Deadwind season 2 review – another strong outing for this underrated Nordic noir

July 2, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 1
Netflix, TV Reviews
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Deadwind season 2 review – another strong outing for this underrated Nordic noir


Deadwind season 2 is another fine outing for this underrated Nordic noir, with a more complex plot but the same sense of underlying humanity keeping things together.

This review of Deadwind Season 2 is spoiler-free. You can check out our thoughts on the previous season by clicking these words.

The second season of Deadwind (or Karppi, as it was originally titled) proves that some of the best stuff on Netflix is hidden among low-key foreign-language exports – although that’s probably obvious only a week removed from the concluding season of the beloved Dark, which even here earned a coveted five-star rating. Nevertheless, this ice-cold crime drama fronted by Pihla Viitala’s engaging, eponymous homicide detective Sofia Karppi is a fine example of high-quality Nordic noir, and as Carly Simon once said, nobody does it better.

Karppi, a workaholic single mother with her fair share of demons and vulnerabilities, is immediately thrust into a new case when a chilling double murder links two Estonian sailors to the crooked development of an undersea tunnel between Helsinki and Tallinn. This project is the lovechild of progressive Mayor Sara Tulisuo (Leena Pöysti) but quickly becomes personal for Karppi when her superior and mentor Tapio Koskimäki (Raimo Grönberg) and his daughter Kerttu (Satu Tuuli Karhu) are both murdered in their home.

Deadwind season 2 is unashamedly a crime show rather than a political one, so while cover-ups and backroom deals all factor into the core plot, the meat and potatoes is a solid warts-and-all police investigation fronted by compelling and complex characters, especially Karppi herself, and blessed with often stunning cinematography that takes in the frigid, often lightless terrain with something resembling awe. But personal subplots are folded into the criminal investigation as Karppi has to deal not only with the loss of her father-figure, but her rebellious teenage stepdaughter Henna (Mimosa Willamo), now a homeless wannabe drug dealer, and her son Emil (Noa Tola), who is becoming increasingly violent and unstable. Karppi’s inability to balance her work and home lives make the mundanity and difficulty of single motherhood a key theme in Deadwind season 2.

Even without this, the 8-episode sophomore outing of Deadwind provides a familiar but solidly constructed crime story, with plenty of twists and turns to keep fans engaged. It might not do anything all that new, but it delivers the expected beats with style and confidence, and occasionally observes them from a slightly new perspective. As engaging a lead as ever, Karppi – and her partner Sakari Nurmi (Lauri Tilkanen) – helps to give this icy thriller a human warmth.

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1 thought on “Deadwind season 2 review – another strong outing for this underrated Nordic noir

  • May 4, 2023 at 3:58 am

    We got as far as Season 2, Episode 3, and then were done with the sloppy plotting of Deadwind. A murderer has attempted to kill the mayor after killing several other people (and moving very fast). The SWAT team reaches her in her office building before the killer does, and she’s safe for the moment. Then we see a police car dropping her home. The driver doesn’t even wait until she gets into her house–no escorting her there or checking out the premises! When dropping someone off from a party, most people would at least wait until their passenger got into their house before departing. What was the rush? There was no urgent call to another crime scene. Maybe the driver was in desperate need of an espresso and whatever Finns eat instead of doughnuts?

    This woman has been the target of a killer! The detectives don’t order a police guard on her home; they don’t rush someone to her home to protect her daughter, even though a policeman AND HIS DAUGHTER have just been murdered. Then when the mayor finds out within minutes that her daughter has been abducted, Det. Karppi goes off on her for getting excited and cursing at her, even though Karppi has no control over her own emotions and constantly yells at others.

    Okay, the latter point could be considered part of Karppi’s portrait. She’s certainly seeming increasingly immature and irresponsible, but the earlier plot hole is just absurd. A viewer can’t even enjoy the drama because allowing the plot hole (and there are others) is so annoying and lazy.

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