Pretty near the start of episode 9, Emilie’s kidnapper is taken down by a combination of Lund and Borch. As it happens, though, the season has been structured so that the identity of the kidnapper long since became the least important of its mysteries; of more significance is whether Emilie is still alive, and where she is. And this, in turn, is something that Poulsen, the kidnapper, is keeping to himself, until the person who abducted and murdered his daughter Louise is identified and brought to justice.
Poulsen has convinced himself that it was Reinhardt, Zeuthens’s aide, and is in the process of throwing him into the sea when stopped by Lund and Borch. Reinhardt denies any involvement, but Lund isn’t convinced, and pursues an investigation. In most other shows this would clearly be misdirection, but The Killing has built up a certain amount of credibility in this area: in season 1 the killer was hiding in plain sight throughout, and in season 2 we were more or less told who it was in episode 7 of 10. So the fact that episode 9 was dominated by Lund and Borch trying to prove the case against Reinhardt didn’t mean that it definitely wasn’t him. Or that it definitely was, since Forbrydelsen 1 burnt through a fair number of suspects itself. It could go either way: and so, when Reinhardt turns out to have an alibi for the night of Emilie’s disappearance, that isn’t entirely surprising.
Elsewhere in episode 9, the fate of Emilie continues to dominate Kamper’s election campaign, for reasons I don’t fully understand. And Mrs Borch is very upset about what’s going on between Lund and her husband. I must admit I don’t quite get this either: as will be evident, I spend a lot of time finding women on TV attractive, and in three seasons I haven’t seen anything in Lund which would mark her out as dream girlfriend material. I mean, she’s barely smiled. Admittedly she’s verged on playful once or twice with Borch, but apart from that? Mind you, we don’t know what happens at home with Mrs B.
Which takes us to the final episode of the season and, if everyone’s to be believed, the last Forbrydelsen ever. And that ending. Exciting as it was, I can’t help but feel a little let down, because in my view it was a long way out of character for Lund to do what she did.
You could, I suppose, find two justifications for Lund going all Dexter on us: firstly, she was confronted by what looked like someone boasting about getting away with a horrible crime, and possibly others like it, and after all her time in the police she’s probably had to deal with that more often than she’d like to. Well, maybe; but she’s a good cop, and how is she to know that there isn’t further evidence out there? (As it happens, there is, of course; that fantastically improbable photo of the killer luring Louise into his car.) So no, I don’t buy it.
The second possible justification is that it was an extreme example of something which we have seen before from Lund: her willingness to sabotage her personal relationships. So just at the point where she’s become a grandmother, and seems to be tentatively edging towards a rapprochement with her son; and, apparently, after agreeing to cohabit with old flame Borch, she does something which ensures that she’s going to be alone again. I don’t buy this either; it will be recalled that in season 1 she managed to avoid moving to Sweden with her partner by just not leaving Denmark. (Not to mention the fact that commitment to married but flighty Borch isn’t a very Lund-y thing to do either.)
The political side of things fizzled out a bit too, with Kamper apparently triumphing as a result of the ultimately successful search for Emilie – see previous remarks on the lack of connection – although there did seem to be a slightly gloomy conclusion, with both Kamper and Zeeland returning to something close to business as usual. Kamper decided he wanted to be prime minister again, with Zeeland still presumably having an unhealthy say in the running of the country.
For all that Sofie Gråbøl and writer Søren Sveistrup have been adamant that there won’t be any more Forbrydelsen, the closing scene and final shot do leave the door just a little ajar. I wonder. As it happens, the scene between Borch and Lund in the car was one of the very best of all three seasons, even if it started from an improbable premise, reminding us of the remarkable power which this show has generated, time after time, over its three seasons, and of what we’ll be missing if we never see it again. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying that seasons 2 and 3 didn’t quite match the extraordinary 20 episodes of season 1, but this season was, for my money, better than the second, and if those plane lights were indeed the last we’ll ever see of Sarah, it’s been an unforgettable experience and a remarkable achievement by Danish state broadcaster DK. And more from them shortly, with season 2 of the fantastic Borgen just around the corner.