Watching the opening of The Killing 3 tonight was a bitter-sweet experience. On the one hand, there was the delight of seeing ‘our Sarah’ again and hearing that oh-so-evocative theme tune, and on the other, a sense of melancholy, because this is really it – the final series – as director Søren Sveistrup has repeatedly stressed in interview.
Warning: slight spoilers below
In the previous two series of The Killing, Sarah Lund has faced a stark choice between the conventional happiness provided by a strong family life and her commitment to the role of police detective, one that ultimately alienated everyone around her, leaving her painfully isolated. Viewer reactions to Lund’s professional tenacity have sometimes been divided between admiration (without her, cases wouldn’t have been solved), and criticism for neglecting her family (in particular her son). These reactions have in turn generated some interesting discussion about gender stereotypes, especially as Sofie Gråbøl, the actress playing Lund, has said that the key to her characterisation was ‘acting like a man’.
When we meet Lund at the beginning of Series 3, it looks like she’s opting for happiness: after 25 years on the force she’s completed her fair share of murder investigations, and is moving sideways into a comfortable desk-job at the OPA (Operational Planning and Analysis unit). She’s trying to make time for herself (gardening! cooking! a funky new jumper!) and to repair her relationship with her son Mark. Of course, we know it can’t last – seeing Sarah cook a tasty Stuvet Oksekød doth not a riveting crime series make. And so, when a man’s dismembered body is found by the Copenhagen docks ahead of a visit by the Danish prime minister, it’s clear that she’ll soon be back to her old investigative ways. And when she is, we’re treated to a heady (and topical) brew of big business, politics, kid-napping and murder that’s gripping to watch. I already have a bit of a theory, which I’m writing on a bit of paper to be unfolded only after episode 10…
To be honest, though, I’m a little fearful for Lund. After the traumas sustained in the last two investigations, I’m not sure she can survive a third intact, either physically or mentally. I’m also a bit worried that director Søren Sveistrup will send her off with a bang that’s way too literal for my liking at the close of the series. Lund’s death in service would in many ways be a fitting and logical end to her unswerving dedication to the job, which takes her into dangerous situations and annoys some exceedingly nasty people. But I would really rather that didn’t happen to our girl.
On a lighter note, I settled down on the sofa this evening for a highly enjoyable game of ‘Forbrydelsen Bingo’. I can report that I put a cross in a grand total of 7 of my boxes. I’ll hang on to my sheet to see if I can cross off the other 5 next week.
Finally … here’s a whole heap of marvellous links for your delectation
- Vicky Frost’s review of the first couple of episodes (written in September, no spoilers)
- Radio Times information on the schedule and episodes (some spoilers)
- Radio Times article with Sofie Gråbøl – ‘Behind the Scenes on The Killing 3′
- Radio Times article with Søren Sveistrup – ‘What makes The Killing so special’
- Vicky Frost’s analysis of each episode (LOTS of spoilers)
- Video of BFI question-and-answer session held with Sofie Gråbøl, show creator and producer Piv Bernth.
- The Killing theme (YouTube – soundtrack out now!)
- ‘Five Steps to becoming Sarah Lund’ (droll)
- To find earlier Mrs. Peabody posts, go to the main menu at the top of the page and click on ‘The Killing’.
Episodes 1 will be repeated on Monday 19. November at 11.25pm, with episode 2 following on Tuesday 20. at 11.25pm. Both are also available on BBC iPlayer.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the beginning of the series, but please try to avoid big spoilers so that we protect the enjoyment of those still to watch 🙂
Update: there are a few spoilers in the comments below, so please look away if you haven’t yet watched!