Posted by: Paul | April 3, 2011

The Killing concludes…for now

So it’s over. We know who did it. And why. And most importantly of all, it all makes sense.

I can’t stress enough what a great series this has been. We get little enough of this high quality sustained throughout six episodes on British TV from a nation of 60 million, so for a run of 20 hours to be entirely compelling from start to finish, and to emerge from a nation just a tenth the size of ours is a feat indeed. Not that I think British TV has some kind of sense of entitlement, or the preserve of quality is that of the English language alone, but seriously – Denmark? Who knew?

Without going into spoilerrific detail of The Killing’s final hours, the tension racheted up to almost unbearable levels, culminating in a reveal so tense it’s prompted dozens of people on the Guardian blog page of the show to tout it as one of the best scenes they’ve ever seen on TV.

Part of the fun – if fun is the appropriate word – of the series for me, is trying to figure things out right from the start. With all the twists and turns along the way, the show hopped from suspect to suspect like stepping stones on their way to the conclusion. Not to blow my own trumpet, but I knew who I thought it would be from an early stage – I just couldn’t prove it, or link the circumstances together. But ultimately The Killing is less about the destination than the journey, and despite the satisfying way the series concluded, you can’t help but be left hollow by the momentum coming to a sudden halt.

The show also had rather a lot of dark humour, which I enjoyed. A lot of it came from the pathos under the surface of the odd relationship between detectives Lund and Meyer, but sleazy mayor Poul Bremer also provided plenty of cynical chuckles at his cheerful demeanour, all the while smearing everyone around him to defend himself.

But the highlight was probably the level of emotional involvement. The Killing conjured several devastating scenes early on which lesser dramas would build entire series around. The parents, Theis and Pernille, in particular were incredibly moving in their responses to their grief.

There were some loose ends though:

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I still don’t really get the whole story of the car. So the campaign guy who got sick abandoned it at the school. The Security Guard picked it up, and was spotted filling it up on the way back to City Hall. Then Troels took it to the apartment. Then the perpetrator (I won’t say who) pinched it from there, and dumped it in the river after their nefarious deeds. So how on earth did Troels get from there to the cottage in the woods? Duh? Maybe I missed something, or it was lost in translation.

The other missing person files – was there a connection to the murderer in any of the other (many) cases? Or was it simply Mette Hauge on her own?

Brix’s weird turnaround from being a shady, ‘don’t ask about City Hall’ protector of the corrupt, to Lund’s biggest ally in the end, shielding her from the prosecutor’s goons long enough to solve the case. First adversary, then they’re almost mates – this jarred for me a little. Who was pulling his strings at the start, as I didn’t really get it – was it Bremer? Or Troels?

Anyway, we’ll be getting our next fix later in the year when series 2 is shown on BBC4. This is, after all, a 4-year old series and we’re playing catch up – there are already 2 more in the can. But until then – series 3 of Spiral!

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