Lesley Sharp, Kazia Pelka and Priyanga Burford all impress in the second series of Before We Die
“Let’s agree to let it lie”
Picking up directly where the first series left off, the second series of Before We Die continues its ferociously good work. Based on a Swedish series of the same name, the Scandi-noir aesthetic is effectively transposed to Bristol where organised crime, institutional corruption and flawed police officers are co-existing uneasily.
The focus is on the antagonism between Detective Inspector Hannah Laing and crime matriarch Dubravka Mimica, now exacerbated by the loss of their sons. Dubravka’s is missing presumed dead, Hannah’s is in Costa Rica, trying to live undercover after falling in love with Bianca Mimica and fleeing overseas. And with someone leaking info from police HQ to the Mimicas, Hannah’s race to expose the gang and outrun Dubravska’s vengeance is all the more difficult.
There’s no escaping that it is grim and then grimmer, but it is so well acted IMHO that I really enjoyed it, each episode managing to cultivate a differing but no less effective sense of dread and a convincing air of jeopardy for pretty much every single character. Lesley Sharp and Kazia Pelka are brilliant as Hannah and Dubravka, their emnity crackling off the screen whether together or apart.
Vincent Regan and Priyanga Burford as Hannah’s colleagues also impress, as does Patrick Gibson as Hannah’s essentially well-meaning son. And it was a delight to catch Beardy himself in a small cameo, blink and miss Andy Rush as a PC working on a PC.