‘Fortitude’ review: Season 2’s finale leaves many questions unanswered

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The final episode of Fortitude Season 2 leaves many questions unanswered, but provides plenty of scope for a third run.

After murdering Vladik, Dan has alienated himself from his most loyal ally, Petra. When Shentel Biotech officials mistake Petra for Dan and run her off the road, the sheriff comes to Petra’s aid but it’s clear that she’s terrified of him.

Dr. Khatri instructs Michael to find Dan, whose genes may hold the answer to Freya’s illness, and Michael enlists Petra to his cause. Meanwhile, Erling Munk is ordered by Shentel Biotech to remain in Fortitude to see out the crisis, and is vaccinated with muscimol to prevent him from contracting the infection.

Poor Natalie isn’t so lucky, and slips into a delirium as her eyes worsen. Dr. Khatri initially leaves Natalie to her fate as the company extracts her, but feels remorse when Vincent finds her. Khatri tells him that muscimol is the answer, and Vincent goes in search of the ingredients that Michael took from Yeva.

Dan riles up a crowd of Hildur’s grieving friends by telling them Munk killed their beloved governor. He leads the angry mob to Munk, and the horde throw Munk from the office window, a fitting end for the man who usurped Hildur’s position.

Dan narrowly escapes Michael at the governor’s office and returns to the mines, where the Shentel Biotech team eventually find and sedate him. Unable to accept Freya’s fate, Michael continues searching for Dan. With her husband gone, Freya dies alone with only a hallucination (or the spirit) of Vladik to guide her.

Khatri realises that Shentel Biotech views her as a loose end to be eliminated. In an anti-climactic exit for perhaps the most compelling antagonist of the series, Khatri chooses to take down the helicopter with a flare gun rather than be thrown from it.

Michael is nearly killed by the mercenary who has captured Dan, but absentee deputy Eric shows up just in time to save his former rival. Sure, Eric’s sudden appearance is convenient, but there’s an established history in Fortitude of suicidal police officers failing to die in the tundra.

With Dan missing again, Eric takes Michael back to Fortitude to be with Freya, neither man knowing that Freya has already died. In a moment of unprecedented restraint, this realisation isn’t shown and the audience is left to imagine Michael’s grief.

The episode’s uncharacteristic reticence means many questions are left unanswered. What will happen to Michael now his wife has died? Will Natalie survive her infection because Vincent has given her muscimol? Is Dan – or the violent cannibal Dan has become – the new governor of Fortitude?

Although Episode 10 didn’t give a wholly satisfying resolution to the season, its lack of closure does at least provide a solid basis for Season 3. Fortitude’s ambition means it often makes mistakes, yet its periodic brilliance is unique enough to demand an audience’s attention.

Aired at 9pm on Thursday 30 March 2017 on Sky Atlantic.

Buy Season 1 on DVD on Amazon here.

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