The Bridge Series-Blog: Week 3, Episodes 5 & 6

THE BRIDGE: Saturday 5th May, BBC4, 9pm

*Read last week’s blog here*

We’re now past the halfway point and, for all his sleeping around and red trousers, Martin is making for an accessible viewpoint character. True, in his gruff manner he might too closely embody the stereotypical Dane (just as Saga could easily be Photoshopped onto the end of an ABBA line up), but the puzzled way he greets Saga’s revelations about her sister are recognisable in a way TV cops and their entourages often aren’t. Speaking of which, it’s nice to have, in Saga, a TV detective who does follow all the rules. Gene Hunt may be a man’s man and a bit of rough for Home Counties housewives, but you wouldn’t want him out looking for your cat. It’d come back stamped on and fitted up for a bank job.

“Thematicâ€? killings are a cliché of the detective genre one can trace back through Whitechapel, Messiah, Se7en and beyond. They’ve become ever more ridiculous, tied to demented psychopaths with bizarre ideologies. The Truth Teller’s “themeâ€? (if that word doesn’t cheapen it) hits a lot closer to home; the hypocrisies of society. Much is made of “victimsâ€? and “deservingâ€? in these cash strapped times, but TT points out how we ignore “needâ€?. The subtle cruelties people enact on each other every day are highlighted elsewhere in the programme – August’s arguments with Martin, Martin’s affair with Charlotte Stringer, Stringer giving away her husband’s fortune – but here they are writ large across society. TT’s goal is almost noble – which is what makes it all the more unsettling.

It’s still too early for there to be any big revelations as to the identity of TT, so the programme is busy telling us who it isn’t; it’s not the shopkeeper, the shopkeeper’s son or Stefan. The crime worker interviewed outside the court is a possibility, but I wouldn’t place money on anybody who so closely quotes the killer. More likely, “Fridaâ€? is TT – recruiting August to take out Saga as some comment on mental illness, perhaps? – but that only raises the question of who Frida is. Maybe it’s Saga’s other, on-off lover. He’s always turning up, and now she’s blown him out in favour of August, well… Still, I do feel a bit sorry for him. We’ve all slept with crazy girls, but none who showed us pictures of corpses afterwards. Though, I may be speaking for myself on that one.

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