It’s Going To Happen Again
A little girl called Astrid begins episode 1 of Equinox as she hears distant rumbling outside and hurries out to catch a glimpse of the Graduation bus. Onboard is her sister Ida who certainly isn’t in the cheering mood. She heads inside and winds up in a heated argument with her Mother, Lene. There’s fragments of something bigger here, but as Astrid listens from the doorway she can’t make out the crux of the issue.
With a big send-off from the town, Astrid’s Father gives Ida some sound words of advice before encouraging her to go. Lene meanwhile struggles to let her go. Still, Ida gets on the bus and begins drinking as the bus takes off.
That evening, Astrid is awoken by flashing lights outside as police arrive and confirm the worst. Ida has gone missing along with all the other students onboard the bus. The driver is still very much with us but passed out. Speaking of which, Astrid faints and falls down the stairs when she hears, tumbling down so hard that we snap back to the present.
20 years have passed and Astrid is still haunted by the disappearance of her sister. She happens to be the host for a local radio station too but takes time out to pick her kid up from school. Astrid’s past makes it difficult to form relationships and despite not being with her partner David for a year, she clearly has conflicted feelings about him.
She expresses jealousy when he mentions seeing someone else and then steps forward to tries and kiss him. It’s very obvious this girl is suffering.
That evening Astrid receives a strange call while working on her radio show. “There’s another reality. A different reality behind the one we’re in.” The garbled voice calls. “It’s me, Jakob Skipper. I know why she disappeared.” The voice continues as Astrid realizes this somehow links to her sister going missing in the past.
It clearly rattles Astrid who begins acting erratically and desperate to find out what this means.
Back home, she begins sifting through her sister’s belongings, paying special attention to a silver coin mentioned on the call. Accompanying that coin is a newspaper clipping with names of three graduates who turned up again after initially going missing onboard that bus. Jakob Skipper, Amelia Geisler and Falke Gravesen. 21 graduates (including Ida) are still missing.
Astrid travels back to Copenhagen and begins investigating this properly. This brings her to the address held for Jakob Skipper but the shop is actually owned by his brother, Mathias.
Once there, he talks to Astrid in the back. Jakob’s using this property as his “care” address as Mathias calls him a “seeker”. She doesn’t press on this and notices that his replies are cagey, to say the least. Is he hiding something? Well, both Amelia and Falke haven’t been heard from in 8 years and Astrid eventually leaves, none the wiser to what’s really going on here.
That brings Astrid back home with her Mum and Dad, confirming to them what she’s looking to do. Dennis is adamant that the case is closed and tells Astrid to stop.
Getting nowhere with her parents, Astrid turns her attention to the reporter who wrote this newspaper headline, Harald Birch. He’s adamant that one of the trio who returned have something to do with the disappearances. This man was taken off the case for “losing track” and becoming obsessed but Harald simply shrugs it off, telling Astrid he just wants to solve the case.
Grabbing a VHS tape, he shows off interviews with Jakob and the others. “We drove, the truck stopped, and then the others were gone.” Jakob says defiantly. He sounds very convinced by what happened but with no marks or scratches, Harald is convinced he was forced to lie by someone.
Amelia Geisler is also on the tape, pleading innocent and seemingly repentant for her part in all this. Falke sports a nasty cut across his cheek and confirms that Jakob was the one who “persuaded” them to do something significant. Falke also confirms there were just “the four of them”, hinting that Ida didn’t disappear at the same time as the bus.
When Falke begins rambling about an island and Jakob’s Book, things become incoherent. Neither of these things seem to point anywhere substantial, especially not the island which Harald confirms he investigated and found nothing.
Astrid next visits Amelia’s Father, Lars (Laden) who happens to be gambling down at Tove’s Bar. He confirms Amelia is not there and acts completely standoffish with her. In this town of secrets, Astrid is certain someone is hiding something.
In the morning, she looks across her apartment block and sees someone tumbling over the edge to their death below. As she screams and heads outside, there’s nothing there and it seems to be just be a frightening vision she’s experienced. It’s clear these images are linked to Astrid’s frazzled psyche but quite how, remains to be seen.
That evening Mathias calls, frantically asking exactly what Jakob said when he rung her. In the midst of all this he confirms Jakob’s dead and jumped off a rooftop. Only… this seems to hint at Astrid having the gift of foresight.
As the episode closes out, Astrid heads into the bathroom and sees the frightening image of a shadowy figure walking toward her. When she flicks the lights on, it disappears.
The Episode Review
Danish series Equinox begins its 6 episode run with a pretty good opening episode, one that manages to balance suspense and tension nicely with a seriously haunting sound design. In fact, props to the composers for this one as they really manage to audibly bring you into this world, even if the story and pacing hasn’t quite settled into a consistent rhythm yet.
The opening scenes are a little slow and the investigation hasn’t quite tightened up, throwing in a lot of different ideas and themes without much cohesiveness just yet.
The frightening images hiding something far more sinister are a nice touch though and it seems like the show may be gearing up for more fantastical elements to come as we dive deeper into this series. Does Astrid possess the gift of foresight? We shall see of course but it certainly seems that way right now.
In the meantime, Equinox gets off to a pretty good start and hopefully this is just the foundation needed for a bigger plot line to follow.