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160 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The politics of war
A lawyer is killed under special circumstances and Lennart Brix decides to bring back Sarah Lund to the Copenhagen homicide department from her exile on the Danish-German border - where she spent a couple of years checking passports - in the hope that she can help speed up the resolution of the case. This is the beginning of an exciting hunt for a killer who is only just...
Published on 30 Aug. 2011 by Maria

23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard Act To Follow
Series 1 of The Killing was such a fresh programme - Despite there only being one actual killing over the course of 20 Episodes the show managed to brilliantly look at all angles of how a killing can affect so many lives. The Birk Larsen's (Parents), Schoolfriends, and how the complexities of the case also then involved the policticians. All wonderfully weaved together,...
Published on 16 Feb. 2012 by Rappers

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160 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The politics of war, 30 Aug. 2011
Maria "maria2222" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Killing - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
A lawyer is killed under special circumstances and Lennart Brix decides to bring back Sarah Lund to the Copenhagen homicide department from her exile on the Danish-German border - where she spent a couple of years checking passports - in the hope that she can help speed up the resolution of the case. This is the beginning of an exciting hunt for a killer who is only just getting started and whose atrocities reverberates in the Danish Army and the corridors of power in the Danish coalition government.

The young newly appointed Minister of Justice tries to negotiate a new Terror Act with the other parties, but this is made difficult by the murder of the lawyer since it looks like the person or persons behind might be terrorists. As ex-elite army unit victims start turning up, however, it looks like the Danish Army and certain politicians might be involved as well and Lund could be facing her biggest challenge to date.

Once again there are plenty of red herrings laid out for us to follow in the dark, gritty and wintery Copenhagen (I'm not sure Visit Denmark is necessarily overly happy with this depiction of Denmark :)) and again the strength of the series is the well-thought-out main story and the strong character development of pretty much everyone involved.

Whereas the first season had 20 episodes and lots of side stories focusing on the private lives of the individuals involved, this series is more plot heavy and intense and only has 10 episodes. We move from the local (the first series dealt with the murder of a Copenhagen school girl and the grief of her parents as well as City Hall politicians and their potential links to the murder) to national level but the focus is still real people with real issues as well as the overlying theme of terror and politics.

Sofie Gråbøl is once again fantastic as Sarah Lund - although it was difficult to see her so subdued and without confidence in the first couple of episodes as she is obviously still dealing with the aftermath of the last big case, but that soon changes and she's back to charging head first into any situation - no matter the consequences.

I watched it in Danish, so can't comment on the translation, but I hope they will give it the attention this brilliant series deserves.
A must see!
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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sarah Lund is back!!, 14 Dec. 2011
Mikey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Killing - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Could the second series of a foreign drama with subtitles be any better than it's predecessor? Fans of The Killing - Series 1 [DVD] [2010] were given 20 hours with the Birk Larsen family, the charismatic Troels Hartmann and the one and only Sarah Lund. Back then we were to explore a host of characters and for the first time in a drama series we were given the opportunity to explore the grief of a family who had just lost a daughter. How could a second series improve on perfection?

Well in just a 10 hour series, DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) manages to equal if not surpass their strengths of series 1. Again we meet Sarah Lund played to absolute perfection by Sofie Gråbøl. This time Sarah is stationed at Gedser, southern Denmark checking passports. Lennart Brix (Morten Suurballe), Vibeke (Anne Marie Helger) and Mark Lund (Eske Forsting Hansen) are the only other three returning characters from series 1. Troels Hartmann and co are swapped for Thomas Buch and co. Copenhagen municipal politics has now become Danish politics on a national level involving the Prime Minister, Justice and Defence Ministries, alongside the Ministry of Integration, briefly. The Birk Larsens are replaced by the Rabens.

The second series has a much faster pace to it than the first and although there is less exploration of the characters as there was in series 1, this series is no worse for it. Sofie Gråbøl is once again supported by some of Denmark's finest acting talent. Nicolas Bro is outstanding as new Justice Minister Thomas Buch. Ken Vedsegaard is utterly convincing as Jens Peter Raben held in Herstedvester Prison. And as a new sidekick for Lund we have Ulrik Strange played by Mikael Birkkjær. Birkkjær also stars in BBC4's 2012 Danish offering Borgen - Series 1 [DVD] along with a couple of other performers from the earlier series.

Watching a series with subtitles in a minor Scandinavian language does require concentration. Aided by excellent subtitling to help steer you around the twists and turns throughout the 10 episodes, this programme really is a joy to watch.

Why is it that a country of less than six million people can produce such fine quality TV whereas the UK comes up with nothing anywhere near this calibre? If Saturdays at 9pm in the autumn mean I'm a Celebrity, The X Factor or Casualty for you, then The Killing is probably not going to be your cup of tea. With episodes reaching over a million viewers, more than double that of the first series and beating any other foreign language programme by a long way, The Killing proves that decent quality compelling TV does not always originate from the USA or the UK. Episodes aren't 42 minutes long to enable countless ads to be squeezed in. Most episodes are just short of an hour. Each hour spent watching this set will fly by.

You may want to familiarise yourself with a couple of bridges whilst watching the series. The Great Belt Bridge connects two Danish islands Funen and Zealand. The Oresund Bridge connects Danish Zealand with Swedish Skane. Copenhagen, where the main drama unfolds is located on Zealand just over the water from Swedish Malmo on the other side of the Oresund Bridge.

Ever been questioned by the police while in the shower? Well one of the characters in The Killing 2 has Sarah Lund at her best while in the shower. What's a Danish wedding like and will all family members attend? Will Sarah open up to anybody? Find out in this fantastic boxset.

Also included in this boxset is a 19 minute bonus feature on the making of The Killing which has an interview with Sofie and producer Piv Bernth.

Thank you BBC4 for striking gold, Arrow Films for providing the DVD release, DR for making gold, and The Guardian for providing such a worthy accompanying blog to the series.


Hope that BBC4 screens series 3 as soon as Denmark screen it in late 2012!

And if you need another fix of Sofie and Mikael, have a look at this December 2011 re-release of Aftermath [DVD] in which they star as a married couple. Two other films I recommend for fans of Sofie and Mikael are Sofie's first ever film from 1986 The Wolf at the Door ( Gauguin, le loup dans le soleil ) ( Oviri ) and a 2005 film with Mikael in the lead role Springet, along with Værelse 304 (Room 304) Import (English subtitles)from 2011. Worth a watch!

Ken Vedsegaard plays a main character in the Krøniken series Krøniken (Better Times) Volume 1 (Episodes 1 & 2) (Import) (English Subtitles) set in Copenhagen in the Fifties. Guest stars in the early episodes include Nicolas Bro and from Series 1, Lars Mikkelsen. Seen by around 2.5 million viewers weekly during its initial screening in January 2004. Vedsegaard also appears with Sofie in True Spirit ( Den Rette ånd ).
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Condensed Cream, 14 Dec. 2011
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Killing - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
A latecomer to this series, I soon grasped the appeal of Sarah Lund, obsessively bent on solving the puzzle of brutal murders at the cost of her personal life, and wonderfully liberated in true Scandinavian style from any concerns about her appearance, or need to use feminine wiles to get her way. In typical small touches of humour, she knocks cartons of coffee over her colleague's desk, or misinterprets her mother's horror as she thoughtlessly waves around graphic photos of murder victims during one of the phone calls that always seem too urgent to be left to a more suitable time.

The series continues to stand apart by working on several levels and being more than just an exciting, tense, and pacy thriller. This is partly through the importance attached to developing the complex personalities and realistic, shifting relationships. Here we have the focus on the disturbed soldier Raben, who may have been incarcerated in a mental asylum to prevent his revealing the politically inconvenient facts of an atrocity against civilians in Afghanistan. His attempts to keep in contact with his wife and child, the strains on her in trying to remain true to him and the ambiguous role of her father, also in the military, all make for moving drama.

We have the usual political shenanigans, at times now bordering on farce. If Denmark has so much corruption and duplicity in high places, what hope for the rest of us? There is huge entertainment value in the continually grazing, "I've had enough sweets so I'll eat a pear", ball-bouncing, new Minister Buch, who is cleverer than he looks, but may not be a match for more ruthless operators.

If Series 2 suffers in comparison with its forerunner, it is because, being half the length but if anything more complicated, it is too condensed. This makes it hard to follow some of the labrynthine plot twists delivered very fast in short, rapidly changing scenes. Some of the emotional intensity also gets lost in this quickfire approach. Perhaps the producers needed to take more account of the needs of viewers trying to read subtitles alongside observing every fine detail.

A story in which everyone is damaged in some way by events and some points are left unresolved may be marks of a great drama. But this does not excuse flaws in the plot - such as why a trained assassin would shoot someone several times in the torso, rather than once in the head? (Need to avoid spoilers precludes other better examples).

Perhaps it is too much to expect even "The Killing" to avoid the pitfalls of such a complicated plot with so many red herrings that the viewer is left with too many frustrated, "But why and what about?" questions at the end. This may be the "downside" of the author writing one step ahead of the filming, the plus side being the vitality and spontaneity of many scenes.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative crime-thriller. Stop reading and go watch it..., 4 Jan. 2012
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Killing - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
The Killing is, quite simply, one of the best crime-thriller series to have ever been filmed. It sets the standard for intelligent and involving television; perfectly paced and beautifully presented. The original Danish programmes capture the stark subtlety of Scandinavian noir and deliver it to the viewer in hour-long episodes.

Unlike many sequels, the second series surpasses the first in many regards. It's faster paced and less frustrating; just as gripping and complex; beautifully acted, cleverly plotted, atmospheric, violent, tense and at times heartbreakingly poignant. The ten episodes grab you by the throat, beguile you, baffle you and keep you coming back for more. Don't watch more than a couple at a time: you'll be jittering all night.
If you did not watch the first season of The Killing (actually, the literal translation of the original Danish title is `The Crime'; rather more subtle), then you *can* watch the second series as a stand-alone, but you'll struggle somewhat to understand the central character, Sarah Lund. Her methods of investigation, her insight, her fixation and determination are pivotal to both seasons, as is her relationship with the two male detectives who partner her each time; Jan Meyer in the original series and Ulrik Strange in the second. Lund's family life is chaotic and her interactions with her boss, the wonderful Brix (who can deliver more with a raised eyebrow than most actors can with an entire soliloquy), are complex. So you can busk through it, but you'll enjoy the delicate emotional nuances all the more if you understand all the background. Lund is a neurotic mess, a danger to herself and her co-workers - but she's also the only person likely to be able to get through the tangled web of army intrigue and cabinet-level politics to reveal the truth.

Yet although the action follows Lund faithfully, all of the minor characters are drawn in intense detail, with the kind of back story that real, genuine, proper people have. The Killing excels in running half a dozen coherent and interlinked plot lines simultaneously - mystery upon tragedy, tangled in with the very relevant themes of the war on terror, corruption and cover-up in coalition governments, the treatment of soldiers returning to civil society, how democracy can be corrupted by the very people sworn to uphold it... all seasoned with the very real threat that any of the major characters could be killed. At any time. You've been warned!

Compelling, quality television crime drama. Definitely worth watching more than once - this is a series I will buy rather than rent.
And the third series, set against the back-drop of the economic crisis, is in the pipeline. But will any of the major characters reappear...?

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More of the same - and what is wrong with that?, 8 May 2014
David P (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Killing - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
I bought series 1 for my wife one Christmas because her work colleagues kept telling her to watch it. I was highly dubious about watching so much tv purely in subtitles with no English at all, but it is testament to how good it was that after 5 minutes you just don't notice you're doing it.

Series 2 is more of the same formula - murder, politics, police, corruption, red herrings galore, and it works just as well. It is shorter than series 1, and I think it is the better for that. There were so many red herrings along the way in series 1 that when it came to the crunch at the end, many of them were not alluded to in any way, leaving some unsatisfactory loose ends.

It is a sure sign of how good these are that we frequently put one on just before bed, and when it ended, looked at each other and said "just one more?".

TV at its best. And I have just found there is a series 3! That's next Christmas sorted then...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing home the bacon again!, 15 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: The Killing - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
The excellent standard of Series One has been maintained!

The acting is restrained and naturalistic making the characters believable. Suspense is successfully kept throughout the twists and turns of the political and police story lines. It is impossible to figure out the indentity of the perpetrator from episode to episode. The concluding episode needs to be watched even more carefully if the denouement is to be understood.

Roll on Series Three!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The excellence continues............., 18 Aug. 2012
IOWBOY - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Killing - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
The first series of 'The Killing' The Killing - Series 1 [DVD] [2010] is for me the best piece of 'visual' entertainment I have ever seen; by this I mean both television and cinema. This may sound somewhat of an exageration, cetainly to those who have yet to see it and those that have, and have reviewed it here with less than five stars.

It is the most gripping, moving, bleak, intriguing, thought-provoking, visually exciting, well acted and brilliantly scored production I have had the fortune to watch.

When it was first shown on BBC 4 in January 2011 I set my Sky+ box to record it because I had seen the trailer and it had intrigued me, although at the time I was yet to watch any foreign 'subtitled' drama's (this has changed dramatically since this series came into my life), and for several weeks it sat unwatched on the box. Then one evening my girlfriend and I decided to give it a go, by now we had about a dozen of the twenty episodes recorded, from the opening credits we sat transfixed; one episode then became two, and over the next few nights we devoured the rest.

At the end of the last episode we were excited to have experienced such a series, yet at the same time we were also disappointed that it was over, and then at the end of the credits a short trailer appeared for Series 2!; we were genuinely excited, little did we know that we would have to wait nearly nine months for that day to come.

And so here we are, Series 2 of 'The Killing'; the sequel to what is widely considered by now to be one of the best television shows ever, how could it possibly live up to so much expectation?!

The most immediate difference with Series 2 is that it consists of ten one hour long episodes (as opposed to the twenty episodes in the first series). The story itself begins ten days after a lawyer has been found murdered; there are some extremely effective and shocking images that portray the terrible ordeal, the way these are filmed immediately made me feel confident that this new series had picked up right where the original had left off.

I will be careful here not to give too much of the story away, for whilst it is important for me to try and offer as full and complete a review as possible, I must not give away too much detail!

A familiar face from the first series, Lennart Brix (the menacing Morten Suurballe), remains in post as the head of the homicide department in Copenhagen and very quickly comes to the conclusion that the case is far more complicated than it initially seemed. In a desperate act he sends message to 'former' DI Sarah Lund (once again played by the quite brilliant Sofie Grabol, now in no position to 'officially' take part); she is initially reluctant to help in any way but soon finds herself agreeing with Brix's suspicions that things may indeed not be as straightforward as the common consenus suggests.

There is also a second strand running alongside the murder investigation; it features a newly-appointed Justice Minister called Thomas Buch (so believably portrayed by Nicolas Bro) who at the same time as attempting to gain credibility in the high profile position he has been thrust into, has to investigate and prove that his highly respected predecessor had been involved in a cover-up of the killing of civilians in Afghanistan by Danish soldiers.

The story once more features a blend of police and politics, and this time also introduces religion, yet again manages to blend them seamlessly in a way that whilst being quite different in pace and tone from Series 1, undeniably remains 'The Killing'.

Where as the first series was set solely in Denmark this series does some travelling, with Sarah Lund finding herself in Afghanistan as part of her investigation. This again gives the series a distinctly different feel, the original production being filmed predominantly in the dark or rain (and on several ocassions a combination of the two!) felt quite oppresive and gloomy; this series is filmed far more in daylight, with less inclement weather, and with some very bright, hot and arid conditions.

The reduction of episodes to ten gives this series more pace, this doesn't necessarily mean it has more of a sense of urgency (both series manage this), but it is quite clear that the team behind the production were not willing to rest on their laurels and made the brave decision to make alterations to a proven formula; this is fantastic for the viewer, and I simply cannot wait to see what they bring us with the third and final series, hopefully to be aired on BBC 4 by the end of 2012 but most likely at some time in early 2013.

The boxset consists of three discs, and I am grateful that those responsible for it's release in the UK designed the packaging to compliment that of the first series' boxset; it continues to frustrate and anger me how many DVD collections have sleeves for seperate volumes that bear no resemblance to each other, in my opinion it's lazy, just how hard can it be?!

The picture and audio quality of the episodes on DVD are noticeably superior to the original television broadcasts, I must admit this did surprise me! I had already made my own copies of the series on to DVD from the original television broadcasts stored on my Sky+ box, and was happy with the reults; I only bought the boxset when I did because it had come down in price to below £20.00 and I knew that I would undoubtedly be purchasing it at some point anyway (as I had done with the first series). I think the problem for me is that with the introduction of HD televison broadcasts, DVD's are not quite as impressive as they once were to me and it now takes a Blu Ray to get me excited! On this ocassion I am most definitely wrong though; firstly the original broadcasts were in standard definition, and these just can't compete with DVD. The level of background detail was particularly noticeable for me and the scenes in Afghanistan look vastly improved; the audio quality is the biggest difference, the series has an outstandingly atmospheric soundtrack and that fantastic familiar theme tune has never sounded better!

Overall this series achieved the almost impossible by managing to reach the same lofty heights as it's predecessor, in fact some would argue that it even surpasses it, I personally think it has come as close as possible but that I just don't believe you can better perfection.

The DVD set is of a very good quality, and although it may be hard to believe with a series that relies heavily on suspense and surprise, it does hold up to repeat viewings; I have watched both series 1 and 2 more than once now and although I now know the outcome it has not lessened my enjoyment, I continue to appreciate the beautifully portrayed performances, cinematography and wonderful soundtrack, but I have also regularly continued to find previously undiscovered nuanced details and kick myself for not noticing them before!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GRIPPING & GRIM, 7 Aug. 2014
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Killing - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Denmark under terrorist attack? Soldiers back from Afghanistan targeted. But is all as it seems? Can this be an elaborate diversion by members of the Establishment to conceal a major scandal?

Lund and her partner Strange investigate, her dogged pursuit of the truth making many enemies. What about ex-soldier Jens Raben, for two years in a psychiatric ward? Has he been but a scapegoat as people on high try desperately to cover their tracks? New Minister for Justice Thomas Buch grows increasingly suspicious.

As was declared at another time, something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Are certain people prominent in Special Branch, the Army and Government all that they should be? How much life is ahead for those who probe...?

Ten very exciting episodes, Sofie Grabol again superb as Sarah Lund, ever homing in on details others have missed. Amongst the fine cast, Nicolas Bro as Buch also impresses, his character not the easily manipulated pushover that might at first appear.

Here is Nordic very Noir. Subtitles quickly prove no problem at all. Many twists and turns, cliffhangers assured. A bonus feature reveals cast are kept on their toes by not knowing who will turn out the villains. (Congratulations to those who got the answer right!)

With involvement so intense, there is genuine hope certain people will survive. This cannot be guaranteed, suspense upheld to the very end.

No wonder so many have praised!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second chance Sarah, 2 May 2012
Aidan J. McQuade (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Killing - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
In Copenhagen a young woman lawyer is tortured and knifed to death, her body left in a Danish war memorial. The case is so baffling that the supervising police officer resorts to consulting former detective Sarah Lund, who has been consigned to a Danish police version of Siberia following the catastropic events depicted in the first series of The Killing.

This series of The Killing has a similar spawling, labyrinthine structure as the first, encompassing an ex-soldier currently held in a secure mental unit and a newly appointed national Justice minister, both of whose lives are or become entangled in Sarah's investigation. There is less of a focus in this series on the personal devastation caused by the murder, something that made the first series such a gut-wrenching affair. However it is still a police procedural that surprises, in this instance by exploring Denmark's involvement in the Afghan conflict and the rumours of war-crimes that emanate from those battlefields.

The investigation itself is a dark, tangled affair into which Sarah, a sad and lonely figure at the beginning of the series, after initial reluctance immerses herself finding new energy and focus in the one thing she is really good at.

The Killing 2 is gripping, intelligent, and very exciting television of the rarest order. Masterful.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Series 2 surpasses its illustrious predecessor, 18 Dec. 2011
Philoctetes (England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Killing - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Sara's back in the saddle. After being demoted to the less psychologically taxing role of customs cop, Lund is brought back to homicide by Lennart Brix. The reason: a lawyer has been murdered in a way that poses more questions than easy answers. Unlike the first series, Lund and new partner Stranger (who fancies her a bit) are dealing with an active serial killer sadistically offing former soldiers. Everything points to a conspiracy centred around a bad engagement in Afghanistan and the key to what happened may lie in the damaged memory of discredited squad leader - and mental patient - Jen Raben, son in law to the barracks commander. Soon three parallel investigations have ensued: the police's, Raben's and that of new and perpetually harassed Justice Minister Thomas Buch.

Some complained in advance about Killing 2 being only ten episodes but in practice that only serves to concentrate the drama and up the ante; Killing 1's relentless series of plot twists and cliffhanger endings eventually became both unbelievable and wearisome (for this viewer). Lund's domestic life is off limits because her mother and son are both at such a distance now that they can afford to be understanding. Lund is given more opportunity to vent her emotions and even offer her colleagues some consideration, which is all to the good. As it would be in the UK, the military angle makes the investigation particularly tense, given what we know about how insulated army life can be and how touchy soldiers, especialy officers, will get when civilians start asking tough questions. The possibility of a cover-up of military blundering, implicating politicians at the highest level, only adds to the growing disquiet. Crusading trencher man politician Thomas Buch is a remarkable, tragic figure, more so than last year's mayoral candidate (what was his name?); the political squabbling and double-crosses are much the same as in Series One but again more disquieting because we sense Buch is a rookie and more vulnerable - part of a bigger game he cannot master.

If you missed Killing 1 don't be afraid to jump in here with the speedier Killing 2 which is more action-packed and will repay repeated viewing as you unpick the threads for a clearer sight of the sequence of events.
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The Killing - Series 2 [DVD]
The Killing - Series 2 [DVD] by Kristoffer Nyholm (DVD - 2011)
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