For a crime show involving drugs, violence, biker gangs, corrupt cops, tested loyalties and power grabs, Sweden’s Before We Die all comes down to relationships.
Righteous cop Hanna (Marie Richardson) and morally dubious Christian (Adam Pålsson, Moscow Noir) are at its heart, the mother and son duo who’s relationship was already fractious before she put him in jail for drug dealing. Add to that, Hanna’s lover and co-worker Sven got himself kidnapped, leaving his investigation into the criminal underworld and communications with an insider hanging in the balance.
When Christian’s released, he wants nothing to do with Hanna, but also appears keen to walk a straight line in the hope of regaining her favour. By agreeing to go undercover to infiltrate the underworld Mimica family and help investigate a leak within Hanna’s close-knit team, Christian’s taken on a massive risk. But along the way, he develops a strong bond with husband and wife team, Jan (with whom Hanna had a prior relationship) and Lena (with whom Christian begins an intense affair) – a pair whose hands are far from clean – sinking Christian deeper into danger.
It’s not only the storylines, but also the strongly drawn characters that make this show compelling. They all have a job to do, for good or evil, and all stuff up along the way, including Hanna, despite her obsession with being right. With a woman who’s ever ready to kill by knife also passionate about children’s welfare just one confounding example of the enemy Hanna and Björn (Magnus Krepper) are chasing down (here’s looking at you, Laura), there’s plenty of action afoot.
Season 1 brought loaded connections, and revelations of where loyalties lay, often to great surprise. With Christian’s complicated relationships in and out of the bedroom, Hanna and Björn determined to find the source of The Leak, and desperate to keep Christian safe as the threat of the Mimicas grows, season 2 offers much to unravel from the edge of your seat.
Season 2 of Before We Die is now streaming at SBS On Demand. You can catch up with season 1 here.