Helsinki Syndrome: eerily realistic Finnish thriller series

That vicious circle of financial misery makes something snap in him. He takes four editors of the Finnish newspaper hostage Helsingin sanomat newspaper and demands that they “dive into his story.” They have to prove a major conspiracy at the bank where he took out a loan thirty years ago, because he suspects that he has deliberately plunged into financial misery. He has tried to tell his story before, but no one listened. His extreme, meticulously prepared hostage-taking is his last ‘exit’.

Creators Miikko Oikkonen and Juuso Syrjä initially envisioned a documentary series about the recession, but decided that an angry drama would work better, especially since Elias’ despair over the pandemic would be more relevant and relatable than ever. It succeeded, because although the series is not based on a true story or existing characters, it does feel awfully realistic.

Helsinki Syndrome especially cleverly shows how great and uncontrollable despair can become when no one listens to you. The main question remains who ultimately pulls the longest straw: the desperate or the unshakable (financial) rulers. The answer is guessable.