Friday, July 29, 2016

'The Killing' S2 DVD: Serial Killer, Military Cover up, and Lund Oh My



[EDITOR'S NOTE: This awesome Australian DVD set, which has not been released in America, will not play on a standard U.S. DVD player. Watching it requires a well-worth buying international player.]

This coverage of the second season of the Danish version of "The Killing," which is the winner of several International Emmy and many other awards, is the second in a series of three on the Madman Entertainment DVD set of the trilogy of "Killing" seasons. These reviews also are part of coverage of the Madman "Nordic Noir" releases that includes the Madman complete series set of the (also reviewed) three-season Swedish/Danish version of "The Bridge."

S2 of "Killing" retains the most compelling elements of the first season in the context of a very different type of case. S2 further has numerous similarities with S1 of "Bridge"

"Killing" S1 revolves around abrasive but effective Copenhagen police detective Sarah Lund investigating the murder of a late-teens woman. S2 commences with Lund exiled as a result of her actions. Aptly named police detective Ulrik Strange seeks her out and recruits her to consult on the murder of an attorney with a military connection.

A second murder of a victim with the same military connection as the attorney and related evidence of terrorist activity by a Muslim group fully sets the S2 drama in motion. The mystery extends beyond the identity of  the serial killer to whether these crimes relate to a military cover-up, rather than terrorist activity.

The government tie-in shifts from the department of education in S1 to the Justice Ministry in S2. Newly (and reluctantly) appointed Minister of Justice Thomas Buch begins his own investigation as part of negotiations regarding a government policy on terrorism. Similar to S1, the efforts of Buch reveals evidence of corruption and other misconduct at all levels of government.

The family element that provides the third perspective in "Killing" in S2 revolves around former squad leader Jens Peter Raben and his wife Louise. The claims of Raben of his team witnessing a Danish military intelligence officer brutalizing an Afghani family in their home in that country has earned Raben confinement in a mental institution and apparently having literally no hope for parole.

In true "Killing" style, each episode roughly consists of one day of the investigation. Each day also typically brings a new suspect and related action by Lund that threatens her professional status. These outing additionally pose a related threat to the political career of the government official who becomes embroiled in the investigation. One difference this time is that Raben is a more active participant than the father of the victim around whom S1 revolves.

The S2 season-ending climax also follows the S1 pattern of a uber-dramatic showdown between Lund and the perpetrator. In the spirit of sequels, this one is more intense than the S1 confrontation.

The quality and nature of "Killing" make it an ideal summertime marathon series; aside from being a darn sight better than "Zoo," it easily passes the one-more test when it is too darn hot for you and your brother to venture outside.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Killing" or "Bridge" is strongly encouraged to either email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.