Friday, August 16, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Twenty-eight - Annika Bengtzon: Crime Reporter: A Place in the Sun, "Aww, Annika's finally getting some~"

After spending the last few episodes of Crime Reporter feuding with her now ex-husband over his affair and their subsequent divorce/custody issues, Annika is on the hunt for the murderers of a Swedish family living in Spain... as well as finding some physical companionship on the side.

And I say that it's about time!

Revolving around a conspiracy that has left an ex-hockey player and his family dead, A Place in the Sun travels from Sweden to Spain to Gibraltar and Morocco, as Annika unearths clues and finds ties to drug lords, horse ranches, and hitwomen. Centering mostly in Costa Del Sol, Spain, Annika is on assignment with a glamorous interpreter/guide and a hapless photographer, the former too worried about her shoes and the latter more concerned with finding artistic shots instead of getting sensational portraits for their tabloid, Kvällspressen.

Speaking of Kvällspressen, it seems their pitpull of a news editor is retiring and, instead of leaving field work and taking the job herself, Annika's annoying rival Patrik gets the job and begins making thinks awkward and altogether difficult for our favorite crusader.

Still, Annika manages to cover quite a few stories during her working vacation in Costa Del Sol, reporting on the initial deaths, then a drug bust and subsequent connections to possible kidnappings, more murders, and the lampshaded villain who is introduced at the beginning of the episode but doesn't show up again till the climax (so you just KNOW he's involved somehow, probably as the ringleader).

A bit cliche, tis true, but still... one of the stronger episodes.

It's nice to see Annika getting a little action, especially since the last time was with her creep of an ex several episodes back. He's in Costa Del Sol, too, and manages to help her a bit, but not without trying to lay on the charm and cheat on his current partner with his old one. What a douche, no matter the clarifying exposition he presents Annika over a "working dinner."

On the sexy-times note, I should mention that, yes, as Annika is getting some nookie again we are once more treated to some tasteful toplessness from series star Malin Crépin. Thank god for Europeans and their lack of squeamishness when it comes to nudity. It's not objectification, just intimacy... and there should be nothing wrong with showing that in film, but try telling that to the FCC and network censors.

Anyways, back to the main plot... the climax action scene was a little forced and awkward, but I did really like how the men turned out to be utterly useless and it was up to the women to fend off the small squad of armed invaders to save the day. I'm not sure that I quite understand the legalities of the "missing" girl's decision in the denouement, but it's strangely satisfying that, even in this modern age of digital surveillance, someone with the will to disappear and live a happy life actually can.

You know, with a little help from her ex-criminal god-mother.

Being the last episode of the series, I'm a bit sad to see Annika go with little to no fanfare. It's certainly not the series finale that I've grown accustomed to, but does cap off a few characters and signals a life transition for the office of Kvällspressen that could possibly be taken for an ending. 

Not that I want the character to die or retire or anything... it's just that there's not all that much sense of finality or closure to the series. At least, not one similar to those that I'm familiar with thanks to American procedurals and their often concrete or cliffhangery finales.

Still, I'll miss you, Annika... and hope to see you (and Malin Crépin) again in the near future.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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