Sky VOD TV review: Fortitude Episode 8
James R | On 19, Mar 2015
Warning: If you have not seen the first seven episodes of Fortitude, this will contain spoilers. The show is available to catch up with on NOW.
“The worst thing is the killer is in your home, watching TV with you,” says Governor Hildur (Sofie Grabol) in Episode 7 of Fortitude.
With first ickle Liam bumping off Doctor Who and then Darren Boyd’s wife, Shirley, attacking her mum with a fork, Fortitude has done a super-creepy job of anchoring its supernatural spookiness with mundane, human violence.
“We cannot let fear take hold,” insists Sheriff Dan (Richard Dormer). But the homicidal spree resumes immediately when we return to everyone’s favourite Arctic village: a slashing, smashing, spattering attack that leaves last week’s mainland dismissal of their murders as not serial looking laughably out of touch.
It’s a shame to see last week’s detective double act broken up, with Dormer’s gruff Sheriff spending more time looking thoughtful and sad with Grabol’s Governor, whose dream of building an incredible ice hotel is slipping further and further away. Stanley Tucci’s DCI Morton continues to smile his way through the frosty locals’ defences, trying to track down the bullet that killed Pettigrew, but this week’s answers come from another source entirely: the lab.
Science in Fortitude? Yes, folks, it exists: and boffins Natalie (Sienna Guillory) and Vincent (Luke Treadaway) make for an extremely watchable pair, peeling back skin, bone and internal organs to work out what’s spooked the polar bears – not to mention the people – and turned them into raving, hungry monsters. Is it something in the water? Is the ice becoming sentient? Is it all built on an ancient alien burial ground?
As well as a neat change of pace, it’s a relief to get some concrete scientific evidence to support our (increasingly crazed) theories: after an extremely effective demonstration of how to build atmosphere, nothing’s more satisfying than some CSI-style chopping up of corpses. Especially when we’re still having that bizarre voodoo doll/dream-catcher waved around in front of us with no real progression.
Henry, though, doesn’t need tests to know something’s up. Michael Gambon’s weary photographer makes a break for it this week, heading into the wild and leaving a dark room full of intriguing photos for DCI Morton to puzzle over. Gambon is superb, rallying against the weirdness and his own deteriorating condition. Framed against the endless white, he throws up his arms and yells: a pitiful stand against the overwhelming expanse of nature.
Is it nature that’s somehow behind these unnatural acts? It’s testament to just how charismatic our eggheads are that they manage to splice the word “demon” into their string of medical facts without anyone laughing. That’s partly because it raises another host of intriguing questions and partly because we’ve just seen a polar bear’s head hacked off.
The most disturbing bloody assault, though, occurs as Frank (Nicholas Pinnock) continues to seek his own form of answers – and justice – against Marcus. After last week’s nasty shot of the teacher taped up in his home, it’s an understatement to say that Fortitude delivers on its grisly promise. Cutting away at the nail-biting climax, it’s a chilling reminder that, no matter what secrets lie beneath the surface of the town, anyone could be next: not the next victim, that is, but the next killer.
You can watch Fortitude online in the UK without Sky on NOW for £6.99 a month. The monthly subscription gives you live and on-demand access to Sky pay TV channels, including Sky Atlantic (Mad Men and Togetherness), Sky 1 (Arrow and The Flash) and FOX TV (The Walking Dead) – with no contract.
Sky customers can watch Fortitude online live through Sky Go, or catch up on Sky On Demand.
Photos: ©2015 Sky/ Tiger Aspect Productions