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The Killing Season 2 Premiere Review: Worth A Second Chance

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The Killing is back and, no, its not an April Fool's joke, although I'm sure many fans out there felt like the lack of resolution on the first season finale had to be one.

What type of show carries a tagline of "Who killed Rosie Larsen," utilizes a suspect tracker for fans on its website and strongly alludes to the fact that all would be revealed... only to reveal nothing on the finale?

That's sure to have stung quite a few loyal viewers, making them feel manipulated and tricked. And while I was unsure how I felt about the direction the controversial ending took, I was captivated by Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder throughout those opening episodes.

The Killing Season 2 Premiere Pic

After watching the season two premiere, I think fans should reconsider abandoning the show. If anything, I've come to look at this two-hour event as simply the start of season 1.5. After all, "Forbrydelsen," the Danish TV show on which it was based, aired 20 episodes before the killer was revealed. Now, whether or not the two are comparable quality wise in getting to that end result is another debate - but this feels like the second half of exploring the brutal murder of the young Rosie and beyond.

"Reflections" picked up immediately after the last episode, sending Richmond to the hospital and Linden away from the airport. Sometimes I think she wonders "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in" with the amount of times she tries to leave Seattle and her police work behind.

And true to form, Richmond's fate hung in the balance while his posse of Gwen and Jamie paced back and forth in contorted frustration and distress. It's hard for me to feel for Richmond beyond the fact that I never thought he deserved to die, mostly because I've been disinterested in any of his scenes for the mere fact that the political campaign seemed completely separate from the crime. True, the two found a way to link up in the end and there's seemingly more to the story now, but those characters haven't gripped me in a way that I care enough yet.

Even his paralysis - while an interesting turn of events, lile to have a strong impact on his campaign - didn't shock me. although it was better than saying the guy completely survived. Rather it was the revelation that he didn't kill Rosie that was the main takeaway here.

Did I ever think he might have done it? That would be a resounding no, but having the proof that he didn't finally checks him off the list like on a game of Clue. The discovery also developed his character far more in illustrating his deep love for his deceased wife and his intense desire to continue on in trying to win Mayor. I wonder if Linden will be forced to reveal at some point that Richmond tried to kill himself on the night that Rosie died?

Except now that Richmond is no longer a suspect, the show is back to square one. We aren't any closer to putting all the pieces together beyond figuring out who hasn't done it. I just hope that we don't throw another character under the bus as a suspect just to mislead the viewers. It's been done. Move on.

Clearly the show is attempting to dig deeper into conspiracy and the idea remains intriguing, especially where Stephen Holder is concerned. Joel Kinnaman brings an emotional and compelling depth to my favorite character on the show and both the first part and "My Lucky Day" explored the dark path he's unfortunately been placed on.

Kinnaman has a charisma and charm that is mixed with a gritty and intense realism so that when you watch Holder, you want him to escape his dark past even as his troubles prevent him from it. It was rather sad witnessing him slowly discover that the police he trusted turned out to be even more corrupt than he used to be. Holder is far from a bad guy and only looking to do the right thing, even as he takes shortcuts. Watching him desperately plead with Linden to open the door was heartbreaking. He knew that he screwed up and the one person he felt he could turn to couldn't trust him anymore.

It's clear that Sarah Linden wants to find Rosie's killer, even if it means going where she shouldn't. She has a resilience and quiet determination that Mireille Enos continues to evoke. I hope she finds a way to work with Holder again. And please get a hold of your whiny kid, Jack.

I'm sorry, but the kids on this show seem so unrealistic. I get rebellion from Jack, I get the Larsen boys acting out for the loss of their sister and the abandonment of their mom, but their dialogue felt forced. Plus, they just seem to complain a lot and it makes me wish the show would return to focusing on the major characters.

As for Stan Larsen, he's still in a state of pain over Mitch leaving, Rosie's death, learning that Rosie's killer is still out there and his children not thinking he can take care of them. The man has a lot on his plate and it only makes sense that when the chips are down, he calls in the Polish mob boss.

I'm banking on a mob and political connection further down the road, but there is definitely something deeper and more twisted beyond the simple fact that Rosie died. With cops speaking with the Mayor's people, evidence being faked, and character's pasts surfacing, the show is headed towards something bigger. Will it be a good bigger? Will the payoff be satisfying? Or will taking the journey second time around be a fool me twice, shame on me type of deal.

I know there's a lot to digest from the two episodes, even the ray of sunshine during one of the scenes seemed surprising, but I'm willing to give The Killing a second chance. I still find Linden and especially Holder compelling, exciting and enthralling characters trapped in a rain-soaked world of murder and suspense that aches to be further explored.

What did you think of the premiere? Are you still upset about last year's finale? Sound off below!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
  • 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (4 Votes)

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

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    Back to Linden, it is unforgivable that she didn't pursue this line of investigation before arresting the guy. No DA would have allowed authorized an arrest on the evidence they had, because any attorney could have and would have obliterated it in court. This writing ends up subverting her character as a great investigator and is one reason why I can no longer watch this show. As said below too many red herrings, too many plot holes, too many choices that don't make any sense for the characters.

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    The fact that the story wasn't moved along at all in the premiere will pretty much do the show in. It's one case. The list of people who are suspects and then cleared is getting absurd. I don't think it's a total rip-off, but there are enough obvious parallels to Twin Peaks in this show that they might as well call the show "Twin Peaks Light" or, better yet, "The Lack of Creativity in AMC's Screen Writing Department." To top it all off, they should get a prettier actress than Mireille Enos. Her face is brutal.

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    "2nd chance"?? I don't consider watching season 2 to be giving it a "2nd chance" at all. I'd been looking forward to season 2 ever since the final episode of season 1. Great show! Interesting story lines, good acting, excellent depth-of-character with most of the main characters. What's not to like? Bring it! Popcorn is ready!

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    @gaston The problem with The Killing is not that they didn't reveal Rosie's killer. The problem is that in place of revealing Rosie's killer, they keep presenting red herring after red herring and then going back to square one every time its revealed that "shocker", they are not the killers. The teacher, Belko and Richmond were just a few of the many contrived plots they gave us to distract us before they finally reveal the culprit. Waiting to reveal the culprit until the end is fine, but they need to make the story worthwhile. Instead, it's contrived and dragged out and most of us are sick of it. The next 10 episodes will be Linden targeting two or three new red herrings and then discovering they're not guilty one after the other. It's a rinse-and-repeat cycle that never ends with this show. It's become so monotonous and boring that the writers don't even know how to drag it out so we get hit in the face with ridiculous plot holes and coincidences. Remember the t-shirt appearing in the dryer while Stan beat up the teacher? Just dumb writing. I've given up on the show. Anyone with sense should too.

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    A new tag lines for "The Killing": "In Seattle, the owls are not what they seem."
    "You've seen this story before somewhere in the darkness of the future's past where the magician longs to see...one chants out between two worlds, fire walk with me..."

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    I also wonder if the perception of this show would be different if AMC had treated the second season like SyFY treated season 2 of Battlestar Galactica. They took season 2 and split it up into two 10 episode chunks and called it Season 2 and Season 2.5 Would people have been so quick to levy such harsh criticism if the show just left the air for 8-9 months, and then came back labeled as season 1.5?

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    I've never understood why people were upset with the way season 2 ended. I mean yes I get that people felt cheated, but I find it hard to sympathize because it's not like they sat through a FULL season of 22 episodes and got no answers whatsoever. I also thought that when it was revealed that the Danish show had at least 20 episodes to reveal the murderer that people would calm the F down... When did people get so uptight about their entertainment? Belko and Holder blew me away this episode... Belko's incessant rocking back and forth/babbling in the interrogation room and Holder's eagerness to literally knock down Linden's door to explain himself was some of the best acting I've seen on TV in a while. I'm also loving the introduction of paranoia that seems to have blanketed most of the characters now.

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    I'm sick and tired of all the whiny little brats who complain about people who post critical comments on how season one of 'The Killing' ended and didn't fullfill their "great expectations", well 'forget you'! You have the attention span of a person reading negative comments about a reality show. 'The Fugitive' a great TV drama of the 60's, kept viewers on the edge of their seats for years even though they knew some people had critical comments of the show. So, show some patience and let critical comments about 'The Killing' evolve. Critical comments about a drama some believe is so beautifully crafted, filmed and acted is well worth the time. Not to mention comments about Mireille Enos's haunting,darkly lighted and shadowed stares. A true heroine.

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    Oh and it looks like Duck is back to ruin everything for everybody on another AMC show. Dammit Duck

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    Definitely growing the beard. I got used to the idea that the show would be mediocre a couple episodes into season 1, the whole fiasco with Rosie's ex boyfriend was terrible, the teacher storyline was contrived but somewhat interesting, the second to last episode was tight, and yes the finale was pretty disappointing. Fortunately this premiere has renewed the hopes I had when I saw the first promo.