'Annika' Season 2 Finally Works Through The Hardest Part

Nicola Walker as DI Annika Strandhed and Silvie Furneaux as Morgan Strandhed drink coffee in 'Annika' Season 2

Nicola Walker as DI Annika Strandhed and Silvie Furneaux as Morgan Strandhed in 'Annika' Season 2

© Black Camel Pictures & All3Media International

Annika has always had daddy issues hovering in the background of the series since the series began, an odd choice considering it's a series centered around a female police detective and her daughter. But men aren't the only ones who have issues with their fathers, and of all the Greek plays, Antigone has stood the test of time. It's probably a good thing for Magnus, now that he's finally emerged from the shadows of Annika's brain as a real, living, breathing person, that her literature choice of the week isn't going to be Greek, but Shakespeare, King Lear at that, the story of the faithful daughter that foolish father spurns. But even so, generational vacations are never fun, even when everyone likes each other. At least Morgan will be able to go to work each day. Annika and Magnus will have to lump it as guests sharing a cabin at Perthshire's Blane Park Eco Resort.

Morgan: We don't have to turn everything into an investigation.

Morgan believes Magnus is here because he wants to see them; in reality, it's because he's considering divorce after all these years from Annika's mother, who she has offhandedly mentioned he never really loved and resented for getting pregnant with her in the first place, forcing their marriage. Lucky for Magnus, though perhaps not for the eco-resort, Annika goes for a walk to complain to Jake over the phone about the situation and promptly finds herself a body in the river. Harper comes right on down, but Michael's laid up with food poisoning, and for once, Blair is happy to call in pregnant and stay remote. 

The victim is the local builder we met earlier, who was working on the Walk-in-the-Clouds attraction, Casper McCray (Dominic Watters), whom Morgan's amazingly horrible boss Louise (Lesley Harcourt), treated like dirt and joked about murdering. The local cop, Remi (Helen Katamba), cheerfully reports his lower body's been crushed like he fell from a great height.

Sven Henriksen as Magnus Strandhed and Nicola Walker as DI Annika Strandhed attempt a father-daughter talk in 'Annika' Season 2

Sven Henriksen as Magnus Strandhed and Nicola Walker as DI Annika Strandhed in 'Annika' Season 2

© Black Camel Pictures & All3Media International

If Annika thought having a case and a touch of normality would help make Magnus disappear or at least go to bed without waiting up, she was wrong; it just means they end up drinking very late at night before he tells her off for managing to find work wherever she goes. It's not her fault someone murdered the carpenter the day they arrived; it's only her fault she put herself in the middle of it, something Morgan ardently defends. Though she's not the only one now inserted: Harper's interviewing the suspects, including Casper's newlywed husband Lance (James Anthony Pearson), a man of questionable neon interior decorating choices, who calls both Louise and Casper's business partner, Nell Dwight (Gabriel Quigley), utter nightmares who Casper hated working with. 

Louise has an alibi; hilariously, it's Morgan, her PA, and therefore, with her the entire day, but one conversation with her is enough for Annika to agree with Lance that she's a total nightmare. As for Nell, she drives up before Harper can leave and starts smashing Lance's car with a golf club. By the time Annika arrives, Nell and Lance are in the middle of a billiard ball fight, with her calling him Bargain Basement Andy Warhol and a murdering gold digger. (She's correct on the first part, at any rate.) 

With Oban's car out of commission and Annika having come to the park by seaplane anyway (which was already an awful experience for her), she's now reduced to riding on the back of Harper's bike to see if they can find Casper's SUV. After some very creative swearing in Norwegian (which PBS does not bleep!), as she discovers she loves motorbikes, they head out to the last known GPS signal, where Annika finds the keys and Harper the car, which obviously wrecked with him in it. But from the car's angle and the marks on his body, it is also clear he was on the passenger side when it did.

Varada Sethu as DC Harper Weston and Nicola Walker as DI Annika Strandhed at the crime scene in 'Annika' Season 2

Varada Sethu as DC Harper Weston and Nicola Walker as DI Annika Strandhed in 'Annika' Season 2

© Black Camel Pictures & All3Media International

However, the car is a red herring because the person who stole and wrecked it, Dana Ashraf (Maryam Hamidi), a disgruntled client, swears he wasn't there when she arrived looking to find him after he stole their deposit and used it to buy himself an SUV and then bought their community hall out from under them for a song. Honestly, no one would blame her for seeing red and going off the rails because he! did! what?! Some people would go a little off their rockers, driving him and his car into a ditch and accidentally committing manslaughter along the way. (Not everyone, but some.) But she swears he wasn't in the vehicle. 

But the case needs to be tabled because Annika promised Morgan she'd come to dinner, be a good mother, behave, and get along with Magnus for her daughter's sake, only for Magnus not to show up. If Louise already didn't like Annika for bringing a murder to her resort, now she really doesn't like her because apparently she also brought a hardened alcoholic. The good news is Norwegians keep their clothes on when drunk, so this is just some loud folk singing, deer feeding, and Morgan being ordered by her horrible boss to clean up her grandfather's vomit, a dispiriting life lesson at any age. The next morning, he heads home, refusing to discuss the matter, as Morgan stonefacedly puts his stuff in the taxi.

Morgan tells her mother that it's a good thing their dinner was interrupted, as the shellfish was old. The delivery was off by a day. Annika cracks jokes about Michael's affinity for food poisoning, making this a perfect place for him to book a holiday before the pieces suddenly fall into place. The seaplane driver, Geoff (Andrew Watson), who put up with Annikla's panic the whole way over, is the son of one of the victims whom Nell and Casper swindled out of their homes. He offered to fly Casper to his next prospective client and tossed him out of the plane on the way.

Silvie Furneaux as Morgan Strandhed and Sven Henriksen as Magnus Strandhed take a selfie in 'Annika' Season 2

Silvie Furneaux as Morgan Strandhed and Sven Henriksen as Magnus Strandhed in 'Annika' Season 2

© Black Camel Pictures & All3Media International

The arrest is a bit of a struggle, since these are water police trying to get a dude who flies through the air, but it's well shot, and the guy confesses instantly. It's also pretty evident that the plan was to fly Casper out over the ocean so the body would never have been found, but the pilot got so mad that he screwed it up and tipped the guy off too early. As Annika tells Jake on the phone, all's well that end's well, though that's a different Shakespeare play. And all's well that ends well for their family as well. Shamed by his behavior, Magnus has decided to return with his tail between his legs and drive Annika home. After all, it's not like she can fly back now.

Maybe time in the car and deep parental thoughts will help them resolve their issues. (I mean, the drive home with Annika and Jake has apparently solved everything in that relationship.) And it at least starts well, with Magnus telling Annika he's always been proud of her and that his failure to show that has been one of the biggest mistakes in his life. He says the other reason he's here now is because he's realized he's been a terrible father and wants to make it up to her. Having immediately screwed up, he wants to make it up to Morgan too. Annika, ever practical, asks for his car.

However, there is still a loose end in all this left untied: Astrid McAndrews, Michael's wife. As you may recall, he told Annika in Episode 3 he hadn't told her about Morgan because he was still working through it. If you assumed he told her off-camera somewhere in these last two installments, you were wrong. To her credit, Astrid takes it well, sitting down and immediately asking what they need to do and if anything needs to change.    

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Nicola Walker (Unforgotten) stars as DI Annika Strandhed who juggles cases and a daughter.
Annika: show-poster2x3


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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