When three prostitutes from three different countries are killed in identical circumstances, a Europol investigation is launched, with detectives from Denmark, Germany and Belgium working together to learn the truth. The trio soon uncover a world of slavery/human trafficking, shifty journalists, dangerous businessmen and corrupt police officials.
The central trio consists of Harald Bjorn (Lars Mikkelsen), Jackie Müller (Jasmin Gerat) and Alicia Verbeeck (Veerle Baetens) and throughout the series, they share a charming enough chemistry, they are all really likeable and the three actors’ performances are spot on. All three have their own separate storylines that are well thought out and confidently written and there is a fine bond between them all. And its especially satisfying to witness their first conference call where they all come together for the first time!
In particular, Belgian detective Alicia is probably the most interesting character. It initially appears as though she will be something of a third wheel, given the fact that Harald and Jackie have previous history together, but she perhaps gets the most engaging character development and storyline as we learn of her alcoholic mother and the fact that her superior has taken a substantial bribe off the series’ main suspect. Alicia is constantly kept in the dark by her Belgian workmates but she gives her all to the investigation, showing an inner fire when required and proving herself to be a fine detective.
The writing of The Team is of a fairly high standard and competently explores the issues of human trafficking and slavery. The first few episodes are particularly noteworthy for constantly fooling the audience as to just who “the bad guy” actually is, continually wrong footing us and delivering those final act twists with drama and showmanship; the second episode features a chase and shootout through a ravine that is especially exciting. The series also has a great opening title sequence, complete with a catchy theme song and a particularly striking image of a red triangle with all three cityscapes on each inner side (you can kind of see it in this post’s featured image)
Towards the end though, the series does tend to get a bit overstuffed as it becomes more of a struggle to keep up with all the character names and to keep track of all the plot developments; The Team does have a twisty-turny plot and although more or less everything is satisfyingly made clear by the end, it sometimes seems as though the series’ plot is in danger of becoming too tangled up and baffling. At times, it seems like the kind of plot that is best suited to a novel so that the reader can go at their own pace and reread parts if necessary. The overall drama and excitement also tends to slack off a bit as the series winds down.
Also due to the mix of countries, this has to be the foremost Walter Presents series where the largest amount of English is actually spoken throughout the series’ run. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since Lars Mikkelsen’s English accent is rather . . . audibly pleasing.