TV: Deadwind (Season 3)

At the end of the day, Deadwind may simply be a pedestrian police procedural; certainly, its third season concludes with a sense of diminishing returns, the mystery components not quite as inspired as previous seasons. But it remains an appealing watch, my version of comfort viewing, conveying the requisite, lingering views of its attractive stars and Nordic scenery.

Season three begins with the smoldering detective duo of Sofia Karppi (Pihla Viitala) and Sakari Nurmi (Laura Tilkanen) reunited, following Karppi’s temporary suspension from duty. Their underlying disagreements have driven a wedge between them, but they’re asked to mend fences for the good of the department. Their new case involves a series of ritualistic murders that appear connected to pharmaceutical trials for a rehab drug. As the bodies pile up, leading the partners through the streets of Helsinki and the surrounding countryside, so does the emotional weight of their pasts. This includes not only their mutual, fleeting romantic entanglement, but dark moments from their histories stirred loose by the latest serial case.

Season three has all the rhythms of the previous years—perhaps to a fault, its plot a contrived weave of wild coincidences connecting everyone on the stage. This includes Sofia’s estranged stepdaughter Henna (Mimosa Willamo), whose release from prison for drug smuggling lands her in a good, if truncated, crime underworld subplot. All this furniture—elaborately staged crime scenes, Big Pharma corruption, convenient clues arriving on cue to propel the partners toward a solution—unfolds in rather pro forma fashion, with Karppi’s hunches inevitably trumping Nurmi’s inherent skepticism. Still, there’s something effortless about watching Deadwind. Its chilly landscapes, sparsely populated sets, and stoic, dogged heroes speak to me. In these dark, forboding times, maybe it’s just nice to see two flawed, persistent people withstanding everything life throws at them, finding order in the chaos.

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