Welcome to Sweden Recap: 'Separate Lives/Saknad'

NBC aired a “bonus” episode of ‘Welcome to Sweden’ this past Wednesday night, but it wasn’t on TV. It was just on the internet. And calling it a bonus episode made it sound like it wasn’t important to the overall plotline. Well, guess what?! It was. So if you watched last night’s hour-long season finale, you might have been a bit confused. The important things to know from the bonus episode are these: 1. Bruce is unhappy in Sweden and wants to go back to the States. 2. An “old friend” of Emma’s, Marcus, turns up, and it isn’t long before we learn he is actually her ex-boyfriend. 3. Viveka is feeling restless in her marriage, and she lets Birger know that in a fierce tirade that ends with Birger collapsing, suffering from a heart attack. 4. Bruce leaves to go to New York for three months.

So the season finale begins with Bruce back in New York, excited to partake of real American diner food. He’s become more Swedish than he thought, though, as the waiter informs him that he speaks good English. Apparently Bruce’s clothes make him look like a tourist. They also make him look gay, because as Bruce leaves a sweet, remorseful voicemail for Emma, the waiter tells him that love is hard, but surely HE is worth it.

Back in Sweden, Gustav and Emma are at the hospital with Birger. Gustav has important questions about Birger’s brief period of unconsciousness, such as, “Did you see my hamster?” Emma goes to see Viveka, who seems distraught, which is nice when you remember that she and her husband are having problems, but not so nice when you realize that she’s just frustrated by how difficult it is to change her relationship status to “It’s Complicated.” She decides that she and Emma need a girls’ night out.

Bruce goes to see “Amy Poehler” at her office. She needs him to stay forever. She’s going to buy him ten Emma’s. That’s tempting, I’m sure. But Amy really does need him, because in his absence she’s been doing dumb things like starting her own record company. Also, Sweden is the kind of place you only visit once, just for a joke.

Emma heads home to her apartment, where she finds Marcus doing yoga on her kitchen counter. He really wants to help Emma get back at Bruce for leaving. As you can imagine, he feels that the best place to do that is in the bedroom. Emma, to her credit, does not appear to consider this for even a moment.

Viveka’s choice of attire for Girls’ Night Out is a crop top. She is calling herself a cougar. Unfortunately, the bar she chooses for her and Emma has a very important football match going on, and no one wants to see her dancing in front of the TV. So she decides that she needs to go skinny dip in the fountain outside City Hall, a devil-may-care young-person’s thing she never got to do. Just as soon as she takes off her shoes, though, she cuts her foot on glass. Cut to Viveka in a hospital bed, with Birger rushing to her side, IV pole in tow.

Amy takes Bruce out for drinks. He’s no fun because all he wants to do is ponder deep questions like “Is love enough?” So naturally, Amy calls “Aubrey Plaza.”

Back in Sweden, Emma and Marcus go out to eat. They try to avoid aphrodisiacs for obvious reasons. But Emma chances to find a ring, and she assumes that this is Marcus’s misguided way of trying to win her back, so she storms out. The final scene of the episode, though, lets us know that the ring really belonged to a waitress who lost it.

Bruce decides that he needs to track down Emma finally. He calls Gustav, whose phone rings from inside an empty chip bag which, along with Gustav, is lying supine on Birger’s abandoned hospital bed. Gustav is unhelpful. His most lucid statement is that Marcus is like Batman and Bruce is like Robin. They can’t talk long though, because here comes Aubrey. Aubrey is going to convince Bruce to stay in New York. She thinks he needs to forget Emma. Emma has probably forgotten him by now, anyway. For the Swedes, two days is plenty of time.

At the beginning of the second half hour, Bruce wakes up at Aubrey’s house in his boxers. Uh-oh. She says they didn’t have sex, although she did try to put it in. (“What? That’s–that’s called rape!”) She did burn his shirt though, so he puts on a pink crop top of hers and says he’s going back to Sweden.

Meanwhile, Viveka tells Emma that she and Birger talked, but it wasn’t about anything important. Birger misses their house more than he misses her. Viveka has been trawling dating sites and locating all manner of old Swedish sea captains who she thinks will appreciate her more.

Gustaf and Emma take Birger back to the house to try to convince him to sell it. But Gustav evidently does not know the plan, because he is not doing that. He tells Emma that he wants their parents to be divorced: two birthdays, two Easter baskets, two allowances! Emma points out that if Dad and Mom live separately, Gustav will have to get his own place because Birger isn’t going to take care of him. So Gustav is on board with the plan!

Bruce tries to buy a ticket to Stockholm, but there aren’t any. Not even the “rom com” ones that guys like him should get. He is able to obtain a non-reclining middle seat by the bathrooms with many layovers, and he takes it. But then a guy with a dog shows up to pick up his two tickets to Stockholm: one for him, one for the dog. Bruce tells his story to get the guy excited and then tries to get him to give up the dog’s ticket. This angers him, as you would expect, since he is a guy who buys an airplane ticket for his dog. He says to Bruce, “Why is it this dog’s fault that you can’t find a woman in America to love you?” Burn.

Amy comes to the airport to pick up all the tickets to Stockholm she bought, because of course. She is mad when she realizes the ticket lady was able to find one for Bruce.

Things finally resolve for Mom and Dad back in Sweden, as Birger decides to sell the house and gives Viveka the sign as a present. She takes him back. Emma is so inspired by their love that she decides to go back to New York and find Bruce. They see each other at the airport, both going down the escalator. They meet in the middle, and it’s all kisses and love. Sweden!

Tags: NBC Recap Welcome To Sweden

comments powered by Disqus