In Wisting, FBI Special Agent Maggie Griffin scolds fellow agent John Bantham, “I told you to dress for Fargo.” Set in Larvik, Norway, south of Oslo, our weather looks balmy compared to their Christmas-time snowfall. Billed as Norway’s most expensive TV series ever, and the best Nord-noir show of all time, Wisting doesn’t disappoint. This ten-part (40 minute each) Sundance series is really two stories. The first five episodes investigate a serial murderer; the second five accuse Detective Wisting of comprising evidence.
Well-written and acted, Wisting is a mixture of subtitles and English. Before the FBI arrives, and when the Norwegians talk to each other, expect subtitles. Larvik is a town of 45,000, not ready for the media annoyances created by the man known as The Highway Killer. Nor are they prepared for the methods of the FBI.
Hot on the trail of the serial killer, the Norwegians think nothing of stopping for a cup of coffee, picking up kid at kindergarten, or checking on mom, much to the consternation of Agent Griffin. When they approach a suspected residence of the killer, she is aghast that they leave their guns in the car. “This isn’t Texas, they remind her.” I give Wisting 4.0 Gavels and it receives a 7.4/10 IMDb score.
Now a widower, Detective Wisting always put his job before family. Evidence found on a body under a Christmas tree yields the name Robert Godwin. Agent Griffin has been on his trail for 20 years. It’s personal as he is the main suspect in 27 missing, presumed dead, young girls, mostly blonde, age 17 to 25. A search of the Larvik area records indicate 20 more that match the description missing over the last 20 years. Line, Wisting’s daughter and a reporter, stumbles onto the case while writing a story on a deceased neighbor. Who will find the serial killer first, and at what cost?
It’s hard to believe that Sven Nordin did not appear in Vikings on the History Channel. He makes a compelling Detective Wisting. Carrie-Ann Moss is equally good as Agent Griffin. She’s set to reappear in a Matrix sequel in 2022.
“Ten episodes of tension and discovery, and twists set against stunning wintry Norwegian forests.” What She Said
“What transpires is a terse thriller, as Wisting’s daughter becomes a target – that is somewhat predictable, but what shifts the narrative after several episodes is not predictable.” Globe and Mail
No Carrie-Ann Moss after the first five episodes and that is a shame. It seems like a little romance was about to bud. Nevertheless, some of the Norwegians were glad to see the Americans go home. Damn Yankees! I think you’ll like this one.