Fringe renewed, The Killing wraps

 

Great news – Fringe will indeed be back for a fourth season. After the show was shifted to a Friday in the US, there were fears, but ratings have held steady, and this week’s episode – set in the alt-verse – was a cracker!

Meanwhile, absolutely fantastic Danish thriller The Killing ended its 20 episode run on BBC4.

Back in Fringe-verse, we visited the dark side, well, the other universe with the red opening credits anyway. Fauxlivia’s pregnancy is under threat from an ‘over there’ pre-eclampsia sounding genetic virus that killed Liv’s sister. After an ONGYN visit, Faulivia is tazer-ed and abducted. Meanwhile, Walternate continues to confound us as he repeats that he won’t experiment on children, but it eagerly awaiting the birth of his grandchild. Maybe it was just me, but the news that Liv will in all probability have to abort her child or risk death was a honking big clue that Walternate was involved in he abduction. It was clear he was not going to lose his grandchild like he lost his son. As it turned out, yes, he WAS behind it. No surprise there. Still, it was fun watching Charlie and the increasingly appealing Lincoln team up with cabbie Henry to try and save Fauxlivia. Along the way, Linc and Charlie learnt that it was our Olivia who was with them a while back, while Henry realised this girl wasn’t the Olivia he met.

There has always been a weird slant on the two universes. Initially, we thought of them ‘over there’ as the baddies, but we have seen a more compassionate Walter, a Broyles prepared to sacrifice himself for Olivia, and even Fauxlivia herself – while pretty cut-throat while on the job over here, not all bad. We certainly side with her in this episode, as she faces possible death from the complications arising from the birth. Indeed, with the 2 universe set up, it was entirely plausible that she could have been killed off – I even thought they would for a while.

I’ve been less than happy with out universe’s Olivia and Peter lately – the Bell channelling, the endless angst over Peter not knowing who he was with. This was a thrilling high tempo episode, and a lot of fun.

Danish thriller The Killing has just been fantastic! I’ve been mainly catching up with the first 16 episodes on BBC iPlayer, pacing myself so I could watch the climax of the show this weekend. The Killing is like 24 crossed with Prime Suspect, and held together be the wonderful acting and writing. Sarah Lund is one of my all time favourite cops already! Along with a snazzy set of knitted jumpers, she is just so totally committed to her job, alienating family and colleagues alike in her hunt for who killed Nanna Birk Larssen. The characterisation on the series have been fantastic. The shifty politician Troels Hartmann, the grieving parents, luminous mum Pernille and gruff and slightly untrustworthy dad Theis. Lund’s annoying, but ultimately loyal parter Meyer, whose murder was truly shocking! The whole series seems to take place in permanent night time drizzle. Sarah Lund really is a remarkable lead. She’s a Clint Eastwood like character – barely a smile cracked in 20 hours, dogged and determined, not spooked or scared by some pretty creepy situations. However, I was glad to see her pretty shaken up by the death of her partner Meyer – she’s not totally heartless! Sofie Gråbøl was amazing as Sarah Lund. So single minded and dogged, you would want her on your case (assuming you weren’t the killer!) As the series built to a climax and Lund’s actions seemed more and more out there, us fans never doubted Lund’s determination to catch the killer. The confrontation with Vagn (ok, spoiler alert – it was him!) in the basement when she realised he had killed her partner was electric! Yes, it was slightly disappointing that the killer was someone who has seemed suspicious from the start, but despite the many red herring along the way, this series worked on so may levels. Firstly the plotting. The twists did get a little contrived at times, but on the whole it was wonderfully unpredictable. Secondly the performances. Pernille, Theis, Troels, Rie, Meyer, Brix, Lund. Never have I tried to prefect my Danish! Still no idea how to pronounce Forbrydelsen! The actors did a great job, even with me knowing zero Danish (although Tak is easy enough..) and reading the subtitles. I especially loved Lund (of course) but the actress playing mum Pernille was outstanding, as was the actor playing Troels Hartmann

Having such a long run – 20 episodes – to tell its story meant that we really got to know the characters, even the supporting ones like the mayor or Hartmann’s political team. The show did flag for pace very occasionally, but keeping the pace and plot twists going for 20 episodes was some achievement. Maybe because it is a Danish show, we managed to avoid the clichés of UK and US dramas, and I genuinely didn’t see the twists coming – although by the end, I suspected who might be the killer! Can’t wait for the BBC to start the next series – of which we got a little trailer after the finale.

There is a US remake starting in the next few weeks with Michelle Forbes as the mother. Billy Campbell as the Hartmann character and a girl as Sarah who looks like she might be ok. However, will they manage to keep the tone and thrills without adding US style melodrama? I’ll watch with interest. Love Michelle Forbes, but I’m dubious.