It’s All Over But The Killing

by on June 20, 2011

Image from The Killing opening creditsWell, at least that’s over. OR IS IT? So, who killed Rosie Larsen? You did, The Killing, with your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad show. Spoilers follow, but really, I’m doing you a favor. Do not watch this awful series. If there is a gun to your head, you take that bullet like a man, and spare your mind from this idiocy.

I am not alone in this opinion, as public sentiment can be summarized thusly, while critical opinion is somehow even worse. Maureen Ryan’s recap includes the statement (caps hers) “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME,” while Alan Sepinwall said: “So this will be the last review I write of The Killing, because this will be the last time I watch The Killing. Because I have no interest in going forward with a show that treats its audience this way.” Yeeeowwch. (I deliberately will not address Gina Bellafante of the New York Timessemi-positive review, as she obviously does not know what she is talking about.)

Last night’s season finale (“Orpheus Descending”) begins where the previous episode left off, with Detective Linden getting caught checking out Councilman Richmond’s AOL account after she sent him twelve sexts with the subject line “I KNOW WHAT YOU DID.” Since his email address/escort service username is Orpheus, Richmond hamhandedly recounts the story, even though we aren’t a bunch of semi-literate fools and already learned about mythology in fifth grade. Linden finishes her conversation with a murder suspect and then merrily goes on her way.

Meanwhile, at the Larsen house, Mommy and Daddy are still fighting. Day Thirteen dawns with Stan Larsen sleeping in his truck at the cemetery. You know, Dad stuff. Happy Father’s Day. Stan visits Bennet Ahmed’s beaten body in the ICU and has a heartfelt moment with his wife. Once again, give me this interpersonal stuff six episodes prior, not now. Mitch looks over her childhood dreams scrapbook at all the empty pages of things she didn’t grow up to do. (Page 12: star in a critically acclaimed AMC mystery series.)

The press has revealed that Darren Richmond has had many brunette lovers, not all of whom he had to pay for, because OH BOO HOO HIS WIFE DIED AND HE’S SOOOOOO DAMAGED. Gwen is pissed off, but she puts on a brave face, even after his ex-married girlfriend/ex-campaign manager shows up at the office. Linden and Holder are trying to get some evidence to tie Richmond to Rosie’s murder, but the mileage on the campaign car seems off. The math doesn’t work! Maybe the math killed Rosie Larsen! But oh wait, if Richmond skipped the ferry and took the long way home, the mileage makes sense. And whaddya know, an old guy saw Richmond at a gas station and heard a girl screaming, and whaddya know, they find a shoe, and whaddya know, there’s an image of Richmond on a traffic cam on Desolation Bridge at 3 a.m.

Linden and Richmond have a big showdown that wouldn’t hold up to Miranda scrutiny, and then Linden conveniently runs into Gwen for a parking garage chat, in which Gwen provides her with the DVD featuring Richmond meeting Rosie at a rally. (And that’s why you don’t cheat on your campaign manager.) Richmond is elected mayor, but Linden and the cops show up at the celebration rally and arrest him right there. AWK-WARD. Mitch, the only woman in Seattle who is a lousier mother than Linden, decides she shouldn’t be a mom anymore (“it’s not good for the boys”) and so she leaves Stan and her family to go work on her dream journal. Meanwhile, Belko is cleaning his gun while his mom takes a bath, which is just a typical Sunday night at my house.

So everything is wrapped up with a tidy bow, right? Linden and her son run to finally catch a plane to Sonoma–sidenote care of Videogum: Detective Linden is almost as bad at getting on planes as she is at police work–and the pilot announces that they’re going to have “somewhat of a bumpy flight.” GROAN. Right before takeoff, Linden gets a phone call from the Department of Transportation, notifying her that they can’t get her those surveillance photos from Desolation Bridge because the cameras at the tollbooth haven’t been working for months. Which means that the photos that placed Richmond on the bridge the night of the murder were doctored. WHICH MEANS THAT HOLDER IS AS MUCH OF A RAT AND A DIRTY COP AS HE INITIALLY APPEARED. So Holder is working for someone else–Mayor Adams? This would actually be kinda sly, if I at all cared about anything involving this show anymore. The episode (and the season) ends with Richmond being hauled off to jail, when Belko shows up in the crowd to assassinate him, Jack Ruby-style.

Sigh.

Producer/creator Veena Sud seems to think she’s done a good job here, but instead she has rewarded her audience for their loyalty with a frustrating fakeout. If there is a second season of The Killing–and shows have been renewed and then canceled before, so AMC still has time to do the right thing–I will watch it and cover it so you don’t have to, brothers and sisters. But if I ever encounter Veena Sud, if she visits Seattle to film a couple soggy exteriors of the Space Needle, or if I’m in Vancouver and happen to spot her shooting pseudo-Seattle, I will punch her right in her smug, condescending face. Case closed.

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