100 Code (2015) [Review]

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Rating: 4/5

Cop procedural shows are something that always pulls my attention. For sometime now, I have really been craving to watch a good police procedural. My research have been meticulously ongoing but with no effective results until I laid my eye on this show- 100 code. I can’t tell what exactly my mindset was when I started watching this show. I started with no great expectations. I was in fact ready to abandon the show if the first few minutes weren’t interesting enough. Fortunately and gladly, this show sustained my interest throughout and in fact ended up as one of the best cop shows I have ever seen.

A series of gruesome murders with the same MO- young blond girls brutally killed and laid with Asphodel flowers around. Tom Conley – NYPD, investigates the killings and nearly nabs the killer only his partner messes the plan and ends up being accidentally killed by Conley himself. Further investigation points to similar killings in Sweden and Conley flies there. He convinces the Swedish Police about the connection and begins his association with Mikael Eklund who heads the Swedish police team. Eklund and Conley, after a wavered start, work together very well. They support and back each other making them a perfect cop duo. They find more bodies and the team unravels connections to Greek mythology. They begin to forecast the killer’s play based on the mythological story and try to stop further murders and in a way succeed too. With a list of suspects, they begin tracking them, eliminating down to one single person at the end. More investigations, more interviews and clues, lets them arrive at the conclusion that all the murders weren’t actually committed by one person but multiple people under the instruction of one single man, the mastermind. LH. Tracking down LH becomes the mission of the team. More murders, more clues, more connections- the perfect recipe for a serial killer mystery. Honestly, so many things happen, it’s very difficult to mention everything. A lot of other crimes happen in the city too at the same time and the team are confused if everything has a connection to LH. I am not going further into the story as that would be a giveaway.

As always, apart from the script, it’s the characters which run the show. Mikael Eklund is the star for me. He is at the verge of retiring and he is forced to take this case. He is calm, composed and respects his team though everyone are so junior to him. He doesn’t lose grip over the situation. He had lost his wife a couple of years back and is guilty for not being there with her at her last moments. His daughter, Hanna, blames him for her mother’s death and there is a strained relationship, a small parallel track for them. Tom Conley, on the other hand, is completely opposite to Eklund. He is impulsive, arrogant and jumps the gun most of the time. He is brave and clever, no doubt, but is driven by emotions most of the time. He has a sad past too (Of course!). The supporting characters are good and to my happiness get a fair share of screen space. The characters’ personal lives are touched but not too much that it overshadows the actual investigation.

I loved Sweden. The locations were fantastic. The best part of the show for me was how normal the investigation proceeded. I don’t mean there is no excitement, I refer to the procedures. The test results or forensics or anything for that matter, takes the time it should take. The team reaches loads of dead ends as one would in real life. There is frustration of failure which plagues the team too. I love the theme of serial killings for a show because loads of connections and theories are possible. Same applies for this show too. At a point I wondered if it was someone close to the team. The suspense was well done and I was forced to move to the next episode every time. I just couldn’t stop myself. There are lot of moments which raised my heart beat.

Now to the disappointing factors. 12 episodes is far too long I felt. It stretched the story unnecessarily. The backstory of Conley was a super duper dud. Few episodes in between didn’t really touch the main case…but that is it. If the show had been for say 8-10 episodes it would have been more effective. Since it’s an English-Swedish show, there are many portions in Swedish for which I had to rely on subtitles. Unfortunately, the translations were really bad and I ended up assuming most part of it. Didn’t matter though. I still could understand the story.

I absolutely loved the title track. The flashes of owl sent me creeps.

The cast, to the most part, has done an excellent job. Michael Nyqvist as Michael Eklund is amazing. The supporting cast is equally good too. I had major problems with Dominic Monaghan though. I felt he was trying too much. For one- I couldn’t accept him as a police officer. And then he looked way too serious, trying to put on the angry young man face. It’s just a small complaint. The screenplay makes up for this flaw.

The show ends in a cliffhanger with the hope of returning for season 2 but seems like there isn’t one. I wish the writers end every season properly as there is no guarantee the channel would renew the show.

100 code is a must watch for someone who loves murder, mystery and suspense. A wonderful plot with good action/chasing sequences, this show is very engaging. Highly recommended.

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