Crimes of Passion – Tragedy in a Country Churchyard (No Bee Gees)

Crimes of Passion – Episode 6 

Tragedy in a Country Churchyard

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The final episode. Will Christer and Puck get together?  Will Eje’s on/off glasses settle on which they want to be?  Will it be Puck who is killing everyone so Christer will come?

First on screen tonight, is someone sneaking into a church and using a key to get into a chest and steal the silver.

It would seem that Puck’s family haven’t been following her recent history of wherever she goes, death follows, as she has been invited home for Christmas. She and Eje are there, in yet another big house, this time the vicarage, showing that Puck has been circulating in appropriate company in previous episodes.  Eje is sans glasses.  Puck’s Uncle Tord is there (who is the local vicar) along with his daughter Lotta, and housekeeper Hjördis. The final attendee is Puck’s father Johannes, who is regaling the throng with tales of his archaeological adventures. Puck’s dad being Indiana Jones explains a lot.

As with last week, you can’t help notice how wonderful the scenery is with the addition of snow. The wintry landscapes really add to the authenticity of the show.

We meet the beautiful blonde Barbara, who is with a man in her room when her husband Arne arrives home and the man quickly climbs out of the window. She is surely the favourite to end up with Christer this week.  Arne, who owns the local grocer’s shop, gives her a pearl necklace for Christmas (no, not like that) and it’s maybe worth pointing out that tradition in Sweden is to open presents on Christmas Eve.

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Puck and Eje are wrapping presents and the former is giving her father a copy of the crime novel she has written, with the author on the cover an anagram of her own name.

Barbara enters the vicarage and asks if anyone has seen her husband as he has gone missing. Credits time and I will miss hearing and seeing the opening sequence.

The Puck household go to look for Arne en mass and go to his house with his baker shop next door. Eje, who seems to be flirting a little with Barbara, and Johannes go into the house.  Puck, waiting outside with Lotta is never going to miss out on all the fun and she and Lotta go into the grocer’s shop, where Puck finds Arne lying dead behind the counter.  Although she clearly doesn’t want to scare ten year old Lotta, she doesn’t even react when seeing the body.

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So we need someone to investigate. There are clearly local police, but will they do?  Would it not be better to get someone from the murder squad in Stockholm (which seems to consist of one person) to investigate?  Uncle Tord tells Puck at the end of the church service he has given, that someone from Stockholm has arrived from the police.  His name is Christer.  In the most unnecessary line so far, Puck enquires “Wijk?”  Of course it is.  Off she goes to see him, without telling Eje, who is further back in the queue to get out of the church.  He doesn’t look happy when the vicar tells him that’s where she is.

Mother and daughter Tekla and Susanne are members of the church choir, along with pretty much everyone else, including the deceased Arne. Susanne is very much under mother’s thumb and seems too young for Christer, although she’s not a patch on Barbara anyway.

Conny, who was the previous bakery owner and current assistant, enters the story along with his half-brother Marten. The latter was seen in town at the time of the murder so that seems to rule him out.

Barbara wants to get more clothes from her own house and asks Eje to help. Puck says she will help and Christer agrees to go with them.  Amazing how jealous Puck is getting when she has been spending too much time with Christer all through the series!

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Barbara, staying at the vicarage, asks Puck to come to her room to zip up her dress. Although she didn’t even have the dress on at that point and Puck doesn’t seem overly comfortable as Babs stands in her bra, knickers and stockings.  (Looked fine to me).  Puck complies when she does finally put the dress on.

Conny admits to Christer that he had gone to the grocers to get more vodka and had discovered Arne’s body. Puck goes back to her traditional snooping and sees Barbara and Marten hugging.

Eje is in Barbara’s room and helps her pick up the pearls from her necklace. In his usual dorky fashion, he manages to bang his head on the bed as he recovers one which has rolled under it.  Babs kisses him on the forehead and he looks like a 12 year old boy who has been kissed for the first time.  As he leaves, Puck sees him coming out of her room.

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Puck and Eje are in bed and Puck can’t sleep. She says that she can’t stop thinking about Barbara.  A half asleep Eje says “me neither” and gets punched in the arm.  She asks him if he thinks Barbara is pretty and he lies “no”.  Puck is undoubtedly jealous, forgetting all the flirting she has been doing with Christer in every other episode.

Barbara tells Christer she likes alpha males. To be honest, it looks like she just likes males, and although Christer is having a good look at her, the lack of his pulling tactics coming out means she is either going to die or is the murderer.  There are quite a few suspects.  Everyone in it apart from our usual three and as with every other episode, all who feature have something to hide.  Was 1950s Sweden really this full of liars?

Lotta sees a torch shining in the woods and puts her doll in the bed to make it look as though she is still there and heads outside to investigate. It’s obvious that she is related to Puck even if we didn’t know.  It’s eventually realised that Lotta is missing and they all go and look for her.  They go to the church and in a tactic used in several episodes, don’t turn on the lights and use torches to add to the atmosphere.  They find Lotta tied up and also discover that the stolen silver has reappeared.  She tells everyone that a man had covered up her eyes and a woman had tied her up, but she didn’t see who it was.

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Susanne comes to speak to Christer and Puck and says that her mum had killed her dad. He had a burst appendix and Tekla hadn’t got any help until it was too late.  Her dad had told Arne before he died about what Tekla did and Arne had been blackmailing her, which explained where he was getting his money from with his grocery business failing.

Eje tells Christer at breakfast that he is taking Barbara into town and he is just being supportive which Christer laughs heartily at, judging everyone by his own standards. Puck comes down to breakfast and things are decidedly frosty, both indoors and out.   Puck asks Christer to come to the hairdresser with her and inexplicably, he accepts.

Puck overhears Barbara tell her Uncle Tord that she “doesn’t feel that way about him” and her hatred for the strumpet continues to grow. This grows further when she speaks to Barbara who has a new black dress for her husband’s funeral and is told that Eje paid for it.  When Barbara leaves, Puck goes into her room and Eje finds her there and they have a blazing row.  This includes Puck pulling out several black dresses from Barbara’s wardrobe, despite her having said to Eje that she didn’t have one.  Eje is complaining about her always wanting to spend time with Christer and Puck defends herself by saying that someone is dead.  Eje replies that “There’s always someone dead!”  We noticed that too Eje.  They of course kiss and make up.

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Puck sees Barbara leave the house and follows her. As she steps outside, she seems to have put on her gloves, hat, coat and scarf on magically.  Lotta follows Puck.  They hear a scream and find Barbara dead with a head injury.

Christer has them all in a room. (I feel we have seen this before somewhere).  Marten admits taking the silver because Barbara had said that he wouldn’t. She put it back but the vicar had caught her.  Susanne had been the look out when he stole it.  As a punishment, vicar Tord says that Marten will be the new usher.  I’m not sure if this is better or worse than going to jail.  Marten realises that Susanne has loved him for a long time and they head off into the sunset on his motorbike.

My interest in whodunit has waned enormously by now, so this may be why I don’t understand why Eje, Christer and Puck suddenly wonder where Hjördis is. As they race to the house they find her with a knife to Lotta’s throat.  It had been Hjördis who had given Arne the money to buy his shop and he was supposed to pay her back on Christmas Eve, so when he refused to do so, she put an axe in his head.  Lotta escapes her clutches and Hjördis tries to jump out of the window but is stopped by Christer and Eje.

Next we are back at the vicar’s house and it is new year. Christer leaves the house and goes off without a woman!!  What’s going on!!!!  (Oh and everyone loved Puck’s novel).

So the 6 episodes are over. A lot of people on twitter seem to have loved this series, but I expect it is unlikely to get another outing after its failure to take off in its homeland.

I’ve found myself pining for the quality Nordic dramas of the past. So much so that I went to the cinema on Sunday to see “In Order of Disappearance” which you can read about elsewhere on this site.

BBC4 has an Australian series up next. I’ll be hoping for better.

Issues:

  •  uck, Did I see traces of Eje going grey? (Despite his ever improving eyesight).
  • Given her seeming abundance of money, giving her father a copy of a book she had written, which she probably got for free anyway, seemed a bit of a rubbish present from Puck.
  • Puck told Christer that Marten and Barbara were hugging in a romantic way. Didn’t look like that to me!
  • When Lotta explained she had gone outside because of the torch, she referred to “the blinkerer”.
  • Puck and Eje left Barbara’s room in quite a mess with dresses everywhere.
  • One of the books in Lotta’s bedroom was Inte flera mord! by Maria Lang. It was episode 3 of the series.
  • Isn’t it amazing how often doors are unlocked so Puck can snoop?
  • Lots of Nordic Noir knitwear on show in this episode.
  • The word for “hussy” in Swedish sounds remarkably like “slapper”.
  • Was slightly disappointed when I heard the title of this episode that it wasn’t an outside broadcast of a Bee Gees performance.
  • Given her propensity for being around dead bodies, Puck is like a Swedish 1950s version of Kate Adie.

 

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About wandywatson1

Find me on twitter via @wandywatson
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