Review: Rita, season 5

Mille Dinesen in Rita

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.

Mille Dinesen and Lise Baastrup in Rita
Don’t ruin our trip to Sweden!

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.

Boarding school?

Carsten Bjørnlund in Rita
I want to be closer to my child.

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

Søs Egelind in Rita
I really, really need to pass an English certification.

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

Mille Dinesen, not in a plaid shirt
That silly bell was the cutest.

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!

Acting Kudos

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?

Series creator Christian Torpe wrote 2 episodes this season, but the showrunner and chief writer for season 5 was Marie Østerbye. She’s written for this series before as well as the spinoff Hjørdis.

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.

Rita poster showing Carsten Bjørnlund, Peter Gantzler, Ellen Hillingsø, Mille Dinesen, Nikolaj Groth, Lise Baastrup, and Kristoffer Fabricius
The chalkboard says, “Rita is always right!”

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?

Author: Virginia DeBolt

After many years as an educator and writer, Virginia retired from working life. She's always loved a good movie or TV show and wants to use her free time to talk about them with you now. She's Old Ain't Dead!

10 thoughts on “Review: Rita, season 5”

  1. Hello. I love this show and this new season (watched in a day…). I thought the plaid shirts were a sign of Rita’s guilt and will to make things right for other people (because in season 4 her best friend’s dad gave her such a shirt after she has to leave). So I thought when she stopped wearing those at the end of season 4 it’s because she forgave herself for what she did. But then her going back to the plaids were like going back to feeling guilty because of what happened with Gerd. Am I the only one reading it this way?
    I love your blog too. I don’t manage to convince friends to watch the shows I watched so I am glad I found your blog 🙂

    1. I also thought when Rita shed the plaid it was a defining moment in her life to finally start to or completely overcome the demons and guilt that had haunted her for her entire life. Was not a fan of her putting it back on at all,I didn’t see it as a cape but more of an anchor around her neck. Season 5 was a mess, Gerd was like the ghost of Christmas future to Rita but instead of realizing that is where she will end up, she embraced the chaos and went all in. Rita is a top 5 series for me had it ended after the 4th season. Season 5 was a “jump the shark moment for sure.

  2. Definitely Greenland, not Iceland. I thought the same exact thing about the plaid shirts, that they were a sign of guilt. I thought she had thrown them out in season 4, but maybe they were just boxed up. My other take is that Rita might be thinking of suicide, Hjørdis asked her if she were ill because she had invited all these people to a feast. Made me think she was saying goodbye to everyone. That she couldn’t live with Gerds memory.

  3. Didn’t Jeppe tease Rasmus about wearing Rita’s shirts when he (Rasmus) was working around the school so she obviously had them hanging about the house. Anyway I thought the shirts were for protection or strength rather than a reflection of guilt.

Comments are appreciated!