27 July 2013 | Lejink
The real Dahl
I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole series of Arne Dahl, the Swedish crime show following the lives and case files of a select team of specially selected policemen and women, under the stewardship of their firm-but-fair female supremo. This final double-episode was well up to the high standard, with another multi-levelled story which started out as an apparent Anti-Semitic race-crime (when in fact, it's anything but, as events pan out), and goes onto an almost picaresque escape by a group of young Ukrainian women, previously trafficked and raped into submission and captivity in Sweden by their captors, which sadly ends bloodily and crucially an Italian-based elderly organised-crime kingpin.
Along the way, there are the usual sub-story slices of the lives of the team members, unobtrusively adding to the depth of characterisation, as Hjelm's marriage reaches a crisis, (the crux reached in a particularly well-written scene tellingly involving only minimal dialogue), Chavez and his new wife can't agree on having children, Gunnar finds a new and very responsive girl-friend, Kerstin seeks custody of her recently rediscovered infant son and Norlander finds he's going to be a father again. Of these sub-plots involving the team-members, it was good to at last see boss Hultin and quiet family man Soderstedt get some focus on their emotions, the former having to cope with being told to lose three members of the team due to budget constraints and the latter with a pushy wife trying to make him blow a surprise inheritance on a country lodge. As ever the plot strands are brought tightly together even if Big Coincidence plays its usual Big Part, with Soderstedt rediscovering his flair for dogged detective work but placing himself in extraordinary danger as he gets in the hair of the Mafioso-type overlord, to be saved at the last minute in a brutally exciting finale by the efforts of two zealous young sisters out to revenge their murdered and dispossessed father. As for Hultin's dilemma, this only adds further piquancy to this last-in-series episode, with seemingly all her team having reasons to exit the group, although unsurprisingly, this is left open at the end. A good thing too as I've really grown to enjoy getting to know all the members and their foibles and really hope they reassemble in the future for another series of what has been an excellently written, produced and acted show.