Well, it’s back! If there could be any unease at watching the new story unfold, then the background music is consistently there to remind you that this is Denmark, and that this is The Killing, season 2. It’s the music of foreboding and rising tension. On one occasion I expected Troels to walk on screen, but the new characters and the new story quickly put paid to that.
In only two episodes, some of the key trademarks of the first series are evident here: playing with perceptions and turning black into white. This isn’t trading on shades of grey but presenting a set of facts that leads to the conclusion ‘Well that’s obvious’. Then along comes Sarah Lund with her keen eye for detail and identification of matters missed by others. The obvious then becomes obviously something else entirely. Black turns into white and vice versa.
And so it is with the opening of the case. Following the first series, Lund has been dispatched to the Danish police equivalent of Siberia, monitoring the country’s borders. This is where we do experience shades of grey as it’s all very grey here; the only vibrant colour in her life comes from the yolk in her egg and her red sweater. But, back in Copenhagen, Lund’s ex-boss Lennart Blix has a murder on his hands. An estranged husband is thought to have killed his wife. The case appears bagged up, but Blix has some niggling reservations; enough to seek the eye of Lund for an independent opinion. At first she is reluctant, but when drawn in she struggles with her confidence and we see Lund in some pain.
As Lund arrives back in the city, we are also introduced to the army family of the Rabens. Both Louise and Jens are desperate for Jens to be released from prison but he never seems to make the grade. Meanwhile, at home, their very young child is learning of ‘dad’ from classmates who can be very cruel. And granddad, in addition to being a control freak, always appears to be holding something back – apart from when he’s eating his dinner. All is not right in the Raben household and in the first two episodes this is the nearest we come to feeling the victim effect – something that was a considered, well-played and running theme in season 1. However, quickly, there is a real sense that the Rabens are involved in something quite terrible.
If, for now, we experience a downgrade on the victims of crime, politics also plays a part in season 2 and we have an upgrade from the town hall to government. This time, we are presented with a coalition wrangling over a new anti-terrorist law and a brand new Justice Minister, Thomas Buch. Buch may have the appearance of an Italian ice-cream salesman who has left his white coat in the boondocks along with his misplaced sales van, but he makes for an interesting character. Like Lund, he is initially reluctant to pursue change, but he is drawn in. In office, he appears strong and confident, but is he? And can he really trust those around him or is he not up to the mark?
That may seem like a lot of information, but the question is how these disparate strands collide. The Killing continues its double-billing airing of episodes tomorrow night on BBC4 starting at 9pm.
See here for more thoughts on epis 1 and 2, from Mrs P!