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'Rebecka Martinsson' Returns for Season 2 With, Well, a Different Look
July 27, 2020  | By David Hinckley

Now here’s an identity crisis for a TV character: Even the actress who plays you is different.

Rebecka Martinsson, a Swedish crime series that returns Monday for Season 2 on Acorn, has a new Rebecka: Sascha Zacharias (top), who happily fits well into the title role created in the first season by Ida Engvoll.

If Zacharias looks familiar to fans of the show, she is. She played a different character, Jenny Häggroth, in the last two episodes of Season 1.

That explained, Martinsson, the character, faces most of the same challenges in the new season that she did in the old one. Those play out as she tackles four new cases, each spanning two episodes.

Her real mystery, though, lies in trying to figure herself out. Yes, Martinsson is another psychologically troubled law enforcement professional. Take a number, Rebecka.

Created in a popular series of crime novels by Asa Larsson, Martinsson was a high-powered, highly successful lawyer in Stockholm. Then something happened back in her small hometown of Kiruna, and she returned to try to sort things out.

Except that also turned out to mean sorting out her own complicated past life there: the early deaths of her parents, why she left, and people she left behind.

That’s a long process and frankly, at times, a lot more mysterious than the crimes she falls into solving.

At the start of the new season, she gets a visit from one of her old Stockholm law partners, Anna Maria Mella (Eva Melander). Anna Maria reminds her of the view from her old office, the nights of pleasure in the glamorous big city. Rebecka says yup, she remembers, and nope, she’s not going back. At least not yet.

Instead, she turns her attention to what seems like a rather provincial, albeit troubling, local case.

A reindeer rancher, Per Henrik (Per Burell), finds his herd being poached or killed by lackeys working for a greedy fellow named Putte Larsson (Martin Sundbom).

Martinsson and police dog handler, Krister (Jakob Öhrman), pay Per Henrik a visit and discover he’s not interested in cooperating with the police. Something about how in 1965 they weren’t interested in helping him, so he’s not interested in helping them now.

Krister is friends with Per Henrik. Krister is probably friends with almost everyone. That’s how a small town works, and it has both its rewards and drawbacks.

Krister is not good friends at the moment with Rebecka. They had an intense relationship in Season 1, and now, for reasons not fully explained upfront, they do not. She wants to put it behind them. He seems to think it’s not quite that easy. In any case, they end up working together, with all the ambivalence that produces.

The poaching case gets more serious when Per Henrik’s son, Jon (David Arnesen), wants to retaliate, and the situation escalates – complicated further by the fact that Per Henrik descends from the Sami people, an indigenous group that has not always been treated fairly by fellow Swedes.

All that plays into Martinsson’s quest to sort out her own roots while ideally serving a little small-town justice along the way.

NOTE: Rebecka Martinsson is in Swedish with English subtitles. Enjoying the second season does not hinge on having seen the first. 

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