I’m trying to be an adult about this, I really am. I know that all good things must come to an end but do we have to experience the end of both Downton Abbey AND Wallander within three months of each other? With Downton Abbey coming to an end on Sunday, March 6, the good news/bad news coming out of the PBS presentation at the Winter 2016 Television Critics Association gathering last week is that Kenneth Branagh will return (the good news) as the brooding Swedish Inspector Kurt Wallander, sadly, for the final time (the bad news).
After years of having to deal with Europe’s most violent and deranged criminals all the while battling his own personal demons and health issues, it’s a wonder that we made it this far! Based on the novels by Henning Mankell, Wallander will return to PBS as part of the Masterpiece Mystery! series beginning Sunday, May 8 for three, feature-length films.
Returning for the final series will be Jeany Spark as Wallander’s daughter, Linda, Richard McCabe (Indian Summers) as forensic pathologist, Sven Nyberg, Barnaby Kay as Lennart Mattson, and Ingeborga Dapkunaite as Baiba Liepa. Added to the cast for this 4th and final series will be a familiar face to Downton Abbey fans. Harry Hadden-Paton (Lady Edith’s gentleman friend), will play Linda’s workaholic husband, Hans.
In Wallander: The Final Season, Kurt Wallander faces his toughest battle as he starts to lose his memory. His greatest fear is that he is succumbing to the same disease that felled his father: Alzheimer’s. According to PBS Masterpiece, Branagh’s portrayal of this terrifying struggle is nothing short of a hearbreaking performance. The final three episodes are:
- “The White Lioness” — In South Africa for a police conference, Wallander gets involved in the hunt for a missing Swedish woman and traces her last appearance to a clandestine shooting range, where someone has been practicing for a crime that will jolt the nation. Alarmingly, the South African sun — or something else — is leaving Wallander with blackouts and dizzy spells (May 8)
- “A Lesson in Love” — A woman’s knife-slashed corpse leads Wallander on a chase for the victim’s missing daughter, inciting him to a grievous oversight. In his private life, he bonds with Linda’s father-in-law, a retired naval officer, who gets a menacing birthday greeting. Convinced that something is not right with his brain, Wallander sees a doctor (May 15)
- “The Troubled Man” — His memory is going to pieces and he is no longer officially on duty, but Wallander draws on all his resources to find Linda’s missing father-in-law, a former top official in the Swedish navy, obsessed with a decades-old submarine mystery. Slowly losing his grip on reality, Wallander is desperate to solve this one last case (May 22)
Wallander: The Final Season will air on Sundays, May 8, 15, and 22 at 9pm ET/8pm CT on Masterpiece Mystery! on PBS.