On tonight’s episode of The Killing, our intrepid heroes actually begin to inch forward on their investigation into Rosie Larsen’s murder right as the conspiracy angle picks up again. These elements combine to create one of this season’s better efforts. It’s not so much that Openings is entertaining as that it is that it feels like a more professionally made, cohesive episode. Why, Holder and Linden actually come across as adequate crime solvers, not just a bored/pissy detective with her perpetually out-of-the-loop sidekick.
Among the work they get done tonight include trying to get evidence from the casino, getting Rosie’s phone records and learning that she tried to blackmail Super Muckety-Muck Michael Ames, questioning Jasper Ames, questioning Terry about her affair with Michael, questioning Jasper’s mother about her husband’s affairs, and trying to get Michael’s phone records. It’s a busy day for them, and one where they actually follow a trail rather than obsessing over one insignificant point for days on end. Jasper, who looks like a low rent version of Kyle Gallner, has such an over-the-top angst that it’s kind of amusing, and I think intentionally so. Though they do hit a pothole when their boss tells them to stop looking into Michael and the casino… because telling Holder and Linden to drop the case worked so well the last time.
At the end, Linden sees a drawing of trees magnetted to the refrigerator in her motel room. She asks Jack, who is completely over and doesn’t even mention his illness from yesterday, if it’s his … because Jack totally seems like the type to hang up an art class drawing on the fridge. But he says no, which makes her realize that someone broke into their place. They decide to bunk with Holder, who readily accepts them into his surprisingly nice apartment. As the episode ends, Holder and Jack are play wrestling as a person shrouded in darkness, wearing black gloves, and smoking a cigarette (we need to fit in all the evil clichés) watches them from his car below. That final moment, which is played too melodramatically to be truly affecting, is further hindered by the ridiculousness of Holder/Jack play wrestling. It’s the type of thing The Simpsons does when it wants to show how stupid and boorish Bart and Homer are, and Jack doesn’t have the excuse of being 10.
In Mitch’s storyline, the runaway, who is named Tina, returns, and Mitch continues acting as a surrogate mother for her. I personally thought that this storyline worked well enough a couple episodes back and didn’t need to be revisited. Although I understood that it was meant to give some closure to Mitch and Rosie, even if Tina steals all of Mitch’s money at the end, I still think that it was better (and more powerful) as a one shot appearance. However, by rifling through Mitch’s stuff, she finds (and empties) a box of personal items that contains a letter written by Mitch to someone named David Ranier confirming his parentage of Rosie when she was two months pregnant. Presumably, Rosie contacted David Ranier so the question is… who on the show IS David Ranier? Odds are, The Killing is not going to bring a new guy into the fold to play this big a role at this point in the investigation/series. David Ranier…D.R…he shares the same initials as Darren Richmond. It is so obvious that I wouldn’t put it past The Killing to think that it’s fiendishly clever.
Stan doesn’t have much to do tonight. However, Linden, with her wonderful bedside manner, blindsides him with the “Rosie’s not your biological daughter” information. But he’s knows, and he seems at peace with it.
Darren Richmond (he has the same initials as David Ranier!) conducts his first TV interview since the shooting and explains his decision to stay in the race by telling Jamie’s story about his grandfather, much to Jamie’s impish delight. Gwen realizes that he’s going to need help separating himself from the murder accusations, so she asks for her job back. As expected, he gives it to her. How many times have high level people in the campaign jumped off of the U.S.S. Richmond only to jump back on?
• I liked the Gary Condit exchange as Gwen and her other political friends watched the interview.
• I didn’t think seeing the casino owner going to an event held by Michael was as shocking as the show made it out to be. They’re both business leaders in the same general region.
• I do know that we’ve seen the kitchen of the Lindens’ motel room in previous episodes, but tonight it struck me just how extensive it is. Would that type of motel have those accommodations? Same with the laundry room at where Mitch was staying at.
• One thing I found curious was how Jasper revealed to the detectives that Rosie’s a virgin. Ignoring the fact that just because she didn’t sleep with him doesn’t mean she’s a virgin, I have to wonder what the point would be in making her a virgin. Doe it play into some sort of puritanical mindset that her death is more tragic because she didn’t sacrifice her womanly virtue?