The Killing – Day 21 – Off The Reservation

I don’t know about you guys, but I found this to be one of the most heart-wrenching episodes of the season so far.  Between watching Linden search for Holder with the same fervor she’s used in her quest to find Rosie’s killer, to watching Stan Larsen’s face as he interviewed that last witness…so many powerful, incredible moments from start to finish in this one.

So let’s start with Sarah Linden this time.  She didn’t have the best day ever.  We ended last week with her having to listen to Holder getting the crap kicked out of him, and not knowing where he was or how to help him.  Propelled into immediate action, I was sadly not surprised to see Lt. Carlsen balk at setting up a search party for Holder, but I was grimly glad to see the desperate tears in her eyes as Linden plunged forward on her own.  I couldn’t decide if I thought that leaving Jack’s at Holder’s was a good idea, or not, but at the same time, I’m glad that Holder’s is a place where they can both feel safe, whether they actually are, or not.

The roadblock at the reservation was maddening, and I wondered briefly if Linden’s desperation to find Holder would cause her to draw her firearm in an effort to get through.  I think I actually held my breath in those moments between, “Any minute now, huh?” and the arrival of back-up sirens and lights behind Linden in the fog.  That whole sequence of trying to locate Holder before dawn really took me back to the opening search for Rosie’s body.  They didn’t *know* he was somewhere on the reservation, but Linden had to follow her instincts and push right through to the final moment of discovery.

Thank God it wasn’t a body, this time.  Holder looked terrible, though.  Missing a shoe and sock, too, as though being beaten, broken and left for dead weren’t quite enough.  Good grief.

I practically cheered when he sent his sister to give Linden the matchbook.  Ah, Holder.  Hero to the end, that one.

Linden’s talk with Mary the casino maid at the hair salon was quite revealing, and felt a lot more “true” than some of the other leads and possible scenarios.  Rosie worked as a maid at the casino, too, and sometimes waitressed there, as well.  I’d always felt like the Beau Soleil angle was a little off-the-mark for the person Rosie seemed to be, so I like this one far better.  How much did she know about Terry’s involvement?  Not sure.  But I totally think she saw something or knew something, and that’s why she was killed.  More on that in a moment.  For now, I think it’s important to keep in mind that, according to Mary, Rosie wasn’t supposed to work that night.  Belko said she was on the phone when she stopped at the house and threw some things into her backpack (which Mary said she found in a dumpster outside the casino – why she waited so long before dropping it off, though, I don’t know).  She went to the casino and Mary saw her on the elevator…possibly heading to the mysterious 10th floor.  Their access keys were all taken away after that night (Rosie’s body wasn’t found until the end of the next day, mind you), and the chemicals found on Rosie’s hands were the same as those used on the construction site, so it’s entirely possible.  Definitely worth a little jaunt to the 10th floor and, judging from the previews for next week, it looks like that’s exactly what will happen.

Moving away from Linden for a moment, let’s talk about Darren Richmond and company.  I think he needs to fess up to his whereabouts the night Rosie was murdered.  He doesn’t have to go into great detail – he could simply say that he went back to a place he used to frequent with his wife, and say he was trying to find some peace with her loss while the campaign was heating up, or something.  It would probably garner him more sympathy points for not having wanted to talk about it publicly, and given the bashing he’s been getting from Adams over it, his ‘confession’ could likely make Adams look like even more of an arrogant ass.

I was glad to see Richmond and Gwen talk about it a bit, though.  They’ve been dodging the elephant in the room since he showed up soaking wet in the middle of the night, and while he doesn’t necessarily owe her a full account of his whereabouts that night, I’m hoping that any truth he does reveal to her now would be a bit healing for both of them.  AND I love that he told Adams that he knew about the photo – and Adams did not deny a thing!  Sweet!  I wasn’t convinced he was behind that whole thing, but now I’m glad to presume he is!  I don’t think that makes him Rosie’s killer, but it totally explains why the police didn’t question it at all, especially after it was discovered to be a fake.

Stan Larsen.  Bless that man’s heart.  Chasing the ‘leads’ he was getting from his televised reward offer of the evening before, Stan Larsen looked more alive and positive than he has in a long time.  He finally felt like he was doing something – accomplishing something – in the quest to find his daughter’s killer and bring him/her to justice.  He sent his sons out with their grandparents so that he could focus all of his energy and attention on his investigation.

He took his meticulous notes to the police station, only to find that Linden didn’t want them.  She told him that offers for money rarely led to information that would actually help the investigation, and may actually hurt it.  People would take advantage of him, she feared.  Undeterred, however, Larsen carried on and interviewed some of the more promising callers he’d spoken with.  It wasn’t long before he realized that Linden was right – no one was coming forward with anything useful about Rosie’s death.  They all just wanted to get in on the reward however they possibly could.

Until one lady sat down across from him and began telling him some of the things Rosie had told her.  That she loved him, that she wasn’t angry with him for anything that had happened between them – all of the things Stan most needed to hear.  The tears of relief touching his eyes, the surprised smile turning up the corners of his tired mouth, the faint glimmers of hope etched all over his face – watching all of that crumble and fall as the woman went on to say that, for a small fee, she could give him the chance to talk to Rosie again.  That whole scene about killed me.  Brent Sexton is one hell of an actor.  Seriously.

Okay, back to the rest of Linden’s day.  Despite finding Holder in time, and on the reservation after Jackson had sworn up and down that he’d been escorted from the land hours earlier – Sarah Linden was asked to hand over her badge and firearm.  With the box of evidence containing Rosie’s key to the casino’s 10th floor sitting RIGHT THERE.  ARGH!  I was praying that Carlsen would turn his back, just for a moment, so she could grab that key and be gone from the precinct before anyone knew it was missing.  But alas – nothing’s ever easy.  She and Holder will have to get it some other way.

Then she sent her son to stay with his father for awhile.  That could not have been an easy decision for her, but I think after fighting with the cops in Holder’s apartment, and then finding Jack alone at the dock (“I thought Regi would be here, but she’s not.  Nobody’s here.”), Linden knows that it’s the only way to keep Jack safe for now.  The investigation keeps feeling a little more personal, and having that drawing from her “other” case show up on her fridge…hell, maybe it’s ALL tied together.  Or maybe someone is just trying to drive her crazy again so that she won’t solve this one.  That may even be working, because by the end of this episode, Sarah Linden is a woman with very little left to lose.  Watching her say goodbye to Jack – who clearly was not as thrilled with the idea of staying at his father’s as he used to be – was another heart-breaking scene for me.  “You’re so strong – and that’s because you’re my son.  You’re MY child.”  Holder showing up right at the end to stand with her as she watched Jack’s plane take off was awesome, though.  Reminded me vaguely of that final shot in Empire Strikes Back where Luke and Leia watch Lando and Chewie leave in the Falcon to go after Han.  It’s the moment we can inhale before all hell breaks loose.  The calm before the shit-storm.

And this, by the way, was to have been her wedding day.

Which brings us back to Rick, and whoever else I think may have killed Rosie.  See, in theory, I kind of love Jamie as the killer.  Maybe to save Richmond’s career if he was suspected of having inappropriate contact with a minor, or maybe a jealous rage…maybe he just tried to tell Rosie to stay away and she wouldn’t listen.  I think Rosie was friends with Richmond, despite what he says.  Only because I searched her room and I thought the video messages on her computer were for him.  She spoke of “blue eyes” and giving her a chance, which I presumed to mean Gwen.  And I can see Jamie being the type to fly off the handle and commit a crime of rage, and then be smart enough to cover it up after.  Maybe he only had access to Richmond’s campaign car at the time and figured the rest of the evidence would point elsewhere.  There was that whole thing with his watch and Richmond’s watch in the pilot episode.  Plus, he’s certainly fit enough to chase a young girl through the woods at night.

However, when I watch him, it’s with the X-Files “Trust No One” glasses that I learned to look through back in the day, and…he’s just not acting like he’s the guy.  He seems to have his attention completely focused on the campaign, and not on what the police are doing or who they are speaking with or even the fact that the backpack just recently showed up.  He doesn’t show any interest in the casino, he and Gwen are practically getting along now, and even when Darren fired him, he was still all about finding out who was behind the fake photo from the toll booth that night.

So while I really like Jamie on paper, he’s just not feeling like a good fit to me.  Not unless we see something incriminating on the 10th floor next week.  I think he has it in him to be the killer, but so far I haven’t seen a good reason for him to have taken something that far.  I can’t even remember what his alibi supposedly was, but I know they checked everyone associated with the Richmond campaign right at the beginning, so I assume he had one.

And now Mayor Adams and Jackson the Hun are talking about joining forces and making the waterfront project happen.  My friends and I agreed long ago that it would probably all come down to the waterfront.  And they mentioned Drexler again last night in passing – I wonder if we’ll see him again, or not.  Rosie saw something, I’m almost sure of it.  I think this part of the investigation is coming to a close.  AND we get to touch base with Mitch next week, according to the previews, so that’ll…be good.

Now, if we could just figure out who called Rosie to go to the casino that night in the first place….

The Killing airs Sundays at 9pm EST on AMC

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