Icelandic crime thriller Trapped returns for a heart-breakingly good second series
“Does this concern politics, or is this a family affair?”
It can seem like we’re swimming in acclaimed Nordic crime series but Baltasar Kormákur’s Ófærð (also known by its English title Trapped) was the one worth catching in 2016. Its first series had an ingenious concept which saw its cast literally trapped by the wintry weather in a remote Icelandic town and perhaps wisely, Series 2 opts for a different season and a different setting in which to reunite its crime-fighting team.
So we’re in the northern town of Siglufjörður and though he’s now based in Reykjavík, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson’s police chief Andri finds himself drawn to an unfolding case which has both professional and personal implications. And topically, writers Sigurjón Kjartansson and Clive Bradley draw in a number of hot button topics – homophobia, Islamophobia folded into a general sense of the rise of the Far Right, plus a dose of environmental exploitation to amp up the relevance points.
Crucially though, these are all secondary to a story that takes its time to develop its characters, to remind us of who they are, introduce the newcomers, and make us care for them all as, without giving too much away, a whole lotta death and intrigue stalks this town and Andri and Hinrika (the excellent Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir) race against time to find the answers.
Visually, it is a stunning piece of television once again, and without a flake of snow in sight. This time, Iceland’s unique geography is front and centre as stunning rock formations create a no less forbidding backdrop to the personal revelations that push us ever closer to the truth as this tight-knit community frays even further. What’s particularly impressive is the way in which it builds on that first season, without ever relying on it too much. I reckon you could watch this one in isolation and lose nothing, apart from the joy that you’d get in watching it. Definitely worth tracking down.