SheriffDan

Director: Sam Miller

Writer: Simon Donald

Starring: Richard Dormer, Stanley Tucci, Sofie Grabol, Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston, Luke Treadaway, Jessica Raine, Nicholas Pinnock

**CONTAINS SPOILERS** 

Review: After the compelling opening feature-length episode, merging episodes 1 and 2 back-to-back on Sky Atlantic, we dig our snow shovels deeper in Fortitude’s secrets.

To begin, we get a closer look at Darren Boyd’s Markus Huseklepp and his girlfriend Shirley (Jessica Gunning) who meets Tucci’s DCI Eugene Morton and for me their calm behaviour feels somewhat suspicious. Sure, Markus wanted to chat to him but there’s an essence of something conceivably essential at play. Huseklepp is a teacher in town and informs Morton that ‘You cannot die or be buried here…’ because nothing decays and in fact, he also utters the attention-grabbing words ‘It’s a forensic treasure house’.

As we move forward, Sheriff Dan Anderssen seems to be turning up silently in someone’s house again before knocking; he’s a Vampire who’s already been invited in everywhere I’m sure of it. They’re on the hunt for Jason (Aaron McCusker), who’s disappeared at the same time as Natalie (Sienna Guillory) and he’s a suspect. Of course, the underlying tales of investigation all have a sexual infidelity attachment somewhere but I just don’t think we know how deep that root goes yet.

As the town start to learn about the murder of Professor Stoddart, both the local police and Morton start their own investigations as Luke Treadaway’s Vincent continues to be kept under lock and key, which probably isn’t legal. The truth appears to be that everyone has a second life, possibly no-one is telling the truth and we still don’t know who Elena is or why she’s in Fortitude but as she says to Morton, everyone there is running away from something.

We then turn to focus on Ronnie, who’s losing his mind, as he grabs his daughter and is literally running away to try and help Jason, as he thinks he’s killed the Professor. But Ronnie may well have other issues and is heading towards unanticipated paranoia. Vincent finally gets his release from Prison, and rightly so, but is he the one playing us all? They then find Natalie and Jason hidden away in a snowy hut playing out their sexual affair, and so exempt from killing anyone.

Sofia Grabol’s Governor Odegard appears to be covering her back but, in her defence, I think she’s a desperate woman and there’s more to come from her situation, because it might well appear that she’s gradually getting rid of people against her Glacier Hotel.  Tucci continues to be immense as DCI Morton, his presence is calming and focused amongst the bizarre happenings but we side with him because, like us, he probably doesn’t know half of it yet. There’s a further introduction to Gambon’s Henry Tyson, plus Jessica Raine’s Jules who is currently on looking after the child duty but she discovered that creepy Pig experiment.

This episode hits a nice low key and entertaining conclusion with DCI Morten playing the piano, which in turn follows with him sharing a drink with Sheriff Dan at the bar. While there, they realise and confess to each other that they’re far too committed to their jobs beyond real life. It’s a quirky ending but perfectly fitting with the dark nature of proceedings but I’m happy to be patient as there’s surely a lot to be revealed.

[usr=4] Fortitude is showing now on Sky Atlantic. Check their website for screening times, catch-up by heading here and follow our dedicated blog here.