The Killing 3 is promising, but Lund’s jumper gets mixed reviews

Nov 18, 2012

Sarah Lund is back for her final outing, and it promises to be as good as series 1


THE KILLING is back for its third and final series and reviewers are struck by similarities to the first season of the dark Danish crime drama.

Once again, Sarah Lund, played by Sofie Grabol, is preparing to leave her police department, this time for the comfortable backwaters of the operations, planning and analysis department. Once again, Lund’s plans are foiled by a murder, which, once again, consumes her at the expense of her relationship with her family.

BBC4 opened this season of The Killing, known to devotees, and Danes, as Forbrydelsen (The Crime), with a double bill. As usual, Lund’s jumpers have been reviewed almost as exhaustively as the show’s plotlines and characters.

“The jersey this series has become especially ironic, antifashion, a woolly two fingers to the whole idea of aspirational pullovers. It’s so hideous, it dares you to want one,” writes A.A. Gill in The Sunday Times.

The Sunday Telegraph’s Neil Midgley thought Grabol’s new sweater, which “sported a feminine scoop neck”, signified a new, softer Lund.

In contrast, John Walsh, writing in the Independent on Sunday, suggests the appearance of the jumper signifies the death of Lund’s brief attempt to escape her murder-solving duties to transfer to the “snoozetown” of the operations, planning and analysis department.

During a phone call in which her estranged son tells her he won’t be coming to dinner with her, Lund, who has so far shown zero interest in episode one’s murder, is distracted by a photo of a tattoo on the body – and an important clue.

“Back on goes her cable-knit jumper with the downward chevron, and back – suddenly revivified – goes Lund the Super-sleuth into battle with Evil,” writes Walsh.

This scene was “typically deft”, writes Andrew Anthony in the Observer, who alone among his peers, fails to review Lund’s pullover.

Lund “was back in monomaniacal mode as soon as she saw the writing on a corpse” and, from trying to rebuild a broken relationship with her son, “in an instant, the voice on the other end of the line might as well have been a recording telling her she'd been mis-sold payment protection insurance”.

The plot itself is a return to form after series 2’s “ITV two-part thriller territory” and its empty twists.

“The familiar subplot of the politician, his two advisers and a fragile coalition amazingly continued to deliver and the story of the divorced industrialist and his kidnapped child looked promising.”

Other reviewers spotted the similarity in plot between series 3 and series 1, but see it as a good thing. “The pain felt by [industrialist Robert] Zeuthen and his ex-wife Maja puts the same kind of wrenching family emotion at the core of this third series as was the heartbeat of the first,” writes Midgley, who believes the second episode’s final scene “confirmed that this new series is The Killing at its bloodthirsty best”.

Gill is also comfortable with The Killing season 3’s familiarity. “There is nothing that’s new or original in this Killing, for which we can be profoundly thankful. This isn’t the time to start with a twist in the concept — just in the plot,” he writes.

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