‘The Investigation’: A Thorny Case Dominates the Slow-Burn Scandinavian Drama

The Investigation HBO
Henrik Ohsten/HBO

In the opening scene of this hit Scandinavian limited series, prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen (Pilou Asbæk, Game of Thrones Euron Greyjoy) loses a murder trial due to lack of evidence, even though he’s certain the accused did it.

This sets the stage for the also-thorny case that dominates this slow-burn drama, a real-life 2017 crime in which talented Swedish journalist Kim Wall goes missing while aboard her interview subject’s homemade submarine. When police find the sub, only the owner is on it, and it’s quickly sinking. Did he kill her, or is Wall still out there? And if he is guilty, how do they prove it? The Investigation is aptly titled: We never see the man or the grisly acts that are later uncovered.

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We enjoy villains as long as there are brilliant minds to stop them.

While investigators endlessly search Danish waters for a body (above), Jens Møller (Søren Malling), Copenhagen’s head of homicide, dedicates himself to the case — to the detriment of his family life; the team’s lone female, Maibritt Porse (standout Laura Christensen), is equally dogged.

Meanwhile, Wall’s parents, Ingrid and Joachim (Pernilla August and Rolf Lassgård), add much-needed humanity as they experience immense kindness from their neighbors and continue to push for justice.

The Investigation, Series Premiere, Monday, February 1, 10/9c, HBO