The Killing II: Episodes 7 & 8

Wow. What the? Ok, this week I’m going to deal with each episode separately because once again there’s been too much going on in The Killing this week.

Episode 7

Food, glorious food. And mirrors. I’ve noticed in the last few episodes that the director(s) likes to use shots where key characters talk to others but face the mirror. Buch, Jarnvig, the PM and Lund have all had mirror shots either this week or last. Might just be a directorial tic though. And food. We all know that Buch likes to eat and is often seen eating, but there were loads of shots and mentions of food this episode beginning with Lund chasing the perpetrator through a meat freezer. Then Lund ordering food with Strange, eating a meat sub when questioning a suspect, Louise eating something while rummaging through the depot and the obligatory shots of Buch eating chocolate and pears. Yum.

So the episode began with an obligatory chase – Lund after the killer through this meat factory. He knocks her down though and pulls a trigger on her lying body, but then doesn’t follow through and runs off. Meanwhile, the priest does die (in the ambulance to the hospital) and Lund had managed to call Brix for back up before chasing the killer.

“I promise it won’t happen again”

Oh Strange. Don’t do it. After all his flirting with Lund, and her natural prickliness, when he said the above line to her after she questioned why the killer had let her go – I thought (and did Lund think?) could it be Strange? Because why did the killer refuse to pull the trigger on Lund when they had the chance if it isn’t someone who likes Lund? The episode ends with Raben possibly identifying Strange as Perk too – and Strange shooting Raben. Fatefully? We’ll find out in the next episode. But is Strange Perk?

During the episode, Raben had continued on his hunt to find Perk. He spoke to his father-in-law Colonel Jarnvig who told him that he was being followed by Special Branch and where to find all the personel files. Raben managed to lose the Special Branch tail, steal the personel files and locate an officer called Skaning, who did not have a photo on file but had been discharged from Team Aegir for having a nervous breakdown.

Meanwhile, Lund had been reinstated on the case after Brix blackmailed Ruth, his lover, and had the support of Buch and the Ministry of Justice to reopen the file on Team Aegir. She was now allowed open access to Team Aegir officers and found one of these who identified Skaning as a mentally unstable officer – all pointing towards a possible Perk. Anyway, as ever, Lund and Strange find Skaning just after Raben has. Raben has tied up Skaning and is interrogating him about the Helmand incident but Skaning explains that he was not involved, but that having had a nervous breakdown had returned in the same flight as the wounded soldiers as 3-2 Alpha. Hence, why Raben recognises him – but he is not Perk.

Buch had a busy episode too. He goes on tv to accuse the Defence Minister Rossing of a cover up. He also gets hold of a fax that has evidence of an extra (civilian) hand found among the injured body parts from the Helmand incident. He thinks this points towards proof of civilian killings but Rossing one-ups him and says the hand is from a suicide bomber. The episode ends with Buch in disgrace, but a possible lifeline from Krabbe (from the People’s Party) who hints that the PM is also in on the conspiracty with Rossing – or at least feeding him information.

So the conspiracies are still running at full strength. There are obviously lots of hands involved in the cover-up about what really want on with Team Alpha and the civilians in Afghanistan. ‘Perk’ is probably not just acting alone – or if he is, there are people out there who don’t mind what he is doing. And the only person we can trust right now is Sarah Lund.

Episode 8

More mirror work (Strange and Ruth this time). Less food. More twists, turns and new characters and theories.

The episode begins with Raben being rushed to hospital, still insisting that Strange is Perk. Raben doesn’t die – so no more deaths this week – and Lund initially defends Strange. After it is revealed though that Strange has the ‘Ingenio et armis’ tattoo that Raben insists Perk had, that Strange served with the Special Forces in Afghanistan (though he says he left there 6 months before the Helmand incident) and Raben again identifies Perk from a photo line-up, even Lund has some doubts about her partner. She also can’t vouch for his alibi at ANY of the murders. Eventually it is proven that Strange was not in Afghanistan at the time and I think he is in the clear now, as Lund has certainly forgiven him, trusts him enough to open up about Meyer’s death in the last series, and they head off on a 36 hour trip to Afghanistan.

Why Afghanistan? Because Raben has now recovered his memory and is able to tell Lund more details about 3-2 Alpha and the events with Perk. It is still not clear if there was a Perk, or if Raben is just a schizophrenic because one of the team members who died in Afghanistan was a young Sebastian Holst. Sebastian was a keen photographer and left a video diary in which he accused Raben of being a bit off his head. Sebastian also had an older brother, Frederik, who was also in Team Aegir as a Field Army doctor. He would have seen Sebastian’s dead body, knew about Sebastian’s criticisms of Raben, and may have taken revenge against 3-2 Alpha. Conveniently, he had just been on 3 week leave in Denmark when these killing had taken place and the police find a photo of 3-2 Alpha in his home where the dead members have their faces crossed out. Having just returned to Afghanistan, Lund and Strange are following in pursuit to question him.

I don’t know if Frederik Holst will be revealed to be the killer. We will have to wait and see. In the meantime Søgaard continues to look suspicious but is probably not the murderer. Firstly, he and Louise have now consummated their relationship and Louise goes to see Raben to tell him once again that they’re over and admits that she is now seeing Søgaard. Meanwhile, her father, Colonel Jarnvig has decided to investigate the incident further and is obviously suspicious of Søgaard. He finds out that Søgaard would have received a radio message 5 days before the incident telling him that Danish Special Forces were in the area. But Søgaard did not admit he got the message/ there was anyone else in the area who could have intervened in the Helmand incident. However, the episode ends with Jarnvig being taken away by military police because he is guilty of having told Raben that the Special Forces were after him and telling him how to elude them.

And the political sub-plot? Buch is being forced to resign by the PM and will have to do so after the anti-terrorism bill is passed that day. Plough and Karina are also being sacked. Buch gets very drunk in a funny scene where he starts to speak English to some delegation and then hounds Krabbe about the conspiracy – both at his home in the middle of the night and then later in the toilets.

Buch now has some information about the timing of the medical reports with the civilian’s hand which proves that the Minister of Defence has been involved in a cover-up and so has some leverage. We’ll see next week how he uses it and though he may not be able to keep his job I hope he can help out Plough and Karina. Next week is the final double episode so of course we’ll find out who The Killer finally is.

I know there have been some criticism of this series in comparison to the first but I think it’s been great. Certainly there haven’t been the great performances of Pernille and Troels. But Buch has been a find, and though there has been less of Lund this series Sofie Gråbøl can convey so much in her face without saying anything. The Killing is more satisfying than an Agatha Christie whodunnit. I can’t wait for it all to be resolved next week.

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