Young Wallander ends with a real whimper as the biggest, most impactful explosion of the season amounts to virtually nothing at all.
This recap of Young Wallander season 1, episode 6 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
So, we have now learned that it’s Karl-Axel who’s the nutcase in the Munck family. Wallander, Hemberg and Rask all sit and discuss this major new development, where they theorize that the firstborn’s psychopathy couldn’t have gone unnoticed, and he was kept within the Munck bubble to shield him. Wallander had presumed his mother left because she assumed the whole inheritance business was cruel, but perhaps she couldn’t stand to see someone such as Karl-Axel be given a fortune. But Leopold abided by tradition until very recently. Why? Why suddenly change the Will and leave everything to Gustav? Well, as Wallander points out, he’s dying. That’ll do for motivation. Hemberg tasks Wallander with finding some proof. And thus begins Young Wallander episode 6.
Wallander is immediately frustrated by staking out Karl-Axel, since he can’t get close enough to learn anything concrete. Hemberg tells him to keep at it, but perhaps there’s a quicker if not easier route — he goes to see Leopold. He questions him about changing the inheritance under the guise of following up on Gustav’s death threat. He advises him to get ahead of the story and give a reason why he’s chosen one son over the other. Leopold insists that Karl-Axel understands why Gustav is being rewarded for his charitable work on the Foundation. It’s obviously nonsense but, as Leopold puts it, the inheritance becomes about merit when he says it does. That’s power, I guess.
When Wallander returns to the station, he and Rask are brought before the Commissioner, who is personally on-deck to go ballistic about Wallander going to see Leopold. Wallander lays it all out for the commissioner, from the death of Hugo to the use of the Nazis to expose Gustav’s activities hiding immigrants, to the fake death threat to Gustav’s televised speech in response which tanked the Munck’s stock. Karl-Axel is proving a point that Gustav is bad for business; that he’s more deserving of the fortune. It’s not about the money, but the title. Hemberg and Rask both back Wallander, but the Commissioner remains less than convinced. Hemberg tries to convince him by reminding him that once the Will is ratified Karl-Axel is out of luck, and the bomb’s still out there. It’s time to get Karl-Axel’s DNA to link him to the crimes. Wallander and Hemberg set out to do just that.
This is, of course, not entirely by the book, but we should be getting used to that by now. Karl-Axel is very charming and charismatic, but then again the nutters always are, aren’t they? He can’t help but let slip his feelings on foreigners, either. The conversation turns to the Dodo, but Hemberg cuts the meeting short. When they get back in the car, the veteran reveals he got his own sample. Wallander questions how he can be so calm in the face of losing everything, but Hemberg has an answer for that, too — a couple, in fact. He doesn’t feel emotions in the same way as normal people. And he isn’t finished yet.
Wallander goes to see Mona, and they tearfully say their goodbyes. There’s a clear note of finality ringing in Young Wallander episode 6, but you know what these Netflix originals are like — they never end conclusively, do they?
In a stroke of luck, Wallander spots Dodo and his men meeting — and Bash is in attendance. That’s how he was able to get Ibra’s new gang to back off. Wallander tells him that he’s involved in something that’s going to result in many deaths, and that if he doesn’t do something to stop it, they’ll be on his head. He tells Wallander that whatever’s happening is happening today, which Wallander reports back to Hemberg. They deduce that the homeless shelter is the target — its grand opening is today, and it’s Gustav’s pride and joy. It’s all systems go.
Wallander puts Mona on evacuating everyone while he, Rask, and a team of police dogs investigate the premises. But the team find nothing. That’s good news for the shelter, but it also means that they don’t know where the bomb is. Mona lets Wallander know that Gustav wasn’t going to attend the opening anyway — he’s on a tour of a new shipping facility, which seems suspicious enough to me. Hemberg arrives right on time to let Wallander and Rask know that the Munck Will has already been ratified, and it has been since last Thursday. Karl-Axel only has one way to secure the inheritance now, and that’s by taking his brother out of the picture completely. It’s off to the new shipping facility, then.
Wallander and Hemberg manage to get Gustav off the premises along with the rest of the workers, but as those blokes in hard hats are leaving, Wallander recognises one as the man who assaulted him at The Cube. Just as Hemberg is approaching Gustav’s car, Gustav inadvertently uses the fob to detonate it, killing Hemberg and almost killing himself and Wallander.
The next scene we see is Rask and Wallander telling Karl-Axel that his DNA was found in the van. Of course, he has a convenient explanation for this. Then the cops then start laying out everything he’s done thus far, from using and threatening Zemar, to posing as WhiteWash on the Norse Protection League forum and sending the fake death threat. The reasoning that he’ll be the only first-born Munck to ever be publicly shamed like this finally cracks his unflappable demeanour. His reptile eyes get a bit moist. Rask presses him about the rest of the C4, but he plays dumb. Since they have nothing to charge him with, he’s free to go.
Wallander does not take this well, and pursues Karl-Axel outside to tell him he’s going to pay for the things he’s done, but he’s unfazed. Outside the station, he hugs his mother, who fixes Wallander with a stare.
In the wake of all this, of justice not being done and no difference having been made, Wallander wants to quit and leave. He’s thoroughly disenfranchised with the idea of law and order and he can’t keep his emotions separate from the case. Rask is sad and a little angry to see him go, but she lets him, as the camera takes in memorial photos of Hemberg. Outside, Wallander walks past the line of officers — including Reza — holding roses in Hemberg’s memory. They remove their caps as the bells toll.
Once again, Young Wallander returns to the news to lay out the state of things. After the supposedly far-right bomb scare, Gustav has taken the company reins. Wallander and Mona return to the estate, where Ibra is playing football. He thanks Wallander for getting his contract back — they said yes. He has made a better life for himself and his family. The rest of the estate kids all greet Wallander warmly now, and there’s bread waiting for him on his doorstep as he and Mona head inside.
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