Halfway through Season 2, and the Trapped plot is thickening. Old secrets are emerging and new secrets are developing. I still love it.
This recap of Trapped Season 2 Episode and Trapped Season 2 Episode 6 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the last two episodes by clicking these words.
Damn, Trapped Season 2, Episode 5 is somber!
It opens with gravediggers preparing the plot for Gisli’s burial, and there’s one grey cloud or another looming for the entire episode. These black clouds include Halla telling the entire funeral that she didn’t forgive her brother, and Vikingur telling the wake a litany of other, more pointed home truths. His boyfriend Edo is threatened at work with being outed (which apparently would not go down at all well in Ghana). And the other relationship teetering on a sharp knife edge finally falls off: police chief Hinrika tells her slacker husband Bárður that they are over.
Yes, there is more gloom than plot, but it is a great episode: the dark shadows, and matching melancholy soundtrack give it a tense richness. It’s natural that within this close community we have to see how people respond to closure and departure. But at the same time, Andri has spelled out to his colleagues that they need to refocus on Gisli’s arson attack on Halla and Finnur’s murder: sure, a terrorist plot was foiled in the last episode, but it really did have nothing to do with the case he left Reykjavik to investigate. So they do a tiny bit of investigating, turn up the money that Aron found last time… And that’s about it: Trapped Season 2 Episode 5 really is more about everyone lowering their eyes in deep sadness than about progression of the plot.
(I see similarities with True Detective sometimes: both shows are notoriously slow paced, but with spells of drama and tension, alternating with philosophy and emotion. Sometimes the introspective scenes can trigger or foreshadow the dramatic ones. However, in Trapped, the alternating seems to be almost one episode, rather than one scene, at a time.)
But what we do get in Trapped Season 2 Episode 5 is a tease of history seeping into the present. We’re told who has some secrets, but we’re not told what they are or what those secrets are doing showing up in the here and now. First of all, those gravediggers had been swapping a bit of local gossip/history about “bad blood” in Gisli’s family: one of them recalled his great-grandfather (or was it great-great-grandfather?) going missing years ago when the now-grown siblings were small. Then towards the end of the episode, when Gisli’s widow Elín shares a cuppa with his sister Halla, Elín brings the past up and it clearly hurts: “I remember”, she says; “I saw.” Halla is very clearly shaken, but we have no indication of what on Earth they are talking about… yet.
Trapped Season 2 Episode 6 is one of those episodes which is more plot than atmosphere and has three distinct – and probably important – plot strands which weave together. Firstly, Ketill (the activist farmer and father to the two murder suspects from last week) is up on the hillside with his horse when he encounters some dead birds and animals near a couple of pools. They are not just dead but in a rather lousy condition, and he naturally wonders whether the same water might have caused his son Skuli (still in hospital) to come home so unwell.
Next, we have Aron and Thórhildur being questioned by the police about the money they found in Finnur’s house. I think they feel kind of stupid for not having twigged the money might have something to do with Finnur’s murder, but they don’t let it show. And Thórhildur doesn’t let on to anyone – not even Aron – that she found a phone in that bag of money too. Her naive sense of adventure gets her taking unknown risks when she starts sending texts on that phone… And whoever receives them wants the money.
But hey, on the plus side, at least finding that bag of money has given the police some leads at last. They have some pieces to put together, but if only they understood them.
The last main plot strand this week relates to Edo and Vikingur. We know by now that Vikingur has a temper, which he keeps a lid on, though it clearly isn’t easy. Apparently, he broke Finnur’s arm once, after confronting his bullying at the work site. So when he heard that Edo is being picked on by colleagues (though whether it is about money, race or his sexuality isn’t clear), Vikingur storms off to the plant. And that’s where we find this week’s cliffhanger…
I’m not going to close this week without mentioning the score. I knew that the composer behind season one was Jóhann Jóhannsson, and wondered why his sound didn’t feature in season two. What I hadn’t realized was that Jóhannsson died last year, yes, before the remarkable Mandy arrived at cinemas. Fortunately, Hildur Guðnadóttir and Rutger Hoedemaekers have done a terrific job with the music for season two; not trying to copy Jóhannsson’s style, but applying a style of their own which still fits well. The build-up of simple background score during tense scenes is done especially well in my opinion, a subtle rising musical tone, rather than melodramatic. It fits with the style of the show in general, it fits with the sweeping landscape, and Jóhannsson’s legacy has not been let down.