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.


Why would anyone think that they would actually reveal the killer in the season finale? It was only thirteen episodes-do you really think it could have been as rewarding to be given a nice pat little ending and then let's move on? What's wrong with investing yourself in the program for awhile? Yes, it moves slowly, but that's part of what makes it intriguing. If more people had better attention spans instead of a need for instant gratification, a program like Rubicon would still be on whereas the vast majority of crap on TV now would not be.

Saad khan

I'm so angry and frustrated that I got a spoiler for you guys SPOILER : Vagn was the killer in the original. He was the co-worker of the dad. SO if the American version copies, it'll be Belko Royce. But they aren't, so it's a mute point. Here you go ppl, find some relief like Me :))

Saad khan

It was utterly disappointed...wasn't it was suppose to be like Swedish show.. every season, new killing? that's Pathetic of AMC just because viewers were eager to see what happened to Rosie Larson? they change the end and stretched it as lot of supporting actors like Michelle got nominations in awards.. su*k it AMC!


What other shows do I think are better? For starters: EVERY SINGLE SHOW ON AMC; which makes The Killing so much worse. Breaking Bad is the single best show on television. Mad Men is the epitome of drama. Walking Dead revolutionized what we knew about humanity. Remember Rubicon? Probably the most intelligent show ever written, but they canceled it. You hand me The Killing, I respond with any season of Dexter. I laugh at you for thinking this is the best show since LOST.


I think it was both fascinating AND frustrating! LOVE LOVE LOVE this show more than any other on tv! I watch and DVR every episode! I hope the councilman is just severely injured and not dead so that he can become mayor as soon as his name is cleared. First the teacher was beat almost to death when he didn't do anything, it would be beyond ashame if another person died for no reason related to Rosie's death. I KNEW there was something suspicious about Linden's new partner, but THAT took the cake! I LOVE that each episode only represents a single day! Definitely adds to the real-life feel of the show. I hope the first episode of the new season ties Rosie's murder up into a nice neat bow with the killer finally revealed and a new murder to solve leaving Linden to stay put, and Holder de-badged and in jail for falsifying evidence, and a new season of wtf happens now to follow along! For those who complain and think the show is somehow "formulaic" and too slow, I have to laugh and wonder what shows you are watching that you think are better? This show isn't for the casual viewer. It's for those willing to invest themselves in the intellect of the whole. It's bar-none the BEST show since Lost to peak my interest and keep me coming back for more answers and questions week after week, and hopefully year after year!


Final episode filled with more questions and even more sub-plots. I must say we loved the show until the very end. The cast is amazing and believable. Great storyline and we couldn't look away from every episode. However, AMC, you're taking a huge risk by disrespecting your audience. You insult us by not bringing this plot full circle. Do you really think we're all going to come back to watch 13 more episodes and still not find out who killed Rosie? Why would you EVER reveal the true killer? Do you honestly think if this case would have been solved in the last episode that no-one would come back to see what's new next season? You don't give us enough credit. Now my husband and I and probably lots of people will just check in once in a while and likely just read the comments on-line. Bet your advertisers will love that.


Hopefully the story will pick up its pace nothing more to say in my mind.....


I feel the same sentiments as Cranium7 and most of the other people who posted. To not have the "killer" revealed is truly a sucky deal. To the writers of the show you have to remember that alot of these shows today are fast paced with no real consistent storyline from week to week. But with "The Killing" we recognized what it was and supported the show for what it is...Even when you gave us that filler episode #11 - "Missing" (That one really hurt my feelings) but it was so close to what I thought would be a final wrap up of who killed Rosie, and what was looking to be a potentially great finale. Then you have Brent Sexton doing PR saying that the finale is so diabolical and what not, giving the impression that it would definitely hit us with a "BANG"
Instead all we got were "blue balls & an I.O.U."
Now I'm still going to watch the show, but now I'm watching with a some what bad taste in my mouth for having to wait for what I feel I've already paid my dues for.( Not part of the Unwritten Universally known agreement between the viewer and a television seasonal series) Opposed to watching season two fully satisfied with the fruits of my labor, and enthusiastic about where the show would me in season two. I mean at least give us something fresh for season 2


My husband and I stayed up till midnight to watch this "last" show and find out who killed Rosie. Boy, were we disappointed. AMC advertised that this was a 13 week series and we'd follow the police investigation from start to finish in the 13 weeks. Now it's a cliff hanger and we have to watch again next weeks. Maybe we won't. It was an interesting premise, one hour = one day of police investigation but it tended to be very slow. I feel played and don't know if I will watch 13 more episodes to get a conclusion.


I guess that strange Holder's phone call now make sense.. Still disappointed though, Linden and Holder's interaction is what make me watch this show

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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?