Frau Live Hallengen (Katherine Torborg Johansen) stands in a field outside the small Norwegian town of Scarnes. Police officers called to the scene do not know what happened to him or how he got there; no traces were seen on his body. Rookie Reinert (André Sørum) wonders when the ambulance will be there. His weary partner Judith (Kim Fairchild) says, “Ambulances come when it comes to life or death. It’s just death. “
They call it the only funeral home in town:
Which happens to be run by Live’s father, Arvid (Terje Strømdahl) and his brother Odd (Elias Holmen Srensen). The business has been slow lately as, for some reason, no one dies in Scarness anymore. They were happy to get the job. But of course, they were surprised to learn that they grew up alive. They got through this despite his upset condition and took him to the coroner for an autopsy.
Then the surprise happened. Hours after he was found dead, Live was reborn. An ME scalpel pierced his chest, he looked fine, and the only theory the doctors could give him. And Strangely, is that hypothermia which slowes his system down. To the point of making him look dead. Arvid is away from the hospital; he had seen that before.
When he got home, he realized that things weren’t the same.
He now seems to have sensitive ears as he overhears the conversation between Odd and his wife Rose (Sarah Horami) about him. He also appears to have received visions of an attack. And a knife wound to the neck before collapsing onto the field. He went to the police and reported this to Reinert; he accompanies her home, suspicious of her story.
Arvid remembers the death of his wife/mother Zhiv. And he couldn’t control his thirst for blood. So he knows what to expect on Live. He attacked her in her office and knocked her unconscious with chloroform. He put him in a coffin and took him to his crematorium. With increasing strength, he burst out of the coffin, somehow surviving the temperature in the oven and lifting the heavy brick door to the exit. When Arvid told him why he did it, he grabbed it.
The first episode of Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes takes some time. What is suppose to be a crunch? Combined with some shame and some family drama. We don’t know who attacked him alive, what they injected him down his throat, or how they brought him to life. We know that being dead runs in his family, which may have something to do with who and why he attacked them in the first place.
Another part of the story is that now that Live is dead:
He must continue to quench his thirst for blood. Of course, that helps the family business as a strange eternity in the city has brought the Hallengen funeral home to the brink of collapse. So while the bodies pile up and Odd starts a new business (why Odd? See below), it will be interesting to see if Live allows him to uncover. Their secrets and why he’s suddenly trapped in the dead.
The scriptwriter of the show got an exciting touch with Johansen’s live performance. Despite his new skills and bloodlust, he was normal. He has the same interests and memories as before his death, but he has to deal with this new urge right now. The strange seemed friendly, meaningless, but a stark contrast to the lonely life.
We were also blown away by the police, Judith and Reinert. Judith seemed to believe that something had happened in a way her less-experienced partner could not have thought of.
When the world built around Live faces the problems we saw in the first episode. Post Mortem is supposes to be a dark comedy that can be dark and funny.
While Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes starts a little slow, knowing where the show is going leads us to believe it will be cynical fun instead of bottomless bloodshed.