Monday, 29 February 2016


I'd write a lot more about Trapped if I hadn't just written about Fortitude. Fortitude kind of stole Trapped's thunder. Which is a shame, because despite certain similarities, Trapped is far better.

I used Fortitude as an excuse to write about Iceland, since the majority of Fortitude was filmed there. Whereas Trapped is Icelandic through and through, born and bred, in word and image. It's set in a seaport as remote as Fortitude. (It's possibly even the same seaport used in Fortitude.) A torso is found in the water just as a ferry docks from Denmark. Then a snowstorm hurtles in, cutting off the community and leaving everyone trapped, with a murderer possibly still in their midst.

Five episodes in, and the town has no power supply or phone network after an elderly delinquent set off an avalanche. The only people still with light are the sailors on the ferry; everyone else has cosy candles. But the geothermal activity is keeping the swimming pool and sports hall heated and the showers steaming hot. For now.

As in Fortitude, there are sexual shenanigans, slightly feral children, corrupt politicians, ambitious redevelopment projects, actors from The Killing, women who never wear hats in snow, bad fish, illegal drugs, revolting things happening in sheds, dodgy foreigners, and brooding policemen with issues. The latter, Andri, a great big bearded bear of a man, has apparently become a sex symbol. Cuddly, yes, but sexy? Well, there never has been much accounting for taste. But you do like him, and want him to find happiness. He still wears his wedding ring, but his ex-wife has moved on so far that she thinks it's perfectly OK to come to stay with him and their daughters with her new partner. Andri must be grateful for the distraction the murder then provides.

The police department is as small and isolated as the one on Fortitude, and the HQ in Reykjavik can't get any reinforcements through. The coppers are not incompetent, but would surely save themselves a lot of hassle (death, injury and theft, for example) if they could just get their holding cell kitted out with a potty.

That said, it seems the local community know more about what is happening in the case than the police. Even after Twitter crashes. I am not quite sure who the mole is, but everybody knows everybody's business without anyone seemingly being told. It's like the facts osmose through the ether, or through the pipes like all that geothermally heated water. Maybe the information comes from the old guy in the wheelchair, who spies on the town through a telescope in his farmhouse up on high. He sees the mayor beating and raping his wife, the town bureaucrats arguing, the policewoman offering the trafficked African girls a safe haven, and her husband growing weed.

I hope that Trapped will carry on in a similar vein, slow-paced but gripping. There is much left to reveal, and I trust that it will be, as the darkness returns to light. There's not only the current murders, but also the past too - who set the fire that killed Andri's wife's sister and maimed her boyfriend? Is it the same arsonist who just did for the mayor in his shed? Only please let the explanation have nothing to do with parasitic wasps.

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