The Lorenskog Disappearances Season 1 Review – A well-written, slow burn crime drama


Season 1

Episode Guide

The Investigators
The Journalists
The Lawyers
The Journalists: Part 2
The Informants


The Lorenskog Disappearances is a well written, slow-burn crime drama, working off a semi-fictional retelling of a high-profile case that rocked Norway to its core back in 2019.

For those unaware, the story goes like this: Norwegian billionaire Tom Hagen left his mansion in Lorenskog one morning to visit his office at Futurum business park. In his absence, his wife, Anne-Elisabeth Hagen, was kidnapped and held to ransom.

With clear signs of a struggle inside the house, and a letter left behind threatening to harm or kill Anne if Tom and his family contact the police and media, things don’t look good. Not only that but the kidnappers also ask for 9 million euros to be paid through Monero cryptocurrency. Only then will she be returned safely. They also unnervingly claim to have been keeping an eye on the family for a while so will know if he goes to the police.

Tom does get the cops involved though, who discreetly start a covert operation to find out exactly who has taken Anne – and why. They do their best to keep it out of the media, but it’s only a matter of time before they get involved.

The 5 episodes work together to explore different parts of the case through the eyes of several protagonists. These juxtaposing viewpoints mostly center on two main protagonist. The first is Erlend, a criminal journalist who has a personal stake in this case thanks to some pretty dark events in his own past.

Meanwhile, the lead investigator with the police is a woman called Jorunn Lakke, whom we follow early on and see all the ups and downs of her life, including problems back home and dead-ends and false narratives linked around this case.

As one may expect from a Scandinavian crime drama, there’s a good deal of care put into the mood, tone and atmosphere of this 5 part series. The characters are well fleshed out, with a lot of time taken to get to know their backstories and understand their stakes in the disappearance of Anne-Elisabeth Hagen.

Given the nature of the case and the unusual circumstances – not to mention the frustrating lack of resolution – it’s nice to see the show take a more pragmatic approach to getting us invested in the people investigating this one, as well as the case itself.

If I had to be super harsh though, episode 3 is probably the weakest of the five chapters here, sandwiched between two episodes that focus almost exclusively on Aleks and Erlend. While the chapter isn’t bad per-se, it feels more like a transition episode, before the final two pick things back up again.

In many ways, this show does bear some similarities to HBO’s The Staircase. Much like that dramatic retelling of an infamous real-life case, there just aren’t any definitive answers to this one. There are certainly a number of different theories thrown about, and several of these are explored across the run-time.

As far as Scandinavian crime dramas go though, The Lorenskog Disappearances is a tightly compact and moody crime drama that’s well worth a watch.


Read More: The Lorenskog Disappearances Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 8/10

13 thoughts on “The Lorenskog Disappearances Season 1 Review – A well-written, slow burn crime drama”

  1. I contacted Netflix to check I wasn’t going crazy – they confirmed only 5 episodes. It is not as if there were purposeful cliffhangers at the end of episode 5 – it just stops. I suspect funding was pulled, they didn’t finish the season and some fool at Netflix bought it without checking it first.

    It is very good – but you will literally rip your TV off the wall when you realize you have wasted 5 hours of viewing as it stops half way through the story.

  2. Well done, true-to-life Norwegian crime drama. Some of the best films, stories, novels, etc. do not have a neat resolution. Those who need that to feel a sense of completion should stick to the plethora of pulp available on Netflix and other streaming services. But if a thought provoking,we’ll written and acted series is what you like, this may be your cup of tea.

  3. Reluctantly, I must agree that this was a great disappointment. So many threads that felt superfluous, and/or led nowhere. The ending is unacceptable. Erland should have listened to his wife!

  4. I liked it a lot. More abstract than most U.S. crime series tend to be. While we alway want things nice and tidy by the end, this is probably more like real life. There really are lots of unsolved cimes out there. The acting was fine, and fit the characters well.

  5. Acting was ok, but the plot was confusing and illogical in many ways and the story dragged out way too long. Not to mention the ending which, instead of tying everything up, was totally disappointing and a huge letdown. Don’t waste your time on this.

  6. Terrible. Literally made no sense most of the time. Why would you make a series that ended so abstract. Didn’t know anymore at the end than the beginning, and the middle only muddled everything. Five wasted hours.

  7. I don’t understand how Netflix can put their name to a drama that has absolutely no tangible plot and no conclusion. It was a waste of 5 episodes of poor acting, confusion and disappointment. Total waste of time. 0 points.

  8. I’ve watched lots of great crime dramas on Netflix from all around the world. Never watched one I’ve not enjoyed. This one was utter rubbish and a waste of all the time I invested in it. Some wooden acting, slow and worst of all, absolutely NO ending at all. 0 stars

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