Day are getting shorter and nights are getting cooler — the perfect time to cozy up with the latest Scandi noir crime drama to arrive in the US: Missing.
Following a mini-holiday this past week, during which I watched no TV (or film), I wanted to ease back into my viewing with a show along the lines of Beck or Maria Wern — something dark but not gruesome, with a compelling but not overly-intricate storyline, and that would give me a sense of comfy, cozy familiarity while still being fairly new.
Missing (Saknad) fit that bill to a tee.
Missing stars Helena Bergström (Annika Bengtzon) as Maja Silver, a national police inspector based in Stockholm who returns (with her beautiful horse) to her hometown for a two-week holiday and with a mission: to reconnect with her daughter Becky (Bergström’s real-life daughter Molly Nutley, Thicker Than Water), who prefers being called Rebecka now. (And who reminds me of Beck’s daughter Inger.)
The two have been estranged for a while, and Helena hasn’t been back to this Bible Belt town for even longer. So while she’s here, she pops by the local precinct where she began her career to see her mentor Ragnar (Ralph Carlsson, The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared). He’s being forced to retire and isn’t happy about it.
But before his pension can kick in, a young woman is found dead by the side of a highway, Ragnar suffers a fatal heart attack, and the precinct chief and the powers that be back in Stockholm determine that Maja is the best person to lead the investigation of the death of the unidentified victim.
With that, Maja inherits Ragnar’s dog Ziggy and becomes the temporary boss of local cops Erik Wester (Mattias Nordkvist, Our Time Is Now) and (former flame) Ola Björnelid (Johan H:son Kjellgren, Anno 1790), not to mention the nemesis of former colleague and current prosecutor Camilla Modin (Anna Bjelkerud, Blue Eyes).
Meanwhile, the seriously skeevy yet charismatic traveling preacher, Pastor Stein (Johan Widerberg, Modus), holds sway over both the church’s board of directors and the congregation, especially among the young people rapt in his brand of Christian revivalism.
One such member of the flock is Emelie Berglund (Saga Samuelsson, The Sandhamn Murders), the teen-aged daughter of local undertaker Dan Berglund (Samuel Fröler, Rebecka Martinsson). Unfortunately for both of them, Emelie discovers her father’s long-held secret, runs away in shock, and goes missing.
Now Maja and her team must figure out if, and if yes, how, the cases of the two young women are connected. And if Emelie is still alive, time is of the essence to find her.
Dark and moody, with folksy, bluesy tunes that punctuate the unsettling feeling just beneath the surface throughout the four-part miniseries, Missing marks the return to television of Bergström’s husband, Colin Nutley (Annika Bengtzon), after a nearly twenty-year absence. He wrote and directed the drama, which features Julia Dufvenius (Modus), Fredrik Meyer (Thicker Than Water), Vanna Rosenberg (Arne Dahl), and Sharon Dyall (Inspector Winter).
Missing is currently streaming in the US exclusively on MHz Choice and the MHz Choice Channel on Amazon Video. If Scandi noir is your thing and you haven’t watched it yet, you should definitely check it out.
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