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The Killing: Undertow

[Note: Sorry for the extreme lateness of this review. My computer's been in the shop this past week to have a new hard drive installed after my last one failed.]

“By the weekend I'm gonna be working as a security guard at the Space Needle.”

Well, thank God that's finally over with. Okay, technically its not really over yet. There are bound to be some serious repercussions for the bad decisions some of our characters made in this episode.

So it turns out Rosie really did just stop by Bennet's place to drop off some school books. The reason Bennet was acting all shifty was because he and Mohammed were trying to help another young girl escape from her circumcision loving parents. And his reward for being such a good Samaritan? Bennet ended up like the other guy in the story, the one who was beaten to pulp and left by the side of the road to die. Is he dead? Possibly. I'm just glad that now we know for certain that Bennet Ahmed didn't kill Rosie Larsen. He didn't do it. The end. Now, lets get back to the issue of those expensive shoes...

It was shame to see Stan became that man again. It was even more of a shame that, of all people, it was Mitch who virtually pushed him into making such a boneheaded decision. This is all cruelly ironic since she and Rosie were the reasons Stan stopped being that man in the first place.

What's worse is that all the bad decisions these people made were the results of a rather preposterous coincidence. The writers really are asking a lot if they expect us to swallow that Rosie and the Somalian girl both just happened to own the exact same t-shirt. Honestly, that's the sort of hackneyed plot twist I'd expect CSI: Random City to resort to. It was nothing more than a deliberate false clue, planted there with no other purpose than to make a certain character look more guilty than they actually are. This was done with more ambiguity in the Danish series. There it was never made clear if it was the murdered girl's shirt or if the mother was just saying it was in order to bring about justice for her daughter.

With only four episodes left this season I am starting to worry that they won't be able to wrap this mystery up in a satisfying way. There no getting away from the fact that the show has now become a chore to get through. The pace has started pick up somewhat in the last few episodes but is it a case of too little too late? Going by recent viewing figures a lot of people have already decided that they don't give a damn who killed Rosie Larsen.

It is obvious that the bosses at AMC wanted The Killing to become the sort of watercooler drama that everyone is talking about. But that honour has, rather deservedly, gone to Game of Thrones instead. My parents always used to say that “I want doesn't always get.” And don't I know it. I'm still waiting for that Sega Mega Drive I wanted for my eleventh birthday.

Notes and Quotes


--Jumperwatch: After a brief cameo at the start Chestnut is sadly replaced by the latest addition to the Sarah Linden autumn collection, a rather disappointing grey turtle neck.

--There is obviously something seriously wrong with Belko. He was practically rabid when he and Stan were attacking Bennet. When Stan wouldn't let him beat up the teacher he started beating up a rock instead. A freakin' rock!

--I am loving the new and improved Linden/Holder partnership. The make much more effective crime fighting team now that they actually trust one another. Linden is even covering for Holder's screw ups.

Linden: “It was my idea, I told him to set up the tap.”
Lt. Oaks: “You're supposed to keep him from screwing up not show him how.”

Linden: “Anything?”
Holder: “I got nothing from these Deadliest Catch fools.”

Linden: “If you don't talk we will have to hand you over to the FBI.”
Holder: “Yeah, and those Virginia farm boys, they're going to pull some crazy Guantanamo rendition shit on your ass.”
---
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.

6 comments:

Billie Doux said...

This series is losing me, too, Mark, and for the reasons you cited. What they just did with the two girls didn't work at all for me. I'm still interested enough that I plan to watch this season until the end, though.

Paul Kelly said...

I find it baffling that they held back from wrecking Bennet earlier in the season, only to do it here. Why? To to confound the expectations of the Forbrydelsen fans? Great comment about Belko and that rock. He went mental! I actually burst out laughing at his OTT aggression. Dear God, that was so weird. Belko clearly isn't the killer. He'd never have just drowned Rosie. He'd have put her through an egg slice first, deep fried her remains, and then battered them wafer thin with a steak mallet. And then sunk her in the lake.

Jess Lynde said...

A friend recently asked me if she should bother catching up with the four back episodes of this show she had waiting on her DVR. I didn't have to think on it very long before telling her no. Sigh. And it started off so well.

When this episode was over, my first thought was much like Mark's. Thank God that's finally over with. But then I immediately got a bit pissed that we were back to Square One with only 4 episodes to go. I don't know that I'd mind so much if it hadn't been painfully obvious that Bennett wasn't the guy, but it was so clear that we were treading water and chasing false leads that it all ended up feeling like wasted time. Erg.

It seems like this is another case where the pacing of time within the show vs. the time it takes to unspool for the audience is hurting the narrative. Because Holder and Linden (and I, too, am loving their united partnership) only wasted four days chasing Bennett (give or take). We just wasted a month! I think this show might have worked much better as a two-week miniseries. They could have marketed it as an event.

Belko's "rage against the rock" moment completely freaked me out. And, it made me wonder if he might have hurt Rosie in a similar freak out.

Well, I'm in until the end at this point. But only because I've invested too much time at this point to not see it through.

Josie Kafka said...

Ditto to all. Hang in there, Mark: I've reviewed DyingShows before, and I know it can be hard.

Billie, you look lovely today.

Billie Doux said...

Why, thank you, Josie! It's my new avatar. A Dimitri creation, like yours. I got a bit tired of my chat noir and was ready for something new.

Paul Reed said...

After nine episodes worth of comments, I can't make my mind up why The Killing fails where Forbrydelsen succeeded. Every criticism levelled at The Killing could also be made of its parent show. It, too, was notoriously slow paced, and full of false leads and red herrings. Yet, for ten weeks (20 episodes in total), it was spellbinding viewing. Maybe the bleakness of Copenhagen, coupled with the unfamiliarity of the actors, and the unusual style of the show, made it feel different. It was like looking through a window into another world. Yet watching The Killing is just like looking at any US police procedural. Nothing sets it apart.

Plus, as you say, the US version likes to tie up all the loose threads to the point where there's no mystery left. And much as I like the pairing of Linden and Holder, the relationship between Lund and Meyer was, to my eyes, infinitely superior. It was inexplicably hostile at times, yet we never really knew why. (Outside of professional jealousy...unless Meyer's love of bananas was the key.) Holder being an addict is an answer to why he is like he is. But did we really need that explaining? Meyer and Lund's eventual trust of each other was born out of a professional respect. It was painful, it took time, it was begrudging, but, ultimately, it felt real. Linden and Holder's relationship, despite having a rocky start, has followed a fairly predictable path. Sure, they're a bit messed up. But inside they're basically good people. They just have problems. Lund and Meyer's personalities were more complex, more ill defined, and somehow more edgy. They explained sod all to us, yet we were still satisfied. They felt more like real people.