Hidden Gems of Netflix: The Killing

the killing

For those hard-core fans of anything AMC puts out this show should be familiar.  I’m guessing most of you tuned into Season One, and it’s been love/hate ever since. Enough love that Netflix picked up what is now the third attempt at a final season.  I personally dug this drama about murder and life’s challenges from episode one.  Let ‘s start with a little recap as we get into the meat and potatoes of the final Season 4.

Detective Linden (Mireille Enos), obviously troubled and ready to move on with what ever happened in her past case that may or may not have driven her to the breaking point, is pulled back in by a haunting crime scene one more time.  Her replacement, and what turns into new partner, Holder (Joel Kinnaman), is as equally troubled by his demons and so-called friends trying to help his fight.  Season 1 does a great job tying in the “demons” of the case, along with the true struggles of a family torn apart by a child’s death.  No character is without flaws, and the twists tie together nicely.  The biggest complaint about Season One was we didn’t find out “who killed Rosie Larson”.  But really… what’s wrong with a cliff hanger?

Season 2 finds Holder’s mistake keeping Linden in town to finish the case, and leaves mayoral candidate Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) in a wheelchair.  Campbell walks a fine line between making you feel sorry for his wife’s death and being suspicious enough for you to think he could have done the deed.  The intrigue and cover-up goes deep in Season 2; you get a feel for why Linden wanted to step away, her passion for justice borders on insanity.  Holder finally reigns in his past and becomes a full-fledged detective, which Kinnaman nails the entire season.  As the Larson family finally starts dealing with the issues that led Rosie down her fateful path, coming together in grief they learn the stunning truth that involves Richmond’s staff and their own flesh and blood.

Season 3 dives into the case that set Linden off the deep end, bringing her back once again at the plea of Detective Holder to assist her old flame (Elias Koteas) in a string of newly found bodies that tie back to a killer on death row. A young boy caught between his killer’s father (Peter Sarsgaard) who may – or may not – repent in time to help Linden and Holder figure out the missing pieces.  Sarsgaard is the best part of this season and a personal favorite of mine, outside of the writers not under-selling Enos’s beauty for a third season.  All the ‘did he‘ or ‘didn’t he‘ drama and Linden’s sketchy frame of mind brings the season to an end with a shocking twist of who-done-it, and an act of revenge that would have been a perfect series end for me.  Now we must find out in season 4 if Holder and Linden can escape the bed they’ve made.

Now, let’s talk Season 4 with as few spoilers as possible.  The show stays true to Veena Sud’s vision, and in-line with the other seasons – condensed into 6 episodes.  Sud’s been quoted as having more freedom with the Netflix production time slots being longer, but this season feels rushed.  The character ties are still strong, but the mental slips by Linden and a relapse by Holder didn’t go as in-depth as in previous seasons; this comes across as a rushed footnote.  Bringing back Linden’s son, who was nowhere to be seen in Season 3, was mildly out place; and it almost feels like the story unfolds without the detectives, instead of because they figured out the clues.  I won’t spoil the end.  Is Season 4 worth watching?  Yes, in the end this is an entertaining series of crime and the imperfect lives we all lead.

P.S. Adding Jewel Staite, even for a little bit, was a WIN for the MoGT

~ E.S. Norton ~

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