From the fantastic folks at MHz Network’s International Mystery comes one of the most epic television shows, of which I have become a fan of, with ‘The Bridge: Seasons 1 & 2.’
Season One begins on the border of Denmark and Sweden on the bridge where a body has been strategically placed. Blocking off both sides of the lanes, both countries bring in their officers to investigate. From Denmark is Martin Rohde (Kim Bodnia), a man struggling with his inability to maintain relationships but good at his job, and from Sweden is Saga Noren (Sofia Helin), a woman who struggles with relationships with her inability to relate in social situations but is also good at her job.
Almost immediately, Noren puts her stamp on the case and doesn’t budge from the way she carries out her investigation. Rohde is fine with her taking the lead as they begin to collect clues that seem to be never ending.
But the body on the bridge would not be the first victim in a string of incidents that continue. The case has both investigators following lead by lead, which only seems to bring more complications.
Rohde spends long hours at work only to return home to wife Mette (Puk Scharbau) and a young troubled teen son, August (Emil Hartmann). His past history has left his family in need of time together, but Rohde is more dedicated to the case, leaving Mette open for danger.
Noren has only one person that knows of her Aspergers, boss Hans (Dag Malmberg), who believes she is the only person who can crack this case. Along with the Swedish team, Noren tries to fit in, but her inability to relate and blatant honesty keeps everyone a step away.
When all the leads are followed and all the clues uncovered, what happens next is nothing short of shocking for Rohde and Noren as the murder is revealed.
Season Two takes place a year and a half later, and Noren and Rohde have not seen one another since ending the case. They are about to come face-to-face, as a tanker ship hits the center of the bridge between Sweden and Denmark.
Noren seeks out Rohde, who seems genuinely pleased to see his friend by saying she is the only straightforward person he knows. Not sure how to deal with this outward affection, Noren lays out the case.
On board the tanker are four young adults suffering from some illness that puts them all into quarantine. A poison has been introduced that carries with it the ability to kill large groups of people. Quickly, the tech team from Sweden discovers Internet videos by a group of people hiding behind masks but with a message of destruction.
Rohde is ready to jump on the case with Noren as life at home has put him in a hotel room. Separated from Mette, he wants to fix their marriage but looks forward to working with an old partner. Noren has started a relationship with Jakob (Daniel Adolfsson), trying to live a normal life — but finds the adjustment difficult.
Once again the two detectives work together with the team that must discover what the masked group truly wants and who is really behind it all — and what they find could kill them all!
Helin as Saga Noren is absolutely riveting to watch, and her performance is nothing short of stellar. It is clear from the beginning that she is no ordinary woman or detective. Her personal struggles to not only fit in with colleagues, but understand the way those around her think and feel, is not always successful for this character. Sometimes it’s even funny and a little unfortunate in the relationship department.
Helin gives this character life in such a way that hasn’t been seen before on television, especially in such a dramatic series. I truly appreciate her performance because it didn’t feel any less than honest. I also didn’t realize I had seen Helin perform before in an episode of the series “Beck,” which I also enjoy.
Bodnia as Martin Rohde is equally riveting to watch, as his character is very complex and a little over active in the family department. Relationships aren’t something Rohde is very good at, as seen with his relationship with son August. When things get rough at home, he chooses to dive into work and avoid his problems. When the problems come home to roost, it is the end result that will change his life from Season One to Season Two.
It is his relationship with Saga Noren that is incredible and astonishing at the same time. While others find Noren standoffish and different, it is Rohde that sees so much more of his Swedish partner. Bodnia also has the look of believability with his rough unshaven face and ability to bring anger to a whole new level. Of course, I enjoyed Bodnia, having seen him in another must-see acclaimed series “The Killing” as the character Bulow.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “The Bridge” five tubs of popcorn out of five. “The Bridge” is an intelligent, irresistible, suspenseful, jaw-dropping series that ends with nothing but absolute heartbreak. Yet, I couldn’t help but go on a total bender watching every episode. Of course, I’m going to be a tad evasive about the series mainly because I wouldn’t want anyone spoiling a series like this for me — so plan on a marathon.
Both seasons give viewers a solid storyline that is built around the case, of course, but also the lives of both of these police officers. The performances by these two actors give the storylines such believability and that’s important to bring the viewer in for a ride that goes through ten intense episodes per season.
I have no problem saying I would love a Season Three of “The Bridge,” mainly because Noren and Rohde got to me. Their staggering performances drew me into both their job and personal lives along with the tragedy they both experienced. That is extremely important for me to invest in a television series and “The Bridge” has it, truly has it.
“The Bridge” won the Bodil Award in 2009 for Best Supporting Actor, a Best Actor award at the Robert Festival as well as Best Supporting Actor. All of which are well deserved along with seven nominations from the Bodil Awards, Monte-Carlo TV Festival, Robert Festival and Zulu Awards.
MHz Networks is a global media company that specializes in presenting top-quality international television programming to American audiences. Other astounding series brought to viewers by MHz Networks is one of my absolute favorite series “Borgen,” as well as “The Eagle” and the incredible crime drama “Unit One.” For more of what MHz Networks has to offer, visit www.mhznetworks.org.
In the end — two countries and two investigators are in for more than they ever could have anticipated!