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SEASON FINALE REVIEW: The Killing “Orpheus Descending” S1 E13

21 Jun

Who Killed Rosie Larsen?   That would be………………………………we still don’t know.  No I’m not kidding and no this isn’t a joke.   13 episodes into The Killing and I am just as in the dark as I was in Episode 1.  And WOW were people on Twitter pissed last night!!!    But not finding out who killed Rosie wasn’t even the biggest thing people were upset about.   If you haven’t seen last night’s finale yet, don’t read anymore below.    But if you did see it and you know what I am talking about, please read on.

I think it’s safe to say that from the very beginning, there is one person we knew who didn’t commit this crime….Detective Sarah Linden.  No ifs ands or buts about it.  Everyone else was fair game….even Mitch and Stan (Rosie’s parents.)  But I do think that a twist people didn’t see coming was that her partner, Holder, would somehow be in on it.    There were things that happened and ways Holder was acting in the last few episodes leading up to the finale that did make me raise my eyebrow.  I talked more about it on the podcast than on the blog, but there were two things that happened that made me question Holder before tonight.   The first was seeing him with the token that had the same symbol on it from the casino where Rosie was last seen.  Did he see Rosie there that night?   Did he know she was a regular there?   Either way, Holder appeared to be holding information back.    The second was when video surveillance from the ATM machines came in and he told the cop on the phone not to let Linden know, that he would take care of that.  Now at first it seemed he was doing it because Jack was missing all day and he wanted to give Linden time with her son.  But my first gut reaction to his decision-making was that something smelled fishy about that.  Why wouldn’t you tell her?  I think it’s because there was something on there he wanted to check out first to make sure Linden didn’t see.   But I blew both suspicions off as me reading too much into it….until last night.

Linden and Holder are hot on the trail of Richmond thinking he killed Rosie.   There is a ton of circumstantial evidence but nothing concrete to arrest the councilman who presumably is about to be elected mayor.   But just when the chief is about to shut it down, guess who comes in with something solid?   Holder.   He brings in a photo graph from a toll booth that they had requested from the night of Rosie’s murder, which shows Richmond driving the car that Rosie was found in that is time stamped the night she was killed.  That’s all the chief need to see and told them to go arrest Richmond.   They arrest him and he tells them they are making a huge mistake.   Since the case is “wrapped up”, Linden and Jack finally get on their plane to Sonoma (I’ll get into why this is really stupid later on) when Linden gets a phone call from the toll booth operator stating she couldn’t get them the pictures they requested.   Linden is obviously confused since Holder turned in the picture.  THe woman explains to her that the camera on the toll booth hadn’t been working for months and there is no possible way a picture could have been taken the night of the murder.  Flash to Holder getting into a car with someone we don’t see and says “the picture worked.  Richmond is going down.”  Flash back to Linden stuck on a plane to Sonoma stewing with this newly discovered information.   Rosie’s killer is still out there.

Here are my thoughts on the season.  I enjoyed The Killing.  I think the cast is fantastic and I find the case intriguing.  However, I think the way the storytelling flowed was off.  I know some people had issues with the pacing.  I had no such issues.  I thought the pacing was fine and I’m not someone who needs non-stop action to be entertained.   My issue is more with the storytelling.  In 13 episodes, we spent 4-5 episodes focusing on the teacher, Mr. Bennett.  The first three episodes spent time setting up the case and characters.   One whole episode dedicated to finding Jack and develop Linden and Holder’s relationship.  That left about 4 episodes to cover other witnesses and wrap up the case.  There seemed to be so many details out there that I wanted clarity on but there wasn’t enough time to go through it.   What was Stan’s sketchy past?   Did Rosie get involved in her Aunt’s escort service or was that something else entirely?  Where did Rosie get all that money?   What is the connection to the casino?  If Richmond had nothing to do with her killing, how did she end up in the car?   Why wasn’t her shoe and other parts of the crime scene investigated at the beginning of the investigation instead of 2 weeks later?    The storytelling wasn’t clean.  I’m not saying it has to be perfect and in chronological order.  But I think too much time was focused in certain areas (like Bennett) and not enough time on others (other possible suspects.)     The season finale felt like the writers were trying to cram 15 pounds of crap into a 5 pound bag.  And some of the portions of the case that were introduced last night, felt like things that should have been happening a while ago…checking the toll booths, expanding the search to areas around where Rosie was found, etc.  I also felt like there was no way it could have been Richmond because the “evidence proving his guilt” came together so quickly and strangely that I didn’t buy it.  Which is what made the reveal of the “twist” that Richmond is being set up by someone else, much less impactful.   If it had been leading up to him or there was a slow build to him being the killer, the twist would have been that much greater.  But that isn’t what happened.

I have to talk about one story line I REALLY wish would be dropped because it is so preposterous.  That is the story line of Linden and her fiance Rick.  Come on guys.  She’s the main character.  She’s the lead detective.  You know she isn’t going anywhere and you know she’s coming back next season.   So why are we still going through this ridiculous farce of her moving to Sonoma and marrying some guy who obviously doesn’t support her career?    Can we stop this already and move on?   No one cares about Rick and everyone knows Linden is staying.  This is the dumbest story in the series and it’s time to let it go.

I know the fan base is VERY divided on this.    Some people are livid about the non reveal of the killer.   Others don’t understand what the big deal is because there is a Season Two where we will find out who killed Rosie.  I’m kind of in the middle.   A cop-out, I know.  I’m not as upset as I would have been had The Killing not been renewed for a Season Two.  I’ll still be able to see the results of Rosie’s investigation and therefore who killed her.  If The Killing was not renewed, I would be much more upset.   I still think it’s risky because according to Veena Sud, that was the plan all along…to not solve the case this season.  I guess they got lucky they received a renewal.   But I can understand why people are so upset.  You invest 13 hours/episodes watching a show that promoted itself as following one case throughout the season with the inference that the case will be solved by the season finale.  There were many episodes that weren’t utilized as well as they could have been.  There was plenty of time, if told in a more fluent, succinct manner, to tell the story of the crime and the people and to wrap the case up in 13 episodes.  Sud and the writers chose not to do that.  That’s their right and prerogative.  But guess what, you are going to have viewers very unhappy with that decision and you risk losing viewers moving forward.  They haven’t lost me as a viewer but there are many people who have already commented that they will not tune in next year.  Like I said, that’s a risk you take.

So what do you think of all this?   Will you tune in next year?  Are you done with The Killing?   And I still get to ask the question….who do you think killed Rosie?

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