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‘Bordertown’ Season 3: Kari’s past explains his peculiar personality

While solving a case of patricide, Kari finds himself revisiting his past and it helps us understand what makes him the way he is
Ville Virtanen as Kari Sorjonen (Netflix)
Ville Virtanen as Kari Sorjonen (Netflix)

‘Bordertown’ might be defined as a classic crime procedural, with Kari Sorjonen (Ville Virtanen) as the lead protagonist and star of series. His character makes for the real strength of the show and drives the story forward. Now, what makes Kari the center of the plot?

In the previous two seasons, we discovered that this remarkable detective is a gifted man, with an almost eidetic memory and strong instincts; he is also eccentric but highly driven by his passion for unraveling the truth.

However, at the same time, he also comes across as a little peculiar, with major drawbacks in his social skills. He is likeable, but he also is flawed in his mannerisms, which doesn’t always make him amiable to his colleagues, acquaintances, and sometimes, even his family.

We always wondered if there is a history of Kari that would come to light and reveal who he actually is. Episode 5 of ‘Bordertown’ Season 3 answered that question.

As a continuation of a case that started in episode 3, Kari and his SCU team are after the killer of an old man, a case which dealt with father complex, fraternal issues, and made the sons of the victim suspects in the murder. Unable to find any headway, Kari drowns himself in thoughts and sees his dead wife, Pauliina (Matleena Kuusniemi). The spirit of his wife asks Kari to deal with his past and look into the living. And that’s when we learn about Kari’s childhood which impacted him deeply and made him the person he is.

When Kari Sorjonen was a kid, he had difficulty communicating. He was never diagnosed as autistic but he had certain behavioral traits that made him different from other kids of his age. His uniqueness didn’t resonate well with his father and the two ended up in a very strained relationship, leaving Kari with serious daddy issues.

With Pauliina laying out the facts, Kari wonders if that is the reason why he took the case of patricide. We don’t see why not. The case involves three sons, each having a certain complex about their father. Kari had suppressed issues with his father and he perhaps found a way to deal with it by getting involved in someone else’s daddy issues and seeing in from the inside. 

And thus, we understand that Kari's childhood issues with his father drove him to guard his emotions and become the awkward eccentric with a remarkable mind that is portrayed on the show.

‘Bordertown’ Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.