Dicte, Season 2 of the Danish Crime Drama

Iben Hjejle as Dicte in season 2

Season 2 of the Danish hit series Dicte finally made its way to American Netflix. It was a very long wait. Dicte demanded binge watching and I complied. Here’s my take on season 2. There are some spoilers ahead.

Based on  novels by Danish author Elsebeth Egholm, Dicte stars Iben Hjejle as Dicte Svendsen, a divorced single mother and crime reporter for the Aarhus newspaper.

There are 10 episodes in season 2, with each individual mystery getting two episodes to tell its story. This makes the crimes, clues and cases more complex and more interesting. If you enjoyed season 1, you are going to love season 2. I think it is even better than the first season.

What Stayed the Same from Season 1?

Dar Salim and Iben Hjejle in Dicte
The season opens with Dicte and Bo in bed.

The first thing we see is Dicte and Bo (Dar Salim) having sex. That’s how we learn these two are still on. The fits and starts of their relationship carry us through all of season 2. They struggle to figure out how to fit together when Dicte can be a lot like a porcupine at times.

Lærke Winther Andersen and Iben Hjejle in Dicte
Anne and Dicte share endlessly and benefit from a strong bond of friendship

Anne (Lærke Winther Andersen) is still Dicte’s best friend, although she is now dating Dicte’s ex-husband Torsten (Lars Ranthe). Awkward.

Peter Schrøder with Dicte
Otto Kaiser is as cranky as ever.

Dicte and Bo still work for Otto Kaiser (Peter Schrøder), the beleaguered, ill-tempered head of a dying newspaper.

Lars Brygmann and Ditte Ylva Olsen in Dicte
Bendtsen and Wagner are still on the job

Bendtsen (Ditte Ylva Olsen) and Wagner (Lars Brygmann) still run the homicide department and work either for or against Dicte’s efforts to beat everyone else to the solution to every crime and get a scoop for her newspaper.

As you know, the acting in season 1 was outstanding. It continues to be in season 2, particularly from Iben Hjejle who is brilliant in this part.

What’s Changed in Season 2?

The opening credits have a very different feel to them in season 2 and it reflects in the pace and photography of the entire season. Season 2 has a slicker feel to it.

Iben Hjejle and Lærke Winther Andersen
So much for Ida Marie

Ida Marie is gone. Even though season 1 ended with her wanting to divorce her husband and hook up with John Wagner, she is now off to Germany with her husband. Go figure.

Dicte’s daughter Rose (Emilie Kruse) is now dating a famous football player named Jannik, played by Morten Vang Simonsen. Rita fans will recognize Simonsen, as he played Rita’s eldest son in that series.

Dicte’s relationship with her daughter Rose gets a lot of attention in season 2. There are many arguments and Dicte does not always get the things she so stubbornly wants.

Dicte’s son is gone. Evaporated into thin air apparently. He is almost mentioned once when Dicte is talking to her father, who spends most of the season in a hospital bed.

Dicte's father in a hospital bed
Dicte’s father in a coma

The season begins with Dicte’s father (Rasmus Haxen) sending her a message that he wanted to talk with her and that it was important. Since Dicte has been estranged from her Jehovah’s Witness parents for 20 years, this is a big moment. Unfortunately, he is hit by a car just as he is crossing a street to speak to Dicte. His time in a coma and in the hospital carry through many episodes.

Dicte’s father dies before he gets a chance to tell her whatever was so important. We don’t learn what his message was until the final episode of the season. It’s a shocker. I won’t tell you where he dies, but it’s a special moment that will resonate with you. His death and Dicte’s conflicts with her daughter Rose lead to a reconciliation of sorts with Dicte’s mother (Ida Dwinger).

Tanya Moodie
Tanya Moodie plays Grace

A new cast member, Grace (Tanya Moodie) joins the series. She was involved in a crime and was the driver of the car that hit Dicte’s father. At first, Grace is a dignified woman, almost majestic in bearing, and I was completely taken with her. So was Wagner. After she was meant to be expelled from the country for the hit and run, he took her into his home illegally. Wagner and Grace carried out a rather awkward relationship that ended very badly for them both.

Andrea Vagn Jensen and Ditte Ylva Olsen
Louise Holm is Bendtsen’s boss. Yikes

The lesbian in the cast gets a bit of action. Police commissioner Louise Holm (Andrea Vagn Jensen) is the head of the department Wagner and Bendtsen work in. Wagner continues his daily questioning of Bendtsen about her sexual adventures, as he did in season 1. After lots of hinting around about Bendtsen being involved with a married woman, we learn that it’s Holm. Oh, oh. That has disaster written all over it.

One of the few laugh out loud things in this series is that Wagner thinks Holm keeps coming around because she likes him. Ehn – not so much, John.

The Crimes

This is a crime series, after all. The crimes involve diamond smuggling, a couple of murders, an abused and missing child, and hooliganism and game fixing in soccer. In the solving of these crimes, Wagner, Bendtsen and Dicte visit some of the seamier parts of town and talk to prostitutes, sex workers, gardeners, soccer stars, crime bosses, pimps, bad mothers, bookies and even a few law abiding citizens. Diamond smuggling is the crime Grace was involved in. Bits and pieces of that story carry through the entire season until Wagner gets into big trouble himself.

In season 1, Dicte was usually a couple of steps ahead of the police, but in season 2 they are more cooperative. Whoever learns something or finds a new lead first may be inclined to share it with the other. Dicte is free to do some things that police officers are not – and she will. She will do anything in pursuit of a story.

The crimes are well-plotted and take a lot of digging to solve. In season 1, many of the crimes were somehow connected to Dicte’s past, but it season 2 we move beyond that. She is not so personally involved in any of the crimes, except the one with a missing 12 year-old.  Her involvement in that one is present tense, because the child was with her daughter when she disappeared.

About half of the episodes were written by women writers. Although there was a female director for several episodes of season 1, there was no female director in season 2.

Here’s my review of season 1.

Big News

Great news for fans of this Danish mystery series and its complex, well-written lead character. There will be a 3rd season, according to public broadcaster TV 2 Denmark. Season 3 began filming in October 2015 and will have 10 episodes. Joining the cast will be Danish stars Søren Malling and Stine Stengade. Let’s hope Netflix US picks up season 3 faster than it did season 2.

 

29 thoughts on “Dicte, Season 2 of the Danish Crime Drama”

  1. Wow, all great news! You would think, considering I watched Season 1 about 5 times, that Netflix would send me a notice this was available, or at least advertise it. But I have you. 🙂

  2. SPOILER ALERT:

    I really disliked the argument between Rose and Dicte in Season 2. While I think Dicte was out of line with the ultimatum, the idea that her daughter would side with the woman who kicked her own mother out when she was 16, forcing her to give up her baby, as well as cutting off all contact with her and being a nasty unmotherly witch…. Is utterly preposterous. Rose was a brat and utterly spiteful to Dicte. I’d be pissed off I were Dicte too.

    Also, the absence of the son and Ida Marie was glaring. Some of the racial and immigrant politics are also kind of messed up. All Eastern Europeans are not criminals, and all black people are not…prostitutes, diamond smugglers, abused wives, and cheats.

    But, these kinds of prejudices are common in Europe, so it was interesting to see it reflected in the show.

    I probably sound negative about the show, but I really like Dicte, and I was happy to see her again for another season.

    1. I got the idea that Rose didn’t know all the history about Dicte and her grandparents and was unaware of how they had treated Dicte as a pregnant teen. When Dicte told Rose, she changed her attitude a bit. A big yes to the rest of what you said.

      1. I mean… How would Rose not know this? Wouldn’t it have come out with the whole adopted son storyline? Or why she doesn’t ever see her maternal grandparents?

        I thought the “explanation” Dicte was to give Rose was more about explaining her feelings “right now” so to speak. I can’t understand Rose not knowing this.

        But, honestly even if she didn’t…are we to believe Rose would drop her extraordinarily loving mother for a woman she barely knew? Even if she wanted more freedom and moved to her father’s, I could understand… But the petulant bratty attitude was too much for me.

        I already thought Rose was not so great when she thought taking a 12 year old to the club was a good idea, this sort of sealed my dislike of her.

        I’m curious about your opinion on Dicte’s figure with Bo. I’m not giving it a strong prognosis. I think if any one has a strong reason for being mad at Dicte, it’s Bo.

        1. Teenagers are just annoying. I think I wrote Rose off as a typical teen. Teen girls do some crazy things in an effort to separate from their mothers. As for Bo, I don’t think he’ll last as Dicte’s fella.

  3. Unable to find this season on Netflix anymore!! I started watching and now it’s not there. I’ve searched and only season 1 comes up! Anybody know what happened??

  4. Hi! I finished binge watching season one last night, and was so excited to start season two. But I can hardly watch it…am I the only one who noticed the change to Dicte’s appearance? I even went back to season one and did a screen shot of her face and compared it to how she looks in season two. Something is different…obviously the blonde hair, but also her eyes look different. And the kind of simple, sweet charm of season one…the scarves, the open conversations between Dicte and her daughter or friends…it just feels kind of slick and, I hate to say it, a little boring. I guess I was never that interested in the crimes, but more in the interpersonal storylines. Those seem forced to me. But I’ll slog on, of course! It just doesn’t seem like the same Dicte to me.

    1. I think the popularity of season 1 led them to “slick” up season 2 a bit. But I didn’t find it boring at all. Season 3 should be out soon, we’ll have to see if the people and the stories remain as interesting as they have been.

  5. Season 2 started in Finnish TV yesterday. I didn’t like at all. Too many close ups, visualization goes before contents. Very much BLM, when Dicte hears who has smashed his father by car and understands the guilty is beautiful and fearful black woman, she immediately forgives her. Series is anti-Christianity, pro-homo modernity mess, all families have been broken, nothing is ordinary family life. Minorities makes a multicultural society, Danish characteristics have been wiped away. Actors are OK, some of them have lost weight since season 1. I am disappointed I expected more.

  6. Season 3 started recently on Danish TV. Many big changes, sad as well as happy ones! It will be the last season. By the way, the storyline doesn’t follow the books by Elsebeth Egholm at all.

  7. Just saw season 3 on Netflix. Went back to the very beginning binge watching. This is the best series since HBOs Homeland with Clare Danes. Iben Hjejle and Clare Danes are very similar in looks also intensity in style of acting. Must say aiben Hjejle performance in Dicte is fantastic and so much fun to watch. Wish it could go on for ever, I won’t tell how it ends. Iben would be great in a Big Screen movie.

  8. Forgot to say that I enjoyed all the actors in the series also what is the title song in the beginning of each episode really like it.

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