mhz-choice-exclusive-200x25

The long wait is over!
The final episodes of Beck, the longest-running Swedish film series of all time, premiere in the U.S. on MHz Choice beginning September 13th. Watch online, on your TV or favorite device – start your free 30-day trial at mhzchoice.com! Here’s the first part of an informative guide to all the new episodes, to get you set before you watch!

After Beck’s third season ended in 2007, there was a gap of two years before the series returned with two feature films, which premiered theatrically in Sweden in 2009 and 2010. These two movies constituted Season 4, before the series returned to its usual eight-episode format with the fifth and final season in 2015/16. The first of the Season 4 movies is a Gunvald-centric story; the second focuses on Martin.


Season 4, Episode 1: The Eye of the Storm

Premieres September 13th
Mystery he may be, but over the years we’ve learned just a tiny bit more about Gunvald’s past. His father walked out on the family, leaving behind Gunvald and his sister Lillemor, whom viewers first met in the Season 3 premiere The Scorpion. The events of that story led Gunvald to try and bond with his young niece, Simone. Gunvald’s always been presented as relating well to children – probably because he’s just a big kid himself! (Remember his epic temper tantrums in The Cartel?) As far back as The Pearl Hotel he floated the proposition of adopting a child. Night Vision ends with Gunvald walking off with ten–year-old Jens while the grown-ups (i.e. Martin and Lena) handle the press and mop up the case. And in The Eye of the Storm, the kidnapping of nine-year-old Tom, son of an old flame, sends Gunvald off the grid on a personal quest to find and rescue him – much to Martin’s chagrin. A single-minded Gunvald springs into full action mode, recklessly pursuing the kidnappers (who have their own misguided agenda) while being chased by the Swedish Security Service. Maybe the plot doesn’t all quite hang together in retrospect, but it’s absolutely gripping from start to finish as it plays out; similar to the Season 2 premiere The Revenge in that respect, and more in line with one of Persbrandt’s Hamilton thrillers than the usual Beck procedural. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun and although it features less Martin than usual, still has several nice character beats – as you can see in the preview clip below:


Season 4, Episode 2: Buried Alive

Premieres September 13th
In the grisly tradition of earlier episodes such as Serial Killer and The Man With No Face, the husband-and-wife screenwriting team of Rolf and Cilla Börjlind, who wrote all 25 of the previous episodes, came up with a terrifying premise for Buried Alive and followed it to an inexorable climax. The title itself conjures up images of Martin in a coffin, and the episode does not disappoint in that regard. From the opening sequences, we know what the premise is, and there’s a sense of unnerving dread as Martin and the killer play a cat-and-mouse game, each trying to ensnare the other. At the same time, the other characters equally get their chance to shine; Gunvald’s blunt investigation tactics, with the added twist that he’s now mentoring Oskar in his “bad cop” methods, are of particular note. In a further twist, his signature “tune-up” moment, this time with a biker suspect, happens off-screen, providing some comic release amid all the horrific tension of the main plot. This episode is also the swan song for two long-serving team members: the sardonic police coroner Oljelund and Lena Klingström. (It’s never clarified in subsequent episodes, but presumably Oljelund finally retires and Lena, as she’s done in the past, disappears back to Malmö.) Inger and The Neighbor also get their usual showcases, giving Buried Alive almost the feel of a Beck “greatest hits” package. Indeed, at the time this might well have been the last-ever episode – lending even greater uncertainty to that image of Martin in the coffin at the end. After all, as we’ve seen in previous stories, most notably In The Name of God, this is not a series which shies away from killing off major characters…


Season 5, Episode 1: Room 302

“Dad, you work twelve hours a day then you come here and eat the same food every time. What kind of life is that?”

~ Inger

Premieres September 13th
Season 5 begins with the death of youth: a 19-year-old girl found in a hotel room, a stark reminder of mortality and the passing of time. At the police station, Gunvald schools Oskar on the difference between Paganini and Panini. (One’s an Italian violinist, the other is lunch.) “Did you learn that in old media?” asks Oskar. As if on cue, Martin introduces the team to their new boss: Klas Fredén, 40-something, an avid bicyclist and tri-athlete, and his boundless energy extends to work, too. “I may be more active in your operations than you’re used to,” Klas admits to Beck – something of an understatement, it turns out. Klas sits in on meetings and suggests strategy. He has no issue going over Martin’s head, or trying to play team members off against one another. It’s quite clear early on that he sees Martin as a dinosaur. As the season continues, Martin feels more and more like this is the case.

Beck’s team is infused with more youth as the episode continues: the quietly ambitious rookie Jenny Bodén and IT specialist Ayda Çetin, who at first seems as icy as Gunvald but soon impresses with her investigative skills and razor-sharp mind.

“You grew up in this area, didn’t you?” Oskar asks Gunvald as they visit a suspect’s home in an upscale neighborhood. “Another time, another life,” is the wistful reply. Later in the story, Gunvald and Jenny hit the club scene in Stureplan to track down a witness. A Night Vision-era Gunvald wouldn’t have looked quite so out of place in this environment as the 20-years older version does – an idea reinforced when they run into Gunvald’s now-teenage niece, whom viewers last saw as a precocious eleven-year-old. (Gunvald may have his faults, but he’s surely the world’s coolest uncle.) Beck’s grandson Vilhelm is now a teenager, too, and Inger has a new boyfriend – a cop!