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I’m a roamer in time … I travel alone throughout an endless journey …
Misen: Forgiveness (music from the series)
Hallgrim is still young, in his 30s, but nevertheless an important player in Denmark’s police force. He is clever and his skills allow him to analyze situations with cold blood and to define exact measurements. So it’s not a surprise that he becomes the boss of a special team in Copenhagen dealing with cross-border crime in Europe. He can cope with his task. He is like an eagle, powerful and watching all from great height, but then coming crashing down suddenly to do his duty. (As I learnt his nickname “the eagle” in the series was derived from Hallgrim’s middle name – whatever: it fits to his attitude!)
Otherwise Hallgrim is always on the run. He left his home country Iceland and cannot even return when his mother dies. He starts more than one relationship or even marriages, but is always more busy with his job and all the crime than with his love. Even when he becomes the father of the sweet baby of an also sweet mom he escapes … He avoids meeting his father, but cannot stop trying to help him whenever he is in trouble – and he is always in trouble, criminal trouble. Hallgrim has no home, only spots where he sleeps – mostly in a hotel. He is unresting and seems half-baked – especially when comparing his private life with his professional abilities and his career.
At the end Hallgrim returns home to work in a senior position in Iceland’s police force. Some nightmares chasing him since his childhood and his teens will be dissolved at this time. Will Hallgrim get the chance for a quiet life? Nobody knows for there are only three seasons of the series.
While Hallgrim leaves his team for Iceland the team itself comes to an end. During the last episodes you may follow the slow disintegration: the team for cross-border crime seems to be no longer of any interest for the top brass. A colleague will start working for another department. Another one gets killed. There is the sad story of a colleague who shoots too fast … The team’s supervisor will retire.
What is it that makes this series extraordinary?
It’s a fast-paced life packed with crime. The series tries to capture this feeling and rushes from site to site. The team and Hallgrim are taken along – and the camera makes a good job as well as the cutter. You may feel the energy of the whole venture combining the professional lives as well as the private lives. Nobody can escape from the rush: not the team nor the audience.
The main goal is the investigation of cross-border crimes. It may be human trafficking, drug dealing, money laundering, terrorism, murder … Often powerful people are involved who slipped from prosecution and justice more than once. It’s a dangerous game. Modern warlords don’t hesitate if police is too near to reveal their business secrets.
It seems to start with rather simple crime … and suddenly there are connection, there are more crimes, there are interdependencies which the team slowly reveals. Of course there is a computer nerd who manages all the risky deep dives into data, public or private. There is also a forensic specialist struggling with her duties as a single mother and the challenges of her divorced husband. An experienced investigator has to come to deal with his wife at the verge of dying. Hallgrim’s friend from days in the army in a special operation in the Middle East is more than once a real friend taking over some of the load. … and there is also a young career woman starting a relationship with Hallgrim while waiting for her chance to take over an important job somewhere in the police force or the secret service. It’s a colorful team with loads of private stress.
Despite all the wickedness of the cases Hallgrim is straightforward and follows his instinct when there seems to be foul play. At the same time he is always open for women all shades. He can always rely on his team – interdepartmental disputes are rare compared to other series. More crucial is the political aspect because powerful people in the crime sector have also powerful friends in politics. The special team has strong connection to the ministry of justice meaning also that the ministry monitors their actions scrupulously in order to anticipate any bad press.
The series was created in 2004-2006. You won’t notice it. When watching the series in binge-watching modus some weeks ago during the long Corona winter I was surprised how new and exciting the stories come across today.