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The Killing Recap: Keylela (Season 2, Episode 7)

Posted By Brett Harrison Davinger On May 7, 2012 @ 1:00 am In Movies & TV,Television | 12 Comments

Never question his street cred

- Photo by Carole Segal

On tonight’s episode of The Killing, Holder takes offense to Jasper’s comment last week about him being white so he Holders it up. Big Time. From the opening scene in the apartment where he goes on about habanero jelly to the end when he’s getting beaten by casino thugs, Kinnaman really plays up the embarrassing slang/“is he trying to act drunk?” performance that really drags the character down.

Other than that, Keylela is more-or-less what we expect from The Killing- plodding, ineffective, decent ambiance. But we actually do get insight into a group that might be connected to Rosie Larsen’s murder- the Wapi Eagle Casino. Unfortunately, the bad guys overplay their hand to the point where they seem as clumsy as the detectives chasing them.

While characters like security chief Roberta Drays (who was the person watching Holder’s apartment from the last episode) and Chief Nicole Jackson have clearly been hiding something since the first season, they seemed more intimidating when they acted more subtly and professionally. Tonight, they lose their cool, and in doing so, seem amateurish. When you’re dealing with police officers who have already shown their unwillingness to drop the case, the best thing you can probably do is not bring unwanted attention to or evidence upon yourself. Like last season, which was only about a week ago, keep things moving slowly.

Chief Jackson from Season 1

- Photo by Carole Segal

Instead, Jackson tells Linden a story about a girl being slain on tribal lands and tells her “anything can happen on this land detective, you’ve been warned.” In the final scene, a gang of casino toughs beat up Holder as Linden listens over the phone. Obviously I don’t expect the Wapi Eagle Casino to have complete psychological profiles on the two detectives, but they should know that violence and blatant threads are probably not the best ways to handle the situation.

But this air of incompetence spreads throughout the episode, if not the series as a whole. One of the police department’s tech guys calls Linden and tells her that even though he’s not supposed to spend any time on the case, he still did some work on it. You’d think that with Rosie Larsen being a high profile murder investigation that led to a politician being shot, other cops would start wondering why they brass decided to drop it. Similarly, this season especially, the show has done a poor job at showing how the press relates to the investigation and how much pressure is being put on the force to solve a crime that would be the top story on Nancy Grace since the news broke. Linden, as usual, is an incompetent mother whose idea of keeping Jack safe is checking him into another hotel, but one with cameras in the hallway. That should ensure his security.

Stan is bemused by the Richmond campaign’s “offer”

Photo Credit: Carole Segal/AMC

The City Council campaign is also subject to this problem, and Gwen bears the brunt of it in this episode. Tonight, she attempts to get Stan Larsen to endorse Darren Richmond. For starters, would he really be the best person to vouch for Richmond? I know he lost his daughter, but his attack on Bennet Ahmed would probably make some people hesitant about trusting him. Gwen’s scheme was to promise that she’d get the ADA to lessen the charges against him in exchange for his support, even though she knew the ADA would never go for it. I was under the impression that Gwen was supposed to be some political dynamo, but the scene where she attempts to bluff Stan makes her seem like such a novice that it calls into question all the good things we’ve heard about her ability to politic. Kathryn Hahn’s character from Parks and Recreation would destroy her.

Nevertheless, Larsen comes to Richmond’s press conference where he makes an impassioned plea on behalf of his daughter and yells at everybody for forgetting about Rosie and the media for taking advantage of the tragedy to sell papers and get ratings. Even though Larsen saying to the camera “somebody’s going to pay for taking my daughter away!” probably isn’t the wisest thing considering his and Belko’s histories and records, it’s the type of uncouth speech that would make Stan a media sensation and reluctant hero overnight in bad fictional TV land.

Additional Thoughts:
• I was debating whether to include the maid asking Holder if the Larsens liked getting Rosie’s backpack back as a sign of villainous incompetence, but she might be working against the casino so I wanted to hold off.
• I still feel as though Richmond’s storyline is too divorced from the actual investigation, but I’ve accepted that I need to accept it. It’s not the worst subplot this show has ever had, even if it’s still somewhat forced.
• Child Protective Services arrives at the hotel to investigate Jack’s conditions, and one of their problems was that the room was messy. Linden says that she told Jack not to let the maid in, which raises CPS’ eyebrows. Here’s my issue. They’ve been in the hotel for less than one day. Since hotel maids usually only clean in the morning, why would they expect the maid to have tidied up before then?
• I wouldn’t lose sleep if Linden lost Jack.
• Linden’s attempt at “ghost whispering” Rosie makes her realize that Rosie felt trapped because she covered her walls in butterflies. Apparently she studied psychology at Greendale.
• We are now more than half way through this season.


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