Forbrydelsen vs. The Killing: Week Two


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!

There’s lots to discuss as we dive into episodes three and four of Forbrydelsen and AMC hits us with episode three of The Killing.  Both shows are excellent and happily both shows seem to be at the exact same point in the case plot wise.

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

Forbrydelsen: Episodes Three & Four
When we last left our crime fighting hero detectives Lund and Meyer at the end of episode two of Forbrydelsen they were in pursuit of suspect John Lynge who had fled from the garage where Hartmann’s political campaign was storing its vehicles.  The duo tracked him to the apartment of an elderly woman and were about to bust in.

At the start of episode three Meyer breaks in the door and the duo saves the woman.  In the process Lund gets stabbed by Lynge, who then jumps out a very high window to avoid capture only to end up severely damaging his body for the effort.  The duo will have to wait until he’s out of surgery before they can question him further.

In the meantime, Hartmann’s political campaign does not want to wait any longer and they tell Lund they’re going full force with the press.  Lund urges them to once again wait and Hartmann finally relents after seeing the Larsen’s walk into police headquarters.

Lund takes the Larsen’s to a room where she can sit and talk with them and as they are chatting a crime scene technician comes in from another entrance to grab a file and leaves the door behind him open just enough so that Nanna’s parents can see some very graphic and horrible crime scene photos of their daughter.  Lund, realizing what has happened, pushes the man through the door, quickly shuts it, and apologizes to the Larsen’s.

Later at home, Pernille Larsen runs into the same technician working in her daughter’s bedroom and she urges him to tell her all of the details of how her daughter died.  Finally armed with some version of the truth, it seems that Pernille is determined to launch her own investigation into what really happened to her daughter.

Theis Larsen realizes that after everything that has recently transpired he can’t possibly move his family into the house he’s just bought for them.  He sees a man about keeping his flat and then is informed by his real estate agent that they’ve discovered the house has dry rot and if he sells it right now, as is, he stands to lose a lot of money.  Apparently his insurance doesn’t cover dry rot or some sort of beetle infestation.  She claims it’s in the fine print.  I guess we’ll just have to trust her.

The biggest question I had after watching the first two episodes of AMC’s remake was: Does Forbrydelsen introduce an equivalent to “the cage” in the school’s basement or was this piece of the story invented for American audiences?  At the end of episode three, after finally interviewing Lynge in the hospital the detectives learn about both the cage, and another potential suspect in student council officer Jeffe, Oliver’s best friend.  It isn’t referred to as “the cage” in this version however, and it seems like its hidden much better than in the remake.

As we come to close on episode four, the detectives have interviewed both Jeffe and Oliver again and after searching their shared apartment they discover a video of Oliver having sex with Nanna in the basement area on the night of the party.

Also in episode four, Hartmann confronts his longtime friend Morten about being the leak in his campaign.  Morten strongly denies this and as Hartmann prepares to officially announce his alliance with Eller and the Center party we watch Morten leave the campaign headquarters.  Did someone set him up by sending the email from his account?  For what purpose?  Only time will tell.

On the personal front Lund is having trouble with her boyfriend who at first seemed cool with the idea of her having such a demanding job, but now seems like a jerk.  In his defense though, he does come up and spend a night with Lund and her son at her mother’s apartment where they are living until the case concludes.  Lund promises the boyfriend she’ll be on a plane this weekend for their housewarming party.  We all know that’s not going to happen!

Watching the original series I’m now plagued with a new set of questions relating to Danish law.  Perhaps someone out there on the internet will be able to answer the following questions:

  1. When running for office is it perfectly acceptable to have a volunteer on your staff that was convicted of raping a 14 year old girl?  I get the fact that the car was stolen and the campaign, at this point at least, doesn’t have a real connection to the case, but wouldn’t the press be all over the fact that they let a guy with a criminal record work on their behalf?  It seems rather strange to me that no one cares.
  2. What are the laws around technology?  In the Danish version politician Troels Hartmann doesn’t want anyone poking their noses into the server logs to see if someone is emailing campaign secrets to his rival, going so far as to saying the action is illegal.  Is that true?  If his campaign owns the servers, shouldn’t they also own whatever content flows in or out of them, especially since they are the ones employing the people who are using the hardware for business related use?
  3. What is the legal drinking age?  Jeffe and Oliver make mention of bringing kegs up from the basement for the Halloween dance in the school.  Is it normal behavior to have alcohol served on school grounds at a party thrown for students?

The Killing: Episode Three

Whew, now on to the American version of the show where things were changed, but once again I’m on AMC’s side.  I think the changes were justified and helped improve the story for American audiences.  Up above I was wondering about how a sex offender ends up volunteering for a high profile political candidate.  This doesn’t happen in the remake.  Instead, after finding the cage at the end of episode two, episode three begins with Linden and Holder finding a peephole into “the cage.”  When they check out the other side, the principal informs them that only the janitor has a key to this room.  A quick visit to the janitor’s residence and what do we have?  Almost the same series of events that happened with suspect Lynge in the original.  It turns out the janitor is living with his elderly mom (who he doesn’t attack) and that he has a criminal record for exposing himself to kids that the school missed when they conducted their background check.  Nervous about this, he stabs Linden and jumps out a very high window to avoid capture, only to end up severely damaging his body for the effort.

You can guess what follows.  The duo has to wait until he gets out of surgery and once they interview him he fingers Kris (the American Jeffe) as being in “the cage” the night of the Halloween party.  In an interesting twist, Kris has dropped out of school and is homeless.  He’s not living with Jasper (the Amercian Oliver) and he certainly is not on the student council.  Instead he’s a runaway drug addict.

Again, I like these changes.  It makes more sense for American viewers that the political campaign didn’t have a criminal working for them and that Kris and Jasper are not sharing an apartment while in high school.

The whole plot thread about the Larsen’s buying a new home is completely absent from the American version.  Instead, we discover that the boys love chocolate chip pancakes.  So much so that they make them for dinner two nights in a row; riveting stuff.

Mitch Larsen, Rosie’s mother, as to be expected, is having an extremely difficult time coming to terms with her daughter’s death, but she hasn’t yet launched her own investigation.  Linden does visit with the couple like in the original series, but she does so at their home, not at police headquarters.  She does reveal to them that their daughter drowned in the trunk of the car and then asks so questions about an expensive pair of boots that Rosie had in her closet.

Let’s not forget about politician Darren Richmond either.  He confronts Eric (the American Morten) about being the leak in his campaign after the private detective/super IT guy he hired finds evidence of the crime.  Much like in the original we see Eric sulk off as Richmond is sealing his political alliance, though in this version Richmond gets the job done by dangling the prospect of toilets in his perspective partner’s face.  Don’t’ ask, let’s just say the tactic is effective and leave it at that.

Linden’s also having some personal problems with her boyfriend who at first seemed to be understanding, but now seems like a jerk.  She and her son are staying with an older woman named Reggie on her houseboat until the investigation wraps up.  I know Reggie was in the first two episodes briefly, but can someone explain her relation to the Linden’s to me?  I think I missed it.

Episode three concludes with the detectives watching a video that was recorded on Jasper’s phone (which was confiscated during a class by teacher Bennet Ahmed) which shows both Jasper AND Kris having sex with Rosie…or does it?

At this point, four into Forbrydelsen and three into The Killing the shows seem to be at the exact same point in the investigation.  I’m torn about how to continue.  I think I may need to watch episodes five and six of Forbrydelsen before watching episode four of The Killing in order to keep the pacing the same in both.

What do those of you also watching along think about the way both of the shows are progressing?  Remember, if you’ve seen Forbrydelsen all the way to the end, please do not spoil anything in your comments!

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.