Mr Good: Cop or Crook? review: Tragic tale of Norway’s quirky cop

The four-episode crime docuseries, Mr Good: Cop or Crook?, revolves around the life of an unorthodox Narcotics officer’s tragic descent from fame to infamy. The series is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

Eirik Jensen, a narcotics officer of the Oslo police department, is impressively unorthodox in solving complex cases involving underworld gangs. His exceptional conversational abilities enable him to get several informants from active criminal groups and gangs.

The cowboy-styled police officer rides a Harley Davidson, commanding immense popularity in the department. He lives a simple life with his wife and elderly mother.

His empathizing nature with dreadful gang bosses and felons allows him to penetrate deep into the network. Fellow officers suspect foul play on Eirik’s part.

Cappelen, a drug-smuggling junkie, accepts to become an informant, while Eirik assists him with personal and financial concerns.

Eirik leads the special squad to counter the increased gun violence and drug dealings.

Officer Baerum receives information on Cappelen’s hash smuggling enterprise. Upon examination, learns about his money laundering methods and extravagant lifestyle. Eirik is well aware that both of them are in serious peril.

Eirik is arrested and publicly humiliated in the press. He claims there is a plot against him since he is unusual and out of the ordinary for police beliefs. Detectives locate a mobile phone number kept in Cappelen’s phone book under the name ‘Mr. Good.’ Suspicions turn to collaboration as he realizes the gravity of the situation.

The trial concludes, and the jury finds Eirik not guilty of narcotics smuggling but guilty of receiving bribes. The courts reverse the ruling and order a new trial. He gets sentenced to 21 years of imprisonment in the final verdict.

Positives

Directors Andreassen and Riise have successfully treated brief documentation of a complex case with meticulous care. The story is grippingly riddled with timelines, tweaks, and jaw-dropping moments.

The pace of the series is fairly balanced, with justifiable testimonies and screen time for all the actors involved. The director has bravely tried to pursue a linear representation of interviews, well knowing the complex timelines of the story.

The establishing shots enhance the beauty of the city of Oslo. Pale visuals of the city create a sense of the dark-noir theme of the story.

Unbiased pursuit of the facts is one of the highlights, but what stands out the most is – the featuring of former gang leaders. The originality of the series is truly remarkable.

Last but not the least, the character developments of Cappelen and Eirik is evenly paced. Eirik’s fall from being a revolutionary cop to a disgraced cop is not affected by a rather filmy character development of the drug smuggler Cappelen.

The background music has been used sensibly throughout the series. It helps pick the pace of the series when required.

Negatives

Even though the portrayal of various facts and accounts appears to be unbiased, the underlying narrative might be tipping in favour of the disgraced cop in Eirik Jensen.

The docu-series lacks the crucial perspective from the eyes of Eirik’s colleagues at the time. The filmy portrayal of Cappelen’s character may transport you into some kind of fictional world.

The show also fails to establish how Cappelen might have turned against Eirik. He constantly claims till the end that it’s a conspiracy to discredit his unorthodox means of solving cases but fails to establish logically sound explanations.

Verdict

Overall, the series is a gift to fans of the true-crime drama genre. The next season is expected to build from a detailed portrayal of the relationship between Cappelena and Eirik. The curiosity about his unconventional techniques is also worth addressing.

Season one ends with the directors getting the viewers on Jensen’s side. It will be interesting to see if season two shatters that belief or rather reaffirms the general sympathy. Jensen’s case is truly a jaw-dropping spectacle of real-life crime that feels almost like a four-hour story.

Rating: 3.5/5


Also Read: Mr Good: Cop or Crook? summary and ending explained