We've just finished watching The Killing 2, gulping it down two episodes at a time. My feelings about it are much the same as the ones I had about the first series - but even more extreme.
The good bit about it - which is much the most important - is very good. The portrayal of Copenhagen is wonderfully bleak - even the daytime scenes seem to be at night. The characterization is bleak as well - even the nice characters are weak and flawed. (By the way, from this point on there is almost nothing but spoilers.) The lovely, faithful wife of the unjustly imprisoned Raben turns out to be unfaithful. We last see the incorruptible politician, Thomas Buch, in a shot quoting grimly from the last shot of The Godfather. The plot has the visceral forward momentum of a show like 24.
Above all, Sofie Grabol's Sarah Lund is one of the screen detectives: driven, flawed, borderline insane, utterly compelling.
The story sort of makes sense as you watch it. But, at the end, when you go back over it from the villain's point of view it becomes almost insane. (This is an important issue for anyone planning a thriller, by the way. If you tell the story from, say, the detective's point of view, you still have to imagine the story from, say, the murderer's point of view. Why did he or she do what they did? What was their plan? Is it remotely plausible?)
The crime is this (spoilers, obviously): A maverick Danish special services soldier kills a family in Afghanistan, because he thinks the father is a Taliban informer. For some reason that is far from clear, he kills them in front of a unit of Danish soldiers. Back home, he 'covers this up' by killing them all one by one, along with their lawyer, and disguising it as the work of Islamist terrorists.
Oh, and (as we finally discover) the killer's other job is as a policeman investigating the murders himself as partner to Sarah Lund. When Lund is about to be taken off the case because she is the one person who doesn't believe the fake motive he himself has confected, he - utterly bafflingly in retrospect - says he doesn't believe it either and demands she be kept on.
After watching the series, you can play a sort of game, working out in your head all the stuff that the murderer managed to do as part of his dastardly plan while still holding down a full-time job as a policeman - creating fake Islamist websites, stealing explosives from military bases, planting bombs in Sweden. The man is a genius. He makes Hannibal Lecter look like a shoplifter.
Great fun, though. Roll on part three.