28th Jan2017

‘Fortitude 2×04′ Review

by Paul Metcalf

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

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Just when you thought Fortitude couldn’t get any stranger, episode 4 of series two takes things to new levels. An eyeless man stalking the town, a new Shaman in town and gravedigging all adding up to bring all the mysteries together, with a dose of Russian conspiracy just to add to the drama.

After the events of last episode, we are treated to an explanation as to what has been going on with the wild animals, at least the reindeer which was discovered being experimented on. Seemingly used to create a drug (in the form of the so-called reindeer juice) this discovery also reveals the man, who will probably be the prime suspect, though we still don’t know who he is just yet. What also is discovered is more details about why Hildur Odegard (Sofie Gråbøl) was fired, and a connection to the Russians seen in the last episode. Whatever is being covered up there are chances this is more connected to the work of Dr. Sarinda Khatri (Parminder Nagra) who has an encounter of her own.

An interesting addition in this episode is the arrival of Robert Sheehan as Vladek Klimov who proclaims himself to be a shaman. Again, a character that seems to be connected with the mystery in Fortitude not only is he attempting to cure Michael Lennox’s (Dennis Quaid) wife, but also seems connected to the murders. Though between him and the eyeless man, it is confusing just who the murderer is or what they have to do with the strange goings on.

What this episode of Fortitude does is to take things darker, and in some ways make the story even more mysterious. The viewers are given more information about what is exactly is going on, but there are many questions that need answering. This includes the introduction of the Russians and why they wanted Odegard out of the way. Is it still the wasps that are being covered up, or has some new epidemic taken hold?

The main theme of this fourth episode is to show the viewer that Fortitude is falling apart, and doing so at an escalated rate. If there was any semblance of hope that things may return to normality that has now gone. There is an almost Twin Peaks feel in the way the town is being slowly turned against each other, with in-fighting and conspiracies destroying any trust people may have. It is believable that when the end-game comes and the killer finally reveals his true goal, it may be too late for the town to survive.

While there is no huge twist in this episode to make you want to jump to the next episode, in truth it isn’t needed. Now that the claws are firmly in and the story is moving at a good pace it is easy to just move onto the next episode. Now fully invested in what is taking place in Fortitude, if you’ve made it this far you’ll be watching until the end.

****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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