The country has been left in mourning as Sunday night saw the season and series finale of ‘Forbrydelsen’ (‘The Killing’). Although the rest of the world, who have only just started to follow detective Sarah Lund’s final venture, are still gripped by ignorance and suspense.
Nevertheless, the unsuspecting viewers outside of this country can take heart from the Danish media’s heavy praise for the final episode. Yet, they will fear the risk of spoilers leaking through, which are lethal to any storyline that follows a ‘whodunnit’ scenario. One Danish newspaper, metroXpress, has today already upset thousands of commuters who were waiting until later to see the series, by publishing a picture of the murderer on its front page.
It wouldn’t be the first time a popular franchise has been ruined. David Letterman, for instance, managed to let slip the ultimate conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy on live television. And there was that prank pulled on Harry Potter fans by a group of American teens in 2006, who ruined the surprise ending of the franchise’s sixth novel, by yelling the spoiler at fans who had just bought the newly-released book.
The British media demonstrates just how popular the series has become outside of Denmark. Leading publications have scrambled to get interviews with the show’s stars and are already asking the big questions now that ‘The Killing’ is firmly underway in England. The Guardian, for example, has even speculated on whether Lund will live to see out the conclusion.
Whatever the ending, broadsheets Berlingske, Jyllands-Posten and Politiken awarded the episode high ratings, with Politiken describing it as a “great way to end the show” and Berlingske as “fantastically suspenseful”. However, the Danish public, didn’t agree, taking to Denmark’s twittersphere to voice their dismay at the way Lund’s final journey ultimately ended. @Nørgaard22, for example, tweeted: “That was probably the worst ending I have ever seen to a series,” while @ananaddoush said: “The Killing isn’t great to watch when you pine for happy endings.”
Tabloid newspaper Ekstra-Bladet seemed to be the only publication in tune with this opinion, calling the show a “waste of Sunday evenings” thanks to “an ending that offered no sense of explanation or conclusion”.
That won’t offer any support to Birgitte Jensen, a Dane living in London, who’s one episode away from the finale. Jensen is desperate for a happy ending and has already in her mind outlined the ideal conclusion to the show.
“I think everything will end well. The child will come back alive, and they’ll catch the murderer after an epic showdown,” Jensen said. When asked who she thinks the culprit is, she answered: “I think it’s the press agent, but you just never know with this series. There are so many twists and turns, and I love it. Best season yet!”
However, Andreas Baumann, a Dane living in Copenhagen, who watched the finale on Sunday night, said that it’d be foolish of anyone to assume the series was going to have a happy ending.
“It's Scandinavian storytelling in all its glory,” Baumann said. “We Danes seem to be obsessed with tragedy.” Asked what he thought of the final episode, he said: “It definitely has a lot of drama. But I couldn’t help feel a sense of disappointment at the way the whole thing came to an end. It finishes with more questions than answers, but I have to admit it’s a series I’ll definitely miss.”
Baumann is not alone, but the national media seemed to happily accept the fact that “Lund shouldn’t be given permission to end her adventures with the ideal happy ending”, as Berlingske wrote.
Polarised opinions will probably confuse the international audience, but the mixed reactions will also keep people curious. The Copenhagen Post won’t spoil the ending, as Times Magazine did after revealing the whole premise behind ‘The Matrix: Reloaded’ before the film's release. However, it is advised that fans of the show should avoid Scandinavians like the plague and make up their own mind as to whether their Sunday nights have been wasted or not.