Rebecka Martinsson S2 ~ Non-Spoiler Review

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Image shows a photo montage of scenes from Rebecka Martinsson S2. Centre is the theatrical poster for S2 of the show.


🇸🇪 Rebecka Martinsson S2 🇸🇪
(by Gina Meardon)

Rebecka Martinsson is a Swedish Crime Drama on ALL4 Walter Presents U.K., Hoopla and Acorn USA & Canada, Binge and Foxtel Now Aus. Rated G. We previously reviewed Season 1 and the link to that is below. This is a non-spoiler review for Season 2 only.

Based on the books by Åsa Larsson Season 2 continues the story sometime after the events that concluded the end of Season 1. Rebecka has become dissatisfied with life in Kiruna and is preparing to move back to Stockholm, she and Krister are not together but still have feelings for one another.

Cast:

Sascha Zacharias as Rebecka Martinsson

Eva Melander as Anna Maria Mella

Jakob Öhrman as Krister Eriksson

Ville Virtanen as Lars Pohjanen

Ardalan Esmaili as Tommy Rantakyrö

Lars Lind as Sivving Fjällborg

Thomas Oredsson as Sven-Erik Stålnacke

Niklas Engdahl as Måns Wenngren

Jakob Hultcrantz as Robert Mella

Image shows behind the scenes of Rebecka Martinsson with camera operator, clapper board, and Sascha Zacharias as Rebecka
Behind the scenes of Rebecka Martinsson

Crew:

Writers: Åsa Larsson (Novels Det blod son spillts, and Svart stig (9 episodes 2017-2020) Karin Arrhenius (Head Writer), Oskar Söderlund (Head Writer)

Director: Fredrik Edfeldt

Original Music: Dan Berridge

Notes:

  1. Actress Ida Engvoll left the lead role of Rebecka Martinsson after Season 1 to take the lead role of Sofie in Love & Anarchy (Netflix new original contemporary adult comedy), however, she remained as Executive Producer for Season 2.
  2. Rebecka Martinsson is set in Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden, situated in the province of Lapland. It is home to a large population of the Sámi (Sammi), indigenous Finno-Ugric people of Northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. Episodes 1 and 2 reference their culture and presence in Kiruna.

Review:

Season 2 has been a long time coming since Walter Presents first aired this series back in January 2018. There was high anticipation ahead of its arrival. It was well-documented that Sascha Zacharias had replaced Ida Engvoll and many viewers were concerned about whether she could carry the role. The opening credits had the same original score but there were subtle changes with the imagery. Ida’s features were replaced with Sascha’s and the colour palette had changed from the golds and blues of the first series to a much cooler arctic hue of greys and sepia tones.

The new season opened with a story centred on the Sámi community, a character-driven inter-family feud that saw the regular cast assume a ‘secondary role’ to an extent whilst the story evolved and explained the lives and hardships faced by the indigenous community. Also gone from the first story was the comforting snow-covered backdrop, Kiruna looked very different in the late summer/autumn setting. All this may explain why initially reaction was muted online, however by the 3rd episode (second story) the flow and action had returned to a more familiar path.

Personally, as much as I liked Ida as Rebecka, I felt Sascha slipped easily into the role. Rebecka’s relationship with quirky, eccentric pathologist Lars Pohjanen (the irrepressible Ville Virtanen) is just as good as in the first season and even with all the grim storylines can still elicit laugh out loud moments, such as Pohjanen sniffing the corpse on his table or his deadpan, hilarious response to her explanation of how Måns her ex ‘had sold their home in Stockholm at a loss to purposefully leave her in debt’ – both explanation and response unprintable here!

Rebecka Martinsson team photo


By the second story, we begin to see more development of our favourite regular cast characters, we return to Anna Maria’s (chaotic at times) home life and see Sven-Erik’s obsession to get justice on an old case when a body is found in a building being demolished. This storyline is much more in keeping with Season 1 and I can’t help but wonder if this one would have made the critics happier if it had kicked off the second season instead of the Sámi storyline. The snow-covered landscape plays a big role in these 2 episodes, and if the young actress who plays Nelly, the teenage daughter of the suspect looks familiar, that is because she is actress Clara Christiansson Drake who plays Nina, Sonia Ek’s daughter, in Gåsmamman.

By now we also see that the relationship between Rebecka and Krister is just as complex and frustrating as in Season 1, and whilst we know it is a different actress in the role clearly that hasn’t bothered Krister or his dog Tintin!

Rebecka (left) Krister (centre) and Tintin the dog (right)
It’s complicated


There are also subplots, including one that sees Ardalan Esmaili’s cop Tommy Rantakyrö in search of love, only to realise that what he is looking for may be right under his nose.

By now the second season has settled into a comfortable rhythm, the storylines are absorbing, the characters familiar, and to be honest it’s hard to remember this is a ‘new’ Rebecka. But then halfway through episode, 4 things take a turn and the plot darkens. By the end of episode 5’s shocking conclusion, I was sobbing into tissues.

Tommy in Rebecka Martinsson as played by Ardalan Esmaili.


For anyone thinking Season 2 would not live up to Season 1, you could not be more wrong.

With author Åsa Larsson part of the writing team and also an Executive Producer (along with Ida Engvoll) the quality of the show has not diminished. There are the Nordic murders, character conflicts, the ‘will they, won’t they’ of Rebecka and Krister’s relationship, genuine ‘laugh out loud’ moments – Ville Virtanen’s pathologist Lars and Rebecka getting crazy drunk together in a hilarious, unforgettable scene in his apartment, and heart-breaking tragedy, all served up in that incredible landscape of Northern Lapland.


Another aspect of this season I especially liked was the enduring, developing friendship between Rebecka and Anna Maria. It became ‘sisterly’ in nature with Eva Melander’s cop taking on an almost protective older sister role towards Rebecka. Clearly, at times she wanted to knock sense into her, and the fight scene in the snow was both profound and comical.

Will there be a Season 3? – If there is another season, providing the backbone of the series remains – Eva Melander and Villie Virtanan as Anna Maria and Lars, to support Sascha’s Rebecka and Åsa Larsson stays on the writing team – then we will have something exciting to look forward to.

Image shows Rebecka Martinsson with a case file and Tintin the dog.

Link to Season 1 Review:

Rebecka Martinsson: Arctic Murders S1 ~ Non-Spoiler Review

Rebecka Martinsson Season 2 Walter Presents Official Trailer

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