’s infected by the carcass… again, in carcass-related news, we know there’s a link, while he just looked a bit bewildered.

And this week’s dodgy dialogue comes between Elena and Shirley, when the latter ends up in the former’s apartment and spot’s she’s been crying:

    Shirley: “Frank Sutter’s been arrested?”
    Elena: “Yes”
    Shirley: “What for?”
    Elena: “I don’t know. They wouldn’t tell me.”
    Shirley: “In here?”
    Elena: “Yes.”
    Shirley: “What was he doing in here?”
    Elena: “He was having a shower.”
    Shirley: “They arrested him while he was in your shower?”
    Elena: “Mm-hmmm”
    Shirley: “Naked?”
    Elena: “Yeah, of course, he was naked… he was in the shower”

Christ, with Fortitude Episode 5, this is getting worse by the week! It’s making 1990s soap opera Eldorado look BAFTA Award-winning by comparison!

For the initial double episode, I gave them 5/10 overall, then with no progression to speak of, I dropped it a point to 4/10 for ep.2, and like a crap kidnapper, I’m going to ransom this show one point each week, until either it drops to zero or it seriously ups its game! So, now, down to 2, we go.

Fortitude is available to pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD ahead of its release date of June 1st, and the next episode is on Sky Atlantic on Thursday at 9pm.


Morton quizzes Elena on her murderous past.

Overall Score: 2/10

Director: Richard Laxton
Producer: Matthew Bird
Screenplay: Simon Donald

Dan Anderssen: Richard Dormer
DCI Morton: Stanley Tucci
Henry Tyson: Michael Gambon
Governor Hildur Odegard: Sofie Gråbøl
Frank Sutter: Nicholas Pinnock
Jules Sutter: Jessica Raine
Elena Ledesma: Verónica Echegui
Jason Donnelly: Aaron McCusker
Ronnie Morgan: Johnny Harris
Natalie Yelburton: Sienna Guillory
Vincent Rattrey: Luke Treadaway
Markus Huseklepp: Darren Boyd
Shirley Allerdyce: Jessica Gunning
Eric Odegard: Björn Hlynur Haraldsson
Liam Sutter: Darwin Brokenbro
PC Ingrid: Mia Jexen
Trish Stoddart: Chipo Chung
Petra: Alexandra Moen
Max Cordero: Michael Obiora
Ciaran Donnelly: Jonjo O’Neill
Carrie Morgan: Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips
Hanna Donnelly: Lara Decaro
Doctor Allerdyce: Phoebe Nicholls
Yuri Lubimov: Emil Hostina
Medic: Charlotte Pyke

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.


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