The Killing III: Episodes 9-10 – FINAL REVIEW

Forbrydelsen finale! How does it end?

After single-handedly kick-staring Denmark-mania in Britain, The Killing has ended. No more Forbrydelsen, no more Sarah Lund, no more politicians considering the election implications of murder whilst a family weeps in darkness. No more jumpers, no more torches, no more recurring thumping music ending every episode.

Really, it’s the end of an era. But first, our final review of the final series: The Killing III. Spoilers, obviously.

Lund Vs Lector?

When reviewing the grand finale of a series or show, it’s tempting to spend the whole review discussing the final scene, but I’ll try to pace myself. Slightly disappointingly, the whodunnit aspect was downplayed this time. You know at the end of last week’s two-parter, when we learnt that the butler/PA was the killer, and the kidnapper was… some random? Well, it turns out that was the truth, not any kind of feint.

So this week, newly named kidnapper Loke does his best Hannibal Lector, withholding the truth about Emilie’s whereabouts until the police have done his bidding. Thus, we see one episode of unsuccessfully trying to prove Reinhardt was the killer, then a second of nature walking. Removing the core cast from their usual Copenhagen environment for the final hour was one way of putting us on edge. To be honest, I’m amazed there were so few fatalities – I thought Robert Zeuthern was dead meat.

Sundry Wounds

Meanwhile, back in the Kristian Kamper storyline, Kristoffer is harbouring a secret, but not the horrible one I expected. I still find the sudden introduction of Kristian’s dead son into the story jarring, and the ending was inevitable, when our idealistic PM finally disappoints both Karen and us, but at least he had big scenes, especially the climactic confrontation with Mogens.

Lennart Brix, Lund’s stoic bad-ass superior, had an excellent final two weeks, stealing most of his scenes and finally revealing himself to be The Man. Outside of the Zeuthern family, he probably got the happiest ending, and based on Robert Zeuthern’s depressed expression in the closing scenes, he may even beat a few of them. Well done, Brix.

I must admit, the plot advancement in the final two-parter was rather slow, and it’s all credit to the pacing, acting and atmospheric direction that I still didn’t get bored. Because two hours mostly going in circles, especially conveyed via subtitles, could’ve been exhausting on a lesser show. Instead you felt every moment of futile despair. It helps, of course, that we were all on tenterhooks wondering how they’d end it.

Who Kills The Killing?

That seems a good time to talk about the final ending for Sarah Lund, her gunshot execution of Reinhardt, which I didn’t see coming at all. Yes, Lund has always stubbornly wanted justice, to the deteriment of her personal life, career and happiness, but would she go that far? I think she would, actually, but I’m not 100% convinced the on-screen plot pushed her far enough. I don’t think we were convinced the situation was that impossible. But I still believe it for the character, so I’m just about satisfied.

And then we get a final scene that… resembles a cliffhanger, actually. Are the writers considering a Lund On the Run sequel? Or are we simply accepting that Lund has finally ruined herself totally with her obsessiveness, and will now pay the price, either through eternal loneliness or eventual punishment? Maybe the latter. Who knows. One thing for sure – this was not super-cheerful viewing. But it kept me on a knife-edge, so fair enough. Sad to see it go.

Now, only a few weeks until Borgen returns in January!

The Killing III has now concluded on BBC Four. More info on the BBC official site. Recent episodes available on iPlayer. Tak.

Nick Bryan

Updated: Dec 15, 2012

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