Having used last week’s two-part season premiere to work through some feelings, I am now ready to move on with The Killing rather than keep latching onto my issues from last year. Unfortunately, this week’s episode was not nearly as good or compelling as last week’s two episodes. Like I said then, the show is good at establishing an ambiance, but it lacks substance. Numb continued to prove that by sapping most of the forward momentum of the previous two episodes and returning the show to its general, plodding demeanor. I have no problem with a series moving at its own pace, and I once again must mention how much I loved Rubicon, but The Killing offers little to balance its padding-friendly pacing of “this is the week that X happens. No more, no less.”
As we enter day 16 of the investigation, Linden is continuing to pick up threads from last year. She’s still futilely demanding access to the Indian (Native American) casino’s cameras. She gets a warrant to search the headquarters of Beau Soleil, but the place burns down, leaving no evidence behind, not even computers. Later, after someone else goes through camera footage from nearby buildings, she discovers that a Larsen company van was being driven near Beau Soleil by the guy with the Ogi Jun tattoo whom she is convinced is the key to Rosie Larsen’s murder. Which means that he is not the key to Rosie Larsen’s murder.
Lt. Oakes, Linden and Holder’s former boss, tells her to stop digging into the case in a half-hearted way that sold the futility of their jobs, but would fail to dissuade even the most cowardly person to give up on the quest. This scene also had the weird result of taking away the power of the conspiracy, and I’m actually torn about it. On the one hand, I appreciated the realism that a “victim” of the conspiracy is tired and only wants his pension, having spent his career having his soul crushed. But because we don’t know much about the conspiracy, basing our impressions around Oakes’ reaction makes it seem less scary. Many people at the end of their careers are tired and only want their pensions, even without being under the thumb of puppet masters. And Linden’s chronic dourness inspires neither passion or vengeance when it comes to discovering more about or crushing Rainville’s overlords.
On the Holder front, he is depressed over losing his partner and realizing that he’s a patsy, so he turns to Narcotics Anonymous before (possibly) returning to drugs. After Linden gets an emergency call that Holder’s acting crazy, she drives to where he is (pacing on a traffic median), tells him to stop it (“Come on! Get out of here! Before I leave you here!”), and he does so. They then retrieve the real Rosie Larsen bloody backpack from Holder’s car. It’s nice that we didn’t have to wait much longer for Holder and Linden to decide to work together again, but this change in attitude still seemed kind of rushed. I’d like to believe that the impact of this schism will affect the rest of the series and their relationship, but Linden never liked Holder in the first place. Acting annoyed and distrustful of his presence was her general demeanor for most of last year. Then again, acting annoyed and distrustful about everything is her general demeanor.
Mitch Larsen returns tonight, and she’s taking a private trip up the Pacific Northwest where she stays in hotels and sleeps with random strangers. It’s a continuation of Mitch Larsen Is Depressed from last year, but Forbes sells despondency well, even if it is a tad redundant. Stanley Larsen is angry at the police for the series of events that led to the death of Belko, and for keeping the truth about how his daughter died to him. He gets the information from the Polish mob, which has regained an interest in using Stanley for their own devices, and they attempt to lure him back into the fold by providing information and letting him know they know where his family lives. Moreover, these crime lords play a role with Beau Soleil, as the escort service’s files were being erased from a computer at Janek’s restaurant. Terry continues to play the mom role.
Meanwhile, Richmond is still paralyzed from the attempt on his life, and in this episode, he mourns over losing the use of and feelings in his legs. This storyline puzzles me because it forces me to ponder the point of this show. The core of The Killing is the investigation into Rosie Larsen’s murder, even if her death seems to be getting overshadowed. Nevertheless, although she was found in a Richmond campaign car, Richmond himself (presumably) no longer serves a purpose to the story. Holder and Linden are investigating the crime. The Larsens are her family. The Polish mob has something to do with Beau Soleil, which has something to do with the mystery of who Rosie Larsen was.
But Richmond himself no longer has that connection. Being a victim of vigilante justice related to the Larsen case is not the same as being connected to the actual Larsen murder. It would be like following Amber Ahmed into this season. If this show had a wider scope or was more about the city and its citizens, then I could understand following his story. However, this show’s concentration is very narrow and does not suit the unrelated, personal story of Richmond’s paralysis. If the show needed representatives for the Richmond campaign car thread, there’s Gwen and Jamie, both of whom are still hiding things that could be directly related to the case and are connected to power players in the city’s political world. While those two get scenes on their own, they are not as prevalent as Richmond himself. Maybe we are supposed to care about Richmond as a character outside of the murder, but him flirting with a nurse or dealing with being a paraplegic does not cut it.
• The Holder Line of the Night- to his nephew: “Slayin’ them ladies with your mad ladies’ skills?” I would count this as a joke, except he usually talks like that.
• Jack knew where the tattoo came from. I called it last week. It comes from a Manga comic book, and I hope the show doesn’t go Seduction of the Innocent on us.
• Apparently, Rainville PD’s cameras produce clearer pictures the more you zoom in.
• Linden: “I can’t open the attachment.” Tech Guy: “Click on the button that says download attachment.” That was actually part of tonight’s episode. Tune in next week when Linden mistakes her CD drive for a cup holder and uses her mouse as a foot pedal.