Fortitude Episode 3 begins with DCI Morton (Stanley Tucci) being introduced to Markus Huseklepp (Darren Boyd sporting a dodgy Norwegian accent) and his girlfriend Shirley Allerdyce (Pride‘s Jessica Gunning), with the former declaring, “you cannot die here or be buried here, because anything buried never decays. It’s a forensic treature house”, and immediately, again, Fortitude is trying too hard to be weird, almost like a spoof of a Nordic drama.
After a brief flash of a crackling sound coming from the mysterious carcass, Dan (Richard Dormer) goes to talk to Jason’s wife, Celia, who has a strong Liverpudlian accent, which makes me wonder – in such a small town as Fortitude, how come it’s packed full of so many British ex-pats?! But as Spanish escapee Elena (Verónica Echegui) confirms to Morton, “Everybody is running away from something.”
And he’s then on the receiving end of a telling from Charlie’s widow, as Trish (Chipo Chung) berates him for the way he ended up telling her about her husband’s death, for which he apologises, but he wanted to be sure she had nothing to do with it. However, he still wants to search the dead man’s office…
Frank feeling sorry for himself, moaning to Elena about Liam suffering from frostbite, but as his wife stays by their son’s bedside… well, in the hyperbaric chamber, his son’s problems still doesn’t stop him from nobbing Elena whenever he gets the chance.
Dan also has no love lost for Morton, as he declares to his face – with nail hitting square on the head, “What I hear from you, is a man who likes the sound of his own, clever voice”, and to a colleage, he later refers to the DCI as “That prick in the stupid coat”.
In prison, Vincent (Luke Treadaway) is given a card by Morton with a number to call for a lawyer… which turns out to be Morton, himself. He’s not a lawyer, but he’ll listen while Vincent tells him how Dan was already on the scene when he discovered Charlie’s body. Curioser and curioser!
Staying as the main man on the scene, Morton then bursts in on Petra’s (Alexandra Moen) crime scene as she studies Charlie’s house for clues, with him being smug about how they’re both police and she’ll benefit from his expertise. And conveniently, thanks to him switching the TV on, they find it counts how long you’ve paused the programme for (which I’ve never seen a PVR do!), but it tells them that it happened 35 hours ago, so now they have a time of death.
As luck would have it – along with help from a GPS signal, the cops finally corner Jason (Aaron McCusker), who’s mysteriously sans shirt in the freezing cold temperatures. Oh, it’s okay, Natalie’s (Sienna Guillory) there, too, and they’ve been up to nookie in their abode.
Governor Hildur (Sofie Gråbøl) makes a surprisingly brief appearance in this episode (either that or she didn’t have much to stick in the mind) as she presses Henry (Michael Gambon) on what he knows about Charlie’s precious find, but he doesn’t have much to tell her. She then pops up again as Jason’s up against the court – aka Dan and Hildur – trying to get away with claiming that the find is an elephant’s tooth, which they’ve had in the house for years, but Dan counters that it actually once belonged to a mammoth, something which Natalie’s tasked with discovering since, once she admits she’s been seeing Jason – but not in an affair capacity, oh no, just as a way to warm up, out there in the cold(!) – her sort-of honesty gives her the freedom to test the tooth to find out from which animal it came.
Elsewhere, with Jason in custody, Vincent is released, Ronnie’s on the run, there’s more ‘wind chimes’ chat and Dan starts wittering away to Morton about the “mescal worm” – an aphrodisiac shared by a man and a woman, and it also being an irritant of the urinary tract. This doesn’t go anywhere, so what’s the point? The scriptwriters really need to have a word with themselves.
Again, the scenery is the star. Plot-wise, even the ill-fated Eldorado had more going for it!
Dialogue line of the week goes to Henry (to Hildur): “This new policeman. Do you think he’s going to sniff you out?” Pardon??
Last week, I gave the first two episodes 5/10 overall. With no progression to speak of, I’ve dropped it a point to 4/10, 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!!
Overall Score: 4/10
Director: Sam Miller
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
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.