26th Jan2018

‘Witnesses: The Complete Series 2’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf


When a show starts with the discovery of fifteen frozen bodies on a bus, you know that things are going to get dark. Witnesses: The Complete Series 2 manages to take viewers into a dark place, but the frozen bodies aren’t the most disturbing thing about this French series.

When fifteen frozen bodies are found on a bus, Detective Sandra Winckler (Marie Dompnier) is given the job of finding out who the victims are. When Catherine Keemer (Audrey Fleurot) turns up on the streets suffering from memory loss, with the only memory being her missing baby boy it is soon revealed that the two events are connected.

The second season of Witnesses weaves a tale not only of murder and kidnap, but also historical abuse of children, and in many ways it could be easy to get lost in all the strands the story creates. Thankfully though this isn’t the case, and most of the reason why is down to the performances of Marie Dompnier and Audrey Fleurot.

While Fluerot’s Catherine Keemer character is hard to trust at first, she is key to finding out the truth. Her actions pull Winckler away from following the rules, and takes her on a violent path that actually shows success. While she is cold at first, the audience slowly comes to sympathise with the character, while also worrying that her violence is going too far. This is what Witnesses does well though, it gives good reason for rules to be broken, when the stakes are so high.

The character of Detective Sandra Winckler in many ways is similar to Keemer, but she is much more focused on following the rules at first. When her own life and those of people around her are put at risk though, she breaks the rules, even at the cost of her own safety. The danger feels real, and sometimes it feels a little too much. When the story finally comes to an end though, we do see that it was worth it. Though the costs of what she does really are questionable, and do cost some innocent people their lives.

Series two of Witnesses features a story that does tend to go a little into the realms of horror at times. Featuring crimes that are decades old, the more of the story that is revealed, the darker it gets. It does get to the point near the end, that a few episodes do feel like they could be taken out, especially the penultimate one, but finale episode is worth it in the end.

Fans of Nordic Noir style shows will enjoy the second season of Witnesses, though sometimes it does get a little more disturbing that some may be ready for. When frozen corpses on a bus are lighter revelations in a show like this, then you know that things are dark. Journeying into the darkest realms of the human heart, this is a show that is well worth watching.

****½  4.5/5

Witnesses: The Complete Series 2 is available on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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