Neither buoyant nor fast-moving, the aptly-named Deadwind TV series from Finland simmers with psychological suspense. A strange, but intriguing story, this show on Netflix rewards patient viewers comfortable with the glacial pace of most Nordic thrillers. The straightforward murder mystery put forward in episode one gradually deepens in complexity as a pair of detectives sift through numerous suspects and odd connections with little cooperation from anyone related to the case, including the rest of the police force.
Sofia Karppi (Pihla Viitala, right) returns to the Helsinki police force as a homicide detective not long after the accidental death of her husband. She struggles with balance, burying herself in work and not spending enough time with her young son and teenage stepdaughter. Karppi rebels when a new transfer from financial crimes, Sakari Nurmi (Lauri Tilkanen, right), comes on board as her partner. She basically ignores him, leaving him behind and uninformed at every opportunity.
The case involves the death of a woman, Anna Bergdahl (Pamela Tola), found in a shallow grave at a construction site. She consulted with the development team for the project, which opens an obvious line of enquiry. Nurmi urges Karppi to look closer at the woman’s husband. Left to father two young girls, his situation mirrors Karppi’s, and she empathizes. Perhaps, too much.
In time, Nurmi proves his worth as investigator. His own personal issues emerge too, as the series lightly touches on details of his past. Step by step, he and Karppi grow closer as a team.
A strange tangent relates to the main case. Environmental activists, energy efficient power sources, and local politics all factor into the equation. A few episodes in, Deadwind dives deeper as more connections between the various players emerge. It’s a needed mid-series energy boost, with enough momentum to power into the last couple of episodes.
Artful camera work shows Finland bleak and dreary, somewhere on the cusp of winter. Like Deadwind itself, not much that’s bright or colorful shows through, though the series tosses in a few welcome moments of humor.
Rike Jokela, who also directed the episodes, created Deadwind, along with Jari Olavi Rantala and Kirsi Porkka. The team deserves credit for not going overboard with typical end-of-series theatrics and implausibility. Split into 12, 45-minute, episodes, the nine total hours move at a steady pace, never rushing, never dragging. The Deadwind TV series premiered on Finland’s YLE TV2 in March 2018 under its Finnish title Karppi.
Deadwind season 2 filming begins in 2019.