Season 2 of Swiss mystery series Wilder (Global Screen) starring Sarah Spale now available on MHz Choice!

Switzerland’s economic, political and social equilibrium is a high-wire act of four languages, customs and regulations which are sometimes in free fall as embodied by the series Wilder.

In season one, Wilder took place in the small village of Oberweis, in the canton of Zurich; season two takes place in another small village, Thallingen.  Season one is a perfect example of self-imposed suffocating silence and the guilt engendered in several characters. This is similar to Dostoevsky’s 1866 novel of mental anguish and disintegration in the guise of its anti-hero, Raskolnikov, who seeks redemption through confession and punishment for his crime of murder.

Season two parallels season one with its conspiracy of silence propelling the narrative forward; however, in season two, “judicial unfairness,” (the sentence is too lenient for the crime) propels the narrative forward with Wilder’s own colleagues, Susann Walter and Leo Mott.

In season two (six episodes), Romansh (Germanic Swiss) and French take center stage when spoken by Inspector Rosa Wilder (Sarah Spale) and her French counterpart from Lyon, drug squad Commissaire Jamel Jaoui (Raphael Roger Levy), on assignment in Thallingen to capture Europe’s largest drug trafficker, Anton Korday.

Thallingen’s metaphorical forest of crime and corruption juxtaposes two centuries of Swiss neutrality and liberalism. The creators (Bela Batthyany, Moritz Gerber, Roberto Martinez) along with the producers (Beat Lenherr, Peter Reichenbach) and co-directors (Pierre Monnard, Jan Eric Mack) have based this series on an idea of Alexander Szonbarth and co-creator, Batthyany. The second season is complicated by interlocking, labyrinthine narratives.

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Marcus Signer and Sarah Spale in Wilder

As the country with the largest drug-addicted population in Europe, this “Garden of Europe” is turned on its head by the writers who rip off the mask to expose the lies, secrets and cover-ups beneath the politically-conservative and staunchly-Catholic surfaces whose shabby foundation will loosen at any minute.

In season two, Rosa Wilder returns from her police training course in California with her son, Tim, but no husband. Her mother lives with her in town and picks up her husband upon his release from prison. Rosa’s father can’t adjust to city life, preferring to return to the farm. Wilder is – as always — ably assisted by Federal police officer Manfred Kägi (Marcus Signer) and local police officers Susann Walter and Leo Mott.

What appears – at first – as a racially-motivated crime against the Kabashi family — Muslim restaurateurs  from Kosovo (in season one, the racist victims were a Turkish family of millionaire Muslim property builders) — whose son, unbeknownst to them, is a homosexual and small-time drug dealer, gets killed with two other men and a woman on her way home. It is up to Wilder and Kägi to extract the motives and to disentangle the clues leading to the murders and to the theft of the drug money by deciphering the parsed and hidden meanings of illogical cause and effect with astonishing results.

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Sarah Spale in Wilder on MHz Choice

A serial rapist of nine women from years earlier remains an unsolved cold case that becomes interwoven into a thematic intarsia. Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” is the template for this profoundly-engrossing, intricately-written, thoroughly-absorbing baroque drama of emotional surfeit whose first two seasons have parallel arcs.

Fortunately, Wilder is a conscientious cop in a lush landscape with a polarized population who always manages to get the job done.

Since 1291, Switzerland — a landlocked Confederation of 26 cantons — formed a federal republic with Bern as its capital. As a confluence of western, central and southern European languages, religions and cultures, it has been politically and militarily neutral since 1815 (Treaty of Paris). The four officially-sanctioned languages are Romansh (Germanic Swiss), French, German and Italian.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We happily discovered Dr. Pearl Brandwein while reviewing MHz Choice subscriber feedback on our programs and, after reading a half dozen or so of Dr. Brandwein’s insightful reviews, all of us here at MHz Choice had the same thought: We need to get the good doctor to write for us! Enjoy! -MHz Choice

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