While jilted fans, TV critics, and small woodland creatures have spent the past four days in a state of raging disbelief at The Killing’s groundbreaking “surprise, we were just deliberately wasting your time” twist, showrunner Veena Sud has been kicking back in a bath of your frustrated tears, just soaking up the attention. “I’m flattered, and I guess surprised a little bit,” Sud says of the reaction to the finale, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “The last time I felt this personally myself, and saw this type of reaction, was when The Sopranos ended its run. If the show can be in that company, it's a deep compliment.” Right, except the anger over the abrupt and ambiguous climax to The Sopranos was because of how invested fans were in its characters and storyline. The Killing’s viewers were angry because they spent three months watching a turtleneck sweater stumble through a series of outlandish coincidences and contrivances, all because they were promised by the show’s campaign the answer to a single question.
But of course, your desire for conclusive storytelling is exactly what Sud doesn’t want to indulge, because that’s the domain of boring, old-fashioned procedurals, and she’s on more of a spiritual kick: “Either it's a left brain journey where you're just connecting the dots of who the suspects are, or it's more of a holistic journey where a young girl is murdered, these are the potential suspects, and this is why.” Ah, so it’s not about “Who Killed Rosie Larsen?” It’s actually a metaphysical quest for a deeper understanding of our own existence.
So in that case, the fact that almost every character on the show is a shallowly developed cipher who only serves to dole out expository details and has the potential to be a total liar about those anyway is just a philosophical statement on our unknowable and untrustworthy human nature. And the idea that huge red herrings can be introduced and then dismissed so easily in the next episode isn’t a game of cheap twists meant to pad out a season—it’s an exploration of the subjectivity of “truth.” But even if you weren’t smart enough to get all that the first time, Sud doesn’t mind: “The fact that people love us or hate us is a beautiful thing. I don't want to be kinda liked.” Probably kinda don’t worry about that.
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