The Killing III – Waving goodbye to Sarah Lund

the-killing-3It’s a bit on the late side, as the original Killing trilogy came to an end on UK screens before Christmas, but after much thought it feels only fair to review the final series as I have the first (here and here) and second (here and here).

I was excited to see how Lund was going to make her probably-not-graceful exit from our lives, and very keen to see what had happened to her in the intervening time between the end of the second series and the beginning of the third. With two dead partners behind her, it’s understandable that she would be starting to unravel, but I wasn’t quite prepared for just how isolated she was.

The first episode was intriguing as a catchup with the characters we’ve spent so much time with, and the second really kicked the story into gear, but by the third I was having my doubts. It felt very much like a carbon copy of the first series, going back to the original roots of a missing child, a grieving family, a search for the perpetrator and a political angle thrown on top. The only trouble is, by episode three, I sympathised with the family but wasn’t too enamoured by their warring sides, and I couldn’t get a handle on the politics at all (with even less understanding than I’ve had in previous years!)

I gave up after three episodes, but had a nagging feeling that I should revisit it and resolved to record the episodes on our new PVR so that I at least had the option. The problem I have with The Killing is that it is dedicated hours of watching. I normally multi-task my television viewing, but when you are relying on subtitles it is hard to do much of anything else. For the first series, it was a sacrifice worth making for the compelling viewing, and a similar story for the second. This third was tricky to manage, but eventually I succumbed.

With Christmas holidays freeing up some time, plus the fact I spent much of it with a cold and not feeling as super productive as I had hoped, I got through the episodes, an hour at a time, feeling as though I was just going through the motions. I didn’t enjoy it very much at all, and whilst I grew to like the family – pulling together through a divorce, very well-acted – and was intrigued to see Lund falling even further apart at the hands of some kind of relationship with Borch and no kind of relationship with her son, I was glad when the end came.

Now, spoiler alert! I’ve seen heaps of reactions to the final scenes, to the way Lund was given her not-so-graceful exit. Most were surprised, some aghast, others just glad she wasn’t killed off. I thought it was a good way to go, presuming that Borch will be forced to go on the run and join her when they found out he helped her fly off into the sunset. Well, it was already night so she flew off into the dark, but still.

It felt right that Lund could leave a career she had been desperately trying to leave anyway, and that she had resolved her differences with her family but wasn’t required to play nice with them forever. It also allows for speculation of what she’s doing now. Is she holidaying in the Caribbean somewhere, maybe even smiling? Or hiding out in a cave, waiting for Borch to join her?

I didn’t really enjoy this last series, the political aspect left me nonplussed throughout, the mystery wasn’t that intriguing and it felt very heavy-handed at times. The final series has tainted the overall Killing experience for me, but I must admit, the final scenes certainly haven’t.