The plot of this Icelandic show’s second season is still a little unfocused, but that only reflects that the police still haven’t got a handle on the plotting going on right under their noses.
This recap of Trapped Season 2, Episode 3 and Trapped Season 2, Episode 4 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episodes by clicking these words.
There are many dramas that seem to represent the cities or regions they are set in: Morse, Hinterland, The Killing… even The Archers. So when we watch Trapped, do we presume this is what northern Iceland is like? If so, the people and the culture are utterly relatable and have parallels in other places I’ve visited (on TV and in real life). Maybe certain features are universal though: maybe most locales have a mixture of liberal and bigoted people, a clash of ecological and progressive ideals, a blend of rural and industrial lifestyles.
We’ve seen all these things in the latest season of Trapped so far, and it’s been a bit hazy as to whether these were leading to plot strands or simply local color or a little extra depth to some of the people. Equally, any one of them might have provided motivation for the crimes so far or a red herring. Trapped Season 2, Episode 3 brings more depth to several aspects of local life, seemingly focusing more on that than on action; at least for a good while…
The brothers from the last episode are still murder suspects; the bearded one is in jail, and the one without the beard hiding somewhere in the mountains, leading the police and even his Dad on a hunt for much of episode three. The bearded brother doesn’t seem to worry about being in jail because “it’s too late now”, and let’s slip that Hammer of Thor have some very imminent plans. (It’s kind of a surprise when his non-white solicitor turns up; you can feel how reluctant he is to shake hands!)
In the meantime, the mayor, Hafdis (Jôhanna Vigdis Arnardôttir), is being very stoical about the death threat painted on her garage door. Actually, in this case, stoical means complacent: she decides not to tell the police, and you can just tell this is a bad decision…
For the most part, Trapped Season 2, Episode 3 feels more like Happy Valley than The Bridge, with the police already knowing the usual suspects intimately, and trying to put pieces together. There are some tenuous links, but generally the pieces still feel very spread apart. And then there’s the cliffhanger when the police discover the threat against the mayor, and she finds herself in deep trouble.
Trapped Season 2, Episode 4 holds much more action, largely around piecing together clues to save the mayor and taking apart other clues that don’t belong together. We get to know Hammer of Thor some more… And we also discover how keen the police is to wrap things up. Saving the mayor becomes the priority, so they almost don’t notice the implications for the earlier murder case, and have quite forgotten the family tragedy that opened the season… I’m looking forward to seeing how that is resolved.
Talking of families, the theme of complicated family relationships is just as strong and just as complicated as it was in season one. The wife of Gisli, the man who killed himself last week, is married to his brother. Bárður (the earthy Guðjón Pedersen), Hinrika’s partner, embarrasses her more than ever now she’s chief. Brothers, aunt and nephew relationships, estranged daughters… The town is full of complex families. But one particular relationship is gradually gaining more focus in the plot: fifteen-year-old Thórhildur (Elba María Birgisdôttir), Andri’s wayward daughter, is getting closer to seventeen-year-old Aron (Stormur Jôn Kormakur), son of one of the murder suspects and Gisli’s nephew.
And that’s where this week’s big cliffhanger is found.
Alix has been writing for Ready Steady Cut since November 2017. They cover a wide variety, including genre festivals, and especially appreciates wit and representation on screen.