It’s been a year since Euro TV fans in North America have had new episodes of Detective Montalbano, and the two that premiered over the past week were worth the wait.
The first of the new Detective Montalbano episodes premiered in the US and Canada last Tuesday, the second today. And like the 30 that came before, they are molto buono — with intricate storylines, red herrings, and plenty of humor.
“Merry-Go-Round” (“La giostra degli scambi” — based on the novel The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri) revolves around a series of abductions of young women who work at area banks. The first two are released completely unharmed (save for the shock of having been kidnapped) and without a ransom, so it’s a bit of a head-scratcher for Montalbano (Luca Zingaretti, Borsellino, Perlasca). Before he learns about these incidents, an intruder at his home prompts housekeeper Adelina (Ketty Governali) to take matters into her own hands.
In other police goings-on in the Sicilian town of Vigàta, Mimi (Cesare Bocci, The Family, The Teacher) is looking into the matter of a stolen car, and Fazio (Peppino Mazzotta, Mafia Undercover, Anti-Mafia Squad) is investigating the arson of an antiques shop whose playboy owner has disappeared. Then there is a third abduction, only the perpetrator treated this woman quite differently.
Featuring in this episode are Fabrizio Bentivoglio (Romanzo Siciliano), Raffaele Esposito (Inspector Manara), Sebastiano Lo Monaco (The Octopus), and Desirèe Noferini (Don Matteo).
The most hilarious opening of any Montalbano episode is the one in “Amore” (“Love” — based on two short stories found in the Camilleri collection titled Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories). I don’t do spoilers, so will only say that Livia (Sonia Bergamasco, The Family) is in the scene.
What follows is quite sad. A blind, older man is searching for his daughter, who hasn’t been in contact for a month. His younger daughter explains to Montalbano that her sister had been victimized and led a troubled life before meeting a man with whom she finally found love, so it doesn’t make sense that she would leave him when she was so happy. The thing is, the missing woman’s lover suffered from an obsession.
Speaking of, Salvo can’t let go of something that Livia has told him, so much so that he has Catarella (Angelo Russo, Corleone, Baci Salati) do a bit of relationship recon for him. Meanwhile, an elderly couple who’ve been married and acting together for decades are rehearsing for a performance of Romeo and Juliet before tragedy strikes.
This episode features Stella Egitto (Anti-Mafia Squad), Fabrizio Ferracane (Palermo Connection), Serena Iansiti (The Young Montalbano), and Gigio Morra (Gomorrah).
Reprising their roles for one or both of the new episodes are Carmela Gentile (Baarìa) as Mimi’s estranged wife Bebe, Giovanni Guardiano (Romanzo Criminale) as forensics specialist Jacomuzzi, Davide Lo Verde (Anti-Mafia Squad) as cop Galluzzo, and Roberto Nobile (Nero Wolfe) as TV news journalist Nicolò Zito.
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