California Literary Review

The Killing Recap: Bulldog (Season 2, Episode 11)

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June 4th, 2012 at 2:57 am

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Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) in The Killing

YouTube Sensation: Darren “Mic Drop” Richmond

Photo Credit: Carole Segal/AMC

Before I get in the bulk of this week’s recap of The Killing, there was a sequence tonight that really bothered me insofar as it might be the silliest, most divorced-from-reality thing that this show has ever done. And that’s saying a lot. As Day 24 of the investigation into Rosie Larsen’s murder begins, the latest daily poll regarding the Seattle Mayoral Election reveals that Richmond got a bump in his numbers, and many on his staff gives credit to the YouTube video of him playing basketball. Jaime is so ecstatic that he says, “If 2% of the people who saw that video online show up at the polls, that’s your deficit right there.”

For starters, YouTube is a global site so for all he knows, the majority of viewers could be from outside the country, let alone the city. The odds of all of them being from Seattle are slim. Secondly, if you’re looking at videos of Darren Richmond, you’re probably already going to vote for him. And thirdly, would a guy in a wheelchair playing basketball sway your vote? The popularity of this YouTube video sends Mayor Adams into such a tizzy that he threatens Richmond that he’ll reveal Richmond’s suicide attempt if he doesn’t back out of the race. The amount of views on this game changing event? Slightly over 10,000. Now that’s viralness of epic proportions!

With that out of the way, I might as well finish up with Richmond. After debating whether to drop out of the race, he goes on stage at a press conference and reveals the truth about his whereabouts on the night Rosie Larsen was murdered in a move that shocks both Jaime and Gwen. I’m unclear if the writers expected it to surprise us since his decision was fairly obvious- they’re not going to end the election/Richmond plotline this close to the finale. Richmond gives a speech about how all of us have been on Suicide Bridge at one point or another, but we find the will to keep fighting, and he closes by dropping the microphone to the ground. Richmond, out. The move lacks impact when the mic falls from waist-high, but it would be funny regardless of how far up he was. The audience seems more flabbergasted than anything as we head into Election Night Eve.

Sarah Linden (Mirielle Enos) in The Killing’s Bulldog

Sarah Linden Picks A Card

Photo Credit: Carole Segal/AMC

On the investigation side, Linden and Holder are back on the case despite Linden no longer being a detective and Holder still being on leave, I think. They plead with Gwen to convince her father to get them a federal warrant to search the Indian casino. She threatens Senator Dad that she’ll tell the press about The Kiss with Mayor Adams, which actually does turn out to be only a kiss and thus takes away a lot of the power and the deviancy from the event. In fear for his career, he calls in a favor, gets the warrant, and an entire FBI team is rounded up to search the Indian casino. This entire process takes place in only a couple of hours- if I’m being generous.

The group searches the 10th floor to find “nothing,” and when Security Chief Drays gives them a 10-minute warning, they all leave. I would have really liked to known the time frame on that warrant and who was leading the FBI team since Linden was only an observer and no one actually tells the team to walk out. The entire sequence seemed unrealistic and ill thought out, but by this point it’s expected from this show. At the very least, they could have used those final 10 minutes.

Nevertheless, Linden finds the blood covered key card, hides it from the FBI, and smugly shows it to the elevator’s security camera as she and Holder ride down. Her self-satisfied smile was one of Linden’s best moments this season, maybe even of the series, even if she should know not to show the ace up her sleeve to the person who has the Mayor and probably the police in her back pocket. A surveillance team even follows her and Holder, but this development amounts to nothing. Though, Chief Jackson crushing Dray’s fingers in the door was an intense move on her part.

At the end, Holder and Linden attempt to corner the mayor in his office as he’s watching the Richmond press conference on television with his staff. Even though the Mayor’s office is made entirely of glass, no one notices the two disheveled, angry cops standing right outside the door. However, the key card doesn’t work, but it works on the door to the Richmond campaign offices.

Stan Larsen (Brent Sexton) in The Killing’s Bulldog

Pondering Life As A Dog

Photo Credit: Carole Segal/AMC

Finally, we have Stan Larsen. Stan wants to go after Janek so he makes Terry the godmother to his children and extols the wonderful life of being a dog. Alexi, the guy whose father Stan killed to escape the mob, ends up killing Janek “for his father” by hiding in his backseat and shooting him when he starts the car. So for those playing The Killing drinking game, toss one back for the “back seat reveal.” Also, Mitch returns home by sitting in darkness and looking depressed, which is so unlike her!

And that’s what we have with two weeks left to close out the season, or more likely, the series. There was movement on the Richmond and investigation storylines, but the Stan moments felt primarily like filler and a way to wrap up loose ends that don’t really seem that important anyway. Regardless, we’re in the homestretch now.

Additional Thoughts:

• I’m glad I watch Mad Men and Game of Thrones on Monday, because 72 Hours could not compete with The Other Woman and Blackwater in the slightest.
• This show gets compared to Twin Peaks a lot, but the score when Gwen is consoling Richmond after learning that he tried to kill himself sounded very Angelo Badalamenti/Peaks-y to me.
• I thought the scene where Linden and Holder are doing a badass walk to freak out the mayor by using his bloodstained keycard only to have it denied was pretty funny. Speaking of which, when Holder asks why they aren’t giving it to the police/FBI to have the blood tested, Linden says something like “we know the blood is Rosie’s.” Which probably means the blood isn’t Rosie’s. Also, wouldn’t the keycard be deactivated by now assuming the person whose it was got a new one?
• The FBI guys had the letters “FBI” in tiny white letters on the back of their black shirts/jackets. Maybe television has lied to me, but I’m used to seeing “FBI” in big gold letters on the back of a blue shirt/jacket. Which is the actual FBI Task Force uniform? With the feds involved, I’m surprised we didn’t see a return of Linden’s former flame, the one Holder likened to Tom Waits even though he had nothing Tom Waits-y about him.
• Between the walk, the mic drop, the back seat reveal, and the YouTube sequence this was a humorous episode. However, my biggest laugh of the evening came during the promo for next week. The announcer actually says “Next week, on Part 1 of the Two Night Season Finale On Which Rosie Larsen’s Killer Will Be Revealed.” It sounded like such a sad plea. I’ve heard season finale promos where the announcer says something like “all questions will be answered,” but I can’t remember one that sounded so desperate and specific. “We promise! We seriously, truly promise that this time you’ll get the answer to who killed Rosie Larsen! Don’t hate us! Please watch! We swear! You will find out who killed Rosie Larsen! And it’s a two night event! Two

  • BBW

    If it was just like reality no one would watch. If anything is unrealistic, it has to be your expectations for this show.

  • NoGood

    Thought this was a fairly poor review, came here for a summary and to spark some thoughts instead read a couple of paragraphs on why you consider it a bad show.

  • Hem Gray

    This has become a pretty compelling car crash. The plot took a major leap out toward Nonsenseville this week, but it’s still strangely intriguing. Neither Gwen nor Jamie really makes much sense as the killer – Gwen makes absolutely none and Jamie only marginally more. Who knew that Richmond’s campaign headquarters was located *in* City Hall, right next door to Adams’ office?

    At least Linden had a throwaway line dismissing the fact that the key card won’t be admissible as evidence since it was, y’know, stolen from a possible crime scene by an officer who has been relieved of duty. At this point there’s absolutely no way Rosie’s real killer, if s/he is ever identified, would be convicted of anything, given all the obvious shenanigans that have transpired with the cops. The trial would be a defense attorney’s wet dream.

    And yet it’s still doing enough things right to keep me watching. The last sequence in particular, though implausible, was executed quite well, building to the ominous last shot of Gwen and Jamie.

  • Chris

    NoGood

    You should go read all the recaps from this person. They complain, whine, moan and bash this show and yet still watch it, mostly to promote a boring, overrated show Mad Men.

  • ididit

    if you can’t suspend your disbelief enough, then don’t watch it. to me it’s worth it for all the show does right: the tone, mood, directing, acting and the excruciatingly delicious building of suspense.

  • Jen

    Very disappointed in this review. I also came here for a summery of the eposide … Not to hear someone bash the whole show. I agree with BBW as well… If it was true reality – no one would watch. I could write reviews about every show I watch and point out how unrealistic they are. Good Lord… IT’S S TV SHOW!!!!

  • Wayne Prince

    Ms. Enos is beyond ecellent. The show has dealt with grief beyond any I watched. All actors are noteworthy. All tv should be this good. Only complaint (in jest) too much rain

    Wayne Prince

  • Tom I’ve watched each episode, right from the start. Seattle and its weather; Enos and her manic-depressive life [and her sporadic parenthood and betrothal; Holder’s very marginal credibilty as a good-guy/detective; Stan’s brutish vulnerability as “Dad;”

    I’ve watched each episode, right from the start. Seattle and its weather; Enos and her manic-depressive life [and her sporadic parenthood and betrothal; Holder’s very marginal credibilty as a good-guy/detective; Stan’s brutish vulnerability as “Dad;” Mitch’s vanishing madonna act; and junior’s stomping on birds have not dterred me from my faithful vigil. Season 1 intrigued me. Season 2 has stupified me. Enos, sleeping in cars and flophouses, sometime mom/sometime fugitive, is gradually solving Rosie’s murder with as much reasoned investigation as a pinball on the verge of going TILT. Still, I hope to be glued to the set through the finale. As for whodunnit … I’ll go with Chief Psychopath on the reservation, killing Rosie for seeing something she did not want seen.

  • Hem Gray

    I’m expecting another swerve. Despite the blood-stained keycard, we know Rosie wasn’t killed in the casino. We saw her on the run from someone before she died, and we’re told she was alive when the car went in the lake. Veena Sud has confirmed that either Gwen or Jamie was “involved” in the murder, but that could mean a lot of different things.

  • Calvin

    Awful, awful review. Like the author decided he was going to bash the show before it even aired. Also, if this is the direction you are going to go, you are going to have to be way funnier than this.

    It was an excellent episode. It advanced the plot, drew together separate story lines, and maintained a high level of suspense. Very much looking forward to the two-part finale.

  • kbailey3131

    Not only do WE know Rosie wasn’t killed on the 10th floor of the casino, THEY should know that too! They talked to the gas station guy bear the end of season 1 who told them that there was a screaming girl in the car they were looking for who took off running down into the park. And of course the part early on about how she tried to claw her way out of the truck…

  • Tom I’ve watched each episode, right from the start. Seattle and its weather; Enos and her manic-depressive life [and her sporadic parenthood and betrothal; Holder’s very marginal credibilty as a good-guy/detective; Stan’s brutish vulnerability as “Dad;”

    Trying to piece it together, although I have to admit that I have not sorted out so many details here as many have:

    1. Rosie, regardless of how innocent or conniving she may have become upon her exposure to the casino life, is a case of “wrong place, wrong time” and “worst luck.” I don’t believe she was a catalyst in bringing about her own fate.

    2. I am convinced that the MOTIVE, of whatever kind it may be, is centered in the politics and crooked dealings on the reservation itself. The Chief is a psychopath;but she has made a terrible mistake in humiliating, then breaking the hand of her chief of security, whom I believe, is the one with something to hide.

    3. I believe that the slamming of the door on the security chief’s hand will somehow uncover the tribal link to City Hall. Someone in the tribe “has” something BIG on somebody in the mayor’s office or in the S.P.D. I believe the somebody in the tribe is the security chief with the wounded hand.

    4. She herself, wounded hand and all, seems another vicious psychopath, NOW with a personal grudge. She is just arrogant enough to be blinded to consequences. I believe she is Rosie’s killer; but in her rage, she will bring down several people, both on and off the reservation.

    My opinion is that she came upon Rosie being in the wrong place and the wrong time. Her rage at the assault will be the trigger for uncovering the bigger scandal and those involved in it.

    Rosie becomes a footnote in her own case.

  • Jack

    I to have watched every episode. It has been one of the best shows in a series I’ve ever seen. It keeps up the intrigue and keeps you guessing. It will be hard to duplicate the show but I hope they have something in store for next season.

    The basically unknown actors have done great job with their roles. I especially like the fact they don’t always have a comeback for each question. The show lets you contemplate the answer. In other words; not a bunch of excuses or blubbering on.

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