|Season 1, Episode 1|
|Air date||January 7, 2007|
|Written by|| Søren Sveistrup (Head writer)|
Per Daumiller &
Torleif Hoppe &
Michael W. Horsten (Screenplay)
|Directed by||Birger Larsen|
"Episode 1" is the series pilot and the first episode of the first season. It premiered on January 7, 2007. Søren Sveistrup is the series head writer and the screenplay for this episode was written by Per Daumiller & Torleif Hoppe & Michael W. Horsten. The episode was directed by Birger Larsen.
Detective Inspector Sarah Lund is forced to postpone her move to Sweden when she is assigned to investigate the murder of Nanna Birk Larsen. She discovers Nanna's body in an abandoned car belonging to the election campaign of Mayoral candidate Troels Hartmann.
The disappearance of Nanna Birk Larsen goes unnoticed until the discovery of some of her possessions in marshland outside Copenhagen. Detective Sarah Lund is preparing to move her son to Sweden to join her boyfriend, a university lecturer. Her colleagues stage a mock crime scene as a light hearted goodbye and give her a set of skis as a farewell present. She speaks to her boyfriend who confirms that he has finished packing and is ready for the flight later that night. She is packing up her office when her replacement, Jan Meyer arrives. They are assigned to investigate the crime scene and initially believe the evidence to represent an unreported assault against a prostitute. Among the evidence at the scene are her bloodied size 8 underwear and a video card in the name Theis Birk Larsen.
Mayoral election candidate Troels Hartmann is gearing up for a campaign debate with his incumbent opponent. Hartmann is late to arrive because he stops to visit a grave. His staff prepare him with statistics about the Mayors lack of support for inner city schools. His chief adviser Rie Skovgaard returns his watch, found under her bed; they are sleeping together.
Theis is a business owner, delivering stock to fruit and vegetable shops throughout the city. He works from his home, sharing it with his wife Pernille Birk Larsen and their three children. His two sons are aged six and seven while his daughter Nanna is older. He is levelheaded in his business, easily placating an angry customer when his employee damages some of their stock. Theis and Pernille have a loving relationship; Theis is called home during the day and is able to joke about their broken dishwasher when it floods their kitchen. When he is unable to fix the leak, he agrees to hire a plumber and pulls his wife to the floor, kissing her.
Meyer convinces Lund to speak to the video card holder, believing that he may have been responsible and might reveal his involvement despite the lack of a complainant. The detectives go to his home and question Pernille. Meyer is confrontational but Lund realizes that the photograph of their daughter on the fridge might represent the victim of the crime. Pernille tells them that they have been away for the weekend and have not seen their daughter since their return and assume that she has attended school. Her mobile phone is switched off.
Lund contacts the school and they confirm that Nanna has not attended class. Her friend Lisa is also anxiously trying to contact her. The school is buzzing with preparation for the Mayoral election debate. Lund goes to the school to question Nanna's classmates. She convinces Hartmann to suspend the debate. Her teacher recalls Nanna attending the Halloween party that Friday but not what she was wearing. He says that he is unsure if she had a boyfriend and recommends she speak with Lisa . Lisa has already left the school. Lund picks up her son from school and takes him home, still hoping to resolve her case in time for her flight.
Pernille cannot reach Theis by phone so she learns where his van is parked and goes to find him on her bike. He is showing his employee the new, larger home that he has bought for his family. The man offers to involve Theis in selling widescreen televisions that he can obtain through unstated means. Theis realizes that he is in debt and gives him a handout but declines the offer. Pernille arrives to deliver the bad news that Nanna is missing. He urges Pernille to stay calm and promises that he will find Nanna.
Lisa visits the apartment Nanna's ex-boyfriend Oliver shares with a classmate. Oliver's roommate tells Lisa that Oliver's parents are out of town and that Oliver is most likely at their home with Nanna. As Lisa goes to leave the apartment she is stopped by Theis. He questions her and goes to Oliver's home looking for Nanna. He finds Oliver there with another girl and Olvier claims not to have seen Nanna. Theis heads back to town.
Meyer returns to the crime scene and organizes a further search of the area. Tracker dogs pick up a strong trail into a nearby wooded area but then it stops abruptly. Lund rejoins Meyer and they continue their search as night falls. Lund calls her boyfriend to say that she will miss her flight. She reports in to her supervisor who chastises her for missing her own leaving party.
Hartmann attends an evening fundraiser. The Mayor shocks him by allocating funds to Inner City Schools, undermining his key campaign issue. A contact of Hartmann's from within the government reveals that the Mayor was aware of his statistics before the debate was canceled along with specific details of his schedule. She warns him that his office has a leak.
Lund suggests that they go in a different direction. Her instincts prove correct when a car is found abandoned in a nearby lake. They organize pulling the car from the lake, fearing the worst.
On his way home Theis notices the police raising the car from the lake. He stops to investigate and calls home. While on the phone he realizes that they have found Nanna. He is distraught and drops his phone as police officers try to restrain him. Pernille hears Lund confirming the death of their daughter and breaks down on the other end of the phone line. Meyer approaches Lund with a surprising revelation; the car belongs to Hartmann's campaign.