I’m not sure where to start, really—the whodunit or the happy ending. Let’s start with the whodunit. This is the first case in The Killing that felt like it made some sort of real-world sense; there was no way Kyle did it, but also no way he was fully innocent, right? And the pieces came together in a way that they never quite did in seasons one through three—there was always too much coincidence. (Not that that didn’t happen here, especially with Skinner’s wife and Linden happening to be at the lake house at the same time, but still…)
In any case, the show kept me guessing, and then when the actual murder scene happened—wow, that was brutal. I don’t think the show could have gotten away with that on AMC, particularly the graphic (well, almost) murder of a little girl. The acting was great in Kyle’s confession as well. Sure, the thing about Joan Allen being Kyle’s mom was a contrived twist, but it made sense in context.
Did the flash-forward ending, though? For me, it absolutely did. I didn’t see it heading in that direction, and when it was revealed (“I’ll pick you up on Saturday at your mom’s”) that Holder and his lady had split, I actually felt bad for him. The show certainly played up the duo’s chemistry in the past, but there was never (or very rarely) anything romantic about it. The show worked for it, though, and the actors did, too: Enos and Kinnaman were excellent in that final scene, and I had no idea whether she’d make it back. For the record, I’m glad she did. Sarah Linden was a complex, conflicted character, and the show led us to believe that she’d never find happiness, that she was always going to sabotage herself. I’m glad that The Killing’s one final twist gave some peace to a character that deserved it. She was always the good guy.
Stray observations, mostly just a bunch of quotes:
- “What’s wrong with Linden? She smiled at me!”
- I like how each episode gave some play to Linden’s conscience about Skinner’s murder, particularly when she went off half-cocked on the pharmacist who sold her the morning-after pills.
- I didn’t touch on Holder’s impending fatherhood, but I liked how the show used it as a possible wedge for his loyalty. Nothing would make him turn against Sarah, but this might.
- Look, it’s legendary punk-rocker Patti Smith playing the doctor!
- “We’re gonna move forward, and leave this shit behind. So eat your fucking muffin.”
- I was happy that for the first episode, Sarah’s personal life faded into the background, and I was worried both when Jack returned and when her mother showed up. But they were using sparingly, and effectively, I thought.
- “You’re my best thing, Jack”
- I don’t think a real-life CI ever said, “You need to get me some scrilla for my jib-jab.”
- I really thought for a while there that Sarah was going to die, maybe by her own hand. I’m glad it didn’t go that way.
- Well hello, Mr. Mayor in a wheelchair! I will say that as soon as Reddick threatened to go to the Chief Of Detectives, I knew the powers that be were going to at least try to brush this whole thing under the rug. Still, it seemed a believable response.
- “No vegan cupcakes daddy, they taste like caca!”
- “Home was us, you and me together in that stupid car… I think that was everything. I’m sorry.”