Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Shetland, series four, episode three: Reestit Norwegian pigeons, more dads, embarrassing snogging, and a suitcase full of toothbrushes. The catch-up continues

Wings Over Shetland. It's a unionist plot against The Beloved Stuart! Oh yes it is!
My thanks to the legendary Orlando Ancilotti and others for pointing out what appeared at first to be the new acting activities of Wings Over Scotland blogger and Scottish independence campaigner Stuart Campbell (see above). It's Thomas Malone, the Beardy Bard of Bath! Except it isn't, it's clearly just another BBC plot to besmirch the cause of Braveheartian Indie activism. Or a coincidence. Or Stu and Stephen Walters have the same stylist.

Also, some TV and film geeks have been pondering the show's 'framing': apparently everybody is in the 'wrong' place on screen, with too much sky, sea and too many sheep. Leaving aside excessively rude remarks by a certain Orcadian about size and trowies, I feel this is because the Zetlandic landscape is as much a star as that firm of solicitors Henshall, O'Donnell and Robertson. But I would say that.

Anyway, back to the show, and I was guessing that all the off-screen yowling and hammering at the end of last week would turn out to be Malone mincing his own head into sassermaet clatch or reestit mutton crumble in order to besmirch Benny Blue Boiler Suit's bad rep even further. 

It would seem not...

Right: Volvo, yet more drone footage, Malone on a moor with an unlicensed gun. Here we are with Wildlife Killick woman. Donna, who's Alan's real father? How is that your business? Because I am a policeman, a big friendly policeman. Some rigger from down south. He was kind. I met him in the Klaymore. More Ks. Is this a Masonic code? Kould be.

And... I was wrong! Benny Blue WAS attacked by Malone and he's in hospital. Never mind, Tosh is in Bergen with tall blond people who speak like they're in The Killing. Or maybe The Kiln. The Kilmuir. The Killick. Back in the Kilbert Kain Hospital, Drew and his koiffure are bedside with Benny. What did Malone do with that hammer? Tickle him slightly? I've seen more facial damage with a makeup allergy.

Trees! That'll be Norway. Another Volvo. I demand a Saab. We're on an island, a villa with antlers and much decking; us, Tosh and a handsome Norwegian cop called, inevitably Lars. Tosh finds herself facing some sinister reestit pigeons, or possibly infamous Norwegian grouse. Another shotgun. How did Malone get here so quickly? Aha, it's Andreas Hagan the missing human resources executive. He's grumpy. 
Reestit pigeon, or infamous Norwegian grouse?

Back in Shetland, Jimmy confronts Malone, who hides his shotgun. I knew it was unlicensed. Getting your pictures signed by a responsible person can be a real hassle when you're fresh out of nick and applying for a certificate. Whoosh, to Norway, and I see what these TV folk mean about framing. The director's been watching Wes Anderson movies. Now we're onto the dead-Danny-Harrison, Sally-the-deceased hack, drunken-oil-rig-crew story.  Andreas is hiding something. He's shocked Sally was in Bergen the previous week - who was she there to see? Let's check the CCTV in Bergen Airport, shall we?

Never mind that, Here's Allan and Cassie ('we've got four dads between us') and there's our (as in me and my wife Susan's) real house, which I'll have you know is 250 years old this year, at the end of the Hillswick beach. Huh. All we got was a visit from Davie Gardner and the road closed for days. Also, they overloaded the septic tank. Anyway, Alan now knows his dad wasn't his dad, the search is on for the real one-night-stand back at the Klaymore. Drew is drunk and missing. Call a hairdresser.

CCTV time, Bergen Airport. Sally met someone from a taxi company, apparently. You can tell by the noticeboard the driver was holding. Tosh talks to the taxi firm (off camera; I feel obscurely cheated) and is instantly at a dodgy club, or possibly concert venue/arts centre/dance therapy workshop, only with more bad beards and a billiard table. Sinister looks, earrings. I smell trouble. Bet the beer's dear. Funny, it looks just like the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow. That there should be something so similar in Norway!

Back in Shetland, Drew seems to be off for some thalassotherapy, and frankly his hair's a mess. Or maybe he's paddling, or gathering whelks. Or contemplating a very chilly suicide. Jimmy, though wishes to converse with him about Killicks, DNA and all that who's-the-daddy stuff. Both he and Jimmy are freezing, wet and in need of a good cappuccino, or something stronger. I think Jimmy's an Aberlour fan.

Norway, and suddenly Tosh is talking to the goth barmaid from the arts centre/bar/exhibition space/Barrowland tribute act. Seems Sally met a fascist Norwegian called Matti, from the Norwegian Defence Army. Dodgy Anders Breivik resonance there. Apparently Matti threatened to kill Sally. Ah. 

Cut to Shetland and Drew, dry, has hitherto unseen evidence that Malone did the original Kilmuir killing. No idea what it is though. Malone meets Kate Kilmuir and her/his daughter in Da Noost pub (actually closed these days, other Lerwick bars are available). A frisson flies.

Bergen. There's nice Lars. He has a demented grandfather so he MUST be a good guy. Tosh is being followed by a dodgy fellow in a hoody, but Lars takes her out for a VERY EXPENSIVE orange coloured fruity drink. He's on beer. Hope she's on decent expenses. Lars has footage of Sally meeting someone, we know not who. The NDA? They're organising and attacking immigrants, says Lars. Tosh says she feels like a hobbit compared to all the blond supermodels of Norway. Stop wearing those Barbour jackets then, dear.

OK, Jimmy phones Tosh. Sally WAS investigating the NDA and planning an article. Tosh is in a long creepy corridor in her hotel. "There's someone in my room" - it's hoodyperson, but he runs away, having shoved her viciously. Poor Tosh.

Jimmy's at the airport with Other Dad. Bit of manly arm slapping. Cassie will be looked after while Jimmy's away on Norway. I love you, Jimmy. I love you too, Duncan. Back with dodgy Drew (hairspray now holding) who's in the huff with Donna. Is he Alan's dad? Who knows? Who knows anything?

Right, Tosh and Jimmy in Bergen. More very expensive coffee/drinks/pickled herring/smoked puffin/whalemeat. It's all NDA now, arson attacks in Oslo, and the need to talk to Matti. "Out uv da kvestion!" says blonde female Norskicop. Wow, Jimmy gives it Fair Isle smoulder and asks to see a list of Nazis called Matti. Of course she crumbles. What would Duncan say?

Back in Hillswick, Alan is searching through a suitcase which apparently contains his real dad's toothbrushes, going back years. "My real dad's in here!" Cassie's helping. There are toothbrushes flying everywhere. Bergen: ("Fascism must be popular in Norway" says Tosh. They are accessing the list.  Hillswick, Donna arrives and discovers Alan and Cassie raking through the toothbrushes. 

"This rigger from England story's not fooling anyone." Uh huh. Why do Kate Kilmuir and Donna look so alike? Remember the Late Lizzie and Kate were IDENTICAL TWINS!

Bergen. Matti's a possible rapist as well as being a Nazi. He's hoodyman. Jings, as if poor old Tosh doesn't have enough to cope with. She and Jimmy have his  address though. Confrontation looms.

Shetland. Kate is round at Malone's and whisks him off to use her washing machine. Bergen. Jimmy and Tosh meet Matti's mum, who appears to be about seven feet tall. In her house, that framing/Wes Anderson thing again. There's a big weird picture of a dog. Everybody stands stock still and mutters. Not in Norwegian. Weird lighting too. Matti's mum appears to suspect her son could be a killer. Come in, go ahead, search away! In his room (sinister music) there's two dodgy Anglepoise lamps and a whole lot of death metal band posters. Excessive, pathological neatness. Jimmy and Tosh rummage, presumably with a special Zetlandic rummaging warrant - and guess what? They find a picture. Matti's dad is...GRUMPY ANDREAS with the shotgun and the reestit pigeons! Well, one of his dads. There are bound to be others. "Let's go!" Batman music, played on hollow reindeer horns.

Back to Shetland, where we're amid the Ruth Brownlee paintings again, and Sally's former flatmate, who's deaf and whose lip reading skills will probably come in handy later, I'll be bound. Sandy's frustrated. Poor Sandy.

Malone meanwhile can't use the washing machine at Kate's, and much giggling ensues over underwear. Saucy! Molly the daughter is upset and runs away.  Sandy arrives, not in a Volvo but a Ford Mondeo diesel estate, and comforts her.

And in Norway,  Andreas says he didn't do it: "Killing journalists is not my style." Apparently Sally was going to expose Matti's nasty Nazism if Andreas didn't tell all about the drunken Norwegian oil rig offshore Tupperware party which killed Danny. Andreas warned her not to get involved with the NDA (which is different from DNA). Would Matti have killed her? Not the Matti Andreas knew. Here's his address. "If you find him, tell him his father loves him." But are you SURE you're REALLY HIS FATHER, Andreas? I frankly hae ma doots!

Kate Kilmuir and Malone are cosying up over what looks like a tin of Sapporo and a bottle of Cloudy Bay, both of which in my experience are tricky to find in Shetland. "Eh waant to look eeeveryone in the aye and lait them knoo eh em a good men."
"I think you are a good man!" Snogging ensues. Sandy and Molly are out in the car. Oh dear, I think they're going to...oh no, that's not a can of Sapporo, it's a jug. And the Cloudy Bay's actually just Blue Nun. Aaargh, squirm, Molly's going to see...thankfully just some energetic sofa snogging with Malone and her mum. Embarrassing. That beard looks scratchy.

Bergen. Tosh and Perez are wandering the cobbled streets, scenically, in the twilight. The simmer dim. Or as they say in Norway, the simmer dim. Don't look now, but "the black van behind us has been following us all day." 
"Who is it?"
"I don't know and I don't want to find out."
Whit? Call yourself a cop Perez? Suddenly there are a dozen black vans. Who ARE those guys? 

Doubtless we'll find out next week. My money's on a sub plot involving fish farming. They're lumpfish breeders. Or more dads.

This week's PQ (Pony Quotient):Nil. Very disappointing., Bring us Socks!

Volvo appearances: two, one in Norway, one in Shetland. It's the genre known as Scandic Car.

Pulley appearances: two, one at Drew's one at Donna's (thanks to Maggie McRitchie for this). Drew's empty, Donna's festooned with deeply symbolic blood red washing!

For more exclusive Shetland material, including locations from the series, check out the Promote Shetland microsite at

Very scary Shetland pony, not Socks


Ecossaise said...

Keep these up Tom, am loving them, apart from the fact that I now watch the programme wondering how you are going to interpret it!

gz said...

Much better than watching the programme itself!!