The Bridge series 4 finale bids a sorrowful but fitting goodbye to Saga in a triumphant climax

Saying farewell and cracking her last ever case made for a moving and action-packed night in Malmo. We'll miss our heroine...

Programme Name: The Bridge - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 8) - Picture Shows:  Saga Norén (SOFIA HELIN) - (C) Filmlance International AB, Nimbus Film - Photographer: Jens Juncker

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS ABOUT THE BRIDGE SERIES 4 EPISODE 8

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We knew it was coming, the last ever sighting of Saga Noren, Malmo’s fearless and brilliant detective. And of course it had to take place where it started – on the Bridge itself.

There she stood, this wonderful character, on the huge Oresund flyover that connects Malmo and Copenhagen, having cracked her final case, and threw her warrant card off. Her last words felt unfamiliar but they pointed to a new life outside the “polis” as she always called her profession. Instead of answering the phone with the words “Saga Noren Malmo CID” she simply said “Saga Noren”. She had her life and her identity back. What an ending that was.

As much as anything I was delighted that creator Hans Rosenfeldt hadn’t decided to kill her off, which was always a fear in a show which has boasted a *cough* high body count over the past four series.

Saga had been through the mill over that time, as she often reminded us. She shopped her first partner Martin for killing his son’s killer, her sister had killed herself and her mother hated her. So much, in fact, that she committed suicide and tried to frame Saga for murder, as revenge for reporting her crimes against Jennifer. Oh yes, and her mentor and beloved friend and boss Hans Pettersson was murdered in grotesque circumstances in series three. And that’s even before we come to all those horrific crimes she had to solve.

So let’s say she needed the therapy she’s been getting this series and it was these sessions that were the key that unlocked her soul.

Her epiphany came after she realised certain truths about herself – the enormous guilt she carried about Jennifer’s suicide, her lingering doubts about whether her mother had the psychological affliction Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, and the fact that she chose police work as a way of dealing with these feelings.

Using the best assets, her sleuthing skills, she proved that her mother did harm Jennifer and she was right to stop her. Then she was able to free herself and turn her back on the polis.

Of course, she had a bit of finishing up to do on the case, the solving of which was obviously important but felt secondary, somehow, to the resolution of Saga’s storyline.

Firstly, detective Jonas got his just desserts, the politically incorrect buffoon (who regularly talked about “homos” and suchlike) was fingered (a little unsurprisingly) as the person who had been selling details of the investigation to the press. But being politically incorrect in Sweden is almost as bad as being a mass murderer, and he will no doubt be drummed out of the force for that as much as his betrayal.

As for the killings, we thought the truth has been cracked last episode with the unmasking of Susanne, Niels’s assistant and the secret lover of murdered police informant Tomas. As was suggested last week, it was she who had been killing people beloved of those who had let him down. She also admitted it in the interview room – rather too conveniently we suspected.

Because Saga realised that the timings of the kidnapping and killing of the first victim Margrethe Thormod didn’t stack up and another person had to have been involved. And that person was Tomas’s son Kevin, the wheelchair bound addict friend of Henrik’s. And Henrik was his next target.

So of course, it was Saga who rushed to save the day when Kevin came to kill Henrik’s daughter Astrid, the most precious thing in his life. A protracted stand-off was painful to watch before a bullet, straight through Kevin’s eye, came just in time. Saga does not mess about. The day was saved. Though Saga and Henrik’s romantic relationship appears to be on hold – at least for the moment.

It was all rather brilliant, even though it felt very sad saying goodbye to Sofia Helin’s fabulous character. Something the actress also found when she filmed her final moments.

“I was very concentrated in the final scene because it was a technical scene,” Helin tells RadioTimes.com. “Afterwards I cried and I hugged my friends. Yes, it was emotional but it was also a big relief. It’s a tough job… and it’s a relief not to have that immense pressure on my shoulders. Do I miss her? I don’t miss her, because I can talk to her at any minute. I haven’t said goodbye to her in my head.”

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Asked if she could put on the leather trousers again, Helin echoed remarks made by creator Hans Rosenfeldt to “never say never” about another visit: “You never know. But for now it’s the end.”