TV: Deadwind (Season 2)

While slightly less memorable than the first season, Deadwinds sophomore year is still pretty solid, a Nordic procedural that gets plenty of mileage from its charismatic stars. The series follows the mystery-solving exploits of Finnish detectives Sofia Karppi (Pihla Viitala) and Sakari Nurmi (Lauri Tilkanen) of the Helsinki police.

When Karppi and Nurmi learn that a murder in Helsinki may be connected with a similar crime in Tallinn, Estonia, their investigation takes them back and forth across the Gulf of Finland. The crime appears to be connected to a politically charged project to build a tunnel between the two cities, the pet project of ambitious Helsinki mayor Sara Tulisuo (Leena Pöysti). But as the bodies pile up and the puzzle fills in, Karppi and Nurmi gradually find deeper layers involving police corruption and international drug smuggling. Meanwhile, Karppi’s troubled daughter Henna (Mimosa Willamo) gets criminally entangled with dealers and ends up in hot water, adding additional challenges to Karppi’s already difficult single motherhood.

Deadwind isn’t mind-blowing television, but it’s a satisfying Scandi-noir that makes the most of its gorgeous northern scenery and winning leads. Vitaala and Tilkanen, both portraying rather internal and depressed partners, manage to do so with both nuance and sympathy, along with a subtle, smoldering chemistry. The mystery isn’t particularly enthralling at first, but it ramps nicely and ties the threads together in the final two episodes. It adds up to another low-key, enjoyable puzzler for fans of international mystery.

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