The Killing

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The Killing Review: The Boy with the Japanese Tattoo

by at . Comments

It's easy to get lost within the dreary world of The Killing, whether it's because of your fascination with the characters, the infamous case they surround or the fact that sometimes you can't understand why everyone looks like they've pressed their somber faces against a rain-soaked window and have been listening to Sarah McLachlan on repeat.

The show has maintained its consistency in its serious tone and season two is clearly pushing a focus towards its characters and their unraveling and/or dealing with the dramatic bumps in the road.

Yes, the Rosie Larsen case is still the primary focus, but there's been a stronger attempt at shining some light on the stone-faced denizens of Seattle. And while last week's episode seemed to shove that aspect in our faces - but left me feeling more tired and bored - this week's "Ogi Jun" gave us smaller doses while involving some real detective work. And no Mitch.

A Killing Clue?

Linden and Holder are back together, which is a good thing because I enjoy their pairing and their drastically different personalities, along with their determination to get the job done even with their troubled personal lives.

While Linden's inability to have stability for her son or find a better way to give him some parental attention is going to be a future problem, it merely made her just a bit more frustrated and cold than she normally acts. She cares for her son, but it will be interesting to see if her priorities change with her husband's suing for custody.

For now, she's still out to catch the killer and I appreciated getting some much needed movement on that particular front. At the very least, there's a feeling that Linden and Holder are questioning multiple subjects and gathering evidence before jumping to conclusions again.

I know the pacing is much slower than if you're watching CSI or something that is one and done by the end of the episode, but because it was mixed with the character situations and actually connecting the clues, it didn't feel like it was dragging along like last week's episode.

Even the revelation that the boy with the Ogi Jun tattoo was the son of the man that Stan Larsen killed to free himself from working with Janek took the show for a little spin. Does that mean that Rosie's death was a revenge killing?

The drawing discovered at the end (with her face crossed off) would certainly cause us to think in that direction - but I've got a feeling that the boy was infatuated with Rosie because he liked her and therefore sketched her. I'm guessing at some point Rosie rejected him and he got angry leading him to ruin his portrait. There's something more at work here.

If anything, I'm glad that Linden and Holder merely took the evidence to deepen their investigation and possible connection to Janek rather than outwardly thinking the boy with the tattoo had to be the killer.

I even liked that Stan was able to discover on his own that Janek might be more connected to his daughter's death than he thought. Despite Janek questioning Stan's manhood, Stan has definitely been taking matters into his own hands. He's been far more proactive than just sitting on the sidelines.

And even despite not really enjoying the scenes with the kids, Stan telling Tommy to fight instead of run away was a pleasant surprise. Sure, it can be seen as a questionable statement, but sometimes you have to stand up for yourself rather than ignore the problem and it mirrored Stan's own situation.

Richmond really doesn't want to stand up for himself anymore and has progressed to his angry phase of shutting the world out. I can't imagine not being able to walk anymore; his own frustrations must be tearing him down.

I'm curious as to what makes Jamie take such a personal interest in the man. Does he stick around out of loyalty, obligation or because no one else would show up for Richmond? His role has certainly changed from the political shark to the caring human being (Gwen turned icy cold, didn't she?) and in a way I find watching him attempt to deal with the unfortunate circumstances better than just Richmond's struggle. Jamie has a heart when he doesn't necessarily have to have one for Richmond.

I know the show has a long way to go before revealing Rosie's killer and that's fine with me. It really is. I just hope that it will continue to find clues and make logical choices in its direction rather blatantly misleading for the sake of a shocking discovery.

There's still something to be said for this show and, despite certain aspects that can be grating or frustrating, the atmosphere of The Killing is certainly a change from other programs. The world isn't so cookie cutter perfect and as long as the rest of the season maintains balance and avoids cliches, the bigger mystery will hopefully be a satisfying payoff. Hopefully.

Are you enjoying The Killing? Have you given up? Sound off below!

Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (55 Votes)

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

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I watched this show for a while but the idiotic mistakes in the investigation just blew it for me. They set this thing up to be intelligent,and it's just a night time soap opera drama with good acting and atmosphere.

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(part three of three; see the previous two messages for the first two parts) (Is it possible Mitch is visiting locations where she knows Rosie went and accepting advances from strangers in a misguided attempt to find the murderer herself?) The creative team also must be aware that Twin Peaks made the mistake of bowing to network pressure and revealing Laura Palmer's killer too early (or at all). Two (half, by old network standards) seasons isn't too long to wait for a murderer's reveal, and I could even forgo revealing the killer if they make the characters and their stories interesting enough. The Killing has a way to go in that department, but Sud and her team are doing enough right to keep me returning each week.

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For those who want to make Twin Peaks comparisons, yes, a few are valid, but The Killing's total lack of the supernatural makes this a very different series and prohibits making much of the parallels. And if you really wanted to run with a Twin Peaks parallel for the murderer, you'd have to conclude Mitch rather than Stan is the culprit. Like Leland Palmer on Twin Peaks, she had the big emotional breakdown at the funeral; she's now seeing her deceased daughter in pools of water. (And is she actually seeing someone who looks like Rosie, or is it just her imagination? It's been left intentionally ambiguous.) I think it's only a slim possibility that she killed her own daughter (The Killing is instead interested in the tense economic/social class divisions it's set up, making Rosie's killer almost certainly someone wealthy or at least caught up in the upper-class power games), but I also think more than grief is at play in all we saw of her in episode 3. (Is it possible she's visiting locations where she knows Rosie went and accepting advances from strangers in a misguided attempt to find the murderer herself?) The creative team also must be aware that Twin Peaks made the mistake of bowing to network pressure and revealing Laura Palmer's killer too early (or at all). Two (half, by old network standards) seasons isn't too long to wait for a murderer's reveal, and I could even forgo revealing the killer if they make the characters and their stories interesting enough. The Killing has a way to go in that department, but Sud and her team are doing enough right to keep me returning each week.

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Viewers are often writing off suspect possibilities too quickly, I think. Richmond is out as the murderer? It seems so, but we were told in episode 3 that the Ogi Jun tattoo signifies that the murderer's reasons are there to see from the start, but you have to come back around to them in order to grasp them (or something like that). And if that's not the case, it's still possible -- I'd guess even probable -- that he'll be in some way connected to the second murder that Veena Sud is setting up this season (or the victim himself). I don't think we should be so quick to assume that the creative team is just giving us pointless scenes with characters who are no longer relevant (e.g., Richmond's campaign team, Mitch), as some reviewers have charged about Richmond. For those who want to make Twin Peaks comparisons, yes, a few are valid, but The Killing's total lack of the supernatural makes this a very different series and prohibits making much of the parallels. And if you really wanted to run with a Twin Peaks parallel for the murderer, you'd have to conclude Mitch rather than Stan is the culprit. Like Leland Palmer on Twin Peaks, she had the big emotional breakdown at the funeral; she's now seeing her deceased daughter in pools of water. (And is she actually seeing someone who looks like Rosie, or is it just her imagination? It's been left intentionally ambiguous.) I think it's only a slim possibility that she killed her own daughter (The Killing is instead interested in the tense economic/social class divisions it's set up, making Rosie's killer almost certainly someone wealthy or at least caught up in the upper-class power games), but I also think more than grief is at play in all we saw of her in episode 3. (Is it possible she's visiting locations where she knows Rosie went and accepting advances from strangers in a misguided attempt to find the murderer herself?)

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This show seems now to be mostly is about dirty secrets. Every character has a walk-in closet full of skeletons and it's gotten annoying. Plot wise it's ridiculous. Example: Rosie was really dating the son of the man her father killed to get out of the mob 17 years ago? Gimme a break. It's only 17 days since the murder - not a lot of time - but the characters are acting as if months are passing. Richmond came out of gun shot surgery where he almost died and is paralyzed, and two days later (in show time) his assistant is hauling him out of bed and dropping him to the floor. Stitches? Open wound? Tubes? How much does Richmond weigh anyways that one guy can't move him to a wheelchair?

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Everything that happened in this episode already happened in others. I agree about Holder. Love him, but how does he go from being on top of the world to suicidal and back in two days? Linden, the other reason I watch is becoming a very tiring character. We already knew Linden was in foster care, no new info came out, just a rehash. The councilman in hospital is terribly monotonous and I have no interest in his assistant being in love with him. Larson and the mob? Hos reaction when he went in was impotent. All I kept thinking when watching this episode was we've seen this all before!

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I'll just say that like everyone else last season ended bad. But, I enjoy the show and love the acting. I think the plot is a bit convoluted. The Danish version is superb. But, big but, it still kicks compared too anything on network. I think it is really picking up again can't wait till next week. I thank God for AMC. The only Series I can watch are on it. So thanks AMC for that

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I'm with you. This week's episode saw some definite movement and wasn't the dreary, ponderous exploration of character with little notice to the case as was last week's s show.
There are still plenty of twist and turns but it looks as though there is direction now. Had this show been as dark and stagnant as last week's I'm afraid that it would have been all for me. But, I have renewed hope again. The characterizations are fascinating and now things are moving again. I'm hooked for at least another episode.

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I disagree with the h8trs. This was a decent episode. We got movement on the case. We got insight into Linden and the foster care system. We got insight into Stan and his mob involvement. The kid troubles on both sides (Linden's and Stan's) were toned down a bit. We got to see Regi again. I remain on the fence about this show's attitude towards empathy and understanding among characters. The show's motto might as well be "No, I don't want to talk about it!" Linden's cold refusal to let Holder get some of his guilt off of his chest showed how angry she was ... but it was still harsh. I'm surprised she didn't say, "You want to confess, go see a priest." The show's other motto might be "Nothing is easy," but that doesn't mean it should be nearly impossible to get Linden to act like a human being.

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Yes, I need to buy a second TV, but I also will feel good if just one person who's never seen "The Killing" reads this and decides not to waste their time watching it. The plot line in this show matches Twin Peaks nearly stride for stride: the casino/teenage brothel, the most powerful guy in town being the suspect, the disturbed father, etc. (Stan Larsen, by the way, will turn out to be the killer). Anyway, There are too many similarities to ignore, and it makes one wonder whether Veena Sud simply said, "Well, Twin Peaks worked, it's been 20 years, so why don't I just copy the show and make money off of it?" But to my original point, Twin Peaks had this surreal/metaphysical aspect to the show that gave it a unique style. This show simply shows it raining all the time. It's just a bad show to the point where it's a travesty, and I feel the public should know about it!

The Killing Season 2 Episode 4 Quotes

It should have been you, Stan.

Janek

I'm the definition of relaxed.

Richmond