In which Wallander has his oh so cool sunglasses on, is wearing faded baggy jeans and is all stubbly! (Oo La La!) The theme of Wallander parenting the rookies is enlarged as he delicately reaches out to Pontus as he has done to Isabelle. Both of the rookies being metaphorically fatherless. This episode is about fathers and sons. We find out that Pontus has a baby son and estranged wife, a marriage forced upon him by his father who thinks Pontus should have higher ambitions than being a Policeman.
Interestingly, Wallander, who has doubted Pontus’s abilities as a Policeman and told him so, ends up defending him as “extraordinarily gifted” in a figurative battle for Pontus with Pontus’s father. “I don’t want Pontus to be a Policeman, i want him to be a lawyer,i could make life hell for you”! threatens Pontus’s father. Wallander shrugs off the threats:”You try and bring me down then!”
In a nice touch of loyal symmetry, Pontus’s father threatens Pontus in the same vein, claiming he will bring Wallander down unless Pontus obeys him and becomes a lawyer. Neither Wallander nor Pontus mention these threats to the other. Wallander simply saying :
“I had a chat with your Dad”..when we meet (baddie) Holst, if there’s a problem we step aside and wait”..
Wallander is teaching his method of Policing to Pontus who tends to shoot first and not ask any questions later. Whereas Wallander uses his voice as the weapon, calmly and cleverly talking any number of dreadful baddies down and out of their evil plans.
This is what i like best about Wallander, his skill and wisdom at forestalling further wickedness just by his clever seemingly casual chat. Although we shall see in a later episode (The Ghost) that Wallander can do action hero too, when it is needed!..
Since The Sniper has an excellent twist in the tale i don’t want to give it away. Suffice to say it involves a Sniper and the amusing and extremely rare sight of Wallander getting violent:well he only kicks a bin!
This is the episode where we encounter an alternate reality version of Wallander in the form of another, be grizzled whiskey drinking elderly Cop. Who has a Pug dog who sits on a chair accompanying him wherever he goes! Said Cop also has a lovely old classic C-Reg red Mercedes car. Which i am pretty sure i spotted in a later episode! (Will find out the name of that episode and insert later)
Since Wallander is so very different it actually gets us sympathising with the Sniper who says things like:
“Think carefully before you exhale, become one with the gun, before you extinguish a life”..to himself and also is very handy at building fires out on the beach and camping in what must be pretty cold Sweden without a tent.
There is also some very bad language in this episode where the Cops are repeatedly called “Pig c***s” by the baddies called Urban Gangsters. Sorry but the ‘C’ word is one word along with the ‘W’ word referring to women that i won’t reproduce.
For ex. Holst (baddie):
“Eat my shit, pig c***!” (Oh dear)
Unusually, for Wallander and hence we tend to think for Sweden, we see a visit by Wallander to a prison yard for some questioning. Later we see someone smoking a joint!
Pontus surprises us by being very well informed about Snipers for ex. telling Wallander and Nyberg about “reference points” that the Sniper would have used for his shot. In this way he helps the investigation. Pontus also goes delightfully rogue at one point, becoming an instant action hero, whilst solo tracking and following the sniper. Running and using parked cars as cover. Very brave. Pontus saying:
“I know where he is”!
Wallander is not amused however, this is not the way he does things and Pontus going alone has put his life at risk, hence Wallander’s unusual bin kicking episode in his upset over the rookie’s recklessness.
There is another house by the sea, this time belonging to baddies, with twin fantastic chandeliers. With some tattooing going on..
We also see the lovelorn Korin the pathologist asking Wallander:
“How are things?”
“Say hi to Katrina…”
(we see her smiling, painfully,or smirking? i couldn’t decide)
Wallander teaches his method to Pontus:
“Never get into conflict when you can get the information from somewhere else”.
We see Wallander in the beginning of the episode sitting inside his greenhouse. Where all the plants are withered except for the vines.
At the end we see Pontus come home and find his persistent father asleep in bed and his baby son there whom he picks up and finally holds. Just cello music plays this time, no song.
At the end of the case Pontus and Wallander are sitting at the edge of the sea on a grassy verge, high up, looking down. Wallander to Pontus:
“How did all this happen?” ( a lot has happened)
“I did not do what you told me to!”
“About you being a lawyer, I reckon you can go easy on that for a while”..
The sky is neon blue. The tufts of tall grasses are spiked up in silhouette beside the men. You can almost hear the waves. Wallander sits at a careful distance. These scenes are one of he reasons i love the series Wallander.