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‘The Tourist’ travels to Ireland in its second season

The action of the new episodes has a few hints of Greek tragedy and 19th-century melodrama, but it flows with a certain logic

Jamie Dornan
Jamie Dornan stars in ‘The Tourist.’
Ángel S. Harguindey

From the desert landscape of Australia’s deep south, to the green, remote rural Ireland, Elliot and Helen’s long journey, in which they hope that the amnesiac protagonist recovers his memory, is the basis for the six episodes of the second season of The Tourist.

Rarely has Mies Van der Rohe’s motto of “less is more” found a better interpretation than in the two seasons of Elliot and Helen’s adventures and misadventures. A minimal Ireland with scattered houses and farms reveals more violence than one would imagine in such places.

This superb series, created by Harry and Jack Williams and available on Netflix, transcends the two essential components, violence and beer, framing them in the story of a deadly rivalry between two families, a hatred that spans two generations and in which Elliot becomes involved shortly after returning to his native Ireland. Someone had suggested in Australia that perhaps returning to his home country would help him regain his lost memory, as well as escape the cruel Billy Nixon (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson), whose pursuit, as he suspects, is a settling of scores from his past as a mobster.

The action also includes a few hints of Greek tragedy and 19th-century melodrama that, however, are not excessive and flow with a certain logic. To this we should add a series of colorful secondary characters, like the local psychopathic police officer, Elliot’s mother and the matriarch of the clan, or the patriarch of the rival family, characters that allow us to distance ourselves from the hero and the lady, portrayed by a couple of excellent actors in a little-known Ireland, where the viewer can confirm that unleashed passions are universal.

Worlds apart from Furies, the French series created by Jean-Yves Arnaud and Yoann Legave (Netflix) in which violence is constant and the plot that tries to justify it is banal. It proposes an immersion in a hypothetical Parisian underworld where two tough ladies roam, giving and receiving incredible beatings. It is unclear whether this preponderance of female roles is the result of a misunderstood Me Too, or the frivolity of a few screenwriters who only aspire to épater la bourgeoisie.

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