The Killing Season Finale Review: And The Killer Is...

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After 13 weeks, it's safe to say that viewers still have no idea who killed Rosie Larsen.

I'm sure this fact alone has angered many fans into feeling strung along with no closure. I, too, wished that I finally knew Rosie's killer, but at the same time, I'm also pleased that everything wasn't wrapped up so quickly and neatly.

Did I really want the killer to be Richmond anyway? No. Not a chance. That outcome would have felt anticlimactic, especially because he was already revealed to be "Orpheus" in last week's episode.

At Rosie's Grave

Who killed Rosie Larsen? Seriously. Who?

Granted, the way that "Orpheus Descending" began held my attention with its possibility of a Richmond dark side. The creepy way that he spoke to Linden about the tale of Orpheus, while remaining hidden in the shadows, spun his good-natured character to a whole other level. Even Linden felt a fear that was illuminated and enhanced by the computer's glow.

However, once Linden left Richmond's home, any idea of Richmond's guilt disappeared. His real crime was not knowing where the light switch was located.

In fact, while Linden desperately and (surprisingly) became emotionally invested in the search for more evidence, I continued to have a hard time being convinced that Richmond would be connected. Even when he was finally arrested, I was unimpressed and simply waiting for when all the clues would truly reveal the killer.

I've had a hard time all season finding anything interesting concerning the campaign. Maybe it's because the characters involved with the political portion haven't been explored as intimately as some of the others on the show. Sure, Jamie is a political shark and Gwen gets jealous. Richmond clearly has feelings for his dead wife still, but what do we really know? There hasn't been enough about their personal lives to make me care or become excited when these characters come on screen.

At least with the Larsens, I've had a chance to witness their struggles and everyday experiences. Stan has shown growth as a character and the ability to make me feel sorry for his loss despite his horrendous actions towards Ahmed. He's not an evil man. Plus, coming home to reunite with his family showed his understanding of moving forward after his little bit of soul searching.

As for Mitch, it was disappointing to watch this mother openly abandon her other two children. I agree that her feelings and actions needed to stop for the sake of the children, but to ditch out altogether? As much pain as she feels for losing Rosie, it's no excuse to forget about your other kids.

My interest truly peaked, though, when Linden discovered that the photo Holder revealed was a fake.

How could you, Stephen Holder!? Have you found your way to the dark side?

Holder has been my favorite character on this show and Joel Kinnaman has brought him to life in way that is a delight to watch. His charm, wit, and intriguing demeanor create combine for entertaining screen time. Finding out that this good guy could now possibly be a bad guy was certainly jaw-dropping.

The questions surrounding him have me eager to see the direction his character is headed. At what point did he go rogue? Was it from the beginning? Was he doing it for money? Was he actually trying to solve the Larsen case at all? Who was he working for?

Linden's big reveal - paralleled with Belko pulling a gun on Richmond - was a shocking conclusion to an otherwise average episode (albeit disappointing for a season finale). Thank goodness there was no cliched gunshot over a blackened screen.

But was this the right move? Should the show have revealed Rosie's killer?

In the end, it's the two characters of Linden and Holder that will have me returning for next season. Their chemistry and fresh characterizations make for great television, although I'm sure the dynamic is soon to change. As for Rosie? I guess I can wait a little longer to find out who killed her. Hopefully the story will pick up its pace and keep me interested enough to watch another 13 episodes. Then again, it might just be like real life. Sometimes we don't get all the answers simply because we want them.

Was it a good idea to leave viewers on a cliffhanger? What about Linden's discovery and Holder's reveal? Will we ever find out who killed Rosie Larsen? Sound off with your comments on the season finale!


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (114 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


I'm all for shows that keep things ambiguous, but after watching for 13 episodes one expects some level of closure. Frankly I had lost interest about half way through, but kept watching because Holder and Linden were such great characters. Then that thoughtless and manipulative ending. To me it shows a total disregard for the audience. Before Sunday's finale I would have said the show was slightly above average, but after that ending it fell far below the average rank. There's no reason to watch a show if there are never any answers and really, everyone in The Killing seems to lead double or even triple lives. A person isn't just a sister, she is a sister, who is a hooker, who gets her niece into being a hooker but somehow being a hooker herself, she doesn't notice her niece is also a hooker. The producers set up the characters, then write plot twists that force the characters to do things that are unbelievable. Way too many contrivances and illogical connections. The biggest perhaps being the "photo." Anyone over the age of 8 would know that a faked photo wouldn't hold up for 2 seconds in court. In fact it would be quickly discovered as a forgery and Holder's career would be over (with possible jail time). It was a weak and ill conceived plot point. He is smarter than that. It's bad writing and worse producing. I watched the last several episodes only to see who the killer was - by then the show has lost me - but the producers decided to once again withhold that from us (or as Holder and Linden might say - they lied to us). I'm not going to invest more time into another season when this producer doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. The Killing got off to a great start, but the producers and AMC really blew it. Overall review of the show is... eh. Overall review of the ending (that wasn't an ending)... lame!


The killer is Jaimie, the campaign adviser. Knowing that Richmond had sex with this underage prostitue, he killed her to cover for Richmond.


"Then again, it might just be like real life. Sometimes we don't get all the answers simply because we want them." This is cop-out for all story-writers.


ABSOLUTELY HATED THE FINALE.....NO CLOSURE and made my favorite a CROOK.....SHAME !!!!!!!!!


You're the one who's "brain dead", Tidid Okleb (Belko didn't do it), because if you liked this misbegotten series, you must've been watching it with your eyes closed and sound muted. Otherwise, how could you overlook all the gaping holes in the plot? Only dirt-poor writing would have us believe Stan and Amber would not recognize each other at the hospital. Or would have Saint Stan not tell B... I mean Mitch about the house he bought. Can't you grasp that any cop worth a damn would immediately go over the mileage/gas logs they asked for, or know the name of the ferry because they lived there for years? Or how about their empty threat of telling Meg's husband about her affair after it's front page on every newspaper? The writing was insultingly stupid, only topped by the stupidity of AMC for airing it. You go right ahead and be entertained by this GREAT pile of steaming dung, that's fine by me. Maybe you'll grow up one fine day. I mean, there's always a need for city trash collectors and dog catchers.


I'll say it again...All I got were "Blue Balls & an I.O.U."


After reading countless inane comments on this thread and others, I now understand why we get such cr8p on TV. The vitriolic comments about this truly great TV series must come from the "brain dead majority" who don't recognise greatness when it hits them in the face. Stick to your Twilight and Arnie movie re-runs in future and stop bagging out genuinely great television shows. Obviously and sadly, the television networks listen to your negativeness and react accordingly and give us the tripe your comments demand. Boo hoo, we didn't find out who killed Rosie. Put your pacifiers back in and suck it up.
Roll on season 2 of The Killing. Personally, I can't wait. Great television by all concerned.


The implicit contract here between AMC struck with the viewers is that we will sit through 13 episodes on ONE police investigation, through the redirections of the finger of suspicion shifting from one character to another, in exchange for the payoff of FINALLY finding out who the actual killer in the grand finale. What we got instead was a total breach of trust. How long does AMC think they can keep stringing people along while they milk the cash cow? The Killing: Season 8 -- five years on Linden and Holder are still hot on the case, having suspected and re-suspected every character in the show several times over. I, for one, am done.


AMC can stick "The Killing" where the sun don't shine......apparently that's Seattle! What should have been a storyline lasting one or, at the most, two episodes, has been stretched to more than a full season. How much more is as much a mystery as the show itself. This must be what it feels like to be mugged. Had I known this would be the ending, I never would have started watching! What a waste of our time! This show has lost a family of viewers!


And the killer is...
Bob from Twin Peaks! Rosie is the new Laura Palmer

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The Killing Season 1 Episode 13 Quotes

Holder: What's so funny?
Linden: You trying to do math is kind of like a dog wearing a hat.

Yo, why don't you focus your beady little eyes on driving instead?