05/18/2024

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Trapped Season 2 Recap (Episodes 1-10)

Trapped’ Season 2 Detailed Recap: Key Events and Turning Points

The post Trapped’ Season 2 Detailed Recap: Key Events and Turning Points appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.

Just like The Bridge, I became attached to the main characters of Trapped when I watched season one. Also, just like The Bridge, I had assumed that season was a one-off: there was unlikely to be another murder at that exact location on the Øresund Bridge (between Sweden and Denmark), and was a snowstorm going to confine an investigation to a little Icelandic coastal town again, really? But in both shows, viewers around the world loved the locations and the characters, and so The Bridge continued… and now Trapped, too, came to our screens for Season 2.

I’ve watched every episode and broken it down into a complete recap.

Trapped Season 2 Recap (Episodes 1-10)

  • Episodes 1 and 2
  • Episodes 3 and 4
  • Episodes 5 and 6
  • Episodes 7 and 8
  • Episodes 9 and 10

Episodes 1 and 2

Trapped is familiar but different: there’s no snow this time, but brooding crags and wide green avenues. The landscape and its cinematography are truly marvelous. Of course, some key cast members are no more; just like any season of Luther, the dramatis personae needs some new blood.

Oh, but it’s great to have the main two back again. Hinrika is now police chief, as Andri Ólafsson found things too much after earlier dramas and left for a job in the city. But wouldn’t you know it: the city center (right outside parliament) was the scene of a truly brutal attack on a politician, and he found himself obliged to go back to his unnamed rural town because that’s where both the victim and attacker lived, along with family and – hopefully – backstory.

(That attack really was brutal, Hereditary-quality stuff. The first season has some awful sights, too, but I don’t think any of them occurred before the credits!)

Trapped Season 2 (Credit – RÚV)

Hinrika impressed me as a very strong police officer in the first series of Trapped, and now that she’s chief, the responsibility is weighing on her a little. She’s understaffed and doesn’t get along so well with her layabout husband. And like most people in the show, she wears an exceedingly big coat. Andri is clearly very reluctant to be back, though he has a warm welcome from old colleagues and the respect that comes with not only being a former police chief but also coming from a city office.

He, too, is having family problems – half his family live (without him) in Reykjavik, and his older daughter lives with an aunt in this grim sheep-and-dock town he’s gone for his investigation. And he too wears a massive coat; though unlike Hinrika and nearly everyone else, he’s 6’5″. (I wonder if that’s why a couple of papers call Ólafsson the hottest man in Iceland?)

This season does seem to have more characters than the first, and I confess it’s not easy to tell some of them apart: if it’s not massive coats, it’s a standard-style jumper and/or beards. OK, not everyone has a beard, but the vast majority out of their teens do. Perhaps the characters who look alike will be thinned off a little as the story progresses.

The director and creator of the show, Baltasar Kormákur, plunges us into some scene-setting in episode one… But do watch season one if you can first: old relationships do not get explained again; the only explanations given are about what may have changed since Andri was gone. The scene setting involves politics, both national and nationalist; family strife, amongst new characters even more than the old; environmental concerns; and a dead body.

Episode two slows down a little, giving a bit more attention to details. Writers Clive Bradley and Sigurjón Kjartansson do a great job in introducing some richness to the script and laying foundations for what may come without being heavy-handed about foreshadowing or obvious hints.

There are now two crimes (the severely injured politician and the dead farmer) to investigate and potentially link. It’s such a small town that there’s no surprise when one of the victims’ son becomes friends with the detective’s daughter. (I hope she’s not doomed: she went through enough last time.)

Episode two gives us more about the energy company that is upsetting both the environment and “Hammer of Thor,” the local bigot group. And we also get to know some likely suspects.

Episodes 3 and 4

Trapped Season 2, Episode 3 (Credit – RÚV)

Season 2, episode 3 brings more depth to several aspects of local life, seemingly focusing more on that than on action, at least for a good while…

The brothers from the last episode are still murder suspects; the bearded one is in jail, and the one without the beard hiding somewhere in the mountains, leading the police and even his Dad on a hunt for much of episode three.

The bearded brother doesn’t seem to worry about being in jail because “it’s too late now”, and let’s slip that Hammer of Thor have some very imminent plans. (It’s kind of a surprise when his non-white solicitor turns up; you can feel how reluctant he is to shake hands!)

In the meantime, the mayor, Hafdis, is very stoical about the death threat painted on her garage door. Actually, in this case, stoical means complacent: she decides not to tell the police, and you can tell this is a bad decision…

For the most part, season 2, episode 3 feels more like Happy Valley than The Bridge, with the police already knowing the usual suspects intimately, and trying to put pieces together.

There are some tenuous links, but generally the pieces still feel very spread apart. And then there’s the cliffhanger when the police discover the threat against the mayor, and she finds herself in deep trouble.

Season 2, episode 4 holds much more action, largely around piecing together clues to save the mayor and taking apart other clues that don’t belong together. We get to know Hammer of Thor some more… And we also discover how keen the police is to wrap things up.

Saving the mayor becomes the priority, so they almost don’t notice the implications for the earlier murder case, and have quite forgotten the family tragedy that opened the season… I’m looking forward to seeing how that is resolved.

When discussing families, the theme of complicated family relationships is just as strong and complicated as in season one. The wife of Gisli, the man who killed himself last week, is married to his brother. Bárður, Hinrika’s partner, embarrasses her more than ever now she’s chief.

Brothers, aunt and nephew relationships, estranged daughters… The town is full of complex families. But one particular relationship is gradually gaining more focus in the plot: fifteen-year-old Thórhildur, Andri’s wayward daughter, is getting closer to seventeen-year-old Aron, son of one of the murder suspects and Gisli’s nephew.

Episodes 5 and 6

Damn, Trapped season 2, episode 5 is somber!

It opens with gravediggers preparing the plot for Gisli’s burial, and there’s one grey cloud or another looming for the entire episode. These black clouds include Halla telling the entire funeral that she didn’t forgive her brother, and Vikingur telling the wake a litany of other, more pointed home truths. His boyfriend Edo is threatened at work with being outed (which apparently would not go down at all well in Ghana). And the other relationship teetering on a sharp knife edge finally falls off: police chief Hinrika tells her slacker husband Bárður that they are over.

Yes, there is more gloom than plot, but it is a great episode: the dark shadows, and matching melancholy soundtrack give it a tense richness. It’s natural that within this close community we have to see how people respond to closure and departure.

But at the same time, Andri has spelled out to his colleagues that they need to refocus on Gisli’s arson attack on Halla and Finnur’s murder: sure, a terrorist plot was foiled in the last episode, but it really did have nothing to do with the case he left Reykjavik to investigate.

So they do a tiny bit of investigating, turn up the money that Aron found last time… And that’s about it: season 2, episode 5 really is more about everyone lowering their eyes in deep sadness than about progression of the plot.

(I see similarities with True Detective sometimes: both shows are notoriously slow paced, but with spells of drama and tension, alternating with philosophy and emotion. Sometimes the introspective scenes can trigger or foreshadow the dramatic ones. However, in Trapped, the alternating seems to be almost one episode, rather than one scene, at a time.)

Trapped Season 2 Recap (Episodes 1-10)

Trapped Season 2 (Credit – RÚV)

But what we do get in episode 5 is a tease of history seeping into the present. We’re told who has some secrets, but we’re not told what they are or what those secrets are doing showing up in the here and now.

First of all, those gravediggers had been swapping a bit of local gossip/history about “bad blood” in Gisli’s family: one of them recalled his great-grandfather (or was it great-great-grandfather?) going missing years ago when the now-grown siblings were small.

Then, towards the end of the episode, when Gisli’s widow, Elín, shares a cuppa with his sister Halla, Elín brings the past up, and it clearly hurts: “I remember”, she says, “I saw.” Halla is very clearly shaken.

Season 2, episode 6 is one of those episodes which is more plot than atmosphere and has three distinct – and probably important – plot strands which weave together. Firstly, Ketill (the activist farmer and father to the two murder suspects) is up on the hillside with his horse when he encounters some dead birds and animals near a couple of pools.

They are not just dead but in a rather lousy condition, and he naturally wonders whether the same water might have caused his son Skuli (still in hospital) to come home so unwell.

Next, we have Aron and Thórhildur being questioned by the police about the money they found in Finnur’s house. I think they feel kind of stupid for not having twigged the money might have something to do with Finnur’s murder, but they don’t let it show.

And Thórhildur doesn’t let on to anyone – not even Aron – that she found a phone in that bag of money too. Her naive sense of adventure gets her taking unknown risks when she starts sending texts on that phone… And whoever receives them wants the money.

But hey, on the plus side, at least finding that bag of money has given the police some leads at last. They have some pieces to put together, but if only they understood them.

The last main plot strand relates to Edo and Vikingur. We know by now that Vikingur has a temper, which he keeps a lid on, though it clearly isn’t easy. Apparently, he broke Finnur’s arm once, after confronting his bullying at the work site.

So when he heard that Edo is being picked on by colleagues (though whether it is about money, race or his sexuality isn’t clear), Vikingur storms off to the plant.

Episodes 7 and 8

Trapped Season 2, Episode 7 (Credit – RÚV)

Season 2, episode 7 starts with Vikingur being arrested at the power plant. Well, of course, he was: he went in there in a rage and came out covered in blood, leaving a body behind. But he says he didn’t kill Pawel (and says little else), even though Pawel had been pushing Ebo around, and threatening assault.

Ebo gives a statement about this to the police, thinking – naively – that it would be just cause for Vikingur’s temper; but unfortunately, it just provided the police with a motive.

Halla still doesn’t want to talk to her sister about the “old memories” which cropped up last time; she says this isn’t a good time to go into it, and even suggests that Elín is holding onto “false memories”. Is she manipulative, or in denial?

Thórhildur doesn’t want to leave Siglufjörður for the city, either. She has such a tantrum while packing that when Andri comes to pick her up, her aunt stands up for her and says she should be allowed to stay. “Sometimes it’s not easy being a parent,” says Andri. “It’s not easy having parents,” responds Hinrika.

So Andri’s relationship with his daughter is still somewhat weird, but at least she can relax again that she’s able to stay amongst friends… and fortunately, she does seem to soften in the next episode.

A press conference is held about the latest murder, and Andri states they have someone in custody but refuses to say who. Back at the police station, everyone huddles around the computer screen watching CCTV footage of the previous night: the power had been cut off, but whoever did that hadn’t realized there were two cameras outside of the main circuit.

The footage showed Pawel entering the plant, the blackout, and then Vikingur entering… thus Hinrika concluded that Vikingur couldn’t have been the one who turned off the electricity, as it is done from inside the building.

They all agree to keep schtum about what now looks like Vikingur’s innocence (at least until they’ve worked things out some more); so it’s kind of daft when Andri takes sympathy on the poor guy’s mother and tells her that the young man is most likely innocent: she struggles to keep it to herself (and I can understand that).

While Andri and Hinrika are out doing interviews, Ásgeir gets kind of flirty with fellow officer Guðrún, who has some techy role (I’m not clear what). Ásgeir is getting grumpy about being left out now that Andri is in the team again, and is very happy to have Guðrún’s company. He lets her use Hinrika’s office for a bit, and she – shock horror – discovers ultrasound pictures, jumping to the conclusion that Hinrika is pregnant.

The episode closes with Ásgeir and Bárður visiting the lake where the dead birds were found last time. After a blokey chat about relationships, the camera pulls back and shows thousands of fish floating dead on a beautiful bay.

Episode 8 opens with Finnur’s (very small) funeral, and all water in the town being shut off and the company being blamed; even worse now that they are looking at collaborating with American Aluminium, and expanding the plant.

There is a public meeting where we first meet this fabulous character who I expected to see holding a log as soon as she started talking: the Log Lady went on about pollution being a sign that the town is cursed and got everyone even more riled up.

But still, the “foreign visitor” from American Aluminium is on his way, along with Halla, who is – of course – Minister for Industries. They are due to tour the plant and firm up the plans. But he cannot see much of the plant, because some of it is a crime scene!

And partway through the tour, the manager (or tour guide), David, is taken away by the police to have a chat about the fat envelope full of money they saw him giving Finnur’s widow following the funeral. He owns up that it was a gambling debt to Finnur, and that he used to play poker with Pawel too (though not Vikingur). He’s not arrested, but police are very suspicious.

There are communication problems amongst the police team throughout episode eight: Ásgeir is kept out of the loop about the others’ theory of Vikingur’s innocence and Hinrika tries to bang heads together later on. And oh, she gets stroppy about the use of her office! She’s not pregnant…

Edo is still very nervous amongst his colleagues. His brother-in-law tries to encourage him that they will be able to go home in just a few days, but in the meantime, he’s staying with friends.

Thórhildur makes up with Aron again, having shared some of yesterday’s tantrum with him. This is where we see her softening, and she owns up to having found that dreaded phone in the bag of Finnur’s money.

Aron persuades her to take it to the police, but her father isn’t in, and she leaves it with Ásgeir, who listens sympathetically. He tries to call Andri, but this is when he’s in the middle of interrogating the plant manager and doesn’t take the call (despite the bollocking about communications).

Víkingur’s mother, Steinunn, has a fabulous run-in with the Log Lady (still no log, though):

How can we lift a curse that’s been laid upon us by life itself? You’d think some kind of sacrifice would be enough. There is evil, evil seething underneath the family you married into. You haven’t seen the half of it yet!

Andri keeps trying to call Andri, but it looks like he’s about to be late for his date with Guðrún, so takes the “killer’s” phone with him… and it rings… and there’s a Luther-style bloody cliffhanger.

Episodes 9 and 10

This finale does wrap things up with some closure, but let me warn you, not everything is explained clearly. Some of the exposition is a little hasty, some of the resolutions are a little vague, and some of the action is kind of far-fetched. But the people make this show for me (even more than the landscape): as far as I’m concerned, the mystery is there simply so we can get to know some great characters, earthy and believable, everyone (even if some of their decisions aren’t quite).

Episode 9 opens with Andri and Hinrika panicking about their colleague Ásgeir, as they cannot get hold of him. We know he’s been badly stabbed, but they don’t know what kind of trap he’s fallen into; just that he’s not answering the phone. Fortunately, the police have an app to trace his car… unfortunately, the car is burnt by the time they get to it, and with the beloved Ásgeir inside.

(Personally, I don’t get why so many viewers loved him so much, having always found Ásgeir to be somewhat dim and sometimes a jobsworth. But they do. He has also been more committed to his work and compassionate to his customers this season. And – as they were saying just a couple of episodes ago – the three of them have been a team… so yes, he’ll be missed.)

Sorry, but that really was Ásgeir inside the car. It’s easy to have some doubt and some hope until we see him being prepared for autopsy by Guðrún, the techie officer he was due to cook dinner for last night. She is the absolute picture of professional stoicism, not least when Bárður comes by with some clothes for Ásgeir’s burial.

Hinrika is bereft but stoical, too, though Andri – guilt-ridden bear that he is – takes the loss very hard. Reassuring Thórhildur that it’s not her fault (it is!) is too much for him, and it takes Hinrika (yelling and knocking on the door) to get him focused again.

But anyway, regardless of fault, Thórhildur must leave Siglufjörður and go far away: of all the clues she saw on the baddie’s phone, the one text she remembers is the one saying he saw her at the funeral, so everyone agrees she could be in danger.

As luck would have it, the next two planes to Reykjavík are booked up, so Andri insists that her aunt Laufey drives her all the way there.

In the meantime, Víkingur is freed from jail and goes home for a meeting of minds with Ebo. And actual toxic waste is found in a nook between crags on the hillside, explaining the poisoned water.

So Andri and Hinrika go talk to Stefán, who runs the waste disposal firm. Stefán? Stefán? Who’s he? Yeah, I’d kind of ignored him so far, as he didn’t appear to have much personality beyond a bland smile, or purpose beyond giving Ebo some crash space when he was being bullied. But the guys at the plat say Stefán had called in sick, and Stefán’s wife assumes he’s at work…

Trapped Season 2 Recap (Episodes 1-10)

Trapped Season 2 (Credit – RÚV)

On the road to Reykjavík, Thórhildur is whining about being hungry; and when offered lovingly home-made sandwiches, whinges she can’t eat shrimp. So Laufey stops at a service station for new food, telling Thórhildur and Aron (who has tagged along) to stay put. What are the odds? Thórhildur needs a pee so insists on going inside, and gallant Aron insists that it will only happen if he goes too.

The ladies’ room is uncannily empty, but the gent Aron waits outside… there bumping into Stefán (so that’s why he was neither at home nor at work), who attacks him, then knocks out and grabs Thórhildur. Now that we’ve seen someone actually committing violence (not just a crime scene afterward), and we have a key suspect, the episode ends.

Season 2, episode 10 is another directed by Baltasar Kormákur, writer and creator of the show. It is full of flashbacks, exposition, moody men, impassioned speeches, and another death… and pigs.

The first flashback is right at the start of the episode, looking back at Finnur trying to persuade Gisli to sell his land… I’m not going to do a complete he-said-she-said recap with this episode; it goes all over the place.

I’ll tell you roughly what happened (and I can’t promise it’s exactly in the right order) and see if I can outline roughly why… but I do wish the Log Lady appeared again this week to give us a summary in rhyme or something. Kind of like the Story of the Reason, everything makes some sense while watching the episode but seems sketchy afterward.

Stefán is very clearly the bad guy, having stolen Thórhildur and run off with her in his car over hills and vales. And having found both Aron and the service station’s CCTV, the police know it too by now.

But if he had a plan a few days ago, he’s completely lost hold of it by now and seems to have stopped caring too. Stefán’s car gets stuck in the water early in the episode, and he makes no effort to sneak off with his hostage: some horserider actually sees him carrying the girl and reports it to the police. He makes his way off to some ski hut but actually drops her down a rocky hillside! (I think I yelped watching that bit: it was very realistically done.) Everyone is after him by now, even a police helicopter, which he has the gall to shoot at; so consequently, when the police track down the cabin, they know he’s armed.

Meanwhile, Andri is carrying out interviews to “gain some understanding”, including Stefán’s mother Jórunn. She reveals she’s never loved Stefán as she wanted to: she adopted him as a baby, is not his real mother, the episode’s first big secret out in the open.

His next interview is Elín, Aron’s mother and Halla’s sister, who tells them what she saw all those years ago. In this scene, we find out what those gravediggers were on about and what Halla had been in denial about (and it’s a very nicely written flashback): Elín, Halla, and Gisli’s father used to beat them, occasionally locking the older kids in the pig pen, and raping Halla too, which Gisli did his best to protect her from.

Then one day came the last straw, and Gisli hits him several times over the head with some farm tool, and the twins drag his body to the pigs… which is why their father’s body is never found, and why Gisli was a deeply troubled man.

So by the time Andri catches up with Stefán on the mountainside, and – against everyone’s better judgment – goes into the ski hut unarmed, he does have some compassion towards the messed up history which tipped him over into violence.

His main aim is to get Stefán to tell him where Thórhildur is, of course, but in doing so gets Stefán to talk about the toxic waste, the money he had stashed away for the foreign workers, how Finnur tried to keep it for himself (so he could buy Gisli’s land) and how if it wasn’t for finding that money, Thórhildur wouldn’t be in the fix she’s in now.

Unfortunately, Stefán finds himself to be in a hopeless situation and shoots himself, but not before Andri finds a piece of Thórhildur’s clothing, and throws it out of the window for the search dogs to use.

Epilogue time and we have another dead man; Thórhildur rescued and in hospital with her family around her; Vikingur on his own, now that Ebo’s gone back to Ghana and his family (though talking to his mother again); and Hinrika refusing to take Bárður back, although clearly pining for the baby that never was.

There is so much on the parenthood theme in this season. There are definitely loose ends, such as the Hammer of Thor gang, and the American Aluminium deal; but these were only about the side plot. Some say it was never quite clear that Stefán killed Ásgeir, but I think that’s more to do with slightly slack writing than odds on an extra killer.

Overall, season two has had a complex plot which is less believable the more one looks at it. But the characters are either loveable, well drawn or painfully realistic, with the acting and camera work sharp to match. I’ll recommend this show to anyone who’s not put off by subtitles (and the idea of a rapist getting comeuppance via hungry pigs), and it’s made me more likely to watch Adrift.

And that completes my recap of Trapped Season 2! What was your favorite or least favorite episode? Did one scene stand out? Comment below.

The post Trapped’ Season 2 Detailed Recap: Key Events and Turning Points appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.