‘Fortitude’ review: Season 2 Episode 3 has better character development than plot

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In this week’s episode, the second season of Fortitude slows its pace and focuses on its living residents.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Eric survived his encounter with Tavrani the taxidermist, who pulled a gun on the acting sheriff last week. After his attempted escape is foiled by Ingrid, Tavrani’s interrogation reveals a potentially supernatural element to the killing.

Though Eric and Petra assume Tavrani killed Hindemith, the case grows more complex after the decapitated body of a woman is found. Tavrani’s incarceration means he can’t have dumped the body, and he soon falls victim to a masked butcher who cuts out his tongue to keep him from talking.

Ingrid finally takes her brother Rune into custody and reveals to Eric that his belt was found in Hindemith’s house. After recognising the voice of Tavrani’s mutilator, Rune leads the police to the room that Ingrid suspects Hindemith died in.

Dan’s detective instincts and his love of Elena put him in conflict with the sinister Dr. Khatri. With Eric distracted by the murder investigation, the former sheriff may be the only one who can stop Elena’s vivisection and discover what Khatri is researching.

Poor unfortunate Vincent may not have escaped the wasp attack unscathed, and wakes up blind whilst out in the arctic with Natalie. The source of the blindness and whether it is temporary is currently unclear. It’s possible that certain symptoms lay undetected in Vincent, but his panic attack at a fly earlier in the episode may indicate that it stems from his psychological trauma.

Though the mystery remains central to Fortitude, Episode 3 has better character development than plot, particularly for Hildur. As she tries to come to terms with her dismissal, Hildur turns to friend and old flame Michael Lennox rather than her estranged husband Eric for comfort. Sofie Gråbøl and Dennis Quaid have an incredible chemistry that makes their shared confessions the highlight of the episode.

Though there’s nothing romantic between Hildur and Michael now, Eric is unlikely to approve of Hildur’s trip away with an old boyfriend. To make matters worse, Eric learns the truth about his wife’s sacking from Erling Munk instead of her. Still, Eric is the one who cheated on Hildur and abandoned her to search for Dan’s frozen body, so he’s hardly husband of the year.

Hildur visits a neighbouring Russian town, whose governor and officials are later seen burning a pit of human and reindeer corpses. Elsewhere, Natalie and Vincent discover a reindeer feasting on the flesh of a polar bear. In the first season, Natalie recounted how reindeer supposedly aborted their foetuses when a demon lived amongst the herd- could this be impatience, Fortitude plants hint after hint and excels in its quieter moments of character development.

Aired at 9pm on Thursday 9 February 2017 on Sky Atlantic.

Buy Season 1 on DVD on Amazon here.

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