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Sunday, January 2, 2022

Catch and Release 1.2-1.8: Not about Fish and Much More than You Think

Back with a review of the rest of Catch and Release (I reviewed the first episode at the end of this past November), the new freezing-sleaze Nordic Noir series by Kristine Berg and Arne Berggren.  It's on Norwegian and Australian television, not yet here in the United States.  But I'm sure it will be, and when it is, I'd say catch it whenever you're in the mood for an eight-episode ride through snow, complex police interactions, revenge, and murder.

[Some mild spoilers ahead ...]

Let's begin where I left off, after watching and reviewing the first episode.  I said the protagonist was Irja (well played by Anitta Suikkari), an elderly cop or detective who left the police because she only has weeks to live (terminal cancer), but comes back to work to investigate the murder of an old guy who was shot when he was fishing.  I was wrong about a bunch of things in that characterization:  Irja is not the only protagonist, and her reason for coming back to work is not what I thought and said.  She does have major role, though, and be sure to watch all eight episodes to see what that is, and how it turns out.

The other protagonist is also a policewoman, as young and fresh as Irja is old and worn.  But Filippa (excellent performance by Mathilde Sofie Henriksen) has a sharp, analytic mind and able to do her work through a continuing barrage of insults, snubs, and old-fashioned male chauvinism.  She's so good at her work that I'd say her character could well have some more cases to investigate, which I'd definitely look forward to seeing.   (I also liked Jesper Malm as Detective Anders Ødegård.)

The case at hand involves several murders in addition to the first, as well as a group of men who take advantage of high-school-aged young women.  The countryside of northern Norway is beautiful and beckoning, but it disguises the kind of sexual predation that we associate with big cities.   "Catch and Release" refers to the practice of fishermen, who catch fish and release them, so other fishermen can catch and release, etc.  But in this at-times harrowing series, it's vulnerable young women who are caught and released, to be caught and released again and again.

I'll be interviewing Kristine Berg and Arne Berggren -- writers, directors, and creators of this memorable series -- next Wednesday.  Check back here for the YouTube video and Light On Light Through (my audio podcast) links.

See also Catch and Release 1.1: Nordic Noir in the Twilight of Life

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