The second long series from Swedish TV of Wallander came to an end with an excellent episode, The Collector. Again, Krister Henriksson was excellent as the eponymous cop, but this was another show which showed the strength of the whole team of cops at Ystad, and that strength is a key reason for the success of the series.
In this story, the young trainees, Pontus and Isabelle, have reached the end of their apprenticeship and are faced with decisions about the future. Isabelle wants to travel, and upsets Pontus by making it clear that she wants to do so on her own. But when a woman who is murdered by masked robbers in her own home turns out to be someone Isabelle knows from her gym, the young woman finds herself drawn into the enquiry.
At a boxing match, Isabelle is recognised by one of the fighters, and it turns out that this is Patrik, who along with his brother is not only a hardened criminal with psychopathic tendencies, but also a former lover of Isabelle. This part of the story stretched credulity, but was done just about convincingly enough to be believable. Isabelle is reluctant to admit her past misdemeanours to Wallander, but inevitably things start to turn nasty. Very nasty.
The Wallander stories are, of course, far from the first to highlight cop teams rather than focusing exclusively on a single character. Ed McBain was an early exponent of this kind of story; I have vague memories of watching a few 87th Precinct tv shows when I was very young, though I’m not sure how they would hold up today. The McBain books, however, have lasted pretty well, and I expect that Henning Mankell’s novels will achieve similar longevity. Meanwhile, I’m not sure if there will be any more Wallanders from Swedish TV, but this series at least will stay in my memory for a long time. It has been excellent.