Bron|Broen (the former title is Swedish and the latter Danish), known in English-speaking markets as The Bridge, is a thriller co-produced by the national TV companies of Denmark and Sweden. The first series was shown in its native countries in 2011, and in 2012 followed Forbrydelsen onto BBC4 in the UK. A second season has been confirmed in Scandinavia for a late 2013 release. An American remake premiered in 2013 on FX, with the action taking place on the US/Mexico border. UK cable channel Sky Atlantic has produced a remake with Canal in 2013 called The Tunnel, set in the UK/France.The series begins when a body (two halves of two separate womens' bodies) is discovered on the Øresund bridge that links Copenhagen (Denmark) with Malmö (Sweden), carefully dumped at the exact point where the bridge is divided by the international border. As a result, the two cities' police forces are forced to collaborate on the investigation, led by Saga Norén (Sweden) and Martin Rohde (Denmark). Threatening messages are then received by the police and media, from somebody purporting to have committed the murders to draw attention to social problems.In the second season, Martin and Saga are reunited when the discovery of a Ghost Ship turns out to be the first in a series of attacks by a group of apparent ecoterrorists.Because of the events of the second series finale, in which Martin possibly murders an antagonist and potentially puts a Danish storyline out of play for a while, it is rumored that a possible third season will involve a detective from Norway.
Ambiguous Disorder: Saga. The actor and writers have said that she probably is autistic/Asperger in some way, but that they didn't explicitly state it to keep their freedom of writing without offending/misleading people.
Bilingual Dialogue: All the dialogue is in either Danish or Swedish depending on who's talking, as the languages are mutually intelligible - Rohde asks his Swedish counterparts if they can understand his Danish.
Brother-Sister Incest: Oliver Nordengren is an Abhorrent Admirer of his attractive sister Viktoria, and has cameras planted throughout her house. He is less than pleased when he sees her making love with a woman.
By-the-Book Cop: Saga takes her duties very seriously. After finding a store camera that could have useful evidence on it, she gets the camera's memory card - and then mentions that the store-owner doesn't actually have permission for the camera.
The Care Taker: Stefan, towards his sister, Sonja. He spent a lot of time trying find her and after she almost dies due to the serial killer, he plans to take care of her for as long as she needs him. Unfortunately he gets arrested (for an unrelated murder) before she gets out of hospital and she's left alone again.
Chekhov's Gunman: Stefan, Charlotte and August, among others. The writers often introduce new characters early, and we get to follow their daily lives for an episode or two before it's revealed how they relate to the case.
Curb-Stomp Battle: In the second season when two of the second group of animal masks force their way into Saga's hotel room with guns, and she overpowers them in seconds. Since this was across two episodes and since the curb-stomp was so extreme, could count as a Cliffhanger Copout.
Deadly Gas: Used to kill Ferbé in the first season, and the first group of terrorists in the second season.
Despair Event Horizon: Even a year after the events of the first season, Martin cannot get over the profoundly negative impact Jens has left on his life. He finally falls into the Horizon when his wife tells him their marriage can't be salvaged, leading him to kill Jens and go to jail.
Driven to Suicide: In the second season finale, Pernille, a Danish policewoman who Martin was attracted to, shoots herself rather than die slowly and painfully from The Plague she was exposed to.
Dysfunction Junction: All the significant characters are so screwed up that you'll start thinking the killer has a point.
Enhance Button: Averted in the second season, when John explains to Saga that an image of a suspect on a CCTV shot can't be made any better by zooming in.
Everyone Knows Morse: Bjørn tries to communicate his location to viewers of the Murder.com video feed by blinking out messages in Morse code. This, however, is justified: The police only realize that Bjørn is using Morse because he was in the merchant navy, where he would have learned and used it.
Exact Words: Saga, who Cannot Tell a Lie, tries to reassure Martin by telling him that "we found August", and that he's being taken to the hospital. After she repeats that exact wording a couple of times, the killer points out that she's not saying they found him alive...
Fan Disservice: This being a Scandinavian show, there's a lot of casual nudity (especially involving Saga, Stefan and Sonja), but the style of the shots is so clinical and the events sometimes so disturbing that it's rarely erotic.
Follow the Leader: to Forbrydelsen. Both are Scandinavian co-productions featuring a Raised by Wolves protagonist who will always pursue a lead over anything as profane as social interaction or eating. The former was about a murder implicating the aspiring mayor of Copenhagen. The latter starts with the mayor of Malmö... found dead on the bridge connecting the city to Copenhagen.
Groin Attack: The killer kicking Rohde in the balls, possibly because he knows that Rohde just had a vasectomy.
Hand of Death: The first season likes depicting the killer as a pair of gloved hands driving a car to the next crime scene.
Hannibal Lecture: Jens attempts several of these when Martin visits his jail cell.
Infant Immortality: Unexpectedly played straight with the school bus hijack, and later Martin's younger children
Insane Troll Logic: The killer wants to draw attention to the plight of the vulnerable in society, by murdering them in incredibly cruel and gruesome ways.
Insistent Terminology: In the second season: It's a ship, not a boat, and Saga will never let you forget it. Also, Saga always, always introduces herself as "Saga Norén, Malmö municipal police" — even in casual conversations.
It's Personal: In the final few episodes, Martin discovers that Jens wants revenge against him, for sleeping with his wife just before she died. He takes his wife and kids, and his teenage son, hostage.
Jack the Ripoff: In the second season, the second group of animal-masked terrorists turn out to be a much less dangerous group of animal liberationists who are just imitating the first group with no true connection.
Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Charlotte paying the entire ransom just to spite her dead husband and spend her stepdaughter's money
Jurisdiction Friction: Part of the initial hype for the show, and possibly hoped for by the killer. But actually the two police forces work together pretty well, barring some arguments over who gets to carry a gun (initially humorous but later played more seriously).
Keeping Secrets Sucks: Saga complains about being asked to keep Martin' secret that he's the guy who had an affair with Jens' wife.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: Ferbé's introductory scene, where he viciously mocks a sad-sack colleague for his unhipness and taste in music, makes him appear so unpleasant that the unspeakably horrible things that happen to him immediately afterwards seem karmic and comical.
No Social Skills: Saga. Played sometimes seriously, as when she callously interrogates a guy over the phone while he's trapped in a car with a time bomb, and sometimes comically as when she picks up a guy in a bar with "want to have sex at my place?" and freaks him out when she post-coitally starts her laptop up and looks at gruesome autopsy photos in bed.
In one episode she attempts to eat lunch and make small talk with the other detectives; after a long awkward silence all she manages to say (completely straight) is "my period started today."
Parental Neglect: Anja and her "family"; she finds shelter with a friendly but very unstable man.
The Plague: In season two, the lead eco-terrorist's ultimate goal is to spread a lab-developed form of the pneumonic plague at an EU climate conference.
Porn Stache: Stefan, the Swedish social worker. It doesn't help that his dress sense and even the style in which some of his scenes are shot evoke the 1970's.
Red Herring: Several suspicious characters are not the one Saga and Martin are looking for.
Stefan kills Sören, but he's not a serial killer.
Jesper is guilty of rape, but not murder.
Lasse gets manipulated to kill a psychologist on behalf of the real killer.
Also, while he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, he is not a sexual predator and not a threat to Anja.
Running Gag: Saga's boss explaining "She meant to say 'How are you?'", Martin's insistence that Saga needs a hobby, and the Swedes waking Martin up early in the morning while he's sleeping.
Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere: Two variations are used in the finale, for Mette and her kids — a shack in the countryside, which they're locked inside with a live grenade, and for August — bricked up behind a false wall in a secret location.
Wham Episode: In finale of season two, one of Martin's colleagues if forced to kill herself after becoming infected with a superplague, while Saga is forced to turn in Martin himself after he murders Jens in prison. Doing so potentially shifts the geographical axis of the series away from Denmark.
What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out what happened to Veronika and her children after Stefan helped her disappear and killed her husband.
You Have Failed Me: In the final episode of the second season, Gertrud is cold-bloodedly gunned down by a shadowyBigger Bad after her plan to infect Europe's environment ministers with a virus fails.
In the first season, Ferbé, who after losing his job gets gassed to death in his car.
In the second season, the original terrorist foursome, who are gassed to death in a shipping container.
At the end of the second season, Gertrud is poisoned by a Bigger Bad.
Your Cheating Heart: Martin is a serial case. He's gone through several marriages because of it, and his current one is on the rocks, but it really comes back to haunt him when it turns out the killer is after him because he slept with his wife years ago, shortly before she left him and died in an accident.