California Literary Review

The Killing Recap: Ogi Jun (Season 2, Episode 4)

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April 16th, 2012 at 3:33 am

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Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) in The Killing Season 2, Episode 4 Ogi Jun-

Breaking new ground, tonight’s episode of The Killing features Sarah Linden staring

Photo Credit: Carole Segal/AMC

If there’s one thing we should take from tonight, it’s that The Killing hasn’t planned ahead. Despite trying to pretend that the mystery is intricate, it’s really just making it up as it goes along. While most of us figured that out long ago, one scene tonight made it too obvious to ignore.

In this scene, Linden and Holder (FINALLY) return to Rosie’s (former) school to ask Sterling about the guy with the tattoo. Sterling, who I felt was a grossly underutilized character and storyline during Season 1, knows him, knows that he has a criminal record, and knows that he’s spent some time “standing outside Rosie’s house, staring at her.” She gives this up readily, without any prodding, and volunteers to help further.

This is the type of information that Sterling should have really revealed at the start of the investigation. I’m not saying that having a criminal past automatically makes someone a murderer. I’m just saying it’s the type of data that might assist in solving the crime. Sterling’s obvious uncomfortability when talking about Alexi also forced me to wonder why she didn’t suggest it during the initial days. To be fair, she still seems emotionally shocked from Rosie’s death so that might affect how she speaks, but the only logical reason I can think of for her keeping this secret is that the writers hadn’t thought of it yet.

 Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) in The Killing Season 2, Episode 4, Ogi Jun

Two detectives, who must unwittingly spin their wheels for at least seven more weeks.

Photo credit: Cate Cameron/AMC

Having said that, the majority of the episode is on Holder and Linden searching for the tattoo bearer by questioning everyone except Stan Larsen, whose company he presumably works for. They visit Corey Petersen, an FBI mob expert with whom Linden once had a fling; Sterling; and social workers to receive access to his foster child file (it’s cool because it could solve a murder). At the end, we learn that Alexi, a kid from the wrong side of the tracks, is really the son of the guy who Stan killed to escape from the Polish mob. It’s basic police investigative work, nothing particularly interesting or exciting, and, though it could have been condensed, wasn’t terrible.

Nevertheless, all of this information points to the high probability that Alexi Gifford isn’t Rosie Larsen’s killer, even with his angry sketch of her. If this were a show about the sins of the father, as Holder put it, then it would make sense for Alexi to be the murderer. But this is a show about twists and the deviant practices of the rich and powerful. For everything to come down to a family vendetta between blue collar families would make most of the show pointless and take away Holder and Linden’s excuse for going after the conspiracy. And besides, this is only episode 4 of 13. Making the Larsen murder something so simple is an episode 12 or 13 twist.

In other matters, we learn that Linden’s ex-husband Greg is suing her for custody of their son. While I’m sure Greg wasn’t the best father for most of Jack’s life, Linden’s coldness makes her seem to treat Jack as more of a piece of property she wants to keep than a son she needs to protect. I don’t think she deserves to lose custody, but I wouldn’t be against Greg getting some time with him, if only to take Jack away from the show. I do find it interesting that Greg isn’t on AMC’s The Killing site while Monica Krol, Alexi’s birth mother whose first appearance was tonight, is.

 Janek Kavarsky (Don Thompson) and Stan Larsen (Brent Sexton) in The Killing Season 2

As a mob boss, Janek is stereotypically obligated to own a restaurant.

Photo Credit: Carole Segal/AMC

On the Larsen home front, the kids are beginning to act up, particularly the oldest son, and they’re fed up with Aunt Terry and the lack of a real mother. In a good scene, Stan shows up at his son’s school and tells him to beat up the biggest kid talking ill about Rosie. I don’t know whether this intentionally or unintentionally paralleled the scene from season 1 where Linden teaches Jack how to shoot a gun, but it worked for me.

Stan also visits Janek, who asks him if it was worth leaving the mob. I never really had an opinion about Janek before this episode, but now I see him as such an over-the-top caricature. His entire “give me your poor, your huddled masses” speech was so poorly written and delivered that it saps any threat from him or his organization. He’s a guy whose mob training came from watching a lot of crime movies. I give him three episodes before he tries to pass off “offer he can’t refuse” as his own.

I still maintain my position from last week about the pointlessness of depressed Darren Richmond (who now wants to drop out of the City Council race) on The Killing. Disconnected for everything else, it feels like an entirely different show where [actual dialogue] Jamie: “What does he care about?” A teary-eyed Gwen: “Being Darren Richmond again!” [/actual dialogue] would fit. And I couldn’t tell if the “Put Me in the Chair” scene was supposed to be funny or not or funny then sad, but I’m going with funny through and through.

Also tonight, the clearly-hiding-something Mayor comes to visit Darren and pledges that he’d support Richmond four years from now (well, from last year) in a mayoral bid. So to all you posters who assumed the Mayor is involved, it’s safe to say that you’re probably right. Now we just have another nine weeks of dawdling before Holder and Linden realize it.

Additional Thoughts:

• After some research, I discovered that Sterling’s last episode before this one was A Soundless Echo, episode 4 of the first season. They really dropped the ball on her storyline. Kacey Rohl also played Marin in The Born-Again Identity, the episode of Supernatural that featured Castiel’s return.
• Holder calls sausage “sallsage.”
• Holder calls Petersen a “Tom Waits wannabe.” After the episode ended, I actually rewatched the scene to figure out if the Ray Wise-haired Peterson had ANY Tom Waitsiness about him. I couldn’t figure it out. I guess his voice had a slight rasp to it, but nothing particularly noticeable. He didn’t have the cool attitude or personality of Tom Waits. He didn’t wax poetically about lost loves, loneliness, being better off without a wife, aimless drifters, or the Good Old World. I still can’t understand where Holden got Tom Waits from; he just seemed like your typical TV fed.
• During the scene where they visit Petersen, Holder mockingly puts on the G-Man’s glasses and Linden wordlessly tells him to knock it off. It’s was a nice moment between the two. I don’t need to be completely negative about this show.

  • lisa g.

    Nice recap. I’m getting closer and closer to checking out until the finale.

  • adr

    I’m going to ahead and put it out there: I was LIVID that the show didn’t solve the murder in season 1. That being said, I got over it and decided to trust the show’s process. I am starting to feel crazy because of all of the negative feedback but I am really enjoying this season. We have to keep in mind that 17 “days” have passed from the murder in Season 1 to last night (season 2 – ep. 4). I think the those in charge have decided to make this show decidedly different from CSI and other crime dramas. In line with AMC’s “character-driven” television, The Killing provides us with some of the best acting I have seen in a while in Holder. I’m not sure if the “sausage” comment was meant to be pejorative or not (as the actor is Swedish) or just pointing out that he pronounced the word in such a way to provide some lightness to what is described as a “gloomy” show.
    The last thing I am going to say is the Linden DID try to approach Stan about the tattoo. He wanted nothing to do with her or the investigation. The show is more than just a “crime” show. It is a show about the aftermath of losing a child, a loved one, your quality of life. Why anyone would expect glitter, unicorns and rainbows out of this show beats me.

  • Brett Harrison Davinger

    I hope I didn’t give the impression that I want or expect the show to be “glitter, unicorns, and rainbows.” I like, and many times even prefer, depressing material. But it needs to be executed well, and I think that’s where The Killing fails. Sometimes dour is just dour – a mopey demeanor doesn’t mean that it’s better than a fluffy show, or deeper, or more human, or more intelligent.

    While The Killing has good actors (I can admit that) and atmosphere, the writing and plot development often come across as very hacky and cliche. Linden’s “but he’s my son!” “she cares too much!” “this time it’s personal!” doesn’t hit me on an emotional level. The show doesn’t make these issues seem legitimate, it’s more like the writers understand that TV/movie female cops usually have these problems and they therefore must be included in their TV female cop. This isn’t to say that these elements can’t be done well or given additional depth to make them seem fresh, I just don’t think The Killing does that. And, like I said in an earlier review, the entire giant overarching conspiracy saps a lot of the realism (and therefore emotional potential) out of it for me. It becomes less about what happens when a child dies tragically and more soap opera-y.

    I talked about this in this recap, but for a show that truly has substance, I shouldn’t be able to say that Alexi Giffords isn’t the killer because it’s episode 4 of 13. While some shows might suit themselves towards predicting plotpoints based on how many episodes are left (24 is the perfect example), a show that purports to be hard-hitting and serious shouldn’t be.

  • Secret_Elder_of_a_Gentle_Race

    I for one am extremely disappointed by this show. It had some promise in season 1, as we got to know the characters and the twists and turns of the murder investigation. I absolutely agree with Davinger’s review. The writers and producers of this show are making up the plotline as they go along, because I don’t think writer and producer Veena Sud really ever gave any thought to how she could progress the story line, which focuses on a single murder.

    The story has become stale and predictiable, as Detectives Linden and Holder, in every episode, find a suspect whom they are sure murdered Rosie Larsen, only to find out at the last minute that the suspect is innocent. The character development has also become tedious and disingenuous. Mitch abandons her family and sleeps around as a way of coping with her daughter’s death? C’mon. Holder relapsing? Linden resigns from the police force only to decide to come back on a moment’s notice? No police force would ever allow that.

    Anyway, I’m going to go on record as saying that Stan Larsen, the father, suffers from multiple personality disorder and is the one who killed his own daughter, Rosie. Given this show’s blatant similarities to a far better show from the early 90’s, Twin Peaks, it wouldn’t surprise me.

  • gemini72

    What was it that Stan found on the floor or his truck, when he was washing it?

  • sarah

    Good reviews. I like this show. I enjoy the surprises. We have too many predictable stories out there. I would be happy if they were able to add more outside scenes.

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