We open in the dark (natch), a panning camera shot, and the voice of a man talking to Emergency Services. He has found lots of blood and his (separated) wife is missing. The camera pans over trees, grass, some plaques, graves and a statue. Flashlights, the police, heavy rain, forensic experts, someone explaining the scene to a commander (Brix!), we see a woman, stabbed and tied to a post, and then a long close up of Brix’s face as he is back in his car. What is he thinking about? Sarah Lund of course!
Welcome to the second series of The Killing!
But we have to wait a bit until we see our dear Sarah as we need to set up the various other story lines that are all going to prove to be interconnected over time. So we have a new Justice Minister being sworn in, as the previous one has been admitted to hospital. Unfortunately, he’s no Troels Hartmann, and his secretary is no Rie. So his sub-plot is all about negotiations he has to have with the People’s Party, and coalitions and some other stuff I don’t all get, about an anti-terrorism bill. His predecessor, though, had been informed about the dead woman in the opening credits, and even been supplied with full gory crime scene photographs, because she was found in Memorial Park and apparently this is significant.
There’s a woman visiting her husband in prison, bringing him drawings from their son, who is at nursery. It takes two episodes to find out who he really is and why is there. He was in the army, but had some breakdown involving holding a nurse to hostage and is now locked away. He was up for parole but the board had refused, despite recommendations from the medical director that he was ready for release, and so now has to wait another 6 months for another hearing. His wife and son live with his father-in-law, who is a military commander, and doesn’t like Raben at all – I suspect he may have had a word with the parole board to refuse Raben’s release as he wants his daughter and grandson to live in his basement. Sinister.
And of course Sarah Lund is back! Apart from Brix, it’s only our Lund, her mother and son, Mark, who are recurring characters from the previous series (so far at least). It’s not like the writers could shoe-horn Pernille back into this plot, but I will miss her weeping. So Lund now works on the ferry police, her mother is engaged and getting married on Sunday (we start the story on Monday 14 November so they have the same dates as 2011, although I thought the original Danish version was out last year, or even before), and Mark lives with his father and step-family. Brix has called Lund in for her advice, and of course she eventually stays on – at least for 2 more days, but we know until she solves the case. The police offices have been re-arranged -it’s all open-plan now – and there are all new police faces, including Strange (with a hard-G) who is her new partner. Unlike Meyer, he’s a neat-freak, but seems perfectly personable and maybe will be a love interest for Sarah.
So the main case is that the woman found at the start of the episode, Anne, was found stabbed 21 times and tied up in this Memorial Park. She had been attacked in her home and the initial suspect was her estranged husband, but that is quickly disproved. Lund works out that she was tied up in a chair, tortured and filmed by the killer, and at 17.03 a website live links to a video in which she is at said chair, reading out a statement from an extremist Islamic group, the Muslim League, calling for jihad etc etc. It seems Anne used to work for the military as a legal advisor, and made regular payments to the veterans’ club. Her contact there? Myg, a friend of Raben who had visited him earlier that day to help Raben with employment on the outside, if he were to have got parole.
Lund and Strange go to visit Myg (in the dark) and Lund spots a man running away from Myg’s home. She chases unsuccessfully. They return to Myg’s place and find that he has been hung upside down and strangled with his dog tags. He’s surrounded by white plastic bits that remind me of Dexter. So now two murders, probably related and with a military/terrorist angle.
Lund and Strange find the owner of the website that uploaded the terrorist video. He is Kolmani, has a long beard, is a jihadist and sells inflammatory Islamist material. They arrest him, but obviously he is not the murderer either.
Back to the barracks and another suspect is Bilal, Myg’s commanding officer. He has bought books from Kolmani, but says he was ordered to do so to educate his platoon about Islamic fundamentalism. His bosses back him up. He also has a cut on his knee and Lund realises he is the man who ran away from her the night before at Myg’s place. He admits he was there to see Myg, saw his dead body and ran away when he saw the police. So, again, he’s too suspicious and already identified as a suspect so it can’t be him.
Meanwhile, Lund also visits Raben as he had been one of the last people to see Myg. Raben had been in lockdown after an outburst when he heard he had been denied parole but Lund is allowed to see him. He says he doesn’t know why Myg was killed, the significance of the strangulation and hanging upside down, and does not recognise Anne in the photo Lund shows him. We, and Lund, know he is lying. Lund later finds a photo that places Myg, Raben and Anne together. She calls in back-up to go and visit Raben again in the institution, but he has escaped and seen at the end of episode 2 running through the sewers. He’s not the killer, and I suspect he may fear that he will be the next person killed so has escaped for his own safety?
So there aren’t too many other suspects yet. Raben’s father-in-law is dodgy but I doubt he is a murderer. His second-in-command looks a bit suspicious. As does the Justice Minister’s advisor. There definitely seems to be a retribution angle for things done in war, so the military and terrorist angles are going to be important I’m sure.