Modus. Series One. A Swedish television Detective crime drama series. Episodes One, Two, Three and Four, notes and dialogue with a Review at the end. Minor spoilers only. In Swedish with English subtitles. Was on Television in the UK on BBC Four.


Episode One.

Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

“Based on a roman by Anne Holt” A book by Anne Holt-I’ve read some of those.

The beginning. Long roads. snow. And a caravan in the forest.

So all quite mysterious then.

We are introduced to the heroine. who has two children. One of whom has Aspergers.

The mother is at a wedding in the hotel. And leaves the children upstairs.

Later. We are introduced to the Police Detective. Who we are pretty sure by now has a fairly tragic past.

Ah ha. So the in-house Psychologist at the battered Detective’s station has left..

So. Getting more mysterious. And much as I predicted.

And quite dark.

Hey! It’s Krister Henriksson!  He’s called Eric and wears a tie.

A stunning shot. In the ice.
And frozen forest.
All a little bit Van Damme.
Wonderful singing ensues.

Then we meet a pale faced little boy and his family.

So it’s all very good. Moody and mysterious.

I’m hoping for another episode. We don’t know what the hell is going on.

Great. My prayers are answered. Well metaphorically. There is another episode..Right after this. Great stuff.


Episode Two.

Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

No. We don’t know what’s going on.
But we do now..

“There are four more weeks of double episodes to look forward”..
The TV announcer excitedly tells us.

Yep, we get the gist now. Of what is going on.

The city is so beautiful at night. In the snow. Not that we know what city is it is.

Did I mention that Krister Henriksson was in it. Hurray.

So Eric (Krister Henriksson) meets Detective Ingmar Nyman.

Nyman just stands and looks at people at one point. Gazing balefully and red-eyed, across the road.

So a lot has been going down. all good. In the hood.

Now we have Krister Henrikssson. Acting everybody else off the screen. At the time. As per usual.


Episode Three.
Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

The re-cap. Bla Bla.

The episode start with Eric.   Krister Henriksson. wonderful.

Then something weird happens. In the middle of nowhere. And Henrik smiles.

(wind chimes in distance).

What a lovely house.

Oh dear. I completely forgot who the heroine was then.

The opening scenes are stunning.

Loving the scene with Ingmar, Eric and Eric’s son.

Artist at art gallery:
“I love marble statues, unplastically surreal..”
I zoned out there.

Not exactly sure what was going on there.

I do like the businessman guy’s tartan waistcoat though.

Why does there always have to be an eponymously weepy and feminine sort of guy in this kind of relationship in drama?

Is it really always this way? Isn’t there ever any two just butch guys: or just regular guys (as in non-sterotypical) I mean I don’t even know any women as girly as that.


Episode Four.
Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

I love the way they say dead in Swedish.

“Slowly, slowly, with violent scenes, the murderous links ..start to emerge”..
announces the Television announcer.

Of course Ingmar Nyman has an impossibly cool flat.

The businessman guy has a penchant for tartan.

Ah yes there’s always a cauldron. For people to burn things in.

It’s good to see the excellent actor from Never Wipe Away Tears Without Gloves.

So the heroine is doing a whole scene whispering things. Which all seems a bit over the top.
“Conspiracy theories are common (or summat) from a persecution”!
I lost interest there for a while.

But Krister Henriksson is crying! Noooo!
Having to eat that horrible looking tomato soup-maybe that made him cry. Ha ha.

Modus is unintentionally silly sometimes.
The business guy for example. The business guy is funny.

The heroine (Erica) spouts her stuff:
“It could be a man with a despotic attitude towards women”..

Oh God. A meaningful remembrance ceremony.

O Mi God..

Have the Detectives not figured out that all the victims have one thing in common yet?! I mean hello?
OK finally..

Later. I couldn’t look.
Now what.


So it’s only going to be about one type of crime, this drama.  And (my) now what- was when the drama made it look like just everybody was at it. Manipulatively so. I felt.

The teachy-preachy quotient is rocketing.

Mind you they have been intoning dutifully the nature of the crime too. Just in case we don’t get it.

This is like a carbon copy of a Beck episode from back in 2010. Roughly.



So Modus, Modus, Modus. You could have been so good and you nearly were. More so certainly towards the end. In my opinion.

For the life of me I realise, I don’t know what happened to Krister Henriksson. Other than he got crossed off the list of suspects. Not that we really had any. Since we knew who the murderer was right from the start. As far as I can remember.

It’s all bit of a stylish Scandi-Noir blur really.

Yes, Krister Henriksson made Modus wonderful for a while there. Albeit unwittingly comical at times. In a sort of dark and disturbing way.

Modus was sometimes unintentionally funny. For me anyway.
For example Marcus as a character frequently verged into a tragi-comic figure. He was just so sweet. Wasn’t he.

Likewise Eric. Or perhaps it was the tomato soup scene. That did it for me. I know I was supposed to be taking it all so seriously. Maybe that was part of the problem.

Funny too, was the anticlimactic utterance by the officially mad murderer, who doesn’t speak until the very end. And then just kills all his murderer’s cool. With his corny sounding accent.

The twist at the end just felt kind of stoopid to me. As well as being fairly low on the credibility stakes for that character I felt. And within the drama as a whole.

This twist in the tale felt tacked on almost hastily and far too late in the story. For me anyway.

As for the rest of the drama, the several story-lines were unfortunately mostly disjointed until the end and a bit domestic heavy. For me.

But then this aspect of concentrating on the domestic life of Erica, the writer, is reflected in the books by Anne Holt. So in that sense the series fairly accurately I felt, represents the books.

Minute details of the protagonist’s home life are just not really my cup of tea. I’m more interested in the murder mystery.

Plus much of the interpersonal stuff between many of the civilian characters so to speak: were slushily saccharine.

As per usual now in drama, the woman Detective in this case psychology Professor and author: takes the lead.

The male Detective being relegated to a sort of satellite advisory role. Even when he is older and more senior to her in experience. Which always seems daft to me. But I digress.

Yes, the lumpen Detective will trail forlornly, seven steps behind. Taking orders. Whilst the female official heroine character, in this case part time Profiler: spouts suspiciously sounding dogma. Instead of clinical observations.

“He must have a despotic attitude towards women” For example.

Unless there really is such a condition I could be wrong. Yes, the clinical condition of despotism I guess. Or maybe even despotitis.
But I digress.

The only other thing about Modus is that basically we watch what felt to me, certainly in the young man’s scene, like a snuff film. And all for the sake of making a preachy-teachy (official issue laden) point.

I mean for a great deal of the series: it isn’t even a murder mystery.

Therefore I started to feel like the drama, or this form of drama, had just been co-opted as a device. For getting some deemed to be very important points, about the official issues at stake, across. Which is really rather tiresome.

But there is a lot of this about. In dramas.

Yes, the good guys, well mostly, are paragons of virtue.   Jesus on stilts.  The officially socially deviant, as in unacceptable social behaviour and speech: are hideous stereotypes. And that includes a Policeman.

Though quite how we are expected to believe a Swedish Detective using such verboten words (although that particular word might well have been reclaimed- it happens) would still be in his job: I don’t quite know.

But none of this matters Because that is his evil, pantomime stereotype. Along with the troll.

I found myself thinking about the concentration on life inside the interior such as the minute detail of the changing clothes area in Swedish houses: reflected the coldness of the country the characters lived in. I must have been a bit bored.

At one point I thought I was watching some archaic film footage of some arcane and sinister science experiment.

But nope. This footage is in the present day.

As the camera pans, slowly and deliberately over the faces I can only conclude that this is just their allotted, grotesque, subhuman subnormal stereotype. As depicted by the drama.

Stereotypes abound in Modus. In fact pretty much everybody is a stereotype.

Even the little girl. Except for being handily and oddly: clairvoyant to boot.

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