Why Sarah Lund can never work for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Force

My personal cultural highlight of 2011 could easily be the start of Episode 9 of the second Season of “The Killing”. After a week of low-level anxiety about possible fashion choices for a female Danish detective flown into Afghanistan at short notice I was utterly delighted when Sarah Lund was revealed to have accessorised her favourite jumper with desert camouflage body armour and helmet. And then the final double episode just got better.

Her foxy detective partner, Strange, had been investigated and cleared of any involvement but Lund knew he was still in it right up to his attractive eyebrows, and finally exposed him as the multiple murder. Wearing a bullet proof vest (prefigured perhaps in those Afghanistan sequences but of which this twitchy audience member was unaware) she then gave Strange the chance to shoot her four times in the chest (although in the only real plot hole despite being special forces trained with a penchant for execution style ‘head shots’ he didn’t check if she was dead). Strange then decided to indulge in a spot of light plot exposition/taunting talking to the beautiful/ misunderstood/ possibly psychopathic Raben giving Lund the opportunity to thwack Strange with her signature torch before shooting an entire clip of ammunition into him and then going through a few more empty chambers just to work out some of her anger.

Since they never make it through the series, perhaps for Season three Lund’s boss Brix (beautifully named as his sole facial expression is summarised as ‘wall’) will just pair her with someone actively suicidal? Sofie Gråbøl who plays Lund stated that she had to lobby hard for changes when the Series One producers suggested she have an affair with the main suspect. How right she was and not just because unresolved sexual tension is a great dramatic gift to writers but because plainly Lund just WOULDN’T. Lesser mortals confronted with pizza, wine and Troels would have fallen, but not her. Similarly the ongoing Season two flirtation between Lund and Strange was beautifully acted, every awkward encounter terse and unfinished, replete with unspoken motives we can now re-examine in hindsight.

Lund can never get her man (in the romantic sense) because she, and hopefully we the audience, cares infinitely more about her getting THE man. Although since Skogaard is now apparently squeaky clean (ok yes – a punning reminder of Lund impassively interviewing him whilst he showered despite the severe temptation to have an old-fashioned gawp) perhaps in Season three…

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