Sunday, 19 June 2011

More Thoughts on The Killing (Episodes 6-12)

So, apparently The Killing has taking a critical lashing from the everyman recently, which makes me both unsurprised and intrigued. I consider it essentially pointless to concoct a post that’s essentially a “my opinion is better than yours” diatribe. And, I’m not even sure if you guys are watching The Killing, but the neurotic in me (which is, essentially, all of me) demands that I review the rest of the episodes in preparation for the season one finale tonight.
(Scant words on episode #1 - #5 here.)
Remember when I said that the show’s about atmosphere? I wasn’t kidding. And maybe it’s because I love the bleak and morose, but the rainy and gloomy ambience of The Killing works for me. There’s nary a bright light to be found, even the bright colours seem gloomy. The Killing is a thirteen episode AMC series focusing on Sarah Linden, a detective who’s working with her new partner working on solving the murder of Rosie Larsen in thirteen consecutive days.

Episode 6: “What You Have Left” B+
On day 6 her English teacher Bennett Ahmed seems like the most obvious suspect. Apparently most of the show’s viewer’s loathe Mitch (Rose’s Mother), and even though I think giving people a chance to be terrible in grief is ridiculous I don’t see her as a monster. Watching the Larsen’s prepare for Rosie’s funeral is emotional but never overly heavy and though it’s just a bit too pulpy having her father take Bennett for a car ride when he finds out that the police have been asking about it, it’s a nice hint as to what’s come.

Episode 7: “Vengeance” B
This is one of the two episodes where the show is not as stellar as I’d like. There was a slim chance of Bennett being the actual killer, but the way in which the investigation ended up spiralling out of control was a bit crazy. It’s filled with some good bits, though, like Bennett and Stan having that exceptionally tense car ride. This is one of those episodes where the campaign for mayor ends up seeming like the most significant arc as everything there lands exceptionally; it’s one of Campbell’s stronger episodes.

Episode 8: “Stonewalled” B
Having Linden and Holder’s investigation be compromised by the FBI’s own terrorist investigation is a bit left-field. But, it’s nice having Holder play a significant role in the investigation and there are more great hings.. For example, the entire arc of Darren Richmond (he’s running for mayor and Rosie’s severed body was found in one of his campaign cars) dealing with dead wife’s hit-and-run assailant being paroled is interesting to watch. Especially as a preface of what’s to come in further episodes.

Episode 9: “Undertow” A-
I know that there’s more than just a little antipathy towards this episode, but I can’t relate. For me, it’s not a herring that Ahmed turns out to be the killer, because the way that arc develops ends up fitting into the fabric of the case while still exonerating. More than about the murder investigation, The Killing fires on all cylinders when it comes to the rapport between Kinnaman and Enos and having them warm up to each other as they begin covering each other’s backs is great to watch. The most obtrusive thing about the episode is, of course, Stan Larsen and his ally beating Ahmed to a pulp thinking that he’s the killer – all at Mitch’s behest. It’s not the episode that shows Forbes at her best, but it’s to her credit how she takes the base and somewhat Machiavellian motives of Mitch and makes it possible to understand them.

Episode 10: “I’ll Let You Know When I Get There” B+
This episode is almost like a pilot in that Linden and Holder are back to square one with the investigation and it serves for some good detective work. The highlight, for me, is their interview with Stan’s henchman, who’s just the right amount of creepy to be a potential suspect. I wish that Kinnaman would at least be in talks for Emmy consideration, people seem to have been fooled by the smokescreen he sets up playing Holder as a disinterested stoner so it’s nice seeing him have those moments where he’s more sentient. Then, there’s the issue of the Larsen’s bank account being cleared which, unfortunate for Stan, Mitch finds out when she’s already pissed off. I’ll always be a little wary of Billy Campbell (blame Enough) and duplicitous or not there’s something a bit too greasy about him watching him gloat over his campaign success.

Episode 11: “Missing” A
I know it’s a bit premature to start ranting about “classic” episodes when the show is not even finished with its first season, but there’s something brilliant in having all the plot-points even Rosie the main plot, except for the bookends, and focus on the fantastic chemistry between Kinnaman and Enos (who I now want bone each other – sue me) as they search for Linden’s bratty son. Enos is spectacular in the episode as is Kinnaman and it sort of proves that the show is brilliant not just because of the smoke and mirrors concept of solving one case in one season, which is much more logical I might add than the one a day wonders of CSI et al.

Episode 12: “Beau Soleil” B+/A-
Okay, so maybe Mitch is a little bit of the bitch and all when she decides not to post bail for Stan. It wasn’t until the rewatch that I realised that Stan had put out a mortgage on a house, which accounted for the lack of money in the bank. The thing is, I can’t hate Mitch. She’s a broken woman and whatnot, but she’s not without redemption. But, there are bigger things afoot like finding out Rosie was a call-girl of sorts. I’m not the biggest fan of the actual arc, but we get to see more of her kooky aunt Terry and it leads to Holder taking a call-girl back to his room for “research” good stuff. Then, there’s the revelation that Richmond – our potential mayor, has been soliciting young girls. It’s a cliff-hanger to rule all cliff-hangers which makes me think that Richmond is not the killer. On one hand I want it to be Richmond, because I don’t care for him but there are so many options – it could be his financial backer, or one of his assistants. Who knows?

(Not So) Random Thoughts
  • So, I heard a roomer that Terry's going to be back in season two, which seems really random. I love her snark, but I'm curious as to in what capacity she could return.
  • Is it just me or is Kinnaman like a less groomed (but better acting) version of Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd?
  • I figure Kyra Sedgwick can't win a secondy Emmy, and I'm not sure Julianna Margulies will win for this season, so who thinks Enos could nab the prize?
I can’t wait for tonight. So far I'd put Enos, Forbes and Kinnaman (duh) on my Emmy ballot and Campbell, Lehman and Sexton turn in fine work too. Who else is looking forward to the finale tonight?


Fitz said...

Despite the fact that I know I will watch every week I wish they would use some common sense in the writing room.

-Darren's govt email is linked to "his" escort email?
-Stan can't tell Mitch he used the money for a house?
-No one understands what a url redirectory is!

And just a private pet peeve: the gum-chewing.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

fitz the email thing was indeed, weird, but generally the good outweighs the bad. (i'm laughing about the gum-chewing, in retrospect they do chew a whole lot.)