Translated Review by Mattias Bergqvist first posted on
The new drama series follows Eva Thörnblad whom following the death of her father returns home to Silverhöjd, where she grew up, to deal with his estate. Also, a boy has vanished without a trace in a way similar to her daughter’s disappearance some years earlier.
SPOILER ALERT if you have not already watched episode two. Beneath the photo are details that will give away the story.
’Your father has made the forest his enemy’
To fully appreciate ’Jordskott’ one would need to accept a few facts right from the start. For example it does not seem realistic that the girl from the forest; the one who COULD be Josefine, Eva’s daughter, is not taken straight away in a helicopter ambulance to a hospital.
Similarly one simply has to accept the strange fact that Pekka Koljonen (Johannes Brost) has not shared more of his findings regarding the illness that Johan Thörnblad (Lars-Erik Berenett) is suffering from. Koljonen talks about a parasitic illness which attacks the cells of the body and then takes over them. The parasite also takes nutrition from the blood and when Koljonen adds water the parasite grows bigger and stronger.
To me this sounds like an astonishing discovery which would lend itself perfectly to share and research with other doctors. Of course it could simply be that Koljonen would prefer to keep his discovery a secret so he can present it himself once he has more information, but us viewers have as yet not had proof of this in either the story line or in his character; Quite the opposite.
’Jordskott’ has never claimed to emanate from reality, but rather points with the whole hand towards a hidden reality, hence it is not difficult to put logic aside and embrace what may be. In the second episode events take place which one should not forget, but they hardly make one wiser as to what might happen.
So, let concentration grab hold of a thread and let us attempt to land somewhere that at least makes a bit of sense:
Eva’s parents got divorced because Johan Thörnblad had an affair with Gerda Gunnarsson (Lia Boysen). However, the affair was supposedly over before Eva and her mother left Silverhöjd, so naturally one therefore wonder if there were further reasons for the divorce.
What is clear is that Johan Thörnblad was somehow involved in the disappearance of Josefine; not as a kidnapper, but more likely in a position such as that which Thomas Leander (Felix Engström) and Gustaf Borén (Peter Andersson) now find themselves; to be able to have the kidnapper release the victim, through an act which is still unknown to us.
The note Eva finds in her father’s house is additional proof of this. It is not just very similar to the one Thomas digs out from amongst his son Anton’s cuddly toys, but on both are the same type of runic symbols.
Furthermore, through Gerda we find out ‘Johan was in pain from something more than the illness.’
When we, at the same time as Eva, watch Johan’s own VHS recording we are painted a picture of how the parasite takes over the body of the host and how quickly everything develops. However, as Johan seems to have been infected by the same type of 'parasite' (we will call the illness this for now as we do not know more at this time) as the girl from the forest, does this mean that Johan has been in touch with the kidnappers? Has he attempted to liberate the girl at the same time as he has not agreed to the demands and therefore been infected by the parasite?
Either way, it is highly likely that Johan is aware of what happened when Josefine disappeared, just as Thomas, and even more so Gustaf Borén, regarding the disappearance of Anton.
It becomes apparent during their conversations that Anton will be in greater danger if the police were to find him, that it is impossible to agree to ‘their demands’ (who are ‘they?) because Borén would like the ‘problem to disappear forever’ and that there is a solution to how this could come about.
Within this we also find what can be seen as the foundation of ‘Jordskott’; a starting point with a domino effect. Borén’s solution is likely to be a form of ‘procedure’ on and within the forest. Also, the whole of Silverhöjd is built upon ground that has through the years eroded away and formed sinkholes. It is these caves, which I guess are used by the kidnappers; whoever they may be.
More clues are given by Olof Gran (Hans Mosesson) who deems that it cannot be a ‘coincidence’ that it is Eva’s daughter who disappeared. He also produces proof that Johan Thörnblad was involved in her disappearance.
Olof Gran also asks the question: ‘Why do you think that the forest which surround Silverhöjd remained untouched, untouched all the while until your dad took over?’
The quote leads us to understand that what is happening is something which has previously been avoided by one (whoever they now may be?) leaving the forest untouched. And that all this is happening because Johan Thörnblad started (I presume) to fell trees in the wrong place.
Olof Gran also warns Eva that she is in danger. But who is it that is threatening her? When she is bashed and risk drowning it is the supernatural element, which save her, so the culprits seem to be the people who would like to harm the forest. Or?
It is also not hard to work out that the taxi driver Jeppe has a greater role than we at first may think and his, almost obsessive gathering of gold points at something important. The lady with the shopping trolley is a character affected by his murder. It is still not clear what is actually in her shopping trolley, but it is not a farfetched idea that she also is collecting and gathering something.
Within ancient Nordic mythology there is the idea that trolls have all the same traits as humans. If one looks at hoarding and collecting as a weakness (Jeppe reaches a state of satisfaction when he buys the gold) we might be on the right track. The lady with the shopping trolley is furthermore very particular that Eva should accept a type of ointment for her wounds caused by the Cow Parsnip. Hence, we can presume that she knows more than us the viewers.
To summarise, it is not hard to miss the involvement of the Thörnblad family in the events. What is emphasised in the second episode is that ‘Jordskott’ is a battle between humans and nature, and also between the ones that know and the ones that do not.
Johan Thörnblad and Gustaf Borén are part of the group who do know what is going on. The question is then; what is the motivation for them? Borén speaks of a solution that is final and we are aware that the disappearance of Josefine is the consequence of Johan Thörnblad’s actions.
The conclusion must then be that it is greed that drives them. If Borén’s solution is successful he will not have to deal with issues such as the disappearance of Anton and is therefore free to fell the forest and make more money. ‘Jordskott’ is clearly a game with higher bets than what the premiere episode hinted at. But, as we are still not aware who Borén’s opponents are it is difficult to predict the winner.
Follow Mattias Bergqvist on Twitter: @bergqvist_m