The murder of Charlie Stoddard was foreshadowed at the end of last week, and finally revealed this week. In a ten-minute flashback that particular mystery was resolved. None of the motives or overt clues led us in this direction but, satisfyingly, the clues to murderer’s identity were there to see with hindsight. There was no conspiracy to silence Charlie, no indiscretion or revenge returned to haunt him. Instead, a small boy, Frank Sutter’s boy Liam, first bludgeoned then eviscerated the scientist for seemingly no reason.
Except that reasoning has been hinted at and foreshadowed for some time. The disease that’s been affecting the polar bears and reindeer, driving them to abnormalities and mutations and cannibalism has been mentioned countless times. The hints of plague lying dormant in the permafrost have been laid before our eyes since the first episode. And the mammoth recently unearthed continues to defrost. And now the melted effluent is entering the town’s water system.
Now that the murder is revealed, Fortitude reveals itself as a different show than we were expecting. This isn’t a crime drama, but a science thriller. DCI Morton wasn’t there to investigate this crime, but the death of Billy Pettigrew, killed months ago by a bear and Henry. There are secrets in the ice and they are going to come out horrifically. The entire settlement is in danger of infection, and there is a risk that if anyone were to leave Fortitude, it could spread to the rest of the world. A 28 Days Later scenario where the Rage virus leaves it’s confines and spreads, causing violence and terror.
Fortitude is still a show banking on its potential. But that potential is building and there is hope that should we maintain our own fortitude, we will be rewarded by a powerful end to the season.