The Bridge Season 3 is out now on Blu-ray and DVD, and this review assumes you have seen all of SEASONS ONE AND TWO!
I had higher expectations for this than the first two, not only because I was wondering beforehand not only just how they can tie the bridge in again, but also how will they address the fact Saga (Sofia Helin) put Martin away last season? Yes, he did wrong in bumping Jens off and no-one should be above the law, but the man killed his son in a horrible way in the first season, and Martin’s a cool dude and they need to get the band back together! However, would you partner up with someone who put you in the jail, and was rather obtuse the rest of the time anyway? Probably not.
As always, the homicide department have to investigate a murder and seemingly Saga is the only cop there able to investigate. Normally, police stations tend to have a team of people who can go into the field, but with Malmo County Police, there is only Saga. The victim this time is Helle Anker, founder of a fertility clinic in 1988, before selling it on in 2000. She’s a divisive figure, given she was outspoken on LGBT issues and was in the process of setting up gender-neutral pre-school in Denmark. She was a Danish citizen, but was assumed murdered while in Sweden before she had returned back across the bridge. Hence, Saga needs a Danish colleague to work with her, given from where the woman hailed. Martin’s unavailable due to being in the clink, so Hanne Thomsen (Kirsten Olesen – The Legacy‘s Veronika Grønnegaard) was initially, reluctantly assigned. Before too long, for reasons you’ll discover, she was replaced by another Dane, Henrik Sabroe (Thure Lindhardt – Flame And Citron), a cop who we first see partaking in a singles club where they have to wear stickers and if you see someone you like, you approach them. So, basically, these are ‘shag tags’, which I’ve seen used in at least one Manchester club many moons ago. Nice idea, but totally useless. However, this club is clearly one where you pay a lot of money to get your end away, so it’s the Match.com of ‘shag tags’! You’ll learn, before long, that he has his own situation going on – and I’ll say no more about that.
And since it’s The Bridge, the drama is dark and as well as being killed somewhere else and moved there, Ms Anker has had her heart cut out, leading to speculation that she was ‘heartless’. In addition, the crime scene was set up to look like a bizarre children’s tea party with her dressed as a doll with a ‘smiley’ emoticon on her face. Once another murder takes place, this time of priest Fabian Christensen, they suspect a serial killer is at work, and so begins this season’s story which will twist and turn more like a twisty-turny thing!
Saga is as brusque as ever when talking to people. For example, early on she calls boss Hans Patterson (Dag Malmberg), who’s “on the job” – still loved up after being married to fellow cop Lillian for three months, saying to his voicemail “It’s 7.37am. According to our agreement, I should be able to reach you from 7am”. And when he gets into work having claimed he overslept, as Saga tells him they’ve identified the victim, the harrassed boss says, “Give me two minutes”. “To do what?”, she replies in bemused fashion.
The press dub the crime as “The Clown Murders”, even though the faces are painted to look like emoticons, irking her immensely. And when challenged on her bossy behaviour by Henrik, Saga replies: “I’m not bossy, I’m efficient.”
As before, Sofia Helin is a powerhouse in this drama and everyone else blends in perfectly, making it looks effortless. But then to do that is a sign of expertise. In fact, the longer the series went on, the better Ms Helin became and as she makes her way in her awkwardness, you just want to give her the hug she experiences in episode 1.
Henrik calls Saga “Wiki” due to her bizarre behaviour of ever-quoting statistics, and he’s great, but I do still miss Martin. Before I saw this season, I wondered if he might make an appearance from his jail cell, same as Jens did in Season 2 after he killed Martin’s son in Season 1, but after I’d watched the first two episodes of Season 3, I learned what had already been revealed about the fact that Kim Bodnia didn’t like the way they were writing his character for Season 3 and so he was off.
Both Saga and Henrik have got really screwed-up personal lives. We’ve had elements of that before, with the former, but things come more to the fore in this third season and help make it incredibly gripping. However, there were times when I thought the writers had lost their way a little in Season 3 and things felt rather disparate with too many storylines running and not knowing whether they’ll cross over with each other, since the characters danced around certain elements once too often, but they still managed to pull it all together for a worthy finale. Obviously, I will not divulge what that is.
Oh, and why do all the interview rooms have 3-sides of windows? Surely it’s better to put those in a corner, save on the glass?
And another oh… when Saga starts to make a phone call in episode 3, just as she gets into the lift, how the hell does she get any reception??
So, when will we get Season 4? After the first season, it was the best part of two years for the second, and then almost the same for the third. So don’t hold your breath. However, it’s good that they don’t rush things – look at Doctor Who churning out around 13 episodes a year, and most of them not worth a light. Imagine if *they* took their time.
Presented in the original 16:9 ratio, the picture perfectly captures the grim and grey-looking Danish and Swedish suburbs. The sound, this time, is in DTS 5.1, and while previous seasons were just in Dolby ProLogic and were fine for what they did, getting across the dialogue (even though I need the subtitles to understand it), this time there’s occasionally some split-surround effects. Nothing major, but always an improvement over ProLogic.
Unlike the first two seasons, which both crammed five episodes onto two discs, The Bridge Season 3 is spread over three discs – four episodes apiece across the first two, with the remaining two on the third disc because we have some extras: Beyond The Bridge (56:06), a documentary made last year which looks back across the first two seasons, so features Kim Bodnia and not Thure Lindhardt.
There’s also An Audience With Sofia Helin (37:52), where the actress is in conversation with Wendy Mitchell at Nordicana 2015. It made me laugh when Sofia confirmed, based on her character that it’s not contraversial in Sweden to sleep with anyone you want. When asked if she’s proud that Saga carries on the way she wants, regarding her sexual freedoms, Sofia replies wryly, “I think it’s good, but it’s also good to eat when you’re hungry.”
Techinically, this should’ve been on the Season 2 release, but it would’ve pushed things onto a third disc, which it has this time but it’s got the interview to join it. And if you’re buying them all anyway, then it’s not a huge biggie.
The menu features links to the five episodes on each of the two discs, with the theme playing in the background and subtle animation of clouds on the background against the image of the bridge itself.
Naturally, there are subtitles in English, and as with Season 2 they’re presented as optional unlike season 1’s which were burnt into the print. Chapters are thin on the ground with just 7 per 60-minute episode (better than season 2’s 5, and Season 1’s 6 per episode).
The Bridge Season 3 is released on next Monday on Blu-ray and DVD. Also, click on the packshot for the full-size image. Also take a listen to the theme tune below – Hollow Talk by The Choir of Young Believers.
Directors: Rumle Hammerich, Henrik Georgsson,
Producers: Bo Ehrhardt and Anders Landström
Season writing credits: Hans Rosenfeldt, Camilla Ahlgren, Erik Ahrnbom, Nikolaj Scherfig, Astrid Øye
Music: Patrik Andrén, Uno Helmersson and Johan Söderqvist
Running time: 10 * 60 minutes
Released: December 21st 2015
Cat no: FCD1163
Chapters: 7 per episode
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS 5.1
Languages: Danish, Swedish
Disc Format: 3*BD50
Saga Norén: Sofia Helin
Henrik Sabroe: Thure Lindhardt
Hans Pettersson: Dag Malmberg
Hanne: Kirsten Olesen
Lillian: Sarah Boberg
Marie-Louise: Ann Petren
John: Rafael Pettersson
Lise: Sonja Richter
Morten: Asbjorn Krogh Nissen
Aleksander: Boris Glibusic
Rikard: Anton Lundqvist
Alice: Katrine Greis-Rosenthal
Linn: Maria Kulle
Åsa: Anna Björk
Freddie: Nicolas Bro
Jeanette: Sarah-Sofie Boussnina
Marc: Michael Slebsager
Claes: Reuben Sallmander
Annika: Louise Peterhoff
Håkan: Joakim Gräns
Kjell: Björn Granath
Natalie: Marall Nasiri
Lars: Olaf Johannessen
Karen: Josephine Højbjerg
Samira: Sandra Stojiljkovic
Johnny: Per Lasson
Lene: Christine Albeck Børge
Roland: Magnus Skog
Emil: Adam Pålsson
Elias: Carl Munk Lægaard
Said: Demis Tzivis
Marianne: Petrine Agger
Rektor Birgitte: Tina Gylling Mortensen
Receptionist Ida: Karen Helene Haugaard
Elise: Bodil Lassen
Peter: Lado Hadzic
Thomas: Peter Hald
Henrik’s daughters: Smilla Bak and Holly Lars Bjarke
Viola: Vesta Viola Blomberg Book
Eva: Catherine Hansson
Bemte: Katja Holm
Anna: Melinda Kinnaman
Lukas Stenstrup: Christopher Læssø
Benjamin: Henrik Söderlind
Renée: Lil Terselius
Mehmet: Besir Zeciri
Marie-Louise: Ann Petrén
Tina: Ida Engvoll
Colbert: Rasmus Hammerich
Lars: Olaf Johannessen
Julie: Signe Dahlkvist
Jasmine: Josephine Raahauge
Ruben: Stefan Marling
Sign language interpreter: Rebecca Nordén
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.