The Killing

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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
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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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I like it all...last season & season 2 premiere. What will the video In Rosie's backpack reveal? What will the $5million donor (sleaze ball) want now that Darren is paralyzed? What did Rosie do at the Casino? Will the teacher, that Stan beat-up, ever regain conscienceness? And what will the basement room at the high school reveal? Terry has some deep secrets. The mother characters are far from traditional...Linden & Mitch ....interesting. And lastly, what in Linen's past haunts her enough to take this case after she "quit.".

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I'm sick and tired of all the whiny little brats who complain about how season one of 'The Killing' ended and didn't fullfill their "great expectations", well 'forget you'! You have the attention span of 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 who the murderer was, or wasn't. So, show some patience and let 'The Killing' evolve. A drama so beautifully crafted, filmed and acted is well worth the time. Not to mention Mireille Enos's haunting,darkly lighted and shadowed stares. A true heroine!

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I totally agree about giving the show a "second" chance. I think the premiere demonstrated that it can continue to give depth to these characters. I'm a big Holder fan. I also love Enos as Linden and think the two of them work well together. Some scenes are also really nicely shot, bringing out the best in the actors and setting a great, mysterious mood. I love Holder meeting up with the crooked cop or his first encounter with Linden after he uses her kid to get her to come to the police station. People complain about the "inconsistency" of the series, but I think in the case of Holder it works; he always manages to convince me his intentions are good, even if they are creepy. - Shoot the Critic, http://shootthecritic.com

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I refuse to watch this season. It's not that I was so disappointed by the finale (which I was). I felt that the first 5 or so episodes of season 1 were fantastic. Then each episode became a bunch of red herrings that put them back at square one. The show dragged and I began fast fowarding through a lot of it. The only reason I kept watching was because I was invested and I wanted a resolution. Which based on the campaign tagline and the fact that the website had a suspect tracker, I assumed would happen in the finale. Now, I just don't care anymore.

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With a show written this well one has to develop the patience to go along for the ride. Yes there are more twists and turns, but that's part of the excitement. My one question: did anyone else get the impression that by Stan's telling Janek to find and eliminate Rosie's killer--he's revealed himself as the true mob boss?!? How else do you make that kind of demand...?

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Yes Crystal. I definitely noticed Sofie Gråbøl guest starring as the district attorney. It is very interesting that she played Sara Holden/Sara Lund in the original danish show and did it wonderfully. So nice too see her here and I just hope she will play a big part this season. By the way the American Sara Holden does an amazing job too. Nice to see the show moving in a different direction than the danish while still maintaining the universe and very dark mood. I love the show and please be patient, because this is not a show only about solving a murder but just as much about the murder of a young woman affecting so many different persons in so different places. It is a great cast all around and great writing and I hope it goes on like this. Great opener:)

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The problem with this show is that it makes NO PROGRESS whatsoever. A story goes from Point A to Point B. All this show has done is present a red herring suspect, drop the case, and then do it with someone else. The teacher, Belko, Richmond... When the hell is this rinse and repeat cycle going to end? We are exactly at the same point as when the season started. The only difference is that there is a conspiracy theory now. 12 more episodes about who is in charge of the conspiracy. They'll present a couple new characters and announce them all as red herrings one after the other. It's not compelling television. I'll pass on Season 2. The premiere was fine had it been the first season premiere. Season 2 should have progressed the story, but its obvious the writers have no interest in that.

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Loved it and season one. It's a series not high drama! Get over it if you expected more than great writing and exceptional acting. Really !!!

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I was in the eh camp after season 1 but felt it would be play better on a rewatch knowing a little of the end and I was right... It also helped that the local cable and Netflix had the whole season On Demand without commericals so it flowed pretty quickly... I think a deep complicated show played better that way since you could remember stuff more easily from the first couple of episodes in the last couple.. After all, the action takes place over 13 days... So after my marathon rewatch of The Killing last week and weekend, I was primed for last night and I thought it delivered.. It was tough to take Holder as a bad guy but it's clear now that he was manipulated and he's now realizing it..

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I loved the S2 premiere. Things that I didn't expect: What happened to Belko (or, what he did to himself... I think there is some question there). Gwen rolling over and "telling" on Richmond. Jamie seeming genuinely concerned about Richmond's health. Things I expected and that ticked me off: Mitch not wanting to talk with Stan in the jail, and assuming he'd gambled away their savings, not giving him a chance to explain what he'd done with the money. Stan going to Janek. Oy, Stan, way to set yourself up to being in even more trouble. Also, Stan getting into the ICU to see the English teacher? That seemed wrong. Yet I can't stop watching, because of Linden and Holder.