“Fortitude” Season 1 Episode 1 aired last Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, at 10 PM on Pivot and Sky Atlantic. In this episode, the quiet town of Fortitude and its inhabitants are introduced. Two children discover an ancient mammoth in the ice, and as a result, one of the children, Liam Sutter, becomes mysteriously ill. Meanwhile, Liam’s friend’s father and his friend Jason tried to approach Professor Charlie Stoddart (Christopher Eccleston), who has just welcomed a new scientist into town, Vincent Rattrey (Luke Treadaway), to see if they could make a profit. However, the peace and quiet in the town is disturbed when a prominent member of the community is found dead, and because of that, Detective Chief Inspector Eugene Moore (Stanley Tucci) from London mysteriously appeared. Because of all of these happenings, old photographer Henry Tyson (Michael Gambon) believed that the one responsible for this death and a previous death months ago was the Governor and the Sheriff of Fortitude. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode opened on the coast of the glacier in the Arctic town called Fortitude, where renowned wild life photographer Henry Tyson (Sir Michael Gambon) took several pictures. After hearing a man cry out nearby, he went nearer and saw that a man, geologist Billy Pettigrew, was being eaten alive by a polar bear. He then took aim and tried to shoot the polar bear but ended up shooting Billy in the head instead. All of a sudden Sheriff Dan Anderssen (Richard Dormer) appeared and told Henry to head back to town as he would take care of everything there.
Three months later, two children, Carrie Morgan (Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips) and Liam Sutter (Darwin Brokenbro) discovered a tusk and several animal remains in the ice. Carrie then decided to bring a piece back home with her, and the two walked back to Fortitude. However, when Liam got home, he fainted, much to the dismay of his mother, Jules Sutter (Jessica Raines). Later, when her husband, Frank Sutter (Nicholas Pinnock), came home, he tried to call Liam’s name, only to get no response. He then told Jules to call for the town doctor as she was worried over Liam’s condition; he was rapidly burning up with fever.
Back at the station, Dan, as soon as he arrived with Frank at the office, received Henry’s medical letter, which gave his final diagnosis and which stated that he had to go back to the mainland for better care, as Fortitude couldn’t take care of him any longer, especially as he was terminally ill.
Meanwhile, Professor Charlie Stoddart (Christopher Eccleston) welcomed young scientist Vincent Rattrey (Luke Treadaway) to the town. It turned out that Vincent was there to join the professor in the Arctic Research Center, as he was going to conduct further studies on strange polar bear behavior, such as the fact that they had become cannibals. However, according to Charlie, cannibalism was just one of the strange behaviors that the polar bears there were now exhibiting. After dropping Vincent off at his house, Charlie invited him and another researcher named Natalie Yeltburn (Sienna Guillory) to his house Friday evening to talk more about their work and about the report that he was doing for the governor—an environmental impact assessment report that would make or break the approval to go ahead with the Glacier Hotel Project aimed at drawing more tourists to the town.
Meanwhile, Carrie’s father, Ronnie Morgan (Johnny Harris) became intrigued by what his daughter had brought home. Because of this, he and his friend, Jason Donnelly (Aaron McCusker) went over to the site, where they realized that they could probably profit out of it by selling it to the research center as they realized that they might have stumbled upon the ancient remains of a mammoth. They then loaded it onto their pick- up truck, and drove into town.
Meanwhile, at the Sutter house, Doctor Margaret Allerdyce (Phoebe Nicholls) came to look at Liam and discovered that it was their first ever summer in the Arctic region as Frank, who used to be in the army, had just finished a tour at Afghanistan. She then diagnosed his sickness as mumps and told Jules that Liam needed her to be at his side, and instructed her to let Frank call her if he had not yet had the mumps.
The doctor then reported her findings to Governor Hildur Odegard (Sofie Grabol), who was at the office looking at the miniature display of her Glacier Hotel Project with Dan. The doctor then told her that she was going to run more tests on Liam just in case, as she also suspected that Liam might have polio, which easily spread to the other residents of the small town. After the doctor left, Hildur told Dan to deliver Henry’s letter to him, and suggested that he mend his relationship with Henry, who was lonely, friendless and dying.
Later that night, Elena Ledesma (Veronica Echegui) went over to Frank’s truck which was parked in the open, where they kissed and spent some time together, before he went home. Elena then went back to the hotel that she worked for.
The next morning, Vincent met Natalie, who was systematically cutting up a reindeer for its meat for her dinner later that day. Outside, Jason approached Charlie and showed him what Carrie had found. Charlie was surprised and elated as he had recognized it as part of the mouth of an ancient animal. However, as he refused to pay Jason for it, Jason snatched it back from him, causing the professor to bump his head on the car.
At the sheriff’s office, Elena was questioned by Dan if she felt safe in Fortitude and if anyone else knew about her stories and conflicted past. However, she said that she felt safe and expertly ignored Dan’s question whether she was seeing anyone or not.
While this happened, Hildur visited her husband, Police Officer Eric Odegard (Bjorn Hlynur Haraldsson), who was in the hospital with a cast on one feet, as it had been broken by a couple of adventurers who refused to listen to his warning about being properly equipped with a rifle just in case a bear came at them.
After Dan dealt with the same adventurers that Eric had handled earlier, he went over to Henry’s place and handed him the letter. However, he discovered that Henry couldn’t let the incident three months ago pass and tried to get Dan to tell him why he had it covered up for him. However, Dan told him that he couldn’t tell him anything, which grieved Henry who only wanted Dan to trust him.
After Hildur left Eric, Charlie paid him a visit and asked him if he could arrest Jason, as they had a little fight earlier that day and so that he would be able to see if the remains he had were indeed what he thought it were, because if it were ancient animal remains, then it would have to be protected. However, on the bus to the mines, Jason told Ronnie that he would give the professor twenty-four hours to reconsider his offer.
This also affected his meeting with Hildur, who was already starting to ask whether his report would approve the building of her project. He then began to look doubtful and started to tell her that somebody had found something in the ice. However, after deciding not to tell her anything else, he left her office.
Meanwhile, Jules, who was becoming increasingly worried about Liam, talked to Dan, who promised her that they would bring him to the mainland the next morning if he did not improve at all. This upset Frank, as he felt that Jules had gone behind his back. Upset, she left him to watch Liam and went to town. However, while she was away, Frank met up with Elena in a nearby garage, where they had a moment together. Frank then managed to get back before Jules arrived to discover that Liam was awake and feeling way much better. However, while they made him soup, Liam started screaming, which caused the two to run back to the bedroom to discover that Liam had a bad case of frostbite on his feet. They then rushed him to the local hospital.
While they waited, Jules deduced that Frank had left Liam alone for some time while she was out. She guessed that Liam had probably walked in the snow to follow Frank to where he was, which caused the frostbite. Angry, she shouted at Frank who decided to leave to look for Liam’s tracks near the garage where he and Elena had been.
Meanwhile, Henry drank at a bar, burned his letter, told everyone that he was dying, and slumped out in the snow, crying.
Vincent, as it was Friday night, went over to Charlie’s place for dinner. However, upon looking into the house after no one answered the door, he discovered that Charlie was lying on the floor, with his chest open, as if a bear had eaten his chest. He then smashed the window and checked Charlie’s pulse, but right after he did so, Dan, who happened to be there at that time, arrested him as a suspect and brought him in. He then called Hildur, who had just wrapped up her speech to potential investors for the hotel, regarding the incident. He told the police to search for a possible bear, and before Hildur and Doctor Allerdyce came, he went to the bathroom and threw up. Hildur was horrified at what she saw, but the doctor, realizing that Charlie was barely alive, tried to resuscitate him. However, he died on the operating table.
After Dan informed Henry of what had happened, he called up the same detective who had handled the Billy Pettigrew investigation months back and told him that both Billy Pettigrew and Charlie Stoddart were murdered by Dan, upon the orders of the Governor.
Inside the holding cell, the shocked Vincent told them that Natalie was also supposed to be there for dinner. Because of that, Dan had Officer Petra (Alexandra Moen) look for Natalie in her house. However, after discovering that she was not home, they launched a search and rescue mission to look for her.
Meanwhile, at the hospital, Doctor Allerdyce suggested that they bring Liam to the research center in order to begin an experimental treatment that might help get rid of the frostbite. After the search mission for Natalie turned up empty, Frank came clean to Jules that he had been having an affair. Angered, Jules kicked him out of the house.
Back at holding, Dan discovered that Vincent was sure that Charlie was dead when he got there. After Hildur and Dan interrogated him, they realized that he was innocent but did not let him go as they had no other suspects.
The next day, much to the chagrin of Dan, Detective Chief Inspector Eugene Moore (Stanley Tucci), an American forensics expert who worked for the London Metropolitan Police, came over to help out with the investigation.
Back at the station, he was surprised to discover that Trish Stoddart (Chipo Chung) was the woman he had been seated next to in the airplane on his flight to Fortitude. After breaking the news to her, she broke down, which immediately ruled her out as a suspect.
Before he and Officer Petra (Mia Jexen) began the post-mortem autopsy, Petra wondered out loud how Moore had gotten there so fast from London as Charlie had only been dead for around twelve hours, which meant that Charlie had still been alive when Moore had left London. However, he ignored that and began the examination. According to him, Charlie had been hit with more than one tool with a blade. One seemed to be from a cleaver, and then there were stab marks and several other strange marks. However, Dan had discovered that one of the blades used was a potato peeler.
After Hildur told Eric about Charlie’s death, Eric realized that he knew who had probably killed him—Jason. The episode then ended with a police car heading towards Jason’s place, where Natalie was, as Natalie was Jason’s girlfriend.
And that is it for the recap of “Fortitude” Season 1 Episode 1. For more news, updates and recaps on “Fortitude” and other TV shows, keep on following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Fortitude” Thursdays at 10 PM on Pivot and on Sky Atlantic.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Eevarnell