The Killing Review: "Undertow"
One of the great things about The Killing is the show's ability to move at a pace that doesn't rush either the story or the police work.
The crime isn't solved in an hour, judges won't sign off on warrants every time, evidence can be largely circumstantial, and the amount of procedural roadblocks are extremely frustrating. Sure, whipping off a pair of sunglasses and saying something clever is fun, but it lacks the realistic nature of solving a crime. If anything, it's not about glitz and glam.
To top it off, the noir-ish tone - set to dreary rain and fog - that reflects the characters' feelings of discontent and struggle, add an extra layer of depth to the show. There's far more complexity to the murder of Rosie Larsen as there is to the characters involved.
"Undertow" took everyone's needs for the truth to the next level, which led to surprisings decisions and even rash results.
Bennet Ahmed has, of course, been the primary suspect in the murder case, but it's easy to forget that he hasn't been convicted of anything. Some of his actions might have been called into question, but not all of his secrets were connected with Rosie.
It's rather sad that a simple accusation can destroy a man's reputation and career. It took Ahmed a lot of nerves to walk into that school, especially with the whispering judgments of the students and staff. Even if he isn't the killer, the damage has already been done. It would be very difficult for everything to return to normal for him again.
The revelation that Ahmed's mysterious phone calls were about helping another girl was a good twist. It explained why he was so hesitant and difficult in working with the police. The use of stereotype was also important in the discovery, as it was very easy to assume that Muhammed and Ahmed were sinister in their actions rather than good-hearted.
Linden and Holder were just as surprised to learn of his choices, but that's what happens when you jump to conclusions. After all, Linden has been so diligent in not making assumptions or answering questions in a way that could be presumptuous of the facts. Seeing her actually shocked and confused at the turn of events was a sharp change from her relatively calm and emotionless demeanor.
It was Stan's decision to kidnap Ahmed that was the worst choice of the episode. He wanted his wife to feel closure and, with the police unable to arrest Ahmed, the only alternative was to take matters into his own hands.
After a frightening pummeling, the ominous closing shot of Stan and Belko's panting silhouettes showed exactly what happens when all of the facts aren't present. Very intense and haunting image indeed.
Plus, the scene in general was an extremely sharp contrast from Stan's moment of love and care when helping the little girl with her bike. It's great that these characters have multiple sides and various layers. It keeps them from becoming stale and flat.
What was up with his friend, Belko? The way that he was beating on the rock seemed emotionally unstable. I understand heat of the moment, but it was an odd action.
I want to put my money on Belko having a greater connection to Rosie's death. After all, who would be a worse suspect than one of Stan's closest friends? I should be careful not to jump to my own conclusions, though.
I still don't find the political campaign with Richmond all that interesting. Not knowing if he made the basketball shot didn't feel as significant as Mitch Larsen and Amber Ahmed's scenes of ignorance about their husbands. I know at some point the political aspects of the show will intertwine with the murder case and I look forward to seeing its direction. But, for now, it feels more like a side plot running parallel.
Another solid outing for this fresh show continues to leave viewers wanting more, even when the murder isn't close to being solved. Only more clues and detective work will unravel the mystery of who killed Rosie Larsen.
What did you think of the episode? Will Ahmed survive? Who is Adela? Sound off your comments and theories below!
The Killing: "Undertow"
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.