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The Killing: Stonewalled

“I should've known, subtlety isn't exactly your strong suit.”

As some of you might have guessed I've not been feeling much love for The Killing lately. For the last three weeks the police have been circling around their prime suspect but are still no closer to knowing for certain whether or not Bennet killed Rosie. If it turns out that he's just another red herring (something that is looking increasingly likely) then at least a third of the season has been wasted chasing after false leads.

Even though I'm not happy about it I do understand why the writers are dragging this storyline out. This is a serialized show after all. They've got to try and stretch this all out for thirteen weeks and sometimes that can mean cougars encounters and episodes about tattoos. Maybe it would've been better if they hadn't bothered. Is there really anything wrong with revealing the identity of the killer sooner rather than later? It's something that both Dexter and Spiral have done in the past and neither of those shows suffered as a result. If anything, they both benefited because of it.

Oh well, could’a, would’a, should’a...

The Investigation

What 'Stonewalled' might have lacked in major plot developments it more than made up for it with some terrific character development for Linden and Holder. Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman both got the chance to shine in this episode, Kinnaman especially. I haven't exactly been equal in my distribution of praise when it comes to the cast. I'm often so busy gushing about Forbes and Sexton that I tend to neglect everyone else.

Might've took me eight episodes but I'm finally starting to warm up to Mireille Enos as Sarah Linden. She's still something of an inferior Sarah Lund clone but I'm not as bothered by that as I used to be. The Rosie Larsen case has become an obsession for our knitwear loving heroine. Everything else, including her son and fiancée, has become a secondary priority to her. All that matters is solving this case. Linden's put too much of herself into this investigation to quit now. And as a result she's starting to crack up bit by bit. She's not as stoic as she once was and her methods are a little more reckless.

But on a brighter note, at least her relationship with Holder has now improved.

Right from the start the two of them have had a tense relationship, one built on mistrust and lack of respect. Linden treats Holder like he's her personal dogsbody, often sending him off to run errands that she's too busy to do herself. She's frustrated by his less than professional attitude causing her to doubts his skills as an investigator. But Linden's finally got to see her partner in a whole new light as she followed him to the Narcotics Anonymous meeting and heard his confession. Kinnaman fully deserves a gold acting star for that scene.

Now their trust issues have been sorted out Linden and Holder have come to a new understanding with each other. She's finally starting to realise that, for all his personality faults, Holder is actually a capable detective. Something he demonstrated again tonight by getting that wire put on Bennet's phone (all that talk of wires and judges really made be nostalgic for Baltimore).

The Larsen Family

While Linden and Holder were growing stronger as a couple, Stan and Mitch were slowly falling apart. After briefly reconnecting yesterday/last week, Mitch has retreated back in the sanctuary of Rosie's room. Meanwhile, Stan is struggling to look after the boys and run his business.

Mitch's detachment from reality and her parental responsibilities has been obvious for weeks. I don't think it was really necessary to put the boys in danger just to tell us that. Worst of all we didn't get to see Mitch's reaction to what she'd done. I wasn't even sure she was aware of what had happened. I'm still not quite sure. When Stan confronted her about it she reacted almost like someone who didn't seem to care. Considering what she's been going through right now I can't see Mitch as the type of person who would reacting indifferently to her children being put in danger.

I can understand Stan's reasoning for packing up Rosie's stuff. If nearly killing her remaining children doesn't shock her out of her apathy then maybe dismantling her sanctuary will. But all this led to were bitter recriminations and further estrangement.

The Richmond Campaign

Closed until something interesting or relevant to everything else happens.

Notes and Quotes

--Jumperwatch: No change from last week. Chestnut must be getting seriously smelly by now.

--The intense focus on Bennet has also meant that clues that seemed important a few weeks ago, such as the expensive shoes, the key and Rosie's film, have all been virtually forgotten.

--How exactly it is in the public interest to show pictures of Rosie's murder?

--Holder has now been clean for six months. He was raised by his sister, Liz, who sacrificed her youth to look after him. He repaid her by stealing from her and his nephew to feed his addiction.

--Linden, I hope this will teach you to have all your sensitive case files password protected from now on.

Holder: “Yo, it's called a detective shield, Einstein. As in tonight's breaking news federal agents makes asses of themselves jumping two homicide cops.”

Principle Myers: “No one's accusing you, Mr Ahmed.”
--Apart from the police, the Mayor, the press, Belko, Belko's mate at the school...

Linden: “Why don't you make yourself useful and stay here and do nothing.”

Mitch: “And he's still out there. You still haven't arrested him. You've done nothing.”

FBI Agent: “You just broke chain of custody.”
Linden: “Too bad it's your ass.”

Linden: “You have any idea what you put that girl's family through?”
Jack “Figures, you only care about other people's families.”

Stan: “We gotta focus on the future, Mitch.”
Mitch: “The Future? It's been a week.”
Stan: “I know what happened this morning. The boys could've been... we have responsibilities, Mitch.”
Mitch: “I'm not the one taking responsibility? You let her stay home that weekend.”
Stan: “And if weren't so strict, maybe she wouldn't have hid things from us.”

Holder: “Is there something you want to ask me?”
Linden: “Not anymore.”
Holder: “Good, 'cause what you see is what you get.”

Before I go I'd just like to apologise for the lateness of this review.
---
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.

4 comments:

Paul Kelly said...

The Killing US continues to entertain but never quite manages to shine. Holder's the best think about the remake. He's the only character that feels truly separate from his Forbrydelsen counterpart, Meyer. The writers really seem to have added some nice depth to his character. I wonder if Holder's story-line will follow Meyer's? The answer to that question may well determine whether I watch a second season.

Paul Kelly said...

I meant "thing" not "think". But you knew that already, right?

Billie Doux said...

This show has been losing me a bit, too, but this episode drew me back in. It's still Holder who is Holding me. Linden is getting more interesting, but she just hasn't grabbed me, and that's not good when you're talking about the lead.

Jess Lynde said...

Episodes about cougars and tattoos. Tee hee!

I'm also on the "this is starting to lose me" train. I'm starting to have to force myself to watch it. It isn't so bad once I'm watching, but getting up the desire to sit through it is a challenge sometimes. Holder certainly makes it worth it. And I thought Linden was fantastic when she got that phone call and realized that her son was the one who leaked the crime scene photos. What a gut punch. Hopefully that and getting her head on straight about Holder puts the two of them back on the right investigative track.

I agree, Mark, that this show makes me a bit nostalgic for Baltimore and that I can't see how releasing those crime scene photos was in anyone's interest except the news organizations. Sigh.

Also, love your new stance on the Richmond Campaign. If only the show could take the same approach.