Fortitude Episode 9 begins by showing us Ronnie’s brutal murder but not showing who did the deed. Was it Frank?
Then we cut to Liam, having spent most of the series in that bloody hyperbaric chamber while actress Jessica Raine has been given nothing beter to do, playing his mother Jules, than sit there and watch him. Her son’s toes are frost-bitten to hell, however.
Meanwhile, we get no “truth time” from Frank, as he finishes tying up Markus back up and then does a bunk, saying he’ll return in two hours; and Morton is seen weighing the bullet he keeps carrying around (165g for anyone who cares), as if a set of scales is precisely what every cop carries around with him or her. They say if you want to know the time, ask a policeman. Well, if you also want to know the exact weight of donuts they stuff in their lazy faces on a daily basis, you know where to go.
The long-forgotten plot about hermaphrodite reindeers returns, as Natalie ponders to Vincent an old wives’ tale, blaming the situation on “when a demon lives amongst the herd… mates with them”, but before she can continue, she gets interrupted by Ingrid. Or Petra. One of the two. The brunette, anyway. Despite the fact that the brunette cop wants to get into his pants, Vincent is too preoccupied with the contents of a letter she’s brought him, which states that Charlie has left him a polar bear in his will. As you do.
Morton goes sniffing around, looking for who bought the last of the rifle bullets of which he has one, but is told by the salesman in a strong Northern Ireland accent, “Where I’m from, we don’t talk lightly to policemen”. Morton replies, mocking his accent, “Northern Ireland?”, to which comes the counter, “I’m from Fortitude”. Ooh, take that, Morton, you’re dealing with a genius(!)
The word “Monster” has been scrawled over Frank and Jules’ house, as if it’s remotely possible that their son bumped off Charlie. He’s a 10-year-old boy, or thereabouts. So unless he’s superhuman in some way… then again, the writers of this dross seem to be making it up by rolling a dice to determine where the storyline goes next, so all bets are off.
Vincent and Natalie inspect the polar bear, removing its head and taking a piece out of the brain to see how normal it is, and then seeing the computer go mental, mental chicken oriental! They’ve seen some polar bears going off on one and resorting to cannibalism, so why is it then that Shirley did the same? They need to examine HER brain, also, and if they get the same result, then Fortitude, itself, is contaminated and unsafe for human habitation.
Elena’s still looking after Carrie, and you have to envy the girl as the doe-eyed Spaniard clasps her to her bosom. Meanwhile, Henry gets drunk as a lord on vodka whilst playing with the Shaman’s toy and singing “Abide With Me”, then takes it to Liam as a present. Hmm.. it’s not exactly a PS4.
Morton’s on the trail for more rifle info, going into the evidence locker which is full of weaponry and not even locked! And to cap it all, its door is recessed into a tight corridor which is decorated with a huge light approximately every 2cm! Who’s paying the leccy bill here? Whoever designed the set really needs to have a word with themselves…
Anyhoo, Dan catches up with him:
- Dan: “What are you looking for?”
Morton: “Satisfying answers to unanswered questions”
Dan: “What questions?”
Morton wants to know how Pettigrew walked out of town, with no gun, and wearing no protection when it was -17C outside with a windchill of -27C, to which Dan replies that there are some things they’ll never get answers for. Morton knows Dan’s lying about who shot the man, and you know he’ll prove it.. it’s just taking forever and a day to get to that point. And a later conversation between Dan and Henry about the situation doesn’t advance matters.
Later, while Morton’s out looking for Henry, the cancer sufferer ski-doos out to the top of a mountain, with no intention of returning.
Hildur tells Dan how Fortitude is failing and that the mainland is pulling their funding, with construction contracts getting cancelled, so the writing is on the wall for the town. And, no doubt, this series. Well, it was slated to only last for one, and I can’t see it getting recommissioned off the back of this.
Vincent and Natalie cut open and remove Shirley’s brain (blimey, she had one!?), and she’s found to be riddled with the polar bear polutant, and next up for inspection is to be Liam… They can do it via a lumbar puncture, so they don’t need to liquidise his brain. Shame.
An altercation between Frank and Liam leads to the former getting stabbed by the Shaman toy, and then after what feels like an age, he eventually returns to Markus and demands info on the night Charlie was murdered, and how his son’s fingernail ended up inside the man. To counter this, he rips out the now un-be-crash-helmeted Markus’ fingernail, as he assumes the teacher did the same to Liam.
Then, just as he gets ready to take a drill to Markus’ hand… Jules happens to arrive, since she can hear the teacher’s screaming. Her reaction is completely unnatural, though, as she basically tells him to stop and come home with her, as if they’re two boys having a scrap in the schoolyard, rather than one inflicting GBH on the other. Again, an example of poor scriptwriting.
Finally, Dan goes to break the news to Carrie about the fact they’re only looking for Ronnie’s body now, but Elena says she’ll deal with it instead, but as the episode comes to an end, we see that, in the room where Ronnie was being murdered… that was what we were led to believe at the start, and in fact he’s alive! Except that he now has no eyes and is seemingly in a catatonic state. So he’s not in a good way, really.
Overall Score: 1/10
Director: Nick Hurran
Producer: Matthew Bird
Screenplay: Stephen Brady
Music: Ben Frost
Dan Anderssen: Richard Dormer
DCI Morton: Stanley Tucci
Henry Tyson: Michael Gambon
Governor Hildur Odegard: Sofie Gråbøl
Frank Sutter: Nicholas Pinnock
Elena Ledesma: Verónica Echegui
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
Carrie Morgan: Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips
Tavrani: Ramon Tikaram
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.