It’s hard out there for a journalist. Papers are closing, companies are downsizing, the internet means you’re now competing on a global stage, and if you’re Mammon’s Peter Verås (Jon Øigarden), you keep finding yourself up to your neck in dangerous conspiracies. Which isn’t such a bad thing for a journalist, so long as you can stay alive to report on them.
In the first season of Mammon, he found himself pulling on a thread that threatened to unravel the whole system around him, and he didn’t flinch from doing what was right. Now he’s back and the stakes are even higher – dragging the facts into the light of day couldn’t be more important.
He’s driven to uncover the truth
Forget the cliché of the modern journalist surfing the net for trends to be outraged by in between rewriting press releases, Peter is a journalist from the old school. In the first season, when he received a tip from an unknown source that suggested his own brother was at the heart of a brewing financial scandal, did he bury the story? No sir, he made sure it ran – and then spent the next five years trying to uncover the real story after his accused brother seemingly killed himself because of it.
Norway’s a place where you can’t trust anyone
In season one, Peter uncovered a conspiracy that went to the very top of his country’s institutions, and which forced him to go on the run with a target on his back and the police gunning for him. So when this season kicks off with the murder of a high-profile journalist in a newspaper car park, not only does it send shock waves through the nation – especially when some suggest ISIS might be responsible – it inspires Peter to start his own investigation that quickly points to a more home-grown connection.
It’s also surprisingly violent
Usually, your average media investigation largely involves a lot of searching and the occasional conversation with someone who doesn’t want to talk. But if Mammon is any guide, journalism is the kind of job where they should issue you a flak jacket on your first day. This is a mystery that racks up a body count, and the bad guys definitely aren’t above shedding some blood.
Politics is a dirty business
While Peter is focused on trying to figure out why anyone would want to murder a journalist, Norwegian Prime Minister Michael Woll (Trond Espen Seim) is getting ready for the upcoming election. He’s young, he’s media friendly and he should have it in the bag – until a private recording is released that reveals a deep divide between the PM and his ambitious finance minister, Erik Ulrichsen (Ingar Helge Gimle). Erik’s not exactly the kind to forgive and forget – can the PM keep things together when his biggest enemy might be in his own party?
You’ve got to have friends
When Peter was investigating the conspiracy that led to his brother’s death, there was only one man he could trust: his former boss Frank Mathiesen (Nils Ole Oftebro). Now they’re working together to investigate the journalist’s death, but the more they uncover, the more dangerous the investigation becomes. For one thing, it seems the deceased journalist was working on a project that was based on a range of secret recordings that someone may have wanted kept that way. And when the going gets rough, being the hero’s offsider isn’t always the safest place to be.
This isn’t a boy’s club
Peter’s always been a man too busy tracking down the truth to have much time for companionship, but that might change this season when his search leads him to Ellen (Laura Christensen), the wife of the murdered journalist. She’s just as keen as he is to get to the bottom of what happened, but is there something more going on than simply wanting answers? And as tensions build within the Norwegian government, the prime minister’s daughter Amelia (Iben Akerlie) finds herself the victim of online harassment focused on an awful incident in her past. She’s also a natural politician, but if she enters the increasingly divided world of Norway’s politics, who will she side with? And as the body count rises, is making yourself a public figure really the smartest move?
The first two seasons of Mammon are streaming now at SBS On Demand: