Bordertown (Finnish TV series)

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Finnish title card
Created byMiikko Oikkonen
Directed by
  • Miikko Oikkonen
  • Jyri Kähönen
  • Juuso Syrjä
  • Marko Mäkilaakso
  • Jussi Hiltunen
Country of originFinland
Original languageFinnish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes31
Running time58 minutes
Production companies
  • Fisher King Production
  • Federation Entertainment
Original networkYle TV1
Picture format16:9 (1080i50)
Audio format2.0 surround
Original release16 October 2016 (2016-10-16) –
1 December 2019 (2019-12-01)

Bordertown (Finnish: Sorjonen) is a Finnish crime drama and Nordic noir television series created by Miikko Oikkonen and starring Ville Virtanen as detective inspector Kari Sorjonen. The first season, which consisted of eleven episodes, premiered in Finland on 16 October 2016 on Yle TV1. Season two, containing ten episodes, premiered on 7 October 2018, and season three, containing another ten episodes, premiered in December 2019.

In addition to its home country, the series has received praise internationally; fans of the series include American author Stephen King,[1][2] Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow,[3] and Monty Python star Eric Idle.[4]


Detective inspector Kari Sorjonen is one of the most respected officers at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Finland when his wife barely survives brain cancer. Sorjonen is a high-functioning autist and exhibits traits related to savantism.[5] The character is based on British writer Daniel Tammet and also resembles an 'everyman'-type Sherlock Holmes.[5]

Sorjonen takes a new job, initially leading SECRI, the Serious Crime Unit, in the city of Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finland. He moves his family to the town near the border with Russia for a more peaceful life. Things turn out to be less than calm there, however. Interwoven with casework from SECRI, Sorjonen attempts to be a devoted husband to a wife recovering from a health scare, as well as a devoted father to a daughter. His work often takes precedence over family concerns, something his wife and daughter wrestle with throughout the series. Although singularly focused on his investigations, Sorjonen clearly has a closeness not only with his family but also with the other team members of SECRI, especially Niko, Lena, and H. P.[5]

Cast and characters[edit]




SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
11116 October 2016 (2016-10-16)25 December 2016 (2016-12-25)
2107 October 2018 (2018-10-07)9 December 2018 (2018-12-09)
3101 December 2019 (2019-12-01)2 February 2020 (2020-02-02)

Season 1 (2016)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"The Dolls' House, part 1"
(Finnish: Nukkekoti, osa 1)
Miikko OikkonenMiikko Oikkonen, Atro Lahtela, Matti Laine, Antti Pesonen16 October 2016 (2016-10-16)
Kari Sorjonen moves to Lappeenranta with his wife and daughter. A body of a woman is found in a lake. Esa Kuparinen, who works under an escort service, transports young women from Russia to Finland. Kuparinen abducts Katia Jaakkola because he wants to protect her. Katia's mother, Lena Jaakkola, who works at the FSB, starts searching for her missing daughter. She finds Kuparinen's dead body in an auto repair shop.
22"The Dolls' House, part 2"
(Finnish: Nukkekoti, osa 2)
Miikko OikkonenMiikko Oikkonen, Atro Lahtela, Matti Laine, Antti Pesonen23 October 2016 (2016-10-23)
Kuparinen's death is investigated. Sorjonen becomes aware of Lena Jaakkola and follows her. They meet at the Dolls' House, a wooden cabin, and Sorjonen is held at gunpoint by Lena.
33"The Dolls' House, part 3"
(Finnish: Nukkekoti, osa 3)
Miikko OikkonenMiikko Oikkonen, Atro Lahtela, Matti Laine, Antti Pesonen30 October 2016 (2016-10-30)
Sorjonen and Jaakkola work together to find the culprit. Gösta Liljeqvist is arrested, and Katia and Lena reunite.
44"Dragonflies, part 1"
(Finnish: Sudenkorennot, osa 1)
Jyri KähönenMiikko Oikkonen, Matti Laine, Atro Lahtela, Antti Pesonen6 November 2016 (2016-11-06)
Single parent Emilia Serala smuggles drugs from St. Petersburg to Finland. Mika Tenhola, a young athlete, buys these drugs. Santeri Kaminen, a narcotics officer, is found dead in a hotel with twelve stab wounds. Mika is also found dead at his home.
55"Dragonflies, part 2"
(Finnish: Sudenkorennot, osa 2)
Jyri KähönenMiikko Oikkonen, Matti Laine, Atro Lahtela, Antti Pesonen13 November 2016 (2016-11-13)
Lena Jaakkola joins Sorjonen's team. They track down Ben Rantala, a friend of Mika's. He organized a house party, also attended by Sorjonen's daughter, Janina. Ben spikes Janina's drink, after which she is found unconscious in the pool.
66"The Fury, part 1"
(Finnish: Raivotar, osa 1)
Jyri KähönenMiikko Oikkonen, Antti Pesonen, Matti Laine, Atro Lahtela20 November 2016 (2016-11-20)
Coroner H.P. Lund is in a relationship with an escort, Natasha. One day, foam comes out of Natasha's mouth during sex, and she ends up in a hospital, where she has convulsions. It is found that Natasha has rabies from dog bites. At the same time, Degerman-family warehouses have been broken into, and dogfights have been organized there.
77"The Fury, part 2"
(Finnish: Raivotar, osa 2)
Jyri KähönenMiikko Oikkonen, Antti Pesonen, Matti Laine, Atro Lahtela27 November 2016 (2016-11-27)
Sorjonen's team and a Danish police officer work together. A club run by Iskariot Ranta is uncovered in the Lappeenranta quarry. Dogfighting is organized there, and Lena Jakkola and her daughter, Katia, are kidnapped and brought there.
88"The Lady in the Lake, part 1"
(Finnish: Nainen järvessä, osa 1)
Juuso SyrjäMiikko Oikkonen, Atro Lahtela, Antti Pesonen, Matti Laine4 December 2016 (2016-12-04)
A woman in a fishing trap is found in a lake. She is still alive but in bad condition. It is found that she was a sex worker in Russia. At the same time, politician Minttu Vestarinen's car has been stolen, and Sorjonen's boss wants to prioritize this case.
99"The Lady in the Lake, part 2"
(Finnish: Nainen järvessä, osa 2)
Juuso SyrjäMiikko Oikkonen, Atro Lahtela, Antti Pesonen, Matti Laine11 December 2016 (2016-12-11)
Politician Jaakko Anttila is found dead in a car that is pulled from a river in Russia. Both cases turn out to be connected. Minttu's husband, Ville, is found guilty.
1010"The End Game, part 1"
(Finnish: Loppupeli, osa 1)
Juuso SyrjäMiikko Oikkonen, Antti Pesonen, Atro Lahtela, Matti Laine18 December 2016 (2016-12-18)
Sorjonen's daughter, Janina, is found bloodied in a boat in the middle of Saimaa Lake. The body of Esko Kaartinen, a social worker, is also discovered on the boat. Janina does not remember what happened to her; she is accused of the murder and transported to Pelso prison. Other people are found missing: Seppo Paltemaa and Anne Volkoff, both of whom have been drugged. The suspect becomes Lasse Maasalo, a police lab worker. His house later burns down.
1111"The End Game, part 2"
(Finnish: Loppupeli, osa 2)
Juuso SyrjäMiikko Oikkonen, Antti Pesonen, Atro Lahtela, Matti Laine25 December 2016 (2016-12-25)
Maasalo is arrested and interrogated. Sorjonen cannot prove Maasalo is the culprit, however, as there is no physical evidence. After being released on bail, Maasalo commits suicide using a bomb. Prior to his death, he sends files to Sorjonen, proving his guilt. However, it is later found that Maasalo is still alive.

Season 2 (2018)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
121"Five Finger Exercise, part 1"
(Finnish: Viiden sormen harjoitus 1/2)
Jyri KähönenMiikko Oikkonen, Paula Mononen7 October 2018 (2018-10-07)
SECRI investigates the murder of a woman and her son, which may be connected to detective Lena Jaakkola's past actions in the FSB.
132"Five Finger Exercise, part 2"
(Finnish: Viiden sormen harjoitus 2/2)
Jyri KähönenMiikko Oikkonen, Paula Mononen14 October 2018 (2018-10-14)
The investigation continues as Lena, Kari, and Katia make contact with a Russian convict who claims to be Katia's biological father.
143"The Rite of Spring, part 1"
(Finnish: Kevätuhri 1/2)
Jyri Kähönen, Juuso SyrjäPaula Mononen, Miikko Oikkonen21 October 2018 (2018-10-21)
The manager of a local daycare becomes the subject of a SECRI investigation after an aborted fetus is discovered at her home.
154"The Rite of Spring, part 2"
(Finnish: Kevätuhri 2/2)
Jyri Kähönen, Juuso SyrjäPaula Mononen, Miikko Oikkonen28 October 2018 (2018-10-28)
Kari and the SECRI team uncover a conspiracy connected to a daycare manager's dark past.
165"Cat's Cradle, part 1"
(Finnish: Kissan kehto 2/2)
Juuso SyrjäAntti Pesonen, Miikko Oikkonen4 November 2018 (2018-11-04)
Niko leads the search for a deadly sniper, while Kari takes leave to look after Pauliina, who is undergoing cancer treatment.
176"Cat's Cradle, part 2"
(Finnish: Kissan kehto 2/2)
Juuso SyrjäAntti Pesonen, Miikko Oikkonen11 November 2018 (2018-11-11)
The search for the shooter intensifies as the police declare a curfew following more killings.
187"The Bloodmaid, part 1"
(Finnish: Verenneito 1/2)
Juuso SyrjäMiikko Oikkonen18 November 2018 (2018-11-18)
When a body is found in the wall of a student's flat, SECRI must find the link between the student, the victim, and another young woman reported missing.
198"The Bloodmaid, part 2"
(Finnish: Verenneito 2/2)
Juuso SyrjäMiikko Oikkonen25 November 2018 (2018-11-25)
More mutilated remains are discovered as SECRI searches for a killer with possible cannibalistic tendencies.
209"Without a Shadow, part 1"
(Finnish: Varjoa vailla Osa 1)
Jyri KähönenMiikko Oikkonen, Paula Mononen2 December 2018 (2018-12-02)
Two young men take the Sorjonen family hostage, forcing Kari to investigate the suspicious disappearance of their mother.
2110"Without a Shadow, part 2"
(Finnish: Varjoa vailla Osa 2)
Jyri KähönenMiikko Oikkonen, Paula Mononen9 December 2018 (2018-12-09)
The hostage situation at the Sorjonen household intensifies, as Lena travels to Russia to help Kari with the investigation.

Season 3 (2019–2020)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
221"Human Stain"
(Finnish: Ihmisen tahra)
Marko MäkilaaksoMiikko Oikkonen1 December 2019 (2019-12-01)
Deaths close to home affect the Sorjonen family and acquaintances.
232"The Human Beast 1/2"
(Finnish: Ihmispeto 1/2)
Juuso SyrjäMiikko Oikkonen, Sanna Reinumägi8 December 2019 (2019-12-08)
Body parts from multiple victims point to a killer interested in revenge.
243"The Human Beast 2/2"
(Finnish: Ihmispeto 2/2)
Juuso SyrjäMiikko Oikkonen, Sanna Reinumägi15 December 2019 (2019-12-15)
The body count mounts as Sorjonen tries desperately to out-think his opponent.
254"Sons and Lovers 1/3"
(Finnish: Poikia ja rakastajia 1/3)
Jussi HiltunenMiikko Oikkonen22 December 2019 (2019-12-22)
The Sorjonen family continues to grow distant from each other as Kari tries to solve the murder of a family patriarch.
265"Sons and Lovers 2/3"
(Finnish: Poikia ja rakastajia 2/3)
Jussi HiltunenMiikko Oikkonen29 December 2019 (2019-12-29)
Kari struggles with issues from his past as he searches for the guilty party; the Sorjonens grow further apart.
276"Sons and Lovers 3/3"
(Finnish: Poikia ja rakastajia 3/3)
Jussi HiltunenMiikko Oikkonen5 January 2020 (2020-01-05)
After another key suspect dies, Kari reveals a family secret from his past, while his daughter's behavior gets more bizarre.
287"The Lady in the Looking-Glass 1/2"
(Finnish: Nainen peilissä 1/2)
Marko MäkilaaksoPaula Mononen, Miikko Oikkonen12 January 2020 (2020-01-12)
A remote religious sect must deal with an unknown murderer, amidst uncovered secrets; Kari's daughter continues on a dangerous path.
298"The Lady in the Looking-Glass 2/2"
(Finnish: Nainen peilissä 2/2)
Marko MäkilaaksoPaula Mononen, Miikko Oikkonen19 January 2020 (2020-01-19)
The investigation of the sect members concludes as Kari and his daughter face a reckoning.
309"Chess Story 1/2"
(Finnish: (Shakkitarina 1/2)
Juuso SyrjäPaula Mononen, Miikko Oikkonen26 January 2020 (2020-01-26)
An old enemy re-emerges just as Kari finds himself confined at the local hospital in a medical lockdown.
3110"Chess Story 2/2"
(Finnish: Shakkitarina 2/2)
Juuso SyrjäPaula Mononen, Miikko Oikkonen2 February 2020 (2020-02-02)
Sorjonen races to save the town from Maasalo's poisonous plot, as the battle of wits between the two draws to a close.

Development and production[edit]

Bordertown is produced for Yle by Fisher King Production[6] and Federation Entertainment.[7][8][9][10] The series was presented at the MIPTV Media Market in Cannes on 3 April 2016, where it competed in the MIPDrama Screenings for the "Coup de Cœur" award.[11][12][13]

International distribution rights were acquired from Federation Entertainment in October 2016 by Sky Deutschland for Germany, CanalPlay for France, and VRT for Flanders (Dutch-speaking Belgium).[14] The series was sold to "over 40 countries".[15]

Bordertown was renewed for a second season on 25 April 2017,[16] with Kuusniemi, Sinisalo, Susi, Ainali, and Villi also reprising their roles.[15] Filming began in Lappeenranta on 8 August 2017 and wrapped in Helsinki on 7 November 2017.[17][18][19]

The series was renewed for a third season in September 2018,[20] with filming starting on 13 December 2018.[21] The season premiered in December 2019, and it has been labelled as the final one.[21][22]



Bordertown premiered on Yle TV1 on 16 October 2016.[23] The debut was watched by 1.1 million viewers and set a record for a Finnish series.[24] Total viewership for season one was an average of one million viewers.[15]

Season two premiered on 7 October 2018[25] (it was originally scheduled to premiere on 14 October).[26]

Season three premiered on 1 December 2019.[27]

Home media[edit]

Netflix acquired rights in February 2017 to stream the series in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Netherlands.[28] Streaming of season one became available on 31 March 2017, followed by season two on 2 February 2019, and season three on 11 May 2020.[29]

Season one was released on DVD and Blu-ray in Germany by EuroVideo on 14 February 2019, followed by season two on 11 April 2019.[30][31]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Bordertown won the 2017 Golden Venla Awards for Best Drama Series, Best Actor (Ville Virtanen), and Best Actress (Anu Sinisalo).[32][33]


Bordertown: The Mural Murders [fi], a film based on the series, premiered in the autumn of 2021 and featured the characters from the television series.[34][35] The film, an independent work, is being produced by Fisher King Oy. International distribution is also planned.[36][37] Netflix acquired rights on 1 December 2021.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ “I have to get me some of this”: Finnish films and TV series you should watch – thisisFINLAND
  2. ^ Ilta-Sanomat: Legendary horror writer Stephen King praises Finnish TV series - even fans in flames: “I love Ville Virtanen” – Legendaarinen kauhukirjailija Stephen King hehkuttaa suomalaista tv-sarjaa – fanitkin ilmiliekeissä: ”Rakastan Ville Virtasta” (in Finnish)
  3. ^ Lampinen, Jenna (27 March 2022). "Hollywood-tähti hullaantui suomalaissarjasta – hehkuttaa tv-sarjaa miljoonille seuraajilleen". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  4. ^ Juuti, Mikko (17 January 2022). "Monty Python -legenda ihastui suomalaissarjaan – ylistää tekijöitä Twitterissä". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Bordertown Blues; 29 November 2019; webPage; UPM online; accessed September 2020
  6. ^ "Bordertown". Fisher King Oy. 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Bordertown". Federation Entertainment. 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Nordic Noir gets a lighter Finnish". Drama Quarterly. 28 July 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  9. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (9 March 2016). "Federation, Fisher King Team on Nordic Noir Series 'Bordertown'". Variety. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  10. ^ Hopewell, John (2 April 2016). "'Marseille's' Pascal Breton on 'Bordertown,' Nordic Noir, Big Euro Co-pros and Crucial Change in Intl. TV (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Bordertown is coming to MipTV". ttvnews. TodotvMedia. 10 March 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Federation taking buyers to Bordertown". Television Business International. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  13. ^ Newby, Julian (11 May 2016). "MIPTV Fiction Wrap: Drama takes centre stage". MIPTrends. MIP Markets. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  14. ^ Pham, Annika (10 October 2016). "Bordertown Sells to Germany-France-Belgium". Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  15. ^ a b c Hannonen, Inka (17 January 2018). "Sorjosen toinen kausi menee ihon alle" [The second season of Sorjonen goes under the skin]. Yle (in Finnish). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  16. ^ Press Release (25 April 2017). "Sorjonen palaa Lappeenrantaan" [Sorjonen returns to Lappeenranta]. City of Lappeenranta (in Finnish). Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  17. ^ Pham, Annika (2 May 2017). "Summer shoot for Bordertown Season 2". Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Bordertown Begins Filming Season Two This August". Nordic Drama. 2 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  19. ^ Römpötti, Janne (10 August 2017). "Sorjosen tuotantotiimi aloitti uuden kauden kuvaukset Lappeenrannassa" [Sorjonen production team describes new season in Lappeenranta]. Uutisvuoksi (in Finnish). Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  20. ^ Maijala, Juho (26 September 2018). "Sorjonen palaa vielä Lappeenrantaan — Kolmas tuotantokausi näyttää, millainen kaupunki on talvella" [Sorjonen returns to Lappeenranta – the third season will show what kind of city it is in winter]. Etelä-Saimaa (in Finnish). Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  21. ^ a b Pham, Annika (13 December 2018). "Bordertown3 starts shooting for Yle". Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  22. ^ Jokainen meistä pystyy pahaan – Tulossa: Sorjonen 3. Yle Areena (in Finnish).
  23. ^ Ainamo-McDonald, Maria (23 August 2016). "Sorjonen – uusi kotimainen rikossarja" [Sorjonen – a new domestic crime series]. Yle (in Finnish). Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  24. ^ Pham, Annika (20 October 2016). "Finland's Fisher King signs first look deal with ZDFE". Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  25. ^ Yrttiaho, Tuomo (7 October 2018). "Kari Sorjonen palaa tänä iltana rikospaikalle – tv-sarjan vetovoima on yhä Ville Virtasen varassa" [Kari Sorjonen returns to the crime scene tonight – the TV series attraction is still Ville Virtanen]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Sanoma. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  26. ^ "Huippusuositun Sorjosen toinen kausi alkaa syksyllä – ensimmäisen jakson esityspäivä on selvillä" [The second season of highly popular Sorjosen begins in fall – the date of first episode is set]. Imatralainen (in Finnish). 22 January 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  27. ^ Slotte, Malin (26 August 2019). "Tio series att se fram emot i höst". Hufvudstadsbladet (in Swedish). Helsingfors. pp. 20–21.
  28. ^ Åkman, Erika (28 February 2017). "Suomalainen rikosdraama nähdään nyt myös USA:ssa! Netflix osti supersuositun Sorjosen" [Finnish crime drama is now seen also in the USA! Netflix acquires the super popular Sorjonen]. Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  29. ^ "First Look at What's Coming to Netflix in May 2020". What's on Netflix. 17 April 2020.
  30. ^ "Bordertown (Staffel 1)". Online-Filmdatenbank (in German). 6 December 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  31. ^ "Bordertown (Staffel 2)". Online-Filmdatenbank (in German). 8 February 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  32. ^ Pham, Annika (16 January 2017). "Clean sweep for Bordertown at Finnish Emmys". Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  33. ^ Vestrheim, Emma (17 January 2017). "BORDERTOWN wins at the Finnish Emmy's". Cinema Scandinavia. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  34. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (25 September 2020). "Netflix, Finland's Aurora Jump Into 'Bordertown – The Mural Murders' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  35. ^ "Nordic Noir : Netflix acquires Bordertown movie, The Mural Murders". The Killing Times. 29 September 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  36. ^ Kinnunen, Kalle (26 October 2020). "Parhaillaan kuvattava Sorjos-elokuva nähdään valkokankaalla vuoden kuluttua, Netflix innostui täyspitkästä leffasta jo ennen kuin sen käsikirjoitus oli selvillä". Etelä-Saimaa (in Finnish). Kaakon Viestintä. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  37. ^ "Sorjonen valloittaa valkokankaat" (in Finnish). 17 June 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  38. ^ "What's New on Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, and More in December 2021". TV Guide.

External links[edit]