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The Killing Recap: Ghosts of the Past (Season 2, Episode 5)

Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) in The Killing Season 2, Episode 5 Ghosts of the Past-

Sarah Linden stares some more

Photo Credit: Carole Segal/AMC

If you missed tonight’s episode of The Killing, you missed…pretty much nothing. Well maybe two things of “note” happened. First, Stan kisses Terry after discovering that he actually, shockingly, might go to jail for 3 to 5 years after beating up Bennet Ahmed (who is doing just fine) last season. But the second, to paraphrase Skyler White, is a doozy, so hold onto your hats. Stan Larsen might not be Rosie’s biological father. Yes. The show that tries so desperately to pretend to have depth and realism throws one of the biggest soap opera twists of all into the mix, because it is clearly not confident enough to succeed on character alone.

Everything else is pretty much what we’ve seen before from this show. Linden and Holder do amateur detective work that they still manage to bungle. After arresting Alexi, they learn that they only have eight hours to interrogate him because he was asleep when they brought him in. For a moment, I thought this episode was going to turn into a take on the classic Homicide: Life on the Street episode “Three Men And Adena,” where it would concentrate exclusively on Holder and Linden interrogating Alexi for the remainder of the running time. Instead, it’s the same basic (basic as in typical for this show and basic as in it’s TV Cop 101) good cop/bad cop Linden/Holder scenario, and it only takes up a small percentage of the episode. But we do get our ‘the lawyer comes at the exact moment the suspect is about to talk’ moment. However, the kid does end up calling on Holder and Linden to tell them the Larsen father twist. Also, Alexi is actually Rosie’s really close friend whom she called in fear for her life on the night that she died. As expected, he is probably NOT the killer.

In Linden’s personal life, as usual, her kid takes second place to her work. Even as Jack suffers from a severe illness, she barely cares. When Linden eventually returns home, she sees her ex-husband watching over Jack so she calls the cops on him. I’ve complained about this before, but it’s really hard to side with Linden in this situation. Not because “[she] care[s] more about that dead girl than [she] do[es her] own son!,” but because she really doesn’t seem to care about Jack regardless. I get no warmth, understanding, or compassion from her towards him, which makes Jack come across more like something she uses against her ex than someone she loves. And, to be completely honest, I don’t see her as particularly interested in the Rosie Larsen case either. Then again, I’ve always thought that Linden lacks the obsessiveness I think they want us to think the character has.

Mitch Larsen (Michelle Forbes) in The Killing Season 2

Mitch Larsen in happier times.

Photo Credit: Carole Segal/AMC

In the land of the Larsens, we finally see Mitch again, and she’s befriending the teenage runaway who kind of looks like Rosie. You can tell that she’s a bad girl because she has piercings AND a colored streak in her hair. Mitch tries to understand Rosie through her, but this proves futile. Nevertheless, the two of them had decent chemistry, and Michelle Forbes brought a humanity to the scenes they shared that is missing in pretty much the rest of the show. Of all the actors on the show (and most of them are, admittedly, good performers, even if they are brought down by lacklustre material), Forbes is the one that best captures the ‘tragedy of a dead child’ angle of the show.

Back In Rainville, Stan goes to the police station to rat out his former mob friends since he now feels threatened by them. But Linden, ever the super cop, doesn’t care enough to listen to him and tells him to leave. I already mentioned the kiss and the possible prison time, so there isn’t much to add to this storyline. To the best of my recollection, I don’t think we see the two sons.

Finally, Richmond continues to be upset over the loss of the use of his legs. He has a horror movie-style nightmare of Belko coming to kill him, pisses himself, and cries. But when Jamie figures out Mayor Adams was the one who planted the photo implicating him, Richmond regains his strength and wants to “destroy him.” I guess that’s a third major development, but since it feels so divorced from everything else, it’s hard to count.

Additional Thoughts:

• “Three Men and Adena” aired in March 1993. I can’t believe it’s almost 20 years old.
• Those tattoos on Alexi look very fake.
• Alexi’s “drive” command to Holder. I’m not saying the show can’t play around with its format or have fun with genre styles, but for the type of show The Killing is, it seemed more like it tried to force suspense before an act break just because it couldn’t think of anything else to do.
• The massive conspiracy angle of this season certainly died down. I mean, apparently now Jamie’s the lead investigator on it.

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