sun 15/09/2019

Trapped, Series Finale, BBC Four | reviews, news & interviews

Trapped, Series Finale, BBC Four

Trapped, Series Finale, BBC Four

Intricately drawn Arctic chiller achieves a satisfying resolution

Something smells fishy: Ásgier (Ingvar Eggert Sigurdsson) and Andri (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) investigate

A Nordic noir that began in a blazing fish factory was bound to have lots of red herrings. Trapped, however, did not cheat and eventually revealed not only who set the fire but who was the father of Maggi, the ginger cutie waiting ever so patiently for his gift of a red fire engine. Of course, having learned what we’d learned, he no longer wanted it when Andri (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson), our cop hero, turned up on his doorstep with the toy in his hand. Playtime was over.

Maggi, his home squeezed between mountain and sea, would never be able to escape the knowledge that his father was a rapist. It seemed everyone in the far-flung Icelandic town was trapped in some way. The viewer was forced into the same position as the big-eared old man in his wheelchair, watching the action through windows and doorways as well as his telescope. Like Jimmy Stewart’s voyeur in Rear Window, he proved to be one of the good guys.

You could almost feel the shape of your lungs in the glacially clean air

Not so Eirikur (Thorsteinn Gunnarsson), Andri’s father-in-law, who ensured the person he deemed responsible for his daughter’s death burned alive. Andri’s estranged wife took exception to him arresting her father, leading to the wonderful moment when, spending the night in an adjoining cell, the homeless cop was the one viewed through bars, not Eirikur. It was only in the last scene of the last episode that Andri managed to take off his wedding ring. A freedom of sorts.

He was still stuck in the back of beyond though, surrounded by the greedy, the unscrupulous and the depraved: “Such wonderful human beings!” The dead mayor’s wife, for one, a rampant nympho, got off scot-free. Perhaps the exposure of the insurance scam would persuade the Chinese investors to go elsewhere.

If character, as Heraclitus wrote, is fate, then so is environment. The opening titles – in which the land is portrayed as a laid-out corpse (and vice versa) – made the connection explicit. Most of the characters feared exposure one way or another. It was heart-warming when Hjörtur (Baltasar Breki Samper, pictured below), the boy originally suspected of arson, felt able to expose his terrible scars and go swimming with his contemporaries. He, and Hirinika (Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir, echoing Frances McDormand in Fargo), were, after Andri and Maggi, the most sympathetic characters.

You could almost feel the shape of your lungs in the glacially clean air; the dazzling snow-bounced light made you blink. Such fleeting impressions, and the novelty of the location, made you think you were watching something new, yet there was little original about Trapped. It could not have been made without The Killing and The Bridge.

Nevertheless, this song of ice and fire was a pleasure from intriguing beginning to nail-biting end – in the new fish factory (matches providing a much-needed means of escape). Perhaps the meandering was the message. These “wonderful human beings” were great company. As they say to distinguished departing guests in Iceland: bless bless!

This song of ice and fire was a pleasure from intriguing beginning to nail-biting end


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.