Fortitude, Episode 9

Dan Anderssen: The worst thing is that the killer’s in your own home.

Governor Odegard: We cannot let fear take hold

This exchange took place at the very beginning of this week’s episode of Fortitude. One of the things Stephen Moffat knew when he was writing individual episodes of Doctor Who during Russel T. Davies’ tenure as showrunner is that the scariest things aren’t the aliens out there, but angel statues that move when you’re not looking, or shadows. That’s the problem with whatever’s happening to the town of Fortitude right now. An eleven year old boy killed a grown man, and a woman killed her own mother; at this stage there is no rational explanation for these events, and that’s when fear takes hold. It’s okay to say that you cannot let fear take hold in a private conversation between the Sheriff and the Governor, but you need to find a way to communicate to the people that everything’s going to be okay.

I’ll go to what I don’t like about the show before all the stuff that is more interesting, and that is Frank. When we left Frank, he had tied up Shirley’s boyfriend/Liam’s teacher – I want to say his name is Markus. Now he wants answers from a man who can’t provide them; just because Markus is hella creepy in his fetishes, it doesn’t make him a murderer, as much as I dislike him. Because Markus can’t provide him with the answers he wants, Frank decides to take the worst page out of Scandal‘s book, which involved Quinn and Huck torturing and then murdering people. I have zero interest in Frank, but one thing to note is that he’s definitely not the smartest torturer around. It turns out that Markus literally lives next door to the Sutter family, so Jules heard him scream as Frank pulled his fingernail.

Over in the science lab, the scientists (I have not yet learned their names) have discovered that Charlie wanted them to examine the brain of a polar bear. I’m not sure exactly what they find, but it’s some kind of cumulative toxin, and because the polar bear is an apex predator (top of the food chain), if it ate 100 seals and each seal had a gram of mercury in its blood, the bear would have 100 grams of mercury. I don’t know if what they found is mercury or not (this whole part of the show was fairly disgusting, so I had to turn away quite a few times), but it concerned them, so they asked permission to perform similar tests on Shirley. I barely watched as they took Shirley’s brain from her body, I just can’t handle that kind of thing. But what they found confirmed their theories; the polar bear they dissected became cannibalistic, so they were hoping that if they found the same toxins in Shirley’s brain that it would explain her behaviour, and it did. What our scientists have is the ‘beginning of a pattern’, but they want to test Liam’s spinal fluid to confirm it. If there is an issue with cumulative toxins (and Liam hasn’t even lived in Fortitude for very long), that’s a problem, because no one gets buried in Fortitude. The ice preserves all the diseases. I doubt that this will end well.

Other thoughts:

  • The scientists were talking about hermaphrodite reindeer and demons. I have no idea.
  • Liam has come home and isn’t talking much. To add to the disgusting quotient of this episode, there was a lovely shot of Liam’s healing feet.
  • Elena has decided to look after Carrie until they find out what happened to her father, who is lying bleeding in some other room of the house.
  • Where is Carrie’s rabbit?
  • Michael Gambon visited Jules and Liam to give Liam his voodoo doll before hiking out into the beautiful tundra to take photos and/or die.
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