Get your Danish phrase books at the ready because IT’S BACK!
The smash hit Scandinavian crime thriller, The Killing, returns to British screens this weekend for its third and (*sob*) final season.
It’s hard to believe it is almost two years since Sarah Lund (played by the marvellous Sofie Gråbøl) first appeared on our screens. It marked the moment when British TV fans discovered that they were quite fond of gritty, subtitled dramas set in rain-drenched Nordic countries. It also gave new status to moping female leads with a penchant for Fair Isle knitwear.
Season three promises one final murder case for Lund to solve: a case that will immerse viewers in a murky world of corrupt politicians, tax-dodging businessmen and dysfunctional families. Rumours have it that Lund may be working with another partner, even though she didn’t do too great a job keeping the last two alive.
As the season three trail suggests, there will be plenty of action and drama. If previous seasons are anything to go by, there will be a fair few twists along the way. To help get you in the mood for Saturday’s season premiere, here’s a reminder of The Killing’s best bits so far…
1. Nanna Birk Larsen’s grieving parents
Season one’s single-day-per-episode structure thrust us into the depths of Theis and Pernille Birk Larsen’s grief in the weeks following the murder of their teenage daughter, Nanna. Bjarne Henriksen and Ann Eleonora Jørgensen’s portrayal of the devastated parents was so harrowing that, despite doing apparently little to move the plot of the murder case along, their scenes were some of the most compelling of the series. The briefest of scenes in episode four – when Theis simply lay down beside Pernille to comfort her – stayed with me long after the episode finished.
2. Jan Meyer’s untimely death
The developing relationship between Lund and her cocky, chain-smoking colleague, Jan Meyer (Søren Malling), was fantastic to watch. The tension between them slowly dissipated, with Meyer tentatively expressing concern for Lund and Lund offering her own olive branch in return. They were just about getting along when Lund’s impulsive actions led Meyer to an abandoned warehouse in episode 18 where he was shot dead in what was a genuinely shocking twist.
3. The political anti-hero
Season one’s mayoral candidate Troels Hartmann (Lars Mikkelsen) might be the obvious choice for the political star of The Killing. He is slick, well-groomed, always ready with a sound bite and a prime suspect for murder. But my personal favourite has to be Thomas Buch (Nicolas Bro). The slightly chubby, inexperienced, scruffy but brilliant Buch was appointed Minister of Justice in season two and bounded in to the role like an overenthusiastic puppy. His determination to expose the cover up of a secret mission in Afghanistan finally paid off in the final episode as he raged around parliament, uncovering some seriously well-written and murky plot twists.
4. The big season two reveal
Season two began with Sarah Lund single, isolated and with her reputation as a detective in tatters. She’d been demoted at the end of season one. It took her most of the series to learn to trust her new partner, Ulrik Strange (Mikael Birkkjær), until she fell for him (I mean, who wouldn’t?). There were plenty of worrying signs that he was not all that he seemed. Like his reluctance to talk about his shady past in the Special Forces and a character accusing him of murder - those sorts of worrying signs. Episode 20 saw Strange admit to the murders and shoot our beloved Lund with her own gun. But Lund, cannily clad in a bulletproof vest, survived. She shot Strange dead before walking away from the scene, typically stony-faced.
The Killing III starts at 9pm on Saturday 17th November 2012 on BBC Four