TV Series Review: ‘Dicte’

John Thomas

After many years, three best friends reunite in their hometown of Aarhus, Denmark. Dicte Svendsen (Iben Hjejle) has moved to Copenhagen to marry, give birth to a daughter, but more importantly to peruse a career in journalism. Anne Larsen (Laerke Winter) studied to become a midwife and is presently working in the Aarhus University Hospital. Ida Svensson (Lenne Christensen) remains in Aarhus, is unhappily married and about to become a mother.

 Dicte’s recent divorce motivates her to return to her birth place and begin a new life with her teen age daughter in a new home and with a new job at a prestigious local newspaper.

Getting together with her friends for coffee at a canal-side cafe, Dicte notices a bucket floating on the rapidly moving tide. Curious journalist that she is, Dicte dashes to the canal bank and grabs the bucket.

Looking inside she gasps, which causes Anne to rush to her. Inside is a dead baby, wrapped in a costly scarf with a card. Ida doesn’t dare look. Dicte calls her sometime colleague, police chief John Wagner (Lars Brygmann), who doesn’t always appreciate her meddling in his work. They note that the expensive scarf indicates affluence and the card, written in Arabic, suggests the child could be Muslim.

Rearranging the few pieces of the puzzle the investigators have, they surmise the baby came from an unmarried or underage woman while the note could indicate a problematic mixed race relationship. Shortly thereafter Wagner is informed of the suicide of a young Arab student. He feels the suicide and the death of the baby may be connected.

While Wagner is arranging puzzle pieces, the best friends are in the hospital to greet Ida’s new baby - the father is not there. The delivery was both exciting and fatiguing, and afterwards Anna gives Ida a sedative to help her sleep. Lovingly gazing at her baby, snuggled in a crib next to her bed, Ida falls asleep. When she awakens, she finds the crib empty. A search of the hospital provides no clues as to the whereabouts of her newborn.

Feeling there might be a connection between the deceased Arab student and Ida’s missing baby, Wagner invites a psychologist to headquarters to help the investigation. The psychologist suggests that the mother of the deceased baby may feel remorseful at having given her baby away and wants to have it back or to replace it with another.

Finally connections are made and Dicte and Wagner, now almost partners, begin to see a picture. The Arab student had attended classes at a local high school. His female English teacher has a teen age daughter who needs to be interviewed. Off they go to the home of the teacher. The daughter answered their knocking at the front door and hesitantly invites them in.

Multiple directors. A Miso Film, Danish TV series. Dicte is a is a “should see” for varied stories told with threads connecting one story to another.


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