|Status||Deceased (shot himself in the head)|
An award-winning photographer famous for capturing the animals and landscape of the Arctic, Henry Tyson is a powerful, intelligent, independent and proud man who has lived in Fortitude longer than anybody.
He has recently been diagnosed with liver cancer, a condition he's making worse with his heavy drinking as he tries to block out the guilt he harbours over a fatal incident he was involved in. Henry also faces the prospect of exile to the mainland or back to the UK, as the law states that no one may die on the island due to the permafrost preventing decay and any disease being carried therefore simply remaining in stasis.
Henry Tyson, an elderly, professional photographer living in Fortitude, is out near near the arctic coastline early one morning taking photos. As with all residents of Fortitude, he carries a rifle with him. He hears screaming from a distance, then spots some movement near a tall pylon. He uses his scope to get a closer look; he sees a polar bear eating a man alive, and the man is screaming. Henry aims at the bear, but he hits the man instead, and the man dies instantly. Suddenly, sheriff Dan Anderson is there, on the other side of the pylon. He calls to Henry to go home, that he'll take care of this. Shaken, Henry retreats.
Later, Dan visits Henry at Henry's home and finds him drinking heavily and looking at the obituary of Billy Pettigrew, who turned out to be the victim on the ice. He is concerned that no one found a bullet and feels so guilty that he keeps himself topped up. Dan tells him it was a merciful act, but Henry is not consoled. He also wants to know how Dan was there at the same time, on the ice, but Dan refuses to explain his presence. Dan delivers the final documentation that requires Henry to move to the mainland now that his cancer is no longer being treated, and leaves.
At night, Henry is at the local bar, drinking heavily. He tells the bartender that he is dying of liver cancer, but she can't hear him over the loud music and the crowd. He lifts his evacuation paperwork and lights it on fire, and the bartender throws him out of the bar. Outside, he sits in the snow, visibly upset.
When Henry hears about the attack on Charlie Stoddard, he drives to the crime scene -- the Stoddard residence -- and asks Dan and deputy Petra what happened. Petra explains that Stoddard was attacked viciously. Back at the bar, he makes a phone call from the pay phone, talking to a DS Littlejohn. He reports that Billy Pettrigrew and Charlie Stoddard have both been murdered, and he blames Governor Odegard and Sheriff Dan before hanging up.
On another day, Governor Odegard visits Henry at his studio. She joins him for a drink and asks him if he saw Stoddard before he died. Henry replies the the did, and that Stoddard had told him that he'd found something precious in Fortitude that would prevent Governor Odegard's plans for a new hotel. Henry voices his assumption that Odegard is overly invested in the hotel. She suggests that she doesn't need to enforce his evacuation and that she will do so if he tells her what Stoddard found. But Henry says he doesn't know what Stoddard found, just that he had found something. She makes a sharp remark about how his death is imminent, he takes her picture, and she leaves.
Henry goes to the lab to see Liam, who is in a hyperbolic chamber and in a coma. His mother, Jules, is there, too, and she tells him Liam is a fan of his book about polar bears and that Liam will be chuffed to meet him. Henry is pleased with that.
When DCI Morton arrives at Fortitude, he has tracked down, via the pay phone, who placed the call to Littlejohn that triggered the investigation into Pettigrew's death, and, later, Stoddard's. During his first visit, Henry is too drunk to respond.
Henry goes to Tavrani's taxidermy shop and shoots out several windows. The sheriff is called and Dan arrives. Dan disarms him and declines to shoot Henry when he asks to be put out of his misery.
Dan and Henry both go to Henry's studio and Dan looks at a picture of him and Henry together, smiling, in better days. Dan tells Henry to keep his head down and not cause problems. Henry is hurt that Dan doesn't trust him to tell him the truth about Pettigrew. Henry still won't tell him, but tries to explain that it's not Henry's fault but his own.
DCI Morton comes to Henry's house this time, saying that he is the inevitable consequence to Henry's calling DS Little John. Henry denies any knowledge of the death of either Pettigrew or Stoddard, and he denies it was he who made the phone call, even though Morton has a recording of his call. Morton offers to fly Henry to London and protect him, but Henry refuses and sees DCI Morton out.
Henry comes home one night to find Dan sitting there in the dark. Dan confesses that he messed up when he arrested and attacked Frank Sutter. Dan said he did it because of Elena, not explaining that he knew Elena was sleeping with Frank.
In a flashback to the night when Stoddard was killed, we see that Henry crosses paths with Jules when she leaves her home to go to the bar. He offers her his hat but she declines.
During another day, Henry is shopping at the store and learns from Marcus and Shirley that 10-year-old Liam Sutter is the one who killed Stoddard. He finds Jules outside the lab and wraps her in his jacket. He has drink to offer when she asks for one.
Henry visits Tavrani at his taxidermy shop and tells Tavrani that he thinks Tavrani is a shaman. Tavrani laughs and denies it, then says, more seriously, the the can't fix Henry's cancer. Henry says it's not for him, it's for Liam, saying that he thinks Liam needs very powerful protection. He says he thinks something is attacking Liam and he wants Tavrani wants to build him a tupilaq. Tavrani says again he is not a shaman but if he were one, he would need half a pint of a murder's blood to build a tupilaq, and there is no way to get that. Henry lifts his shirt sleeve.
Henry is ready to give blood in Tavrani's shop. Tavrani starts to inject the IV, but Henry takes over, and, with a steady hand, punctures his arm. Tavrani shows Henry the tupilaq, a doll-like figure made of bound straw and explains that that is where Henry's blood will go. He should put it next to Liam while he sleeps to offer protection. Tavrani warns him that it's dangerous if the force the tupaliq is trying to quash is stronger than the tupilaq.
As Henry is giving blood, he remembers bits and pieces of the day he shot Pettigrew. Back in his dark room, he picks up the camera he uses that morning, as if remembering something. He proceeds to develop the film, at which point he learns that he took a picture just before he shot Pettrigrew -- an arm, ripped away from hits body, was handcuffed to the pylon that day.
Henry is in the bar with a drink and the picture. Dan appears and asks him where DCI Morton is. Dan confronts him - he think Henry told Morton about his feelings for Elena and now Morton is interrogating Elena. Henry denies this, but laments that he made the phone call to the police originally. As Dan leaves, Henry signals for another drink.
Henry is at the bar when DCI Morton takes a seat next to him. He has figured out that someone was there when Pettigrew died. Henry won't tell him the truth.
Henry is visiting Tavrani in his shop, waiting on the doll to be ready. He tells Tavrani about when he was a boy and would go down to the beach. Once he and his friends found an America airman there and asked him why he wasn't flying his plane. The American said he was about to go on his last message, and gave them the rest of his food. Henry comments on the man's matter-of-factness and says he wishes he could be like that airman. Tavrani asks Henry if he really believes in the doll, and Henry says it doesn't matter, that people need myths and stories.
At the town meeting, Henry stands up and says that something unusual is happening on the island and encourages the scientists to explain. Vincent starts to but they are interrupted by Eric Odegard and soon after that a random gunshot that someone has accidentally let off. It doesn't hurt anyone but the shooter himself, a bit of his toe.
Dan and Henry are talking. Dan says that what he did with Pettigrew he did out of love.
During the day, Henry is shaving and singing the hymn "Abide with me." He packs a bag with his camera, a tape player, tapes, a flask of alcohol, and his camera equipment. Then he drives to Jules's house with the tupilaq doll. Liam is not responsive at first, but he smile when he sees the doll and takes it. Henry pats Liam on the head and suggests to Jules that she leave the island. He kisses her on the cheek, and she promises to tell Liam about him. He thanks her and leaves quietly.
Henry is out on the glacier, lying down on a blanket, listening to classical music, and gazing up at the sky. DCI has tracked him down and drives toward Henry's open-air camp, but his vehicles becomes stuck in deep snow, so he finishes his journey on foot. He approaches the dozing Henry and says, "When my stepfather was dying, I went into his room and I asked if there was anything that he needed, and he said, 'Eugene, the only thing that matters now is the quality of the light.' I love that. The quality of the light." He tells Henry that he knows now what happened, that Dan handcuffed Pettigrew to the pylon and then Henry shot him. But he wants Henry to tell him why. Right then, Henry's handgun goes off, shooting DCI Morton in the abdomen. It seems accidental. He offers Morton his morphine and apologizes as Morton writhes in pain.
Morton asks him what kind of gun it was -- it's 9mm -- and says outlaid the the can survive that. Henry tells him not to get his hopes up. Morton asks for the morphine. Morton asks him "Why? I don't deserve this." Henry says, "I can't help that. I'm not your judge. This is just a thing that happened. Like cancer." Morton is angry and curses at him, saying he had no right, that he came there to find a killer and justice, but there's no justice in this place. Morton has made it to Henry's Skidoo but Henry says it's out of gas. Henry has a two-way radio and Morton asks him to please call in so he won't die.
While holding the walkie, Henry says, "Niels Anderson was my great friend. Dan's father. The winter Dan was born I stayed with them, Niels and Carol. She was a...Nils always said the moment he first saw Carol, the universe cracked. I loved her, too. God, I longed for her and loved her so much. After young Dan was born, I left, wandered the world. Nils became a cruel and violent man. Husband and father. A monster, in fact."
"He's yours," Morton says. "Dan is yours."
Henry says, "I left him with a monster. I abandoned them both."
"Tell him," Morton says, weakly. "Tell him.
Henry calls "Mayday," into the walkie and Dan picks up and asks what's going on. Henry says, "I'm on the glacier, Dan. I'm with detective chief inspector Norton. I've shot him in the stomach and he's going to die unless you come and get him." When Dan asks why Henry shot Morton, Henry reports, "He knows everything. He has all the proof." He rings off and tosses the walkie into the deep snow.
Henry props the almost-empty bottle of morphine into Morton's hands, then shoots himself in the head with his handgun. Morton's eyes flutter open but he is unable to move. Dan arrives in the helicopter and hurries quickly to Henry's body. After Morton dies, Henry returns to Henry's body and kneels over him.
" A mercy....I shot him."