|Original title:||Johan Falk: GSI - Gruppen för särskilda insatser|
|Genre:||TV Series, Thriller|
|Production country:||Schweden 2012|
|Running time:||Approx. 540 min.|
|Rated:||From 16 years|
|Number of discs:||6|
|Languages:||German, Swedish (Dolby Digital 5.1)|
|Label:||WDR media group|
Content: Since 1999 Jakob Eklund now already successfully plays the investigator Johan Falk. After initially portraying the role in three feature films between 1999 and 2003, Falk has been on duty with GSI, the Gothenburg Special Investigation Unit, since 2009. After the six films of the first season, which were well received by audiences and critics alike, the second round is finally underway with six new episodes.
In GSI Special Unit Gothenburg, everything revolves around the desperate struggle of the police in Gothenburg, Sweden, to put a stop to internationally organized crime cartels. Whether it's a Pakistani drug gang doing business from Germany and Sweden, right-wing extremist organizations, Estonian crime gangs, brutal robberies and kidnappings, head of operations Johan Falk and his team are repeatedly confronted with particularly unscrupulous and perfidiously organized crimes in which they may even be personally involved. An important source of information is still Falk's V-man Frank Wagner (Joel Kinnaman), but whose wish is to finally get out and be able to lead a normal life with his girlfriend and their common child before he is exposed by the wrong people.
No question, the long wait for new cases of the GSI Special Unit Gothenburg was worth it. Cleverly constructed scripts inspired by true cases, a high-quality production, an extremely high level of suspense and of course the first-class actors like Jakob Eklund or Joel Kinnaman make this series a real must for all fans of gritty crime entertainment. Again and again the boundaries between good and evil, between right and wrong become blurred. More than once, the characters are confronted with moral dilemmas through which they reveal a complexity that TV investigators in particular don't display too often. It is these well-drawn characters, most notably the character of Frank Wagner, that transform GSI Special Unit Gothenburg from a thrilling to an outstanding crime series.
The episodes in detail (Texts Synopsis: WDR Mediagroup)
DVD1: White Gold
A Pakistani drug gang is up to no good in Germany and Sweden. The dealers mix the deadly "white gold" in Germany, which is sold all over Europe. Together with German colleagues, Johan Falk and Patrik Agrell from the GSI team in Gothenburg try to put a stop to the gang.
The police teams soon discover that the mastermind is Vijay Khan, head of the Pakistani organisations in Europe. During a joint observation, Paul Straub, the head of the drug squad in Berlin, receives a hot tip: a drug courier is on his way from Berlin to Gothenburg with the killer drug in his luggage. Patrik instructs his colleagues Sophie Nordh, Niklas Saxlid and Vidar Pettersson to intercept the courier at the Gothenburg bus station. But the supposed suspect turns out to be a visiting professor on his way to his lecture.
A hot lead, thanks to the skills of Matte, the GSI team's technician, leads the investigators to Ali Mahmoud Hansson, whose mother owns a small cottage by a lake near Gothenburg. A short time later, three bodies are found in this lake: the young Swedish woman Lovisar, the drug courier from Berlin and a young man named Kevin Lindell.
Johan Falk, in the meantime returned from Berlin, suspects that this case will become personal, because the dead man is the brother of Marie, Frank Wagner's ex-girlfriend. The GSI informant has retired and runs a restaurant in Gothenburg. At the request of Marie, who is worried about Kevin, Frank seeks out the Pakistani owner of an illegal gambling club, Avram Khan, to whom his brother-in-law owes money.
Falk asks Frank to return for a single operation: He is to handle a bogus drug deal with the Pakistanis, whom the GSI is convinced are cooperating with Vijay Khan. In return, Frank asks Johan to help him in the case of the missing Kevin. Soon the GSI finds out who is responsible for the murder of Lovisa and Kevin, but Falk withholds the information so as not to give Frank the opportunity for a personal vendetta.
The operation the GSI team sets up is to take place on the Kiel-Gothenburg ferry. However, when it is decided at the top of the police force that the GSI should work with the Narcotics Squad and the SU Serious and Organized Crime Division, the narcotics agents get in the way of Frank Wagner and his petty criminal accomplices making a deal on the ferry.
DVD 2: Revenge of the Lions
A brutal shootout between Africans and Albanians occurs on Castle Square in Gothenburg on a bright summer day. A ricochet bullet fatally wounds five-year-old Sissa. Her father, the right-wing radical Dan Hammar, leader of the "Legion Gothia", vows revenge. Johan Falk from GSI Göteborg tries to get background information from Frank Wagner. But he has left the criminal Rydell gang and is on his way to France to organize his new life. Felix, the younger of the Rydell brothers, is not unhappy about Frank's exit. But his brother Seth, who is still serving his prison sentence but is able to flee after testifying in court, doesn't see it that way.
Dan Hammar whips up his radical right-wing organization because he wants to hunt down Ike Zabangida, who was the target of the brutal attack by the Albanians in the park. In his eyes, the man is responsible for the death of his daughter. In order to get weapons, Hammar contacts Felix Rydell, whom he knows through a stint in prison together. It is quickly agreed that the Rydell gang and the "Legion Gothia" will work together. During the attack of the radicals on Ike Zabangida, of which the GSI learns, the Gothia member Valter falls into Johan Falk's clutches. Falk blackmails the young man into working for the GSI. Valter is fitted with a GPS and ear chip and leads Patrik Agrell's team to a Gothenburg hotel garage where the weapons handover is to take place.
Seth Rydell disagrees with his brother's decision to sell to the Right. As a result, there are unexpected delays in the handover, which make Valter so nervous that his GPS is discovered. Hammar shoots the "traitor to the people" in his own ranks. At the same time, members of the Zabangida gang show up on the street outside the hotel and are arrested by the GSI. This results in a wild showdown between the criminals and the police in the underground car park, which includes the arrest of Seth Rydell. Sophie Nordh of the GSI offers the leader of the Rydell gang to work for her as an informant and thus save herself further years in prison. But unlike Frank Wagner, Seth Rydell is a dangerous and hard-to-please psychopath.
DVD 3: A Perfect Plan
In Gothenburg, a cash transport is robbed, with the perpetrators using a jamming device. The van's guards have no way to raise the alarm with their headquarters, and the thieves escape with the money.
While the Gothenburg police begin their investigation, the GSI team makes their own inquiries. The trail leads to a group of Swedish ex-officers who were stationed in Afghanistan for an extended period of time. One of them, a certain Göran Svensson, has served a long prison sentence because antennas of a jammer stolen from the Swedish military were found on him.
During their observations, the GSI finds out that weapons and presumably the money from the last robbery are deposited in the apartment of officer Larsson. When he leaves the house for a short time, Johan Falk and Sophie Nordh gain access to the attic and tamper with the water pipes, causing water damage in Larsson's apartment. The police colleagues, who are called to the damage a short time later, eventually find the stolen goods. The GSI arrest the ex-officer, but he won't talk.
Sophie, meanwhile, attaches herself to Seth Rydell, who has been released from prison and is supplying Svensson and his cronies with weapons. She pays the ex-con a visit and puts pressure on him: She wants Seth to work for GSI as her informant. The plan is for Seth to join the officers and find out what their next coup is.
Svensson and his accomplices Lundström and Elomaa have no idea that they are being watched by the GSI and that Seth is double-crossing them. The perfect plan, which they have been working towards from the beginning, is to rob a Reichsbank cash transport in the Lundbytunnel. Seth informs Sophie that a trial run is to be carried out. Patrik Agrell and his team of Niklas, Vidar and Johan take up positions at the western and eastern mouths of the tunnel. But then the so-called trial run turns out to be deadly serious
DVD 4: Against the Clock
Johan Falk's stepdaughter Nina is kidnapped while staying with her biological father Örjan at his home. The kidnappers, Estonians Kaie Saar and Stefano Heldna, finally want their money from Örjan, who employs their illegal construction workers from Estonia on his construction site. To his ex-wife Helén and Johan, Örjan initially conceals the circumstances of the kidnapping. He simply claims not to know where Nina is.
But Johan intuitively suspects that the shady contractor is hiding something and watches him. When Helén discovers that her ex-husband has even stolen her credit card to illegally obtain money from her account, Johan has Örjan interrogated by Peter Kroon. He also asks his boss Patrik Agrell to help.
In their search for Nina, the GSI then comes across the Estonian crime gang. It soon becomes clear that the work on the Swedish construction sites is only a pretext to smuggle drugs and amphetamines from Estonia to Sweden. This is done via stolen rental cars from a Swedish car rental company in the hands of a certain Madis Mägi, all of which turn up in Estonia and are brought back into the country via the Stockholm ferries.
Although drug dogs have even struck on the ferries, the police have so far been unable to prove that the cars are actually carrying illegal substances. While the GSI is on the heels of the drug mafia, whose head Zanko Zajkov is on his way to Gothenburg to inform his negotiators about the latest order from Estonia, Falk goes it alone in search of his stepdaughter. In former KGB agent Kaie Saar, he has a fierce opponent in the race against time for Nina's life.
GSI investigator Sophie Nordh gets information on Estonian drug smuggling and the heads of the gang from her informant Seth Rydell. But he will only deliver in exchange for a deal: Sophie is to provide him with background on a Danish pedophile living in the area, who is once again at large.
To the investigator, Seth claims to be worried about his five-year-old daughter because of a planned move. What Sophie doesn't suspect is that a motorcycle gang has put out a bounty for information on the former inmate. Then Sophie learns from her colleague Niklas that the Dane has been killed.
DVD 5: Question of Conscience
In Gothenburg, robberies of guards transporting suitcases of money are becoming more frequent: The perpetrators always follow the same pattern. The video recordings from the surveillance cameras make Johan Falk and his colleagues from the GSI suspicious. Are they amateurs?
The GSI then comes across a group of minors led by the Finnish Heikki Nieminen. He sells the concept of heists to small-time crooks, collecting high premiums and pressuring the young men with fines if anything goes wrong with the heists.
Ricky Morén, who committed the latest robbery, turns in his distress to an old friend of his father's from prison, Viktor Eriksen, a member of the Rydell gang: he is to store the stolen money temporarily for a day or two, because it is contaminated by detonated paint vials and needs to be washed.
Additionally, in the course of their escape, he and his accomplices have run over a pedestrian who had stood in the way of the robbers. So Ricky has to go into hiding and find a money launderer. Nieminen shows his brutal side towards him and puts pressure on the boy.
Seth Rydell, who works as an informant for GSI investigator Sophie Nordh, provides her with all the necessary info to put a stop to the thieves. However, Ricky manages to throw off the police. Meanwhile, he has asked 15-year-old Simon Johansson to launder the bills, as he and his stepfather Bosse specialise in this. When Sophie learns the names of the money launderers from Seth, the GSI plans to recruit young Simon.
Vidar, who is the youngest member of the team and the least experienced with the GSI's special methods, thinks it is wrong to expose the minor to such a dangerous task, but Patrik, Johan and Sophie decide otherwise. They plan to go after Ricky as soon as he takes the money back, suspecting that the petty criminal will immediately make his way to the mastermind Nieminen.
However, everything goes out of hand: Heikki's men shoot Ricky, the GSI has to intervene earlier, and the Finn, who manages to escape the fracas, wants to get back from Seth Rydell the premium portion of the money he was unwilling to hand over. A deadly showdown ensues.
DVD 6: Under Fire
Frank Wagner and his girlfriend Marie are awakened in the middle of the night by noises at the door. Masked men force their way into their apartment. Frank shoots one of the men, and he and his family manage to escape at the last second. But where to go - without clothes, in the middle of the night? In his distress, he turns to Johan Falk, unaware that he has handed in his resignation because of what happened to an underage informant.
Falk, with Patrik Agrell's help, arranges for Frank and his family to stay at a motel outside the city. There, a meeting is held with Eva Ståhlgren of the National Criminal Police and a member of the personal security staff. The only way to keep Frank, Marie and their shared son Calle out of the line of fire is for them to participate in the personal protection program, otherwise he would have to go to jail for murder. Frank feels the restrictions of the program are an absolute disenfranchisement and flees. He wants to find another solution.
As it turns out, Frank's cover has finally been blown. The Russian mafia Karayan, led by Andrei Dudajev, has figured out that he is working for the GSI under the code name "Lisa". Dudajev's brother Alex, with whom Frank had done business on behalf of the GSI, was shot dead by the police three years earlier, and Andrei now seeks revenge. In search of Wagner, Dudajev pays a visit to his former gang boss Seth Rydell. Rydell is emotionally distraught after the death of his brother Felix. The Russian asks him to inform Gothenburg's criminal demimonde that Frank Wagner is an informer and to put a bounty on his head. Seth demands proof from Dudayev and learns that there are reports mentioning the code names used by the investigators. Fearing he will also be exposed, he turns to GSI investigator Sophie Nordh and demands that she destroy his reports. A short time later, Sophie is shot and seriously injured in front of her daughters and ex-husband Roger.
Frank, still on the run, now has not only the Russians breathing down his neck, but also Seth and all of Gothenburg's criminals. On top of that, the police have a manhunt out for him. Johan Falk, who feels partly to blame for Frank's plight, tries with the help of his colleagues Patrik, Vidar and Niklas to track down the Russians and find out how the top-secret information could get out.
Picture + Sound: Since only a data-reduced press sample was available for testing, no rating can be given here about the final picture and sound quality. However, this version already left an audiovisually good impression, which is why the final product can be assumed to be just as good.
Extras: Unfortunately, the box has no bonus material to offer.
Conclusion: GSI Special Unit Gothenburg is high-quality crime entertainment from Sweden, which can score with exciting stories, interesting characters and first-class actors. Even though the box set of the second season has no additional material to offer besides the six feature length episodes, the set can be warmly recommended to all lovers of high quality crime fiction. Recommendable
Source: Sebastian Betzold / synopsis: WDR media group