Bordertown Season 3: Janina's mature arc while grieving her mother’s death gifts us a very unique teen character
The following article might contain spoilers!
The third and final season of the Finnish crime drama thriller introduced a tragedy from the very beginning, which would go a long way in defining the arcs of the lead characters, especially Janina Sorjonen (Olivia Ainali) and her father Kari Sorjonen (Ville Virtanen).
More often than not, children and young adults deal very differently with losses, especially deaths, than adults. If pop culture and mainstream media have to be held as examples set for the same, we typically see that whenever they lose someone close to them (death in the context of the current discussion) they pull themselves away from their social surroundings, become withdrawn, and refuse to accept the reality, or at least take a long time to accept the same.
Janina is not such a youngster and the final season of ‘Bordertown’ establishes it quite well.
Taking off from the previous seasons, we see Kari’s wife Pauliina(Matleena Kuusniemi) back in hospital as her brain tumor becomes worse and incurable, letting her take the tough call of not continuing treatment and welcome her end as it comes. Though Kari shows great strength of character, this sudden loss shakes him from within. He never expresses or shows it but is evident from his behavior that follows. Naturally, you would expect Janina to also become impossible and behave like we know youngsters to behave in such situations. Contrary to expectations, Janina shows more gravitas and maturity in dealing with the loss.
In the previous two seasons, we had already seen her as a “good teenager”, unlike how typical adolescent girls are portrayed. She did seek more attention from her father, but was never dramatic in her behavior, or even disruptive to herself. And now, for a daughter who has lost her mother, Janina turned out to be more composed than one could imagine. From ensuring her mother gets a proper, no-drama funeral, to making sure her father is present at all rituals, Janina fulfilled the role of a dutiful daughter.
While her moving out and staying with her friend might seem like avoidance, one might want to see it from a different perspective. Usually, when two people are dealing with the death of the same loved one, there are often arguments and fight, as a way of venting out the grief.
This creates a bigger rift between two people and often damages the relationship. Janina is deeply hurt and grieving, as any child would. She even tried to drown her sorrows over a wild drunken night, like many people her age would do. But that is the only instance of Janina being her age. Everywhere else, she has been remarkably in grip of herself and kept herself away from the house and the environment that would keep reminding her of her dead mother.
Also, she realizes that her father is reacting to the loss quite differently and lets him be.
This unique arc of Janina makes her character disitinctive and also helps drive her journey forward.
‘Bordertown’ Season 3 is currently streaming on Netflix.