25th Jan2017

‘Fortitude 2×01′ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Sofie Gråbøl, Richer Dormer, Dennis Quaid, Michelle Fairley, Robert Sheehan, Edvin Endre, Parminder Nagra | Created by Simon Donald

fortitude-quaid

Fortitude first caught my attention when it was advertised on television, with the town’s governor making the statement that it was the safest town on Earth. This of course wasn’t true, as murder and chaos soon take hold. Now as we move to the second season of Fortitude, and its first episode, we return to the town and a fresh murder not surprisingly introduces us to the next chapter…

After the events of Fortitude: Season 1, the people of Fortitude are still dealing with the fallout, including Governor Hildur Odegard (Sofie Gråbøl). When a decapitated body is discovered in the snow, it appears the town once again has a murderer at large. With strange things going on including mutilation of dogs and tension with the fishing community, everything is adding up for a strange start to our visit to the town of Fortitude.

The first episode of Fortitude: Series 2 starts at a slow but deliberate pace with a building tension that is just waiting to explode. The episode starts with violent and bloody scenes which don’t make much sense at the time, but are sure to be obviously connect with the strange goings on in the town. What is clear is that somebody is trying to further close in the town, setting it up for what is coming.

For those that haven’t seen the first season of Fortitude, the catch-up at the beginning of this episode works well to provide all the details needed for newcomers. It sets up the governor’s character at this point well. Sofie Gråbøl of course is a highlight of the show, and manages to take control. This includes hunting down her husband Sheriff Dan Anderson (Richer Dormer) who is absent for most of the episode. Obviously, he is set to play a bigger part in what is to come.

What we can be sure of though is that there are a number of tensions building, especially with the Fishermen and controls being put on them. The fishermen storyline is where we see the introduction of Dennis Quaid as Michael Lennox. A hard-worker, he is struggling to keep things together, and look after his ill wife. Teases in the adverts show though that he is in for much harder times.

What the first episode of season two does is set up many of the tensions we are going to see playout through future episode. The most important of course is going to be the killer, who is set up to be quite the monster in the opening scenes. Obsessed with the Northern Lights and whatever they are telling him, I’m sure we’ll find out more about this side of things soon.

The idea of Fortitude being a closed-off community and being the safest place in the world, was a good set-up for the first season. Now that this belief has been shown to be false, we now know that its shut-off nature can be dangerous for the community, and a new danger is coming. We can also be sure that it is going to be a very interesting, and potentially gory danger too.

The first episode of Fortitude: Series 2 is a good jumping on point for new viewers, though the returning viewers will have more of an idea of who the main characters are and what they have already been through. It doesn’t take long to catch-up on their past though, and the new story can take over. With a good set-up for the new season, it is easy to say that things are going to be very interesting in the town of Fortitude.

****½  4.5/5

Every episode of Sky Atlantic’s Fortitude: Series 2 will be available exclusively on Sky Box Sets from Thursday 26th January, 10pm.

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