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Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Tunnel: Final Season: Moral Dilemma Par Excellence

I see, to my surprise, that I never got around to reviewing the first two seasons of The Tunnel - the British/French take on the Swedish/Danish Bron/Broen, and the American The Bridge.  Indeed, though I reviewed The Bridge, I thought it was not the best of the three.  That accolade belongs to The Tunnel, though I have yet to see the last two seasons of Bron/Broen, so I conceivably could change that ranking.

Not likely, though, seeing as how good The Tunnel, especially its final season 3, is.   I've admired Stephen Dillane's work since I saw him play Thomas Jefferson in the John Adams mini-series in 2008 (I thought it was longer ago than that).  He plays Karl, the British and non-Asperger's detective.  Clémence Poésy I don't recall having seen before - actually, she was in some Harry Potters and In Bruges, a movie my wife and I loved,  and she does a fine job playing Elise in The Tunnel.  In all three versions, the detective with all the advantages and disadvantages of Asperger's - the focus on logic and details, the lack of social sensitivities - is a woman.

Also in all three version, the team is sooner or later thrust into a severe moral dilemma - whether to save this person or that, when at least one of the likely victims is someone beloved to at least one of the detectives.   This moral choice - whom to throw a rope to when two people, not near each other, are drowning - was given the best presentation, the epitome of this dilemma, I thought, in the final episode of The Tunnel.

I won't say anymore about that, in case you haven't seen it.  I will say that all three versions require a strong stomach, meaning the villains they deal with are as perverse and ethically as ugly as these sort of monsters come.  In fact, the going was so rough in season 3 of The Tunnel that I was close to deciding I didn't like it as much as the other versions and seasons.  Until the ending.

So ... see this.  It's human beings with souls fighting humans who've lost them, a story that typifies a lot of our age, and presented here at its searing best.


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