The Killing – Season 3 So Far

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Since I’ve been abysmal at keeping up with recapping each episode this season, I thought I would just leave it until the finale and talk abou the whole thing at that point. But THEN I watched episode 9: Reckoning, and it was all I could do to not start a post while I was watching it! What an incredible episode – adding to an already amazing season! Holy crap!
AND it was directed by none other than Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs), which made me extra excited to watch it right out of the gate! Because if anyone can make this crazy dark season even crazier and darker, it’s the man who directed one of my favourite films of all time. And he did not hold back.
The entire episode – like the season itself – has been a roller-coaster ride of emotions and events. I find myself wanting to go back and re-watch every episode after it airs – not just for clues which may or may not be there, but more for the sheer enjoyment of it. And to try and take it all in. Every episode has been full of character development and suspense, as well as quick little throw-away moments between our two favourite detectives. Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos have always made a welcome impression on my TV screen, but this season has given both of them the chance to turn in an acting tour de force as Holder and Linden, and both have risen to the occasion each and every time. If I didn’t already love watching them together, this season would have sealed the deal.

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And this week’s episode is rocketing us toward the finale (only two episodes left!) while somehow making it feel like a bandaid is being pulled off slowly – and we’re bracing now for the inevitable big rip. Things I loved: Holder racing to get to Linden in the storage building; Linden racing to get to Holder before he opened the trunk of the taxi; Seward’s (Peter Sarsgaard) slow descent to his breaking point; the random and creepy moment at Becker’s (Hugh Dillon) home as he watches his very calm son being led away in handcuffs (reminded me of that other random and creepy moment when Becker showed the kid how the gallows work); Danette (Amy Seimetz) passing out missing posters for Kallie (Cate Sproule), even though you can see in her eyes that her hope of finding her daughter alive is fading more each day; Shannon’s (Nicholas Lea) disturbing laugh once he realized he’ completely broken Seward down; Holder looking in the trunk, and his breakdown later over what he saw in there.

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Ah, Bullet (Bex Taylor-Klaus), I wasn’t sure about you at first, but Taylor-Klaus injected you with so much REAL-NESS, you quickly established yourself as a favourite. Broke my heart to see your photo on the wall. You’ll be missed more than you’ll ever know. I’ll even miss Danette screwing up your name and calling you ‘Trigger’, because that made me laugh.
And apparently you’ll be missed more by fans than by freaking Lyric (Julia Sarah Stone), because MAN, that girl has done a 180 or so this season! I was with her all the way up to the moment I found out she’d lied to Bullet about the Pastor. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. She goes all sleepy-eyed and says Bullet will be there any moment, the ice cream is still on the table, they find the Pastor’s bloody car at the train station (but what about the rental?) and assume he’s made a run for it (but again…he had a rental – his bloody car was parked at the station for at least a day or two, since that girl was dropped of at the vet), Bullet freaks out and tells Holder that the Pastor took Lyric, and then we find out that Lyric lied about the whole thing. Really? She’s kind of an idiot, pulling something like that when an investigation into he friend’s disappearance is going on. And then we saw more emotion from Twitch (Max Fowler) over the loss of Bullet, whereas Lyric…I guess she’s still waiting for it all to sink in.
It sunk in hard for poor Holder, though. :(

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Okay, so on to theories. Bullet said she knew who the killer was. I’m assuming she got it from the girl who’d escaped and Bullet bribed her with drugs in the hopes of redeeming herself with Holder and to help Kallie somehow. We saw the car pull up outside the diner, and knew it wasn’t going to go well for young Ms Bullet, but the lack of detail surrounding her when she was found in Joe’s (Ryan Robbins) cab trunk makes me wonder if she was killed the same way that the others were, or if this was more a killing of necessity, to maintain the secret of the killer’s identity.
I don’t think it’s Joe Mills, though that disgusting rant he made to Danette was not really in keeping with his whole, “I didn’t do it” plea. Just sayin’. Maybe not the brightest bulb, that Joe.
I don’t want to think it’s Holder’s partner, Reddick (Gregg Lee Henry), in part because I like him, and in part because it seems too easy, in a way. I’m also not sure there is any connection between him and the Seward case but, like Linden, I think the killer in both instances is the same. I know Reddick found and handed over the box of rings in the storage unit, but he was really excited. I think if he’d planted it there, he would have let someone else “discover” it.

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I do, however, think the killer might be a cop. I think that’s why the girl who escaped wouln’t go to the police. I think that’s how bodies can turn up in taxi cab trunks and rings can appear in storage units an the one girl who’s disappearance ignited the haste required of the investigation can still be missing this far in. No body found with the others, no living girl turning up safe and sound. And the fact is, we saw Kallie get into a car (which I don’t think looked like a cab, actually), and it took her only a moment or two for her to decide to get in the car. It was someone she trusted. Which could also have been Joe Mills, but we also saw another girl get into a car to start the season off, and chances are she would NOT have trusted creepy Joe.  I also think it’s someone we know, because there hasn’t been a whack of new suspects being introduced each week this time around.  Unless the reveal gives us someone brand new, with only 2 eps left, I think we’ve been getting to know the killer this entire time.

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My whole theory really stems from my confusion as to why Linden’s ex-partner/affair, Skinner (Elias Koteas), has kept brushing of her concerns and theories this whole time. A serial killer with the same MO as used in the Seward case (which they worked together) crops up right before Ray is to be executed, and that doesn’t at least warrant a delay? Skinner said from the get-go that he thought Seward was guilty – even pushed for the conviction on the original case despite the fact that Linden wasn’t convinced he was their guy. Now suddenly he says he believes her, but he’s stood in the way of every warrant, every posed plan, every question Linden and Holder have asked along the way. I keep wondering why he’s so stubbon about even entertaining any of the notions brought forward. But if he was the killer, he’d want to make sure the investigation were controlled.
As an aside, did Ray Seward only get convicted of killing his wife? Or were there others then, too? Because the death penalty seems a tad severe for one murder. Now there’s either the same person or a copycat going around killing tons of girls, the same way, taking the same trophies and has possibly been active this whole time, but no one noticed because they were street kids, and Skinner’s on the news saying they’ve caught the guy without even crossing his i’s and dotting his t’s. If this killer is also to receive the death penalty upon conviction, you’d think he’d want to make sure nothing would go wrong that would allow Mills to get off without being convicted. AND it should at least be enough to get Seward a stay of execution, since Skinner didn’t know yet that Mills was out of town when the Seward woman was murdered.

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I don’t know, I could be wrong, but Skinner has seemed a little too quick to pull the trigger on arresting and charging people without first making sure all of his ducks were in a row. I understand wanting a quick solution, but Linden had doubts with Seward which went ignored by Skinner, and even though she’s the one who linked the cases (using Adrian’s pictures, I might add, which also should at least give Skinner a pause, since Holder picked up on the similarities right away) and found all the other bodies that weren’t that first seemingly random one, Skinner kept telling her there was no connection. Now he says he believes her certainty that Seward didn’t kill his wife, and yet when he finds out that Mills wasn’t in town at the time, it won’t make him doubt that they have the wrong guy again. He’ll just go back to the notion that Seward’s case was separate from the current murders all along, tell Linden to drop it, and let Ray hang.

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So there you go. My main suspect is Skinner. He and Linden are connected to both cases, if nothing else, so the fact that one sees frightening similarities and the other professed not to for 90% of the investigation makes me think he’s been the guy all along.
I don’t even care if I am right or wrong, to be honest. I just can’t wait to see how it all plays out and, at the same time, I really don’t want it to end!
The Killing airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC

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The Killing – S3 Premiere The Jungle and That You Fear The Most

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I have to admit, as gutted as I was when The Killing was cancelled after a brilliant and heart-breaking second season, I actually never thought that the day would come when I could see Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) back on my screen. I am ecstatic to have been wrong about that, and it was with a giddy sense of glee that I was finally able to sit down and watch the 2-hour season 3 premiere of my favourite AMC offering. Both parts of the premiere aired as one huge episode, with only a faint nod to the change-over evident as we moved from Day 1 to Day 2 (and that wonderful musical cue that tells you the final moments of the episode are upon us), and other than that, I actually didn’t notice any difference, despite the fact that each part had a different writer and director. To me, that bodes very well for the rest of the season, as it indicates the strength of the team working together to bring this case to our screens each week. Part 1 – The Jungle – was written by series creator Veena Sud, and directed by Ed Bianchi. It flows seamlessly into part 2 – That You Fear The Most, which was written by Dan Nowak, and directed by Lodge Kerrigan.

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Best. Still. Ever.

My mind is swirling with questions and conspiracy theories already, so I’ll apologize now for the fact that this won’t be the best episode recap ever! It’ll be more a string of thoughts that I had both while watching the premiere, and since the moment the end credits rolled.

We open on a rainy day (haha back to rain right from the start!) inside a car, wipers squeaking across the windshield, as the car pulls up to a young girl. She appears to speak very briefly with the unseen driver before getting into the car. Next thing we know, Holder and his partner, Carl Reddick (Gregg Henry), are on the scene where that same girl’s dead body has been found. Holder’s in a suit and tie, so that’s new, and I was thrilled to see Gregg Henry at his side – is there anything that guy can’t do? Though, writing this, I’ve just realized that he doesn’t appear to be in any of the credits….not on the AMC page for the episode, not on IMDB. I wonder if that means he won’t be with us long? It would suck not to at least have him around for this one, but hopefully if he disappears from the show, it’s because Holder is working more officially with Linden as a partner, rather than because Reddick gets killed off early!

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Anyway, there is also mention that Holder is going for his sergeant’s exam, which is cool, because he definitely seems to be on his game nowadays. His entrance alone into the site where the girl’s body has been found is reminiscent of Linden’s entry into what turned out to be her surprise going-away party. Lots of visual parallels to link the start of season 3 to the previous seasons, and then we are suddenly given our first verbal cue to take us back, as well. Without showing us the body (we get hints of a bloody hand, a dark pink plastic sheet, etc), Holder remarks that her head has been cut almost right off. This detail hearkens back to the case that drove Linden crazy, wherein a man had killed his wife by almost cutting off her head, and then left his son locked in a room with her body for 6 days until they were both found. The little boy drew the same picture over and over while he was there, and that photo/case haunted Linden all through the Rosie Larsen case of the previous two seasons. Which we can assume is what will draw Linden back in this time. She’d told Holder that she was never sure they’d caught the real killer, and even then I wondered the same, and if it would ever come back to haunt her all the more.

Looks like it has now.

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Before we get to Linden, however, we find out a little more in the morgue – the girl was in her mid-teens, and has suffered some vaginal bruising, a broken finger, and her spinal cord was nicked by a serrated edge. Reddick wants to pawn the case off on Detective Jablonski (Phil Granger), but you can already see Holder’s mind working on it, and know that he’s not going to let it go for long, if at all. We also meet a few young street kids – Bullet (Bex Taylor-Klaus) and her friend, Kallie (Cate Sproule) – who discuss spending the night at Beacon Home, a shelter for homeless youth. Bullet likes another homeless girl, Lyric (Julia Sarah Stone), and has stolen a ring that she wants to give to her, but Kallie warns Bullet that Lyric is with Twitch (Max Fowler), a homeless kid who aspires to a modelling career if he can get himself to LA somehow.

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Finally, we join Sarah Linden working on the ferry docks, and catch a few glimpses into her current life. She’s got a cute boyfriend, Cody (Andrew Jenkins), who works with her at the Vachon Island Transportation Authority, and lives in a little house on the island. She’s received a letter from the Department of Corrections, but she doesn’t open it. When she’s putting dishes in the sink, Cody sneaks up on her from behind and the couple laugh as they go upstairs together. That scene was totally reminiscent of Rick’s introduction as Linden’s fiance in the first season, as well, so naturally, I suspect Cody. ;)

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Ray Seward (Peter Sarsgaard), the man found guilty of murdering his wife in the “Picasso” case that nearly ruined Linden’s career, is now on death row awaiting execution. He wastes no time in messing with his new captors, and proving to be less than a model citizen. He asks to speak with a pastor, then bashes the man’s head against the bars when he leans in too close. Seward tricks a prison guard (Aaron Douglas!!!) into letting him make a phone call, and when asked by his lawyer to use his one remaining appeal with the Governor, Seward declines and instead asks to be executed by hanging, as opposed to lethal injection, a request which infuriates Becker (Hugh Dillon!!!), the veteran death row C.O.

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Holder shows up on Linden’s door, and I got a little misty-eyed at seeing them together again, even if it was only for a brief time (I do know, after all, that there is more coming). The pair make some small talk – Jack (Liam James) lives with his father in Chicago, has a girlfriend, and is doing well in school, both Linden and Holder have quit smoking 9and then they both start back up again as the day goes on), and both appear to be doing well. Then Holder gets down to business, suggesting that his Jane Doe case may be related to the “Picasso” case of Linden’s past. Linden shoots his theory down, but it’s clear that she’s not telling Holder everything, so when he heads back to the city, he leaves thenew case file on Linden’s desk. It seems as though the broken finger may have held a ring, which the killer may have taken as a trophy, and when Linden finally breaks down and digs out the original case file for Seward’s wife (of course she has it in her personal belongings – even when Sarah Linden lets go, she doesn’t really let go), she notes that Trisha Sewell’s finger had also been broken post-mortem, and that her wedding ring was never found.

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Linden and Holder start working both cases separately, and in their own ways. Linden visits the abandonned factory where the Jane Doe (later identified as homeless teen Ashley Kwon) body was found, and discusses the Seward case with her old partner, Skinner (Elias Koteas) from that time before visiting Seward himself in prison. She also toasts Regi (Annie Corley) and her fiancee Ellen (Hillary Strang), and has a conversation with Jack, who asks why she doesn’t move to Chicago so they can see each other more. Holder and Reddick ask around The Jungle (an area where homeless teens hang out and sometimes prostitute themselves) to see if they can find any clues there. Holder and Bullet have a machismo encounter which sets them at odds, but Holder and Reddick eventually end up asking questions at Beacon Home, where they meet Pastor Mike (Ben Cotton), who has an interesting tattoo. I Googled it to find out what the passage for Ephesians 1:7 actually says: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”. Hmmm.

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Also, Kallie got into a car the night before (again after only a moment’s discussion with an unseen driver), and now Bullet can’t find her nor reach her on her cell phone. She’s set on the trail of Goldie (Brendan Fletcher), a pimp who apparently has a new girl in his apartment. Bullet sneaks in and hears a girl crying behind a locked door, but before she can get it open, Goldie attacks her with a knife and rapes her. Holder remembers seeing Bullet at the station earlier looking for Kallie, and wonders if they should talk to some more street kids after having gotten very little out of the woman running the 7 Star Motel, where kids also sometimes stay the night, but Reddick refuses.

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There was a cool but disturbing scene of Linden jogging through the forest (like the opening of the pilot episode) and when it starts to rain suddenly (ha like it’s ever sudden there – it rains all the damn time on this show!), she takes shelter in an old barn. There are cow carcasses everywhere – just like when she saw the dead seal on the beach in the pilot – but one poor creature is still alive and suffering. I hated the images of that scene, but appreciated the correlation to the pilot, and the fact that Linden went right back with her gun and put the animal out of its misery was good, too.

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I’m babbling – there was so much in these episodes, I’m trying to get it all in! Basically, the Kwon (Keira Jang) case and the Seward case end up possibly colliding with one another at the end of the premiere. Linden decides to visit the “Picasso” kid, Adrian, to see how he’s doing with his foster family now that his father is a month away from execution for the murder of his mother. She watches him playing in the backyard for a moment with his foster mother, but decides not to talk to him directly. As she’s leaving his room, however, she spots yet another drawing of trees, almost exactly like the ones he drew when his mother died. This new one has a significant difference, however – there are buildings next to the grove of trees. Linden recognizes them as the factory where Ashley Kwon’s body was found, and goes back there to work her way through the surrounding forest. As the episode comes to a close, Linden comes across I don’t even know how many bodies in varying stages of decomposition strewn about a clearing. All of them are wrapped in dark pink biohazard sheets.

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A freaking amazing episode that I am hoping to watch at least once more before the next one airs, because I know I didn’t catch nearly everything that was in it. I was too distracted by my glee to concentrate very well, apparently! Oh! And the loveliest of lovelies, Jewel Staite, was spotted playing the role of Holder’s girlfriend, Caroline! She even pointed out a Serenity tattoo Holder is sporting – said it sounded like a stripper name. ;)

A killer cast, our fave detectives back in action, and all of the brilliant writing and gorgeous shots that made the first two seasons stand out -The Killing is BACK!!!

For now, all I really have left to say is welcome back, Linden and Holder! You have been sorely missed!

The Killing airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.  There is a ton of cool new things to check out on the website, too.

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