Perhaps i should admit my lack of objectivity dear readers regarding Wallander. I consider it the best thing on TV at the moment. Plus i genuinely like Wallander as a character. I have adjusted my initial churlish aversion of him being happy. Even though i was only playing. It is sad indeed that we have come to expect a TV Detective must necessarily be suffering. (Melancholic angst i called it) For whatever reason.
It has surely become a trope within Detective Dramas. As if death and day to day evil in their job wasn’t enough. We expect, as a reviewer pointed out recently, at the very least for said Detective to have some private and personal tragedy. At home or inside their head they must indeed be cursed with an affliction of unbearable being.
As i consider Wallander to be entirely fresh as a drama i have come to understand that this happiness is a true subversion of the trope of tragedy. Yes, how wonderful to find and experience real humour for a change within the drama!.
Wallander has led us up the merry garden path, strewn with beautiful metaphorical breezy flowers, let the sea air blow over us and allowed us to actually enjoy the interplay of the characters. There is real comedy inherent in Wallander. He himself is naturally funny. It is not the forced plink plonk heralded moment of most Murder Dramas where we are signposted an official yet tiresome comedic moment.
Hence last week’s episode showed us the amusing organic development of Wallander and the Oh so beautiful Katrina’s budding love. Ahh. The lovely lady prosecutor Katrina is helping young rookie Pontus with “his law degree dissertation”:
Katrina: (She’s a bit flustered and giggly)
“We’re having such fun, we forgot the time!”
Wallander:(moodily and grumpily to Nyberg)
“He (Pontus) winds me up, professionally of course”!
Pontus (guiltily, for no discernible reason, other than having picked up on Wallander’s jealous vibes)
“It’s all above board, outside work hours, in case you think?…”
“I didn’t think anything else”!
Later in the investigation this unspoken contretemps between them results in Katrina over-riding Wallander on his case. When Wallander has rejected a jealous husband as a suspect Katrina angrily demands during the questioning of the suspect:
“How do you think he felt when he saw those photos?!”
Shortly after, Wallander, most unusually, loses it spectacularly in his interview of this suspect. Well, spectacularly for normally cool, calm and collected Wallander. He is definitely jealous..
My other favourite storyline in this week’s Wallander was the sorrowful tale of Wallander losing, unaccountably, his beloved dog Jussi. I may have missed the episode where Wallander’s daughter dies within the Drama. Something tells me that Wallander has been advised to get a dog to help him deal with this tragedy. Hence we understand Wallander’s deep devotion and love of his beautiful dog Jussi.
Wallander and Jussi are at their happiest on the beach (well apart from when Wallander is solving a case) There they are when Wallander says:
“What do you think Jussi, shall we go home?”
He answers for her:
Then, inexplicably, she ( i think she’s a she) is gone.
“Jussi?, Jussi!” “Bloody dog!”.
nb. I notice there are a few “Bloodys!” in Wallander also a reference to “Dicking us around” and a “piss off”. These all being particularly British sayings. I wonder if they really say this in Swedish? If so that’s rather cool. If not it’s a British leaning translation. Also at the ending scene, Wallander asks Katrina if she “fancies a glass of wine?”, again “fancy a drink?” being a British phrase.
We, or i anyway, was truly gutted when Wallander’s beloved Jussi disappeared. Hilariously, we see Wallander desolate and devastated, phoning up the Police to report Jussi’s disappearance. In his lovely little slanted roof attic bedroom in the moonlight. Sitting on his bed with the phone. Alone and bereft in his vest.
Katrina has appeared unmoved by this terrible happening.
Wallander appears at her French window in the dark, dejected, desperate and alone. He asks Katrina if she has seen Jussi. (Jussi is a missing person) Katrina tells him no, that she is “sure he will make his way home”. Then refuses his offer of a glass of wine. Saying she can’t tonight. Katrina gives him the brush off-Oh No! Poor Wallander, does Katrina not love him any more?.
Slightly worrying that Katrina doesn’t seem to care about Jussi. Wallander obviously didn’t want to be alone. Ah. I really felt for Wallander in this scene. However Katrina is the Public Prosecutor which i think is a District Attorney and was indeed busy preparing her case for the next day.
Fascinating scene in the court House where the lawyers , Judge and Katrina plus the accused all sit round a table together. A table with only a small gap in the middle. Like a discussion of the Elders of the village from ancient times. An egalitarian and surprisingly close quartered discussion. This was either the trying of the case or a preliminary hearing.
Only the lady at the desk at the Police station is truly sympathetic and understanding about the plight of poor Jussi or the Jussi saga. Exclaiming vehemently:
“Oh, Good Lord!, where can he be?!”
(She is obviously Wallander’s ideal mate, not Katrina who doesn’t care)
However the next day, Jussi comes back, to the lady at the station (what did i tell you):
“You have come home to Mommy!” she declares ecstatically.
Wallander is made up. So am i, for Wallander. (Did somebody steal his dog?)
You can’t help ponder these things in Wallander.
There follows a wonderful scene entirely devoted to Wallander lovingly washing said Jussi in his bath with complete joy. Jussi is enormous standing huge like a horse in the bath and then soaks the whole wooden floor of the bathroom. All is well in the world. Wallander is happy as can be towelling down Jussi and vocally fussing away.
Perhaps i am being too mean rejecting Katrina on account of her prosaic view of the Jussi saga. After all, she is the voice of reason and logic throughout investigations. Whilst Wallander is all heart and intuition.
i do espy with my eagle eye that the lady Pathologist Korin holds a torch for Wallander..It was Korin who oh so casually asked Wallander how he was “getting on with Katrina?” a while back. Now, for Korin, there is no hope and she knows it..
I enjoy all this romance and humorous happenings in Wallander. An emotional counterpoint from the dark and deadly deeds. Much like the borrowed fantasy of being there as we share with Wallander his walks by the sea. (or maybe it’s just me)
Elsewhere in the plot which is all a bit daft and involves religion and a priest we find that Wallander and his newly bearded and cardigan wearing deputy are not into religion. Neither is Isabelle or Pontus:”It’s the Swedish Church, they’re like corpses, stiff and rigid”!
The religious wife of a victim now in a coma says:
You think you can judge me? I’m only answerable to God”.
“We can’t do anything if she and the Doctor decide to play God”…
Wallander rushes to the hospital in his car:
“Dammit, get a move on you old bastard!”
Overtakes. (i was actually worried he would get hit by a car that’s how much i like Wallander)
Wallander rushes through the Hospital..(Swedish Hospitals are nice)
Weird religious wife who seems gay but maybe in love with God instead. Svartman asks her neighbour:
“So you and Asa are friends?” “Yu”. The woman says devotedly. Later the religious wife looks oddly and seriously turned on by another other woman getting baptised;
“In the name of our Lord Jesus I baptise you”,..
“So who the hell gave you the right to play God?. So you decide to kill him in the middle of a police investigation at the order of one of our prime suspects?”
Religious wife replies:
“She killed him when she made him sin. He is forgiven now. I have led him home to God”.
” You think God forgives you for murder? There’s no God in the world that sanctions murder”.
When a gun is found Wallander warns:
“Careful, it’s loaded, that’s a joke!”
Wallander takes Isabelle under his wing. A reaction to Katrina’s mild flirtation with Pontus?
Isabelle tells him:
“Nobody cares what i do”!
(i like Isabelle, she’s really cool, she fought off a black clad invader with a black balaclava in her flat)
Isabelle gains confidence under Wallander’s tutelage:
“You said that I’d be scared beforehand but once i did it”..
This partnership comes in handy later when Wallander goes on a solo and dangerous quest and ends up in a dark garage at night with a baddie:
“Police! Drop the gun”.
The baddie refuses and they point guns at each other. Oh No. Wallander is in a shoot out at the OK Corral now. Gun hits floor. Wallander’s gun. He’s gonna kill Wallander..
“Don’t you F-ing move! I. Will. Shoot!” Yey. In the nick of time. Isabelle has appeared from out of nowhere on a solo mission to rescue Wallander. Dressed in black, she crept up on the bad guy in the dark and is right behind him, Pointing a gun at his head. Cool.
Wallander and Katrina have each teamed up with the young Rookies Pontus and Isabelle.
Wallander was definitely jealous though!
At the end, he and Katrina are having that drink by the sea, outside her French windows. Wallander laughs, about what i cannot remember.
“You know I’ll be fifty in a few weeks time”.
“Do you feel old sometimes?”.
“I think that’s why i liked Pontus helping me, it made me feel young”.
(very poetic and reassuring Kurt)
“I’m starting to get cold..I must go in now…”
Quiet Night by Anna Ternheim
“Quiet night, talk becomes a whisper,
Not a word you say could ever hurt me.
Screaming streets are quiet now.
They are sleeping like we’re about to.
You say it’s worth it, all the trouble and the worry.
I wake up again with you tomorrow.
I say it’s worth it, all the trouble and the worry.”..
This is seriously Hallmark for me to write down this song again but i had missed a line . Have succumbed to it’s earworm effect and put up the video now. i normally consider such songs too soppy however it’s Wallander. He is the man. Nothing happens in the video but we can all pretend we live by the sea. Unless you do…
nb. subtitled descriptions of sound in Wallander this week (one day i will find out the word for this);
(motorbike engine revs)
(clattering) there’s two of these