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The Killing: Vengeance

“I don't wanna be that man again. I can't.”

One of the strengths of The Killing has been its commitment to creating a sense of realism (television realism, at least) while other crime shows are happy to go for sensationalism and absurdities, like crime labs that look more like the bridge of the Enterprise. But all that hard work went out the window in this episode. Not once, but twice.

First there was Mayor Adams' latest campaign ad, in which he basically accused Bennet of killing Rosie. The Mayor really needs a moustache he can twirl with relish. As time goes on he becomes less and less credible and more pantomime. Would any serious politician would risk a slander case by airing a campaign ad that basically accuses someone of being a murderer without any evidence? Not only has it hindered a major murder investigation but if Bennet is proven to be innocent it would give Richmond more than enough ammunition to use against the Mayor. But as ridiculous as the ad was, at least it interrupted Darren and Gwen's awkward sex scene. For that we should at least be thankful.

The episode's second “oh, now come on!” moment came at the end when the FBI suddenly stormed into the show uninvited. Not only does this make for a stupid cliff-hanger (like our dynamic duo are in any danger) but bringing the War on Terror in to the story just seems silly. Will there ever come a time when television can tell a story featuring Muslims without it becoming about terrorism in some way? Osama's dead, people, let us try and move on from these modern storytelling clichés.

The Investigation

Are we ever going to find out more about this other case, the one with the kid? It seems to be the primary motivation for Linden's almost obsessive hunt for Rosie's killer and all we've had so far are tiny nibbles of information. Frankly, I don't think we need this. It just seems like an easy and unoriginal way to explain Linden's character and the reasoning behind her actions. But if the writers are going to insist on going forward with this I'd like to know exactly what happened and why it affected Linden so much.

I was disappointed that neither Linden or Holder was able to put two and two together when they were told about that missing girl. I wanted to scream at both of them in my best Bobby Singer voice “This is a significant clue, ya idjits!”. I'm disappointed in Linden most of all. She's the observant one, the one whose special power is that she notices little details that others (mainly Holder) tend to miss.

The Larsen Family

Since Rosie was killed Mitch and Stan have been keeping a safe distance from each other, both emotional and physically. Stan opening up finally gave them a chance to reconnect even if it was only for a brief time. I think it's time we had another round of applause for Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton. The Killing can be a little hit and miss at times but both of them have been consistently brilliantly right from the start. They both deserve to up there come award season, although I feel Sexton will be walking away empty handed. Peter Dinklage is the one gonna be Colin Firthing it this year.

The Richmond Campaign

We learned that Darren's wife was killed because of a drunk driver. Darren still can't bring himself to forgive the woman responsible and, for reasons that haven't been made clear yet, himself. But to be perfectly honest, I don't care anymore. I'm about ready to give up on this storyline completely. There's virtually nothing of interest going on nor a single character worth rooting for. Richmond is too dull, Gwen too icy and the gerbil too loathsome.

Notes and Quotes

--Jumperwatch: Rejoice! Chestnut is still in rotation.

--Nice to see Linden bonding with her son over the correct way to shoot someone. Paintball. It brings people together. Just as long as the prize isn't too valuable and things get way out of hand.

--Man, Mitch and Terry's mother is one nagging, backhanded bitch. She's almost a Russell T. Davies creation.

--How is it that Seattle isn't flooded by now? It has been raining every day for a week. Seriously, if I were living there I would've started building an ark by this point.

Jamie “You stick around here long enough, Gwen, you might eventually learn something from someone who knows about politics.”
Gwen: “Why, are we hiring someone new?”

Linden: “I don't want to do this anymore, I'm finished with this life but I just have to wrap up this case.”
Reggie: “That's exactly what you said about the other case, with the kid. And you're doing exactly the same things that almost lost you custody of your son.”

Holder: “You got your commitment issues, that's fine. But don't be using them to mess up my career.”

Linden: “That thing you do, where you run your mouth off without thinking, that explains a lot, too.”

Holder: “Man, them Taliban just messing with us.”
---
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.

4 comments:

Paul Reed said...

I hate to keep on comparing it to Forbrydelsen, but I was disappointed that the Stan/Bennet storyline ended with such a whimper. Its violent finale was one of the major plot points in the original series. In fact, I'm starting to worry that the writers won't have the courage to follow through on some of the plot twists still to come. Maybe the terrorism cliff-hanger was supposed to make up for the diluted Stan/Bennet wrap-up. Which, if the case, is a pity because it was naff.

Josie Kafka said...

Mark, you've raised so many good points. It has to all come together though, right? They must have planned the whole season out in advance, so each thread must be there for a reason...

[When I start asking defensive questions like that, it's usually not a good sign.]

Mark Greig said...

Josie, I think the writers were fortunate enough that the Danes had already planned out a whole season for them. It looks like all they had to do was pick and choose which bits to keep, which to lose and which to change.

I wish they'd chosen to lose the political storyline.

Gus Brunetti said...

It pains me too say that this is the first time AMC drops the ball. I mean, Rubicon started badly, but by this time in the season it had gathered steam and we were already into the characters and the mystery.

This show is losing me, and I'll only keep watching it because of the Larsen family, and because there are only 13 eps a season. But I don't care who wins the election. I don't care if the teacher is a pedophile, a murderer, a terrorist or just a great teacher. I don't care who killed Rosie.

And the biggest problem, as someone who's read a few Agatha Christie's books too many, is that all the clues we have are dismissed by the end of the episode or the next. We have no sense that we're going deeper into the investigation, only around it. And real life may well be like this, but it doesn't make for compellig television (to use a good phrase the reviewers here like to use).

The character that moved me the most whose last name isn't Larsen is Linden's fiancée. I really understand his frustration and anger, what with her choosing her job over him.

And when a character that has barely appeared is one of the most compelling in your show, that's also a bad sign.

I hope they tie it together in a nice package and a pretty bow, but no good ending can make up for a dull ride *cough* Dogville *cough*