Forbrydelsen Vs. The Killing: Week Three


We’re baaaack!  With AMC’s recent announcement that they’ve rescued The Killing from the land of the cancelled and have decided to push ahead with shooting a brand new third season, we thought it only fair that we should rescue these old posts from our archives as well.

Over the next few weeks we’ll try to get them all back into circulation.  They start off slow, but three or four weeks into it, you’ll see that we get uber obsessed and start jotting down all of the details from both versions, detective style.  

Whether  you’re a newbie watching from the very start, or if you’re a dedicated fan that just needs a refresh, we’re sure that you find these posts valuable.  Enjoy!

Week three is in the books! With episodes five and six of Forbrydelsen and episode three of The Killing complete there’s a lot of new information related to the murder to recap and some interesting new tidbits to dissect.

Missed a post in this series? Play catch-up using the links below:

LetterSurprise, surprise! The duo of Oliver/Jeppe better known to American viewers as Jasper/Kris did not in fact sleep with Nanna/Rosie in the school basement/the cage. Turns out that the girl they had sex with was Nanna/Rosie’s supposed best friend Lisa/Sterling! Did you see that twist coming? With Oliver/Jeppe/Jasper/Kris off the hook, the case has taken a new direction and because of that we’ve got a new suspect to focus on.

Before we dive too far in, let’s put aside the the weekly game of spot the differences we’ve been playing each week with the two shows for just a few moments and take a closer look at the letter Detective Linden found hidden in the globe lamp in Rosie Larsen’s bedroom. This letter was hand written to Rosie by her teacher Bennett Ahmed (Brandon Jay McLaren from Being Erica) and the full text is as follows:

Dear Rosie,

You’re a young soul trapped in an old body. Go beyond the limits of what you know even if you’re afraid. Try everything, feel everything, even if only once. This passage made me think of you today.

“There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing. There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest, and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city. There is silence after a rainstorm, and before a rainstorm, and these are not the same. There is the silence of emptiness, the silence of fear, the silence of doubt. There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used, or from a piano with old dust upon its keys, or from anything that has answered to the need of a man, for pleasure or for work. This kind of silence can speak. Its voice may be melancholy, but it is not always so; for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay. Whatever the mood or the circumstance, the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows. It is a soundless echo.”


The passage Bennett quotes is from West with the Night, a memoir by Beryl Markham. If you remember, in the few times we’ve seen the video of Rosie speaking at the Halloween party she mentions that she wants to “see the world” and “experience everything.” Beryl Markham did just that. She was an aviator, and the first woman to ever complete a trans-Atlantic east-west flight.

The interesting thing here is that in the real world, the authorship of Markham’s memoir is in dispute, with some believing a lover, or perhaps even her third husband, actually wrote the book on her behalf. Is this another misdirection thrown at us by the writers of the show? Did Bennett really author this letter to Rosie, or will we find out in episode 4 that his hand writing doesn’t match? Perhaps someone is playing a cruel joke on Rosie to trick into believing that Bennett has a romantic interest in her. Why and what for? We’ll have to keep watching to find out.

Now that that piece of business is out of the way let’s take a look at what’s transpired up to this point. We’ve completed episodes 1-6 of the original Forbrydelsen and episodes 1-3 of The Killing.

As previously mentioned at the start Oliver/Jeppe/Jasper/Kris appear to be off the hook in connection to Nanna/Rosie’s death. With their main suspects removed from suspicion the detectives must refocus the investigation.

In Forbrydelsen, this leads to them re-interviewing all of Rosie’s teachers at the high school. One of them, Rama (the Bennett of the original series) alerts them to the fact that Nanna wrote a somewhat smutty story for one of her class assignments about a girl who was in love with her teacher. In his opinion, the piece seemed to be written from experience.

When the detectives go to search for the essay they find it’s missing. This leads them to the home of another teacher who studies language. He’s got the essay and he’s also got a questionable porn collection, but in a shocking twist he reveals to Detectives Lund and Meyer that Rama has a prior complaint from a student on his record, a charge he was eventually exonerated for, but still a charge nonetheless.

On The Killing side of things you’ll remember that Bennett (that’s the American Rama) tried a similar misdirection tactic with the police by giving them Oliver’s cellphone which contained the explicit video of the boys having sex with Sterling, who was dressed in Rosie’s Halloween witch costume.

The biggest difference between the Rama/Bennett characters seems to be that in the original series Rama is married to another teacher at the school who is currently very pregnant. No mention of the details of Bennett’s personal life has been made in The Killing thus far. In both series, the teacher is a role model for the city, working closely with youth as part a successful program created by our political candidate Hartmann/Richmond. We’ll come back to him in just a moment.

In both series, the detectives learn that they have received all of the personal files for Nanna/Rosie’s teachers with the exception of Rama/Bennett, which leads them back to Hartmann/Richmond, as the school happens to fall under his jurisdiction.

When Hartmann/Richmond finds out about this he seems genuinely confused. In Forbrydelsen, he tracks down the intern who pulled the files and this leads to the discovery for the audience that the intern is obviously also working for someone else, but we’re not quite sure who yet.

Forbrydelsen: Moving along with his campaign Hartmann attends a birthday party for his girlfriend/campaign manager Rie’s father who also happens to be a politician. Here he confronts the current mayor about using Morten as a spy. A claim which his rival Bremer flat out denies. Later Hartmann meets with Morten, but he’s still unsure as to whether or not he can trust him. Eventually he realizes that he probably canned him too quickly, but it’s too late. He’s been photographed playing basketball with role model Rama at a youth event by the press.

Later at a debate between the candidates Bremer unleashes the information about role model Rama and being the murder investigation’s number one suspect on Hartmann on live TV. He responds to the information Bremer presents as best he can, but he’s still confused as to how Bremer knows this and who the leak in his campaign is.

On The Killing side of things, it’s revealed that Richmond didn’t fire Jamie (the American Morten) after all. He trusted Jamie and only pretended to fire him so that Mayor Adams (the American Bremer) would offer him a job. The tactic has worked and now it appears that both candidates are playing dirty.

Richmond’s campaign has also run out of money. Even the endorsement of the other party in exchange for plumbing favors did little to help him in the polls. The murder investigation has hurt his campaign and he needs cash to fund an all out media blitz attack. His campaign manager/girlfriend Gwen (the American Rie) goes to her father (Charles freakin’ Widmore!) who also appears to be in government to get a meeting setup between Richmond and millionaire Tom Drexler (think Mark Cuban). Drexler ends up giving Richmond a hefty campaign donation simply because he hates current mayor Leslie Adams.

What’s Sarah’s scumbag partner Meyer/Holder up to you ask? Some hilarity ensues in Forbrydelsen when Meyer’s wife(?) shows up at the station with bananas and fiber pills for him to eat/take and reveals to Sarah that she hopes he doesn’t fail again with this job. This exchange sort of makes you like the guy…for a just a moment.

On the American side it seems like our boy Holder might be hooked on drugs. Can I just take a moment to complain about the casting of the actor to play Holder for a second? If they wanted DJ Qualls, who I can’t stand, why not just offer him the part? Joel Kinnaman is more annoying because he’s not Qualls, but obviously should be. Maybe that’s the point.

Anyway, Sterling reveals to the detectives that Rosie rode a city bus after school some days, but that she didn’t know where she was headed off to. Holder jumps on the bus, finds a driver who recognizes Rosie, and rides all the way to the end of the line where he discovers what? A youth center where role model Bennett volunteers his time playing basketball. It’s at the same time that Linden discovers the letter supposedly written by Bennett in Rosie’s bedroom.

Let’s recap where we’re at with the Larsen family. We now know that father Theis/Stanley was a bad man in the past. Both shows have revealed that he was up to no good in different ways. Also, in both shows Thesis’ friend and employee Vagn/Belko gets him information that the teacher Roma/Bennett was the one that hurt his daughter.

In the final moments of episode of six of Forbrydelsen it’s revealed that Thesis and Roma were both at police headquarters and Meyer let them leave together in the same car. We watch as Thesis misses Roma’s turn-off on the expressway and wonder what he’s got in store for the teacher.

It turns out Stanley, the American version of Thesis, did in fact buy a house for his family to move into like in the original series. Also, like in the original, the Larsen’s finally accidentally see crime scene photos of Rosie. This is what sparks Stanley into a rage because the police lied when they told him that his daughter did not suffer. After Rosie’s funeral he sits and talks with Bennett, but it’s unclear what his next move will be. Whatever he’s got in mind, it doesn’t look good for the teacher.

Lots of things are happening out of order on the American show. In episode 4 of The Killing Sarah’s creepy boyfriend pays a visit to her on Reggie’s houseboat, Mitch meets Sterling at the school (who would have guessed that Sterling likes Belle & Sebastian?), Rosie’s funeral takes place, the Larsen’s accidentally see the crime scene photos, we find out that Stanley bought a new home for the family, and thankfully no more chocolate chip pancakes are butchered in the name of grief. All of these things happened earlier on in Forbrydelsen, with of course the exception of the pancakes.

Now for the differences: In Forbrydelsen, Hartmann’s campaign hasn’t run out of money (yet), Morten isn’t spying on the mayor for Hartmann (yet), there are no letters from Roma in Nanna’s bedroom (yet) and there’s no mysterious key that opens we-don’t-know-what (yet).

What do you think folks? Any clue who murdered Nanna/Rosie and why yet? Are you enjoying the shows? Remember, no spoilers of future Forbrydelsen events please!

About Aaron Westerman

Aaron Westerman is the Manager of Web Architecture for a national human services organization. When he's not busy tearing sites apart and rebuilding them, he spends his ever shrinking free time trying to keep up with his twins, reading works of translated literature, and watching far too many Oscar nominated movies.