Imagine the same scene if the sexes were reversed. Imagine Jack Bauer’s girlfriend bursting into CTU and moaning about home improvement woes and telling him he has to stop trying to save Los Angeles and come home with her to do the grouting. It’s laughable. It wouldn’t even make it past the first draft. Lund will not be cajoled, set upon or bullied and for this, we adore her.
She is a feminist icon. She’s unbothered by fashion, she’s unbothered by romance, she’s even unbothered about her role as daughter or mother and what’s fascinating is that we love her for it. She does what she is driven to do. It’s not ambition, it’s determination and this is what makes her so attractive.
She’s brave, foolhardy, vulnerable, rubbish at cooking, headstrong, has the confidence knocked out of her, claws it back again, and through it all, there is a quiet, solid resilience that is so inspiring. I wish every young girl had a picture of her up on their bedroom wall.
I was recently asked to compare Lund with other female detectives and having watched a few shows back to back one, rather mundane, thing stood out. She says very little. She’s a quiet observer, a loner, someone who is driven by actions and deeds rather than emotions and because she is so isolated, we the viewers find ourselves rooting for her endlessly.
It doesn’t matter that she can barely fry an egg or is incapable of attending any social gathering without standing looking awkward. It matters not one jot that she can’t say goodbye to anyone she’s on the phone to, or is hopeless at holding a gun properly. Her slightly chewed and frazzled edges are why we are so fond of her. She’s a klutz and a nerd who’s had the stuffing knocked out of her. What’s not to love? I mean, really?
The sheer audacity of telling one, single story over 20 hours was a master stroke. The vast majority of crime series will have a different story each week but in The Killing the audience is drawn in and kept hanging.
In series one, we had the characters of Pernille and Theis, the grieving parents. Our emotional attachment to them was intense and far more meaningful than if their story was wrapped up in 60 minutes.
We are invested in what happens, and in both series one and two, the moment of revelation, when it eventually comes, is shocking and devastating. This is what sets The Killing apart – the writers make us care deeply. Beautifully crafted, expertly executed, it’s one of the most phenomenal pieces of television ever made.
Series three is about to start (it’s due to begin on BBC4 on November 17th). The Killing was always intended as a trilogy and this shall be our last outing with the incomparable Danish detective.
I don’t yet know how the Lund story is going to conclude. I have my theories but at the risk of spoiling, I shall keep them to myself. I was lucky enough to go to set during filming and one thing was very clear – her final journey is going to be emotional and it’s going to be intense – and when she is gone, I, for one, am going to miss her greatly.