Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Killing: You Must Be Joking...

You know what? I'm just gonna go ahead and put a spoiler alert on this whole post because I'm not sure how else to rant out my frustration/reluctant reverence. So there it is. SPOILER ALERT.

Things I was curious about before entering into the season finale of The Killing:

- How are they going to make a climactic finale if Richmond is the killer?
- How is Linden going to get stuck staying in Seattle rather than getting on a plane to Sonoma immediately after Rosie's killer is behind bars?
- Are the Larsens a dead plotline after this?
and most importantly...
- How are they going to get the audience to commit to a completely different case next season? I mean one of the huge problems of a show like this is that it's a season-long procedural. Therefore it's really difficult to get viewership to return.

My how I wish I had never thought to ask those questions. If you haven't seen The Killing at all this season, I would recommend it. Turn back and read this when you've watch all of the episodes. No? Okay. Quick synopsis: 17-year-old Rosie Larsen was murdered. She was found in Mayoral hopeful Darren Richmond's campaign car. Her family, understandably, is torn to pieces and throughout the series we see that breakdown. The main characters, however, are Detective Sarah Linden and, slightly less so, her partner Stephen Holder. Holder has been a shady character from the start. He's green. Linden is a seasoned expert with one foot out the door. She's great at her job, but very intense.

I'm skipping over dozens of suspects, tons of evidence and the brilliant subtleties and characters that make this show great, but here's went down tonight: WE DIDN'T FIND OUT WHO KILLED ROSIE LARSEN!

Are you serious? I mean... come on! That's been the payoff waiting for us through some of the slower episodes this season. That was the draw of the the series in the first case. The haunting photo of a girl that I saw so many times on the IMDb homepage, the subway platform and what seemed like everywhere really, screaming at me: Who Killed Rosie Larsen? And you know what? I STILL DON'T KNOW.

The TV viewer in me is writhing in frustration right now. They convinced us it was Richmond, though I was sure it couldn't be that simple after he was an overwhelmingly promising suspect at the end of the last episode. I was almost ready to chalk it up as a disappointing anti-climax, when they smacked us with the kind of surprise I was waiting for all episode. That it isn't Richmond. That it's...

But no. That wasn't what they did. Instead, the final minutes brought us Linden finding out that the evidence produced by Holder that tied Richmond to the murder was fabricated. We also see Holder get into a car and tell an unknown driver (Man? Woman? WHO KNOWS!?) "The picture worked. He's going down." The 'he' here is undoubtedly Richmond, who in the final seconds of the show is met by Belko, the Larsen's well meaning if unstable surrogate family member, with a gun. And then black. Nothing else.

The TV lover in me? Well, it's taking some time for the shock to wear off, but honestly? It's kind of brilliant. A few people went into tonight thinking the killer was Richmond. Many, like me, thought they would pursue Richmond and then, in a shocking twist, find out it was someone else. And though the thought had crossed my mind that they wouldn't reveal the killer (see: my twitter) I still couldn't imagine they would do that to us. Now it seems obvious (duh). No need to convince me to tune in next season to see if the new subject matter interests me. Nope, I'll be right there, still at the edge of my seat where they left me, waiting to find out who FREAKING killed Rosie Larsen.

Photo courtesty of AMC

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