Okay, so season two opened with a 2-hour episode to get us all caught back up in the web of mystery surrounding the killing of Rosie Larsen. In one very creepy moment, Stan Larsen and his sons literally stumble across a pink backpack covered in blood, with the initials RL bedazzled on the front. Rosie’s backpack.
A whole whack of things have happened surrounding that backpack, and the finding of it, in the short time it has passed since the item was delivered mysteriously to the front stoop of the Larsens’ home. Did the killer drop it off? Why now, more than two weeks after her body was found an d a very publicized investigation had begun? Whose Super 8 camera was inside with the rest of Rosie’s stuff? Why were the police lying about it since its discovery? The backpack is largely what fuelled Stan’s visit to Janek to ask for his help, and now Holder and Linden have it, but who can they trust to help them get some of these questions answered?
Initially, the backpack was just one of many overwhelming and thought-provoking moments of the season thus far, but now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I have even more questions.
During the show’s first season, I often entertained the thought that maybe the killing wasn’t about Rosie Larsen at all. Maybe she’d just been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or maybe she’d seen something she shouldn’t have that night. Maybe the dead body could have been anyone’s, but it ended up being Rosie. Much of the investigation centred around her whereabouts the night she was killed, and her activities leading up to that night. But what if, I wondered, no one could have predicted that she would die that night? What if it wasn’t planned? What if the killer was ditching the car, for example, and didn’t know she was inside? What if none of it was related to her video or her being at the casino or the party beforehand. What if something just got out of hand or went differently than planned, and Rosie just happened to get caught in the middle, paying the price with her life.
The sudden appearance of the backpack at the Larsen’s door makes me think that maybe this crime was personal, after all. Rosie still may have been caught up in something – maybe she even knew she was in over her head – but I’m thinking she was likely meant to die that night, for whatever reason. I don’t think she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, anymore.
Unless the blood on the backpack isn’t hers, of course.
The pilot episode opened with shots of Rosie being chased through the woods at night by someone with a flashlight. She didn’t have her backpack with her at that point, nor was it in the trunk of the car with her. If she really did escape from the car at the gas station and whoever it was chased her down, put her in the trunk and drove to the lake to dump the car and her body, then either the backpack was bloodied before she ran, or it was bloodied before she even got in the car.
The point is – the backpack with blood on it was not with Rosie, so it had been kept separate for the past couple of weeks, and then dropped off not with the police, but to Stan Larsen’s front door. Not only that, but it was dropped off while the real killer thought that Richmond was going to jail (or dying at Belko’s hand) for a crime he didn’t commit.
All of that makes for a very strong statement.
We either have a smug killer, or a stupid one. Or both – because at that point, he could have gotten away with it. Now, had he waited even a few more hours until the charges against Richmond were dropped, would the backpack have still been delivered at all? Or, if the case against schoolteacher Bennett Ahmed (Brandon Jay McLaren) had been stronger, would the backpack have been dropped off earlier on in the investigation?
Perhaps even more importantly, regardless of WHEN during the investigation the police caught wind of the bloody backpack, would they still have dismissed it as evidence? Right now, the message seems pretty clear: the police want the case closed and done, so if Stan really wants to know who killed his daughter, he’s going to have to find out some other way. He’s going to have to ask Janek for help.
Suddenly, it feels a little like a breadcrumb trail that needs to be followed. I guess now, the real question is this: Will Stan, Janek, Holder and Linden pool their resources and work together to solve the case? Probably not. But I really look forward to seeing where this is going. Sudden appearance of bloody backpack FTW! (as the kids say) 😉
The Killing airs Sunday nights at 9pm on AMC