‘Bordertown’ Season 3 Ending Explained: Kari subtly takes out nemesis, fights his demons in undramatic finale
Spoilers for season 3
Ten hours and ten episodes later, Kari Sorjonen (Ville Virtanen) finally saves the day! As the central character of the story, you would expect a lot of action from him, as he fights his prime nemesis, Lasse Maasalo (Sampo Sarkola), and outsmarts him. But be ready for your bubble to burst, because Kari does it without all the drama of a typical crime thriller. There’s no physical fight but only a war of wits between the protagonist and the antagonist.
Although throughout the third and the final season, there were five cases that Kari and his SCU team tried to solve, they were all tied together through a common perpetrator. In the last case, when the city of Lappeeranta faces an attack of water poisoning, killing many people, the SCU team gets on its toes to find the mastermind behind it. Kari uses his masterful memory and recollects instances from all the previous cases to find clues and pins it all down to Maasalo. Elsewhere, Niko Uusitalo (Ilkka Villi) the SCU head meets the committee to increase funding for his unit, but to no avail. Kari learns from the Degerman Concern about their involvement in a cover-up of a weapons factory and shutting it down, which led to the water poisoning. Maasalo knew about the crime and blackmails the CEO and the city Mayor to take the blame in lieu of killing more people.
At this point, Kari finds himself struggling with his mind to find a way to be one step ahead of Maasalo and as we had seen earlier, he seeks help from his dead wife’s spirit. This time, instead of supporting his thoughts, Pauliina (Matleena Kuusniemi) counters her husband and his approach by criticizing him. All this while, Kari had found solutions to his problems by talking to his dead wife and she was in it with him. But now, at the end, as he decides to take a bold move to find and fight Maasalo, Pauliina points out how Kari never learned about boundaries and manipulated his partner, Lena Jaakalo and other team members into doing what he wanted them to do and believing in his approach, even if it was not the right one or safe for them.
Perhaps this becomes the turning point for Kari. He stops seeing his wife and goes against his own principles and plans to deceive Maasalo when he faces him. In a quick fight and a war of wits, Kari sedates his long time nemesis, Lasso Maasalo and saves the day.
Later, we also see him accepting his inner demons and starts seeing his therapist, and this time, voluntarily. He finally opens up about his visions of Pauliina and starts taking control of his mind.
Contrary to what you would expect, there was no drama, no high flying action, or overwhelming scenes. As is quintessential to Nordic noirs, the ‘Bordertown’ finale was subtle but strong, and rounded up the story and yet, left a little open for the audience to think further.
‘Bordertown’ Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.