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Wallander: Kuriren (2009)
Bikers Running Guns
This episode involves the connection among a group of motorcycle guys, most of whom are legitimate, and a foreign drug runner. It has to do with Wallander and his growth, even at age sixty, toward a true understanding of the people who work with him. While on a drug run, a young man dies when his bike goes over a cliff. It turns out that his neck had been broken before he actually hit the bottom. There is a scene where the young new woman cop is attacked in her apartment and threatened. It's all about trying to get to the big fish. There is a terrifying scene where on young guy is put in a pit and wet concrete is dumped on him and his pregnant girlfriend are threatened in order to get him to do the will of the drug lords. Solid episode.
Wallander: Skulden (2009)
Another Episode Based on Child Abuse and Its Impliations
This episode deals with two related events. The first is the tragic death of a little boy who seems to have been abducted from a day care. His body is eventually found in the harbor. The second is the fact that a convicted pedophile has moved into the neighborhood near the boy's family. Of course, people begin to put two and two together and the neighborhood watch gets involved. We actually begin to feel sorry for this man who lives with his mother. He is trying to start a new life, but, naturally, there is little chance of that. Interestingly, there is nothing to connect him to the crime, but the retaliation gets more and more violent. There is a subplot as Wallander is attracted to an attractive prosecutor whom we've met before. Good episode dealing with a delicate subject.
Wallander: Hämnden (2009)
Xenophobia and Vengeance
There are two things at work here. First of all, this episode deals with an exhibition relating to Mohammed. With all that is going on in the Mideast, all kinds of bigotry rears its head. People demonstrate outside the building where the exhibit is to take place. Muslim people in Ystad are suddenly the target of hatred. To make matters worse, a power station has been blown up and the locals suspect the Muslims. Soon there are three murders where the persons were not just shot but their bodies decimated by gunfire. They have a connection, but what is it? Wallander now meets a couple of young recruits as well as a woman who has been brought in to advise him. They become new characters in the drama. Higher powers come in and further harass the Mideasterners. Once again, this is about clues and looking at things from a less obvious perspective. This is the second season and Linda is not around.
Wallander: Hemligheten (2006)
A Character With a Horrible Secret
The first season finale deals with the ugliest of crimes, child abuse and rape. A boy has found after being sexually assaulted, his head beaten. But before this we see another slight young man being abused by an unseen rapist. This is shown in black and white flashback. Because Stefan knows the father of the first boy mentioned, he goes to tell him. What ensues are cover ups and the realization that a much decorated retired policeman has been finding child molesters. The problem is that there are a whole bunch of questions. We know quite shortly in the episode that Stefan was victimized himself, but has not told anyone. Linda is worried about him; she knows what a pile of TNT he is sitting on. Kurt is directed toward the case and is frustrated with Stefan's vacillation. He is also worried his volatility will compromise the case. Unfortunately, he knows nothing of Stefan's past. This leads to a total surprise ending. I think this is the best, but saddest, episode.
Wallander: Jokern (2006)
A Nice Maze of a Case Well Done
Stefan is center stage in this one, though in a rather negative way. The episode starts out with an execution style murder of a woman restaurant owner. Her eight year old daughter witnessed the whole thing and is traumatized. She, of course, becomes the target of the bad guy. During the investigation, a rogue cop, Frank Borg gets hooked up with Stefan and drags him into the most questionable police work (the usual; beating up snitches, putting guns to the heads of people, etc.) While Stefan often disagrees with Wallander, he still respects him and the process. But in a kind of cowboy way, he gets caught up in this anything-goes police work. There are several related suspects and motive becomes the primary focus. Why was this woman shot and what is at the root of the whole venture. One might wonder if Stefan would have kept his job under similar circumstances. Does the end justify the means? Anyway, because a little girl is the focus, this is quite captivating.
Wallander: Blodsband (2006)
The Commune Murders
This begins with the investigation of a murder aboard a houseboat. A woman has been brutally stabbed with a broken bottle. All roads in the investigation lead to a commune/farm where several families live. Someone begins murdering. They are terribly close mouthed about things. One of the suspects is a former lover of Linda's from when she was being treated for depression. Soon there is a threat from the outside, involving a prisoner who is now out but is seeking money from his former companions. He is psychotic and bitter from his long sentence. Linda is little help in that she still has feeling for the one suspect. As it turns out, it is a complex mess of connections and personalities. Suffice it to say that everyone is living in fear for his or her life as well as those of the commune children.
Wallander: Täckmanteln (2006)
A Deadly Diversion
Linda has the great misfortune to be at the scene of a horrible event. A semi-truck has been abandoned and when opened the police find a group of refugees who have suffocated. Two children and a baby are still alive. It turns out there is more to this than the smuggling of aliens into Sweden. The driver has left these people behind to die. Linda is severely affected by this scene. As the investigation goes on, it is found that there is more to the cargo than the refugees--that they are likely a distraction for the transportation of drugs. Wallander becomes emotionally involved in this. The trail leads through a series of layers that make the apprehension of these awful people immensely difficult. At the conclusion, Wallander makes a decision where he must make a sacrifice which could lead the viewer quite appalled.
It's All Coming to a Boil
The Blomquists are on the run with a passenger in the trunk. There are factions within the Kansas City gang and Mike is in no mood to fall on his sword for the sake of the brotherhood. The Gerhardt daughter (Fredo) has overstepped her bounds. At some point the Gerhardts had to wonder how Mike and the gang knew so much so soon. The old lady has put her trust in the local police and in the Luverne contingent to prevent her entire family from being decimated. There is incredible bloodshed from the very beginning, including an intriguing group of window washers on scaffolding, firing automatic weapons into an office building and killing four people. Lou continues to push his luck in the face of great danger. He is truly the Gary Cooper poker face in this episode. He has seen the awful side of life and isn't afraid to mix it up. Meanwhile, his poor wife is probably dying. She is spirited but truly ill. Excellent setup episode, Can't wait to get the Blomquists back and see what happens.
Fargo: Rhinoceros (2015)
As the Blomquists go their ridiculous ways, being clueless to what is going on around them, we have an assault on their home. There are incredible visuals. When they go into the basement and see the piles of magazines, we are further made aware of how crazy Peggy truly is. Her fantasy world knows no limits. The Gearharts are on their doorstep. Nick Offerman is fantastic in his role as the right wing, much inebriated lawyer. Lou continues to try to be true to his calling and we wonder how he has stayed alive as long as he has. His wife continues to battle her cancer and it appears that she may have only received a placebo, not the experimental drug. There is betrayal from the daughter, Simone, who cares not at all about the future of her warring family. She is, of course, too stupid to realize what a dangerous game she is playing. Meanwhile, the Blomquists are off somewhere doing who knows what with a surprise in the trunk. Ed has received the title of "the Butcher" (which, of course, he is). is).
Wallander: Luftslottet (2006)
Poor Little Rich People
When an eccentric old man who made a fortune in a land sale gets his hackles up and withdraws several million Kroner is found dead, his money missing, Wallander gets involved in the case. Soon an ugly underbelly is revealed. Affairs are going on and an ugly triple murder, including a ten year old child, is committed. Women are sleeping with other women's husbands and their children are being victimized. Wallander comes to realize how little money means when it comes to the psychoses revealed. It is also revealed that these people, living high off the hog, are really penniless from their excesses. Stefan continues to be a neat, complex character, driven yet kind at times. This is quite a nicely done offering.