Season 1 - 9 Episodes (2015-Iceland/2016-Netflix)
|Case - Season 1|
Written by: Þorleifur Örn Arnarsson, Andri Óttarsson
Directed by: Baldvin Zophoníasson
Starring: Magnús Jónsson, Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir, Jóhanna Vigdís Arnardóttir
In this Netflix original Icelandic language series, a self destructive lawyer and a police detective begin investigating a teenager's death, but don't quit when the case is ruled a suicide.
The murder/suicide is the heart of this series, with suspects building from there. Having to read subtitles can be off putting, but as the mystery slowly grew, I began to mind less. I wanted to know what happened. Ultimately I'm not sure it was worth it. It's incredibly depressing as it deals with underage kids and rape. This show is twisted in a completely unsettling way.
I had hoped this series would solve the case in a single season, and thankfully it does do that.
The story has the usual twists, turns, and fake outs, but the only thing that sets this apart is the depravity of the characters. It's a bit too much twisted soap opera with a collection of morally gray people, all of them committing some kind of crime. If you want to learn Icelandic or want to watch something soul crushing, Case might be the incredibly depressing series you've been seeking.
Case is relentlessly bleak. It just gets worse as the season continues. It's dark, twisted, and horrible. It's an average story, but it's the depravity of every character that will make you realize after the final episode that you didn't really need to see this. This is a series never really meant for English speaking audiences. While you can deduce the translation, there is a lot of printed text that isn't translated in newspapers and other media.
This is a spin-off to Icelandic series Réttur (2009-2010) which featured two of the same characters, Logi and Brynhilder. Logi was an ex-convict that started a law firm, operating on the gray side of the law. This seems to be the aftermath of that series. This show does make a reference to Logi being a lawyer and his firm failing.
While the murder starts the plot, there are a number of criminals portrayed in the series. This is a dark show that includes prostitution, statutory rape, child exploitation, and voyeurism. That's just in the first few episodes. The show plays a game of 'you thought that guy was bad, just wait until we introduce the next character.' While the investigation of the suicide is solved, it's anything but a happy ending, and a teaser for season two looks to be more of the same.
|Episode 1 - The adoptive parents.|
A youth counselor, Julius, coaxes his underage girlfriend Elfa to lie to the cops about where her best friend Lara was that night, and the final scene of episode one is Julius burning Lara's clothes.
In true mystery series form, none of these people remain suspects very long as new and worse suspects pop up. This season ramps up the mystery until we finally begin getting answers in episode six. Until then it will keep you guessing with strong hints that the father could be involved, or Lara's boyfriend, or her dance instructor or... you get the idea.
|Episode 9 - Logi|
It turns out Julius works as a youth counselor to lure girls back to his house and make videos without their consent. He's a character you hope gets beaten up all the way to his cell. Gabriela deduces that Lara must have figured out what Julius was doing. Being only the second episode, you'd be right in suspecting that Julius has nothing to do with it.
|Episode 4 - Elfa Dogge|
At the close of episode three we have a lot of suspects but are no closer to the answers. We're introduced to Lara's sister Hanna and a character I referred to as sleaze bag until I finally learned his name, turns out he's Þór. That's pronounced Thor.
Episode four provides strong indications that Lara's adoptive dad Jonas is involved. Obviously this is a red herring, but you won't find out what's really going on with Jonas until episode eight.
This show is a tangled web of deceit. Þór is trying to buy information to blackmail Jonas from Iluna, or as I called her hacker girl. Þór drugs Logi and coerces him to have sex with Hanna to force Iluna to sell the info in retaliation.
At this point Þór looks like the main suspect as he has pictures of Lara and Hanna.
Episode five presents a new suspect. Lara's dance teacher Benedetto forces the dancers to take drugs and locks them in a secluded basement room when they don't comply. Benedetto bullies a dancer in front of the class and incites her peers to lock her in the basement. While he's bad, he isn't a killer.
|Episode 6 - Gabriela gets caught leaking case files to Logi|
Logi becomes a suspect for a new murder because things just weren't convoluted enough. His lawyer is the real bad guy, but Logi doesn't know it yet. We get a story from the real big bad that makes you question whether he really is bad, but don't doubt. The dude is despicable.
Jonas gets kidnapped and tortured in a horribly brutal scene. Did the writers sit in a room and brainstorm how to make the most sick and twisted show?
|Episode 6 - Þór (sounds like Thor)|
Jonas finds a girl, I don't know how, and shows up to her door, covered in blood. He wants to know about the abuses Þór inflicted on her. I can't fathom why this girl doesn't find any part of that strange. She tells him everything.
Logi goes for broke in a gambit for vigilante justice to conclude the season.