Spoiler warning: While we've made an effort to avoid spoilers as far as possible, some minor plot details will inevitably be revealed in the course of our round-up of the reviews. You've been warned!
'Deeper than ever before'
The most positive review comes from Swedish tabloid Expressen, who gave it four out of five wasps (the symbol it uses instead of stars in reviews).
Reviewer Mattias Bergqvist praised the extra depth given to the characters this time around, which “coupled with director Henrik Georgsson's eye for detail and smart visual solutions, mean The Bridge has been given a fresh start yet again. It's impressive”.
He also highlighted Sofia Helin's performance as Saga Noren in particular, noting that she has “never been better” and it is “impossible not to be affected” by her display.
'We won't be disappointed'
Fellow tabloid Aftonbladet was also positive, giving the season debut four out of five plus signs, and like Expressen, reviewer Karolina Fjellborg hailed Helin's showing as one of her best.
Fjellborg did point out however that the murder plot feels somewhat less important than the personal stories of the main characters this time, in particular when it comes to finding out what happened to Henrik Sabroe's children.
“We have to hope the writers will give us the answer: the murder plot, exciting as it is, actually feels subordinate this time to the mystery around Henrik's family.”
But the reviewer predicted that we won't feel short-changed:
“The feeling is that of total control, convincing us we won't be disappointed regardless of the path The Bridge chooses to take for its swansong.”
'Nothing new in the Öresund region'
Perhaps surprisingly the harshest review came from the website of the show's co-producers SVT, who gave it three out of five. Their TV critic Kim Veerabuthroo Nordberg argued that there's little new in the season four premiere.
“Another underground political group, another politically incorrect Danish cop, another millionaire who isn't telling the whole truth.”
But its failings can ultimately still be forgiven:
“The Bridge has a self-confidence and solid drama built on never-ending cliff-hangers. It's hard to stop watching.”
'Overall it feels very The Bridge-y'
Website Tvdags.se also highlighted the familiarity of the new series, but reviewer Sara Ödmark saw it in a more positive light. In particular she noted the consistency in how Saga's character is portrayed.
“Henrik could easily compete for the title of boyfriend of the year. He has the patience of an angel with Saga's almost painful insensitivity. The social development she made previously now seems to be forgotten – that could be seen as a failing by the writers in character development, but it's really more a consequence of her poor mental health.”
Ödmark also made references to the particularly brutal opening scene (one so graphic that the Danish broadcaster opted to edit it from the original version shown in Sweden due to the earlier air time in Denmark).
“The usual amount of internationally notorious darkness is in place: among other things we get to see a scene that must set the Swedish TV record in terms of its profound brutality.”
“I don't think anyone will be disappointed,” Ödmark concluded, with the caveat that “my biggest problem with the series is I am more interested in Saga's private life, Henrik's private life, and above all, Saga and Henrik's private life” than the murder plot.