SPOILER WARNING. We will reveal significant details about the plot and ending of The Bridge after the pictures below. Keep scrolling at your own risk.
The last-ever episode of the Swedish-Danish hit (Bron/Broen) aired in the two countries on Sunday, after an action-filled season with the tagline “every Saga comes to an end”.
Actor Sofia Helin, who turned the detective heroine into one of the most iconic characters of television, said shooting her final scene was an emotional experience.
“It was so strong. It was like a shock to the heart,” she told tabloid Expressen's TV blog.
The Bridge is one of Scandinavia's most successful Nordic Noir exports, with millions of fans around the world and several spinoffs created about police work across borders.
“A big, big thank you for having let me tell this story. It has been so fantastic with so many who have appreciated what we have done,” Helin added, addressing The Bridge's fans.
If you haven't yet watched the final episode, stop reading now.
First, a reasonably spoiler-free gallery of the best pictures from the final season:
IN PICTURES: The Bridge fans bid farewell to Saga Norén
Sofia Helin in the fourth season of The Bridge. Photo: Jens Juncker-Jensen/Filmlance/SVT
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
The fourth season also reveals how Saga Norén got her Porsche. Photo: Jens Juncker-Jensen/Filmlance/SVT
Still here? Okay, don't say we didn't warn you.
One of the biggest rumours ahead of the series had been that Saga would be killed off by the end, and writer Hans Rosenfeldt said he and the rest of the team had indeed entertained the thought.
“Of course we talked about it. We talked a lot about how to end the series and at some point during these meetings we talked about whether Saga would survive or not. We talked about how viewers probably would not have thought it strange if we did kill Saga, because we are pretty dark and not much for happy endings.”
“Then we felt that there could be a huge backlash and maybe even that it would have been somewhat expected. Our gut instinct then told us it would not have been a satisfying end if Saga had died,” Rosenfeldt told Expressen's blog.
Instead, the series ends with Saga Norén, perhaps even more surprisingly, deciding to quit policing, after realizing she only became a police officer to cope with guilt over her sister's death.
The series ends with Saga visiting Henrik in hospital to tell him that she is about to “go away” to figure things out. When he asks if she will return, she kisses him in response, an unusual move for the reserved detective.
She then gets into her iconic vintage Porsche, stopping briefly on the bridge between Denmark and Sweden to get out and throw her police badge into the Öresund strait. The phone rings and she answers only “Saga Norén” instead of her usual curtly professional name-and-title greeting “Saga Norén Länskrim Malmö”.
“That has become a catch phrase and that's why it's very effective when she doesn't say it in the last scene – it's a good way for us to explain that Saga is about to become a new person,” Rosenfeldt told Expressen.
“It's a new start.”
Asked if the final season really is the final season, he said: “Yes, I would say it is. But you should never say never. Maybe someone in 12, 15 years will think it might be fun to see what Saga is up to, but we're not planning a continuation and we've always talked about this as the final season.”