The Killing 2: Episodes One and Two Reviewed *SPOILERS*

by Lisa McGarry

Firstly a short warning this blog is for people who have already watched the first two episodes of the second season of The Killing. There will also be a few spoilers of what happened in The Killing’s first season but I won’t reveal who the murderer was.

The Killing 2 begins with a call to the emergency services from a man who has found blood in his former house and reported his ex-wife as the possible murder victim. We then see the police searching an area that turns out to be Memorial Park and the victim, Anne Dragsholm, strung to a pole after having been stabbed 21 times. The police suspect the ex-husband has committed the crime as Anne would inherit half of his assets following their divorce but after holding the man in custody for ten days DCI Lennart Brix isn’t sure and asks his DI Ulrik Strange to track down Sarah Lund for assistance on the case. Following the events of Season One, Lund is now working in the remote Danish town of Gedser in passport control.

After initially refusing to help Sarah returns to Copenhagen for her son’s birthday and visits the crime scene with Strange. She has her suspicions that the ex-husband is innocent but after he confesses Brix thanks her for her help but this being Sarah Lund she’s not going to walk her way that easily. At her son’s birthday party she notices that when Bjorn, her mother’s fiancé, unwraps a new camcorder tape a random piece of cellophane falls on the floor and she recognises it as being similar to one she saw at the crime scene. She convinces Strange that Anne’s death had been taped and that the ex-husband was indeed innocent and while looking into Anne’s past they found that she once worked for the military and still donates to a veteran’s club. Sarah and Ulrik then go to the apartment of the Veteran Club president Myg Poulson and find him dead strung up by his feet and slashed with half of a dog tag a piece of evidence connected to Anne’s murder as they also found part of a dog tag at her murder scene, it also later transpires that these dog tags had been forged by whoever committed the murders. While at the scene Sarah sees a man lurking around and chases him but he ends up getting away from her.

Running parallel to this story is the appointment of Thomas Buch to the position of Justice Minister after his predecessor suffers a heart attack. Buch originally turns down this offer believing that there are more qualified people to do the job but the Prime Minister talks him round. Buch’s job is to get a majority on the Anti-Terrorism law something that his rival politicians aren’t in favour of. Buch later discovers that his predecessor wanted to be informed of the progress of Anne’s murder investigation allegedly because the victim was found in Memorial Park and he wanted to be sure that there wasn’t a political motive. Buch and his office are sent an e-mail with the video of Anne’s death attached to it because of this we are lead to believe that Anne’s death was a message from Muslim terrorists claiming that the Danish are infidels after their part of the war on terror. Buch’s rivals then agree to the bill saying they’d help him as long as they don’t find out that the first two murders could’ve been prevented. Later the opposition group pulls out after it is revealed that Buch’s predecessor received a memo telling him that Anne’s death could’ve been connected to terrorism in some way.

The third story is that of Myg’s friend Jens Raben who is also the son-in-law of the Myg’s colonel on the barracks where he was stationed. Jens has been institutionalised after he was wounded in the war, started suffering from delusions and then attacked a nurse. Jens’ wife Louise reveals that their son has become embarrassed by his father’s continued stay in the institution and won’t visit him anymore. Jens believes that he is getting better and Myg comes to visit him with an offer of a carpentry job however when Jens found out Myg is going back to Afghanistan he is stunned as his friend said he would never go back. Before Myg leaves the institution he tells Jens that when they got back he thought it was over and done with but it’s not finished at all, this is the last time Jens sees his friend alive. After being told by the warden of the institution that they’ve approved his release order he is later taken aback that the parole board have denied this he reacts violently but eventually agrees to go on a course of medication which will curb these outbursts and may mean he is released when his review comes up again in six months. Lund also visits him to question him over Myg’s death when she asks him if he recognises Anne’s picture he tells her he doesn’t know her and isn’t sure if Myg did or not.

Brix agrees that Lund can return to the force as an adviser on the case of these two murders and together she and Strange try and track the website that the video was sent from. Through fliers that were used by The Muslim League they track the website to Abdel Hussein Kodmani who runs a bookshop selling Islamic Extremist Literature. This brings in Special Branch to the investigation as they have been tracking Kodmani for a long time and tell Brix to bring in any of Kodmani’s contacts. Kodmani claimed that he was contacted on the website by someone called Fellow Believer however the Special Branch contact says this is nothing but a lie to protect Kodmani. Sarah meanwhile finds the name of Bilal, Myg’s company commander, among those who have purchased literature from Kodmani and returns to the barracks. While Bilal claims that he bought the books to better understand the enemy Lund doesn’t believe him and eventually finds out that he is the man that she chased on the night of Myg’s murder. While back in the Colonel’s office, Sarah finds a picture with both Myg and Jens in the foreground and Anne in the background. Sarah returns to the institution to question Jens but he has escaped and is currently running from the guards.

It’s so great to have The Killing back and I think fans of the series are unanimous in praise of it. I think also that we all agree that this series is drastically different from that one that has preceded it as this has much more to with the culpability of the Danish in the war on terror and people’s attitudes to those of the Muslim faith. Once again Sophie Grabel is excellent as Lund and of the new cast Ken Vedsegaard as Jens has probably impressed me the most. I hope that those who have got into The Killing via the American remake have since watched Season One of the Danish version and if you haven’t I implore you to do as soon as possible.

Questions that need answering

I suppose the biggest question is what is the connection between Jens, Myg and Anne? Jens told Sarah that he didn’t know her yet they are in the picture together, did he escape because Anne’s death means he and his family are in trouble?

What did Myg mean when he said we thought it was over with but it’s not over at all?

Why didn’t Jens get paroled? Is it some sort of conspiracy? Is Louise’s father, the colonel involved? Does the reason Jens is in the institution in the first place something to do with this conspiracy?

Is Bilal no longer a suspect? Did anybody find the reason that he bought books from Kodmani very weak? And was he lying when he said the reason he ran from Lund is that he didn’t want to disgrace the barracks?

What is the significance of the dog tag and who forged them? Why was Anne strung up in Memorial Park? Were Anne and Myg killed by the same person?

Why did Anne’s ex-husband confess to her murder? Was it that he crumbled under the pressure of the interrogation or was it something more mysterious?

Who sent the memo to Buch’s predecessor? Who sent it to the member of the opposition?

While we’re on the subject is the reason Buch’s predecessor had a heart attack innocent or is there something more behind it? We know he was aware of the memo and that he wanted to be kept informed of progress in Anne’s case, is he connected to the military as well?

Also why was Buch appointed as Justice Minister when there were obviously more qualified people to take his place?

Why was the man from Special Branch that quick to dismiss Kodmani’s statement about Fellow Believer? Is Fellow Believer somebody we’ve met already?

Random observations and queries

Brix was fairly quick to let Sarah Lund come back to the force and quickly bought everybody up to speed on why she was kicked out in the first place – you pointed a loaded gun at a colleague and your negligence could’ve caused the death of Jan Meyer.

Apart from Brix’s above line there have really been no references to the first series which I suppose means that new viewers can dive right into this mystery.

So the reason that Sarah’s son Mark went to live with his dad and his dad’s family is because Sarah was never there for him yet his dad has abandoned him on his birthday and gone off on a jolly to Spain with his new family.

Maybe I’m just too paranoid when I watch The Killing but I don’t trust Sarah’s mother’s fiancée Bjorn, he’s too nice and I reckon he’s got a connection to the military in some way.

Ulrik was so quick to accept Sarah as a partner yet he obviously knows what happened to Jan Meyer who wasn’t Sarah’s partner very long before he met a sticky end.

Does anybody think there’s a bit of sexual tension in the relationship between Ulrik and Sarah? That scene in the car were he introduced himself to her was a bit awkward maybe it’ll lead to something in future scenes.

I love the fact that there’s a running gag where Sarah is always ruining Ulrik’s paperwork with cups of coffee its like when she used to eat Jan Meyer’s bananas.

Who else thinks that something is going to happen between Louise and that blonde major? He certainly is getting close to her but I am just wondering if this is tied into Myg’s murder.

Sarah and Deputy Commissioner Ruth Hedeby had a bit of a stare down in their initial meeting what’s the betting that she becomes her professional rival in this series?

The warden at the institution seems to be trying to outdo Sarah in terms of knitwear.

And finally what do we all think of Season Two’s new jumper? Personally I think it’s a bit boring after the patterned number she wore in Season One.

Do you think you have an answer to any of my questions? Are you glad that The Killing is back on your T.V.? Get involved in the discussion by leaving your comments below.

This post was written by me, guest blogger Matt Donnelly!

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