Rita, season 5, sets the star of this Danish series on a new adventure running a small private school. There are some clever and funny tie-backs to past seasons. Some characters we haven’t seen for a while return. Rita is still herself in all her glory, and fans of the series won’t be disappointed.
Rita (Mille Dinesen) and Hjørdis (Lise Baastrup) are running the school. It’s housed in the big house that was Rita’s home as a child. Hjørdis is the responsible one, the headmistress. She’s the one who keeps things running smoothly. Almost.
Hjørdis takes her job as the only adult in the room very seriously. Rita comes up with schemes that Hjørdis hasn’t approved and it causes a lot of discussion. But Hjørdis is too responsible where the students are concerned and it creates problems with her boyfriend Uffe (Kristoffer Fabricius). He’s working, caring for their son, and missing Hjørdis. Uffe goes so far in his loneliness as to flirt a bit with a coworker named Pil (Marie Tourell Søderberg). Oops.
We learn a secret from Hjørdis’ youth as these two try to save their relationship. It also affects a crisis that Rita undergoes.
Rasmus (Carsten Bjørnlund) is kicked out by Helle (Ellen Hillingsø), even though she was finally pregnant with their child. He ends up living at the school.
Jeppe (Nikolaj Groth) was supposed to be traveling the world with his boyfriend but he got dumped. He ends up living at the school.
A fourteen year old student didn’t want to go to
Iceland Greenland to live on a weather station with his parents for six months. He ends up living at the school.
One of the many funny moments in this season was when Rita told Helle that the reason she kicked Rasmus out was because she was a lesbian. Which Helle denied. But before the baby was born, there was a beautiful woman kissing Helle hello while she and Rasmus made baby sharing plans.
Rasmus and Rita didn’t intend to have a new thing (or a recycled old thing) start up between them, but it did. As Rita’s ex Niels (Peter Gantzler) said, “You never really get over Rita.”
Jeppe didn’t think he’d get over being dumped, but he met a big bear of a farmer named Ole (Ari Alexander). He discovered that Ole wasn’t out to his family. Could that problem be fixed?
Peering into the Darkness
An adult who wanted to learn English, Gerd (Søs Egelind), showed up at school. She was a wonderful rebel of a character, very like Rita. I fell in love with her the moment she ran off with Rita’s leather jacket, leaving behind a flowery cloth one. LOL.
Gerd convinced Rita to teach English at night to adults. The two of them became friends. It was lovely seeing Rita have a friend. Rita doesn’t really look at Hjørdis as a friend, although Hjørdis feels that way about her.
There was a dark side to Gerd. It led to a tragedy. It caused a crisis in Rita that affected the school, Rasmus, and Hjørdis. And it led to some growth in Rita, some much needed growth into responsible adulthood.
Rita and the Plaid
For most of the season, Rita was not wearing plaid shirts. WHAT? That’s right. I missed those shirts so much. In one scene we peered into her closet where only a few things hung, not a plaid shirt in the bunch.
The need to protect a student from her parents made Rita dig out her warrior costumes (a box of plaid shirts) and return to form. Hurrah!
This season takes both Rita and Hjørdis into some dark places. That gave Mille Dinesen and Lise Baastrup a chance to stretch and do some acting that hadn’t been needed before on this series. I’m always thrilled to see the depths of emotion that favorite actors can pull out on demand. Kudos to them both. Actually, everyone in this series, including the kids in the school, did a wonderful job.
Breaking the 4th Wall
Rita had a huge gathering of friends in the final scene. All the people from this season and a few faces from past seasons were there. They went into a room with sliding wooden doors. Rita closed the doors, like closing a curtain. She paused, looked right into the camera, and grinned. It was a “That’s all folks” moment that felt like the series was really going to end this time.
It has felt that way before with this series so I’m not going to give up hope for a 6th season until I hear it from someone in charge.
Who’s in Charge?
I’m happy to share an exclusive interview about season 5 with Marie Østerbye here! Find out about the plaid shirts, the reason Gerd made ghostly reappearances, and more.
Here’s the season 5 trailer. This one doesn’t have English subtitles, but the one on Netflix does.
Are you a fan of Rita? Have you seen season 5 yet?