The Hate Crime
Young Wallander begins in a suitably bleak fashion. With a slow building mystery and a strangely all-British cast, Young Wallander is a patchwork of influences that actually works quite well.
It’s not perfect, and the setting and dialogue is definitely miscast here but the crime is enough to keep watching.
As rain hammers to the ground, episode 1 of Young Wallander begins with a police car crawling down the street toward a house party. As the bass echoes down the road, Kurt Wallander heads inside. The party host is cocky – too cocky in fact. Wallander suspects he’s on drugs and takes him down to the station for a test.
Later that evening, Wallander heads home after wishing his associate Reza well with his big promotion. However, Wallander awakens in the middle of the night to an alarm wailing.
With smoke pouring out a maintenance room, Wallander calls in back-up and extinguishes the flames. Only, that’s not the only crime.
A Swedish boy called Hugo stands tied up against a fence. After removing his gag, a grenade explodes sending everyone into a frenzy of shock.
In the wake of this, Frida Rask brings Wallander in for questioning. After revealing all he knows, he’s unable to relax at home. Instead, he heads out to the bar to see his “booty call” Lena.
His attempt to woo her and ask her out for a date is completely shut down though. Given he saw someone die, she recommends he get some therapy instead. Oof, what a rejection.
At the station, Wallander learns someone has been arrested in connection with the crime. That boy? Ibra. Hugo’s parents understandably want justice but Wallander is not sure he’s the type to commit something like this.
While Wallander listens from the next room, it turns out the duo had an argument that night. With bullets found there too, the police have just enough to arrest this boy.
Just before he’s charged, Kurt takes him aside and Ibra reveals he wasn’t involved in this.
Wallander’s big reveal about him being a police officer doesn’t go down well with the boys in the estate. They’ve all but given up on Ibra and for now, they refuse to give up any information.
The Anti-Immigration March
On the back of this, the news report there’s going to be an Anti-immigration march on Saturday. Millionaire Gustav stirs the pot too, speaking his mind regarding the hate crime.
Later that day, Wallander finds a strange vehicle parked in the estate. Rask heads over to investigate with Hemberg. While they don’t turn up anything significant, Wallander is promoted to the position of detective…at the expense of Reza. While his friend smiles and brushes this off, it’s obvious this isn’t the idea scenario.
The march goes ahead and, predictably, Hugo’s death has caused some serious anger to flare up in the streets. As the mob turns violent, the police struggle to contain the volatile crowd.
Wallander chases after a man down into the subway but unfortunately just before arresting him, he turns and stabs him in the stomach. As the hooded figure leaves, Wallander crumbles to the ground in a heap.
The Episode Review
Having not ever watched Wallander myself, this prequel series gets off to a pretty good start so far. The decision to have everyone speak English in the middle of this very European setting is absolutely bizarre though.
However, the tone and mood of the piece is decent and the PTSD elements with the alarms are welcome to add a bit more depth to Wallander.
The dialogue is a little on the nose at times but there’s enough here to enjoy. The cliffhanger ending is welcome too and definitely entices you to watch the next episode.
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