Well technically I had some idea of The Killing before now, but my time had been taken up watching seasons of Downton Abbey and somehow you just can't watch the two together. Sarah Lund came onto my radar again last year when I visited the Faroe Islands and visited the store that makes said Scandi jumpers (note: Sarah Lund has very expensive taste for someone on a Detective's wage- I can only assume Denmark pays their police a footballer's salary). Anywho, back to the show itself, quite simply it is brilliant TV and if you haven't watched it by now then you should....you really should....and to help you make that leap into watching it, I'll give you a round up of each season:
In my opinion, the best of the lot. It starts with a frantic young woman running terrified through a dark Danish forest... three seconds in and you're already screaming at the TV 'stop breathing so heavily or he'll find you!!' **spoiler alert Nanna Birk Larsen dies** and its totally alright for me to tell you this as it kind of says it on the box.
Next you're introduced to Sarah Lund and her chic jumpers and can I just say she is one prickly pineapple. She's the kind of person that you want to be friends with but at the same time you just can't think why you want to be friends with her. She's supposed to be moving to Sweden with her son to move in with her boyfriend but then she needs to solve the case and gets just a weeny bit obsessed with it all.
The second arm of the story deals with the lo-ver-ley Troels Hartmann, aspiring mayor of Copenhagen and his team of political advisors. They are somehow all wrapped up in the case and there's so much lying and covering up and twisting of stories that you wonder if any work ever actually gets done in the Copenhagen Mayoral Office.
The first season spreads out over 20 episodes and at one point or another the finger is pointed at pretty much every character introduced in the series, to the point where you're nearly exasperated and just want to scream well 'WHO BLOODY WELL DID DO IT THEN!!!???'
I twigged on towards the end to who did it, but that didn't make the ending any easier- I just really felt for Nanna Birk Larsen and her family and even Sarah Lund who was obviously distressed/obsessed (I mean she wore the same jumper pretty much the whole week and with all of that tension and running around I imagine she would be pretty sweaty). The season was a total nail biter and I should probably warn you that its one of those seasons where you want to watch them all at once and couldn't possibly go to bed until you know who did it.
I had big hopes for season two but in the beginning the characters didn't grab me as much as the ones in the first season. Maybe I was still in a season 1 bubble, but I just didn't feel for them. This season Sarah Lund is a little bit in no man's land because of the stuff that went down in Season 1, but she's thrown a lifeline and agrees to consult on a case after a woman is found brutally murdered and a video of her final moments is put on the internet.
It all has to do with an old army case involving the disputed killing of civilians in Afghanistan, a rogue army officer and a military man currently locked up in an institution. Politics plays a part in this series again, with the newly appointed Justice Minister Thomas Buch, delving into the government's closet to try to reveal some pretty dark secrets. Try as hard as I could, I just couldn't warm to the Justice Minister.... I think it was the hair.... and his advisers just lacked the same appeal as Hartmann's advisers in season 1. I will say this for season 2, there were some pretty good looking army men involved and quite a bit more nudity than season 1. I felt a little ho hum about the ending of this one, and one of the characters essentially sells his soul to the devil... but I didn't guess the killer until right to the end in this one either.
This season was playing with the big guns with billion dollar shipping business Zeeland and the Prime Minister himself at the centre of this scandal. The owner of Zeeland's daughter gets kidnapped and is held to ransom, only the kidnapper doesn't want money he just wants to find who is responsible for the death of a young girl whose body was found in Copenhagen harbour nearly 3 years ago and was ruled a suicide even though it wasn't. The kidnapper thinks Zeeland covered up the death because it was some of their sailors and so he's out for revenge.
This season really kicked it up a notch I think. The kidnapper was clearly one very angry, very disturbed man who didn't care who got hurt in pursuit of finding out the truth. The writers started to reveal some more details about Sarah Lund and her past in this season, but I still don't feel like we know why she is quite so obsessive and prickly and just a little bit socially awkward. In this season I just didn't know who to suspect and I was pretty obsessed/ stressed myself trying to work out who was responsible. I liked the PM in this season and I feel like the writers were really trying to make a point about the secrets that politicians keep. I really hope it isn't a true reflection on Danish politics!
Now, I will say one thing about this season.... the ending left me yelling 'WHAT THE HELL??!!!' at my TV and then frantically checking whether I had in fact misplaced a final disc- I don't think it really 'ended' but as far as I'm aware there is no season 4 and nor are there any plans for another season, but if that's the way you are going to leave me hanging Denmark then you are one cruel man. I just simply could not believe the ending- its not even an ending it is a giant leap into the lining up of a next season. So, this is me on my hands and knees begging the good people of Denmark to not leave it there- the story isn't done yet, and I'm not done with The Killing yet. Denmark, call me, we need to talk.
**note, these reviews are for the Danish original version of the show- not the newer American version which I haven't seen but it's on my list once I recover from the shock of the Danish version**
Have you watched The Killing? I'd love to hear your thoughts on each season and that major cliff hanger ending