Crimes of Passion – Episode 3
No More Murders
So here we are again. Episode 3 of the series set in 1950s Sweden.
What are we in store for this week? How long will it take Christer to get someone into bed? How annoying and interfering will Puck be? Will Eje be fixing something in his vest covered in oil?
We start with the usual TV company logo appearing on screen, which looks like the San Francisco 49s American Football team badge. We open this week with a woman, resplendent in curlers, knocking on her neighbour’s door looking to borrow some coffee. As seems to be the way in 50s Sweden, when she gets no answer, she tries the handle of the door and goes in. She finds her neighbour lying dead on the kitchen floor. We then jump to a man thanking someone for a lift and entering a cabin. Then up comes the excellent title sequence, with the James Bond/Mad Men theme music.
Christer appears and talks to the woman in curlers (she doesn’t look his type) and is told that the dead woman, Britt Andersson has “a lot of visitors” and “likes a drink” and to “have fun”. She tells him that a young man visited recently and that Britt had said it was quite an ordeal. They seem to like saying the word ordeal. Maybe because it sounds like they are saying “pish” in a Glasgow accent.
Puck and Eje are now newlyweds and, complete with Puck’s father’s cat, Thotmes III they’ve borrowed Eje’s sister’s old wooden house and her housekeeper Hulda. (We are told that you can’t beat Hulda’s cabbage pudding. I think I’d be doing my best to beat it to death. Cabbage pudding???)
The cat, who we are told shouldn’t be let out of the house, gets out of the house immediately and Puck and Eje seems to be leaving doors and windows open on purpose with the number of times it gets out. On one of these occasions, it returns with blood on it, and Eje asks his feline friend where it has been. Thotmes the third must be Swedish for Lassie, as it takes him straight to a dead body. Eje decides this is something his wife should see (she hasn’t seen a dead body since last week) and shouts on her to come and see.
The unfortunate deadee is Tommy Holt. The chap we saw right at the start entering the cabin and the bloke we have seen creeping around watching things. He is the son of Colonel Wilhelm Holt and Margit Holt, and brother of Agneta. Although he isn’t really. Margit has enough forehead for the whole family. Tommy seems to have been asked to leave 3 years ago for a reason that the Colonel is not prepared to divulge.
Glamorous blonde Lou Mattson (and favourite to be Christer’s conquest this week) appears as an old friend of Eje. She is married to Yngve, who looks way too old for her and Yngve is the brother of successful authoress Elisabet.
Christer appears, as there is a link to the Holts and the murder of Britt Andersson. It seems that Tommy was in fact adopted, which is news to his sister. It would also appear that Britt was Tommy’s mother. Although the Colonel had told his wife that his mother had died during childbirth. Way to mess up the family Christer!
We meet the busybody sisters, a kind of posh 1950s version of Cissie and Ada, as portrayed by Les Dawson and Roy Barraclough in the 70s and 80s. They let slip to Puck and Eje that Tommy had been staying with them. And that they had seen Tommy arguing with the Colonel. The Colonel, and everyone else, had said they hadn’t seen Tommy.
As seems to be a feature of all of these, everyone in it seems to lie to Christer. It keeps us on our toes who might be the murderer, but are they not all committing an offence?
Christer meets Lou for the first time, as she is swimming in her pool. He looks her up and down creepily as she exits it. Yngve turns up so no action there.
The clues come thick and fast, well as fast as this programme allows, as we see someone stealing keys from Elisabet’s house. (Why does nobody lock their front door?) Puck sees Agneta and the handyman, Borje, arguing. Christer is talking to a mystery man (colleague perhaps?) in a restaurant and they talk about Yngve being home the night of the murder. A waiter interrupts to say that Yngve had in fact been very drunk in the restaurant that night and left at closing time. Elisabet tells Yngve that he has to tell his wife. It isn’t clear about what, but an affair between them seems most likely.
Thotmes III has escaped the house again and comes back with a bow which we are told is “all yucky”. It’s not clear what this means.
We see Lou playing the piano at a party that her and Yngve are throwing. Everyone seems to be there which is odd given there has just been a murder. Puck is off investigating again and is going through Lou’s bedroom. Why she is doing this is anyone’s guess. Lou is playing the piano and suddenly bursts into tears and Christer sees her to her room (surely not!). Neither of them seems to bat an eyelid that Puck is already in the room. Puck finds a pair of shoes in Lou’s closet with one missing a bow.
Borje the handyman, looking increasingly like a young Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, tells Christer that he had seen Tommy at the house. Lou is taken in for questioning. Having a cat steal one of the bows off your shoe was clearly a crime in Sweden in those days.
We see someone walking into Elisabet’s house again, this time turning the gas on. It doesn’t seem to do her any harm as she turns up at Tommy’s funeral with Yngve and thinks she left it on herself. They are asked to leave the wake by the Colonel, at the insistence of his wife. As Lou is in police custody they think that it isn’t appropriate that her family attends.
Christer and Puck are out walking again. (Just how does Eje put up with this?) They just happen to hear a cat meowing and then a splash. They run to the water where nobody can be seen, but a bag is in the water. Puck wades in and takes out the bag, which turns out to be Tommy’s jacket that he was wearing the day he was killed and Thotmes III is wrapped in it. Are you not supposed to put stones in it if you are trying to drown a cat? They are doing a great job of keeping it indoors.
Puck and Christer happen upon a cabin near the water and find Agneta and Borje inside in a state of undress. Agneta comfirms it was Tommy’s jacket. Christer says that there isn’t any blood on it. There also doesn’t seem to be any water on it as it looks completely dry!
Agneta and Borje explain that Tommy had caught them in a similar situation 3 years ago and told them that Agneta’s mother was on the way. She would never accept her daughter and the handyman as an item. As Borje hid, Margit arrived. (They could probably hear her forehead banging off everything.) Seeing Agneta in a state of undress with Tommy made her think they had been having an incestuous relationship. To protect Borje, they didn’t say anything and Tommy was banished. Really??
Next, Borje is delivering groceries to Elisabet and there is no answer at her door. He of course goes in. No sign of her, but there is a letter on her typewriter saying she can’t take it anymore. Christer, Puck and Eje go to where the cat had been and find Elisbet’s shawl in the water. (We won’t wonder how they knew it was hers). They head to her house and find Borje next to the typewriter. Puck says that Borje must be in shock and Eje should make him a coffee. How Eje puts up with her I will never know. It certainly wasn’t like that here in the 50s! Christer opens a box in the room and immediately comes across a picture of Britt. That was lucky! (Sigh).
This somehow means that Lou is clearly innocent (?) and Christer picks her up from the police station. She doesn’t seem particularly bothered that she had been accused, or indeed that she missed Tommy’s funeral. Particularly when she tells Christer that Tommy had been at hers when Yngve had been away on business. She went out for dinner with friends after having sex with Tommy and returned to trip over Tommy’s dead body on the lawn. The flashback of this showed her to dive almost as badly as Cristiano Ronaldo as she fell over the prone body. She then saw her very drunk husband return from the restaurant and fall in the living room, with blood on his shirt.
Christer, continuing to be the bearer of bad news, tells Yngve that Lou had been having an affair with Tommy and that he knew Yngve was bankrupt and getting money from his sister. Christer returns to Elisabet’s house and finds her will under the typewriter which leaves everything to Tommy.
Christer sees Margit heading off in her car and finds Puck and follows her. They find Margot arguing with the Colonel. It turns out that it was Elisabet that was Tommy’s mother and she had gone to Stockholm when she discovered her pregnancy. She had met Britt Andersson and used her name when she gave birth. Elisabet is also there. With Tommy looking for his real mother, he had gone to meet Britt in Stockholm. Tommy had found out the truth and was blackmailing his father. Puck tells them that it wasn’t Tommy that was having an affair with Agneta. It was Margit who had killed Tommy after finding him back home and him saying he now had a proper mother. She had also killed Britt in Stockholm thinking that was who had been having an affair with her husband.
So another case solved. We see Christer drive off after saying goodbye to Puck and Eje. Thotmes III has survived his many escapades, although he may have been the best actor. Just as we think Christer has got through a whole episode without any conquests, he stops to pick up Lou.
Excellent opening graphics and music. Great clothes. Poor story.
- Was this week sponsored by the Great British Bake Off? There was cake everywhere!
- Elisabet looked like a fortune teller with head scarf on at the funeral.
- Lots more suitcases this week to justify Puck’s outfit changes.
- I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that Puck packed her funeral outfit.
- I’ve no idea how authentic the rest of it is, but Swedes drove on the left until 1967.
- Did Britt Andersson not used to be in the band Suede?
- What on earth was Margrit talking about after meeting Thotmes the 3rd when she said “spit, spat, devil’s cat”?
- What happened to Christer’s hair this week? It looked like a wig for most of the episode.
- How did the waiter in the restaurant know what Christer and colleague were talking about and what night? He must have been listening for ages.
- Eje told Puck at the start that nothing ever happens in Skogo, but that’s where they were last week, where multiple murders took place.
- It seems the creators are happy to kill humans but not cats.
- Translation seems to be getting very English. Phrases this week included “It’s all yucky” and “Am I in a pickle now?”
- When Christer and Puck were following Margit in the car, how did they know where she turned off?
- Does Christer only wear a light coloured suit once the crime has been solved?
- Last week we had fanny and this week pussy. I was half expecting Mrs Slocombe to appear.