In a playground in the middle of urban idyll found a buried wooden box containing a known and respected prosecutor. Beck & co suspect first a rough criminal MC-leader of the deed, but you ...
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In a playground in the middle of urban idyll found a buried wooden box containing a known and respected prosecutor. Beck & co suspect first a rough criminal MC-leader of the deed, but you can quickly re-evaluate the case when the MC-leader is found murdered in a similar wooden box. Pretty soon discovered a number of wooden boxes and the police realize that you are in a cat and mouse game with a crazy serial killer. Written by
Tightly Constructed Detective Thriller with a Surprise Ending
Already familiar to British audiences from the Radio 4 dramatizations (under the title THE MARTIN BECK KILLINGS), this was the first episode broadcast in a season of the Swedish versions on BBC Four television with subtitles.
Harald Hamrell's production clearly delineated the relationships between the main protagonists. The eponymous hero (Peter Haber) is a cerebral type favoring patient investigation and cool calculation. His sidekick Gunvald (Mikael Persbrandt) favors a more direct approach involving violence both verbal and physical. The two have an antagonistic relationship lightened somewhat by the odd wry joke.
Set in and around the streets of Stockholm, the production creates a world of corruption in which everyone seems out for themselves. In this episode the two police officers have to track down a crazed killer who buries his victims alive and leaves messages designed to attract Beck's interest. In the end Beck is placed in deadly peril, with his inquisitiveness getting the better of him. Even the police force are not above a certain degree of self-interest.
Stylistically speaking, this episode contains a lot of patient deduction interspersed with some genuinely scary moments. At one point a middle-aged woman living on her own is placed in deadly peril by an unidentified stalker; the camera pursues her through her bungalow as she tries to find out what the problem is, with the sequence ending with an abrupt cut as the stalker comes up behind her and places a hand over her mouth.
The ending deliberately subverts our expectations, drawing us into a world of revenge and murder. Imprisoning the criminal does not promote reform; on the contrary, it breeds a festering resentment that spells danger for anyone responsible for incarcerating the criminal in the first place.
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