TV Review: “Jordskott” Is An Intriguing Nordic Noir

“It is well made, the Swedish forest is beautifully and chillingly shot, and it contains great performances from Moa Gammel and Göran Ragnerstam...”


A detective returns to her hometown seven years after her daughter’s disappearance, trying to find a connection to a current case.

“Jordskott” is a Swedish crime television series that follows detective Eva Thörnblad (Moa Gammel) as she returns to her hometown to investigate the disappearance of a boy that she believes may be connected to the disappearance of her own daughter Josephine, who went missing seven years earlier. The premise certainly recalls some of the similar Scandinavian shows of recent years, such as “The Killing” and “The Bridge” (both of which were subsequently adapted by American networks), and while “Jordskott” at first appears to be just another bleak show about an obsessed detective, it quickly introduces elements of mythology, and establishes a relationship between humans and nature that makes it stand out as something much different.

As the story unfolds, many strange things happen. We learn that Eva’s father committed suicide and that he owned a lumber business, which plays into the environmental aspects of the story. In his belongings, Eva discovers weird symbols drawn on a small piece of a paper and attempts to have them deciphered. At one point she discovers a nearly catatonic teenage girl (Stina Sundlöf) and immediately is convinced that it’s Josephine, even though she is told that the DNA does not match. The girl has her hand in a pot, and it appears that her hand has sprouted roots. Itappears that there a lot of unexplainable things happening, and in the third episode we get to see what happens people end up alone in the woods. We see three kids hanging out in the woods, and a human-shaped monster comes out and attacks them. It appears as if there is conflict going on between this magical forest and the people of this town, specifically the Thörnblads.

People who want to watch a straight-up mystery might be disappointed by “Jordskott.” It is not about finding a murderer or anything like that, it’s about how people affect the world around them, and the cost that is eventually paid for the damage done. It is well made, the Swedish forest is beautifully and chillingly shot, and it contains great performances from Gammel andGöran Ragnerstam (as policeman Göran Wass), as well many other talented actors. It’s not always the most exciting show, but it’s mostly compelling, and the world these characters live in feels distinct and lived in. It’s a solid start to a show that doesn’t feel as inspired by whodunits such as “The Killing” as it does by the surreal “Twin Peaks,” another murder mystery that quickly evolved into something much stranger. I don’t yet know if “Jordskott” will reach that level of greatness, but it’s intriguing enough for now.

Shudder will exclusively premiere the first two episodes of “Jordskott” on April 6th with two new episodes released each week


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