‘Bordertown’ Season 3: Kari and Lena’s relationship taking a back seat left us disappointed with no closure
Their chemistry ranged from animosity to being each other’s support system. Kari and Lena have had a long journey as crime-solving partners but the depth of their partnership remains unexplored
Spoilers for season 3
The Finnish crime drama thriller ended with its third and final season but it left us with a very important question: Where do Kari Sorjonen (Ville Virtanen) and Lena Jaakkola (Anu Sinisalo) stand?
‘Bordertown’ might be a crime procedural at its core, but it has also been exploring the underlying chemistry between two brilliant officers of the law. If Kari is gifted and thrives on his mental abilities, Lena is the stronger and bolder partner. But they were never the crime-solving duo like Sherlock and Dr. Watson.
Let’s back up a little and go back to where Kari Sorjonen and Lena Jaakkola’s story begins. They started off with differing opinions, opposing each other's methods and being critical. Eventually, they found a middle ground, slowly and gradually learned to become partners who would solve the most blood-curdling crimes in Lappeeranta and bring criminals to justice.
And now, in season 3, we expected their partnership to be the focus of the season while they handle an all-new series of grisly murders and save the peaceful town reeling under such dark crimes. But contrary to what we had hoped for, the third and the final season hardly explored their working chemistry. In fact, Lena did not even have enough screen time as you would expect. It appeared as if her role in Kari’s profession and SCU’s crime-solving initiatives had been reduced. A partnership that had been a topic of discussion in previous seasons became almost secondary in the third season.
Although we understand that their relationship was never like “friends” or close “acquaintances”, the least that would have helped understand it better was to see their interactions in more depth, especially at times when Kari is struggling to solve a case or decides to take a bold step to outdo his nemesis, Lasse Maasalo(Sampo Sarkola). And then, the way the finale ended, it felt more random than ever.
After Kari manages to arrest Maasalo and save the town from a deadly attack of water poisoning, Lena is offered a mission in Poland. But she refuses, citing Kari as the reason. She believes that he needs her by his side and that she should stay back in Lappeeranta. On the other side, Kari starts seeing a therapist and starts dealing with his mental health issues, and when the therapist asks him for a support system that he could rely on during this change, he recalls no one but Lena. This proves that the two detectives have finally reached the point where they can call each other “friends” or perhaps something more. But guess we would never know, where they stand. Only if we had seen a few instances of such support earlier in the season, we would have a closure of some sort.
What do you think is the relationship between Kari and Lena?
Watch all 10 episodes of ‘Bordertown’ Season 3, now streaming on Netflix and share your thoughts.