Lund v Mathison

Two makes a trend, right? After the unsmiling Danish detective Sarah Lund in The Killing, Carrie Mathison of Homeland is the latest troubled female investigator to grace our screens. It's still early days for the CIA agent Mathison (Claire Danes) - we don't know if she will lose it à la Lund (Sofie Gråbøl) and get demoted to traffic duty, or whatever Lund was doing in that rainy Danish seaport, but we've seen enough of her wide eyes and nervous chatter to expect an upset. So, how do they compare?

Risk-taking So far, Mathison has been illegally filming a former hostage and US marine in his home. Risky. Lund also takes matters into her own hands, which often involves her wandering around a deserted warehouse looking for a murderer with only a faltering torch for company. Also risky: a draw.

Inner turmoil Lund is troubled in a below-the-radar, emotionally stunted, no personal life sort of way. Mathison is troubled in more of a slap-you-round-the-face way: pill-popping, exaggerated facial expressions and fast talking. Neither seems to care much - but Lund has to win this one.

Deduction skills You knew when Lund was having a thought because the music would go all tinkly and she'd get a faraway look in her eyes, before going off on her own without telling anyone where. Her intuition is legendary. Mathison, so far, bases her theories on guilt-fuelled paranoia. Not promising. Point to Lund.

Family life Lund has a long-suffering, neglected mother; Mathison has a long-suffering, neglected sister. A draw.

Famous clothing You can't beat the woollen iconography of the Lund jumper. Clear win.

Final score It's 5-2 to Lund.

The Dane triumphs! (Over Danes. Sorry. Couldn't resist).

“Homeland" is on Channel 4 on Sundays at 9pm

Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

This article first appeared in the 12 March 2012 issue of the New Statesman, The weaker sex