Whenever there is a fresh trauma within the community of Fortitude, there must be some time for reflection, a slower pace to allow events to sink in; for the inhabitants and us.
Bloody footprints in the snow make for a striking image to start the episode on, and frame said trauma of the previous episode. Doctor Allerdyce still lives, albeit barely. Her attacker though, her daughter Shirley, didn’t make it. Except just like Liam Sutter, she hasn’t been killed by the disease. A heart attack killed her, mostly likely brought on from massive over-eating. Which neatly brings us to Markus, Liam’s teacher and Shirley’s feeder.
At this point, the people of Fortitude still don’t know about the virus, if that truly is what is causing these attacks. So, as well as attacking ‘outsiders’, always an odd concept in a community of settlers, there is now a new focus for the people’s ire: Creepy feeder Markus, with his Oedipal obsession and clinical, emotionless manner. And nobody is more desperate to blame Markus than Frank Sutter, anything to blame someone for his son’s own attack.
Richard Dormer’s Sheriff Dan Andersen and Stanley Tucci’s DCI Eugene Morton are slowly growing into a not-unsympathetic buddy-up. They may be at odds, but they’re starting to work together for the greater goal of bringing the truth into the northern lights; like a Nordic True Detective. And yet the drama tends to mostly unfurl around Frank Sutter, none more so than when he attacks Markus in his home, clad in biker gear and armed with a bat and desperate malice.
I originally had in my head that Fortitude had eight episodes for the season, not thirteen. So I was somewhat baffled by the pace of episode seven, until I learnt of my error. Of course, being disappointed by expectations is what sometimes hamstrings Fortitude, and while I like the shift in tone and direction, the goalposts seem to keep moving. Audiences like to be surprised within a frame of reference, but it’s that contextual anchor that keeps shifting.