The Killing Review: Don't Turn Back

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Wow. Where did that come from?

Season two got off to a great start, digging deeper into the conspiracy and driving the characters forward in the two hour premiere event. Yet as the season has progressed, the momentum has seemed to be slowing down and while the episodes were certainly decent, a lot of it felt like more of the same. Rain, sadness, grief, more rain.

Which, as much as I or anyone jokes about the weather of Seattle, provides the perfect additive for the dark and continuously dreary tone of the show. Except even with all of the questions surrounding characters' haunted pasts and struggles in the present, there was a lack of something at stake. Tension felt absent and the case seemed to be hitting a brick wall, even if more clues were popping up.

"Keylela" struck with such a dramatic force that it reinvigorated what made the series compelling in the first place. Suspense soaked the hour and believable emotions rang high. This was an episode that made me care and pushed along fantastic scenes where I wanted to see what would happen next.

Darren Richmond Photograph

It was truly a pleasure watching both Linden and Holder work as detectives, trying to solve their way through the mystery, and not just having a new potential perp appear for them to interrogate. While Linden's hunch lead her to the Indian burial ground and the ominous warning from Nicole, the head of the casino, it was Holder's tricks and maneuvering that proved both entertaining and useful to the investigation. He not only got a lead on where Rosie's backpack came from, but learned of a mysterious in the process of being renovated tenth floor of the casino.

Honestly, though, Joel Kinnaman cracks me up with all of his The Killing quotes and sharp remarks. He's definitely a conflicted individual, but his personality shines through so you want to watch him on screen. He's a character worth following.

Mireille Enos brought Linden to another level, too, trying to desperately to hold onto solving the case and take care of her son. I truly felt for her as she sat powerless with the police officers questing her parenting. Even trying to comfort Jack in the car was a tough scene to watch as she tried to wrestle with running from the police and feeling the emotional strain of the pain she's causing. Life is not working out well for her.

And while I enjoyed watching the detectives take up a good portion of the screen time, it was nice knowing they are on to something. I really don't know what it is. They don't know what it is. But it was the mere fact that they were crossing into a territory that threatened both their careers and their lives that raised the stakes.

Having Holder suffer the beat down consequences while Linden listened on the phone? He's a cop! You can't just do that. The ominous dark setting mixed with his desire to crack jokes while getting pounded was the perfect way to end the episode. It wasn't a cliffhanger, really, but it established a real danger in digging into the case. It had me gripped.

Sure, the pacing was great and the focus riveting, but the actors were really on their game. To be honest, I usually find the scenes with Stan Larsen and even the campaign more hit or miss. Not the case this go around.

Richmond and Stan speaking together struck a great emotional chord and I felt for both sides. Billy Campbell has managed to take the consistently smiling and driven Richmond to a more broken level that is filled with a quietness. Richmond may be returning to the campaign, but his accident has left him a changed man. Campbell's brought a deeper vulnerability and the line "Make them care" was spoken with such sincerity and conviction that he certainly made me care.

Brent Sexton who plays Stan, turned around my thoughts on the grieving father. Not only was I pleased he didn't fall for the campaign ploy without a signed document, but I forgot that he was playing a character. From his quiet moments, his outburst on Terry, and his heartfelt speech on TV, Stan captured the effects of losing a child. He was willing to give everything he had, his mere $12,000, for simple help.

This is the type of episode I want to watch. I was gripped with both the case and the outside characters in a way that I haven't normally. Drama, stakes, tension, and character encompassed the whole chilling hour giving me something to care about and something worth watching.

Grab your umbrellas. It's time you head back out into The Killing.


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (60 Votes)

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


There is no info yet on whether the show will have a season 3.


@Bates: I think I read that in the Danish version the Holder character was killed. Jan Meyer (= Holder) was killed in episode 17 or 18 of the first 20-episode season. This episode ("Keylela") is the 7th of the season and the 20th of the US show. That doesn't mean "our" Holder is dead ... but he certainly might be. @Folgers: No one said that Linden's son never wanted to be with her. You're right. He does want to hang with his dad (and Holder) but that doesn't mean he doesn't want to be with his mom. My point, though, was that his jumping out the window and her going along with it don't make sense. If they want to [w]rap it up this season , this whole casino thing has to be the key. Agree.


I think I read that in the Danish version the Holder character was killed. I hope that does not happen to our Holder. As to who killed Rosie. I'll stick with my original suspects, the mayor and-or the developer, with the help of the mob.


No one said that Linden's son never wanted to be with her. He is just as conflicted running around while she works this case. He understands shes deeply invested but at the same time wants a normal life. I do not think this cleaning lady story line is another red herring. If they want to rap it up this season , this whole casino thing has to be the key.


I agree that Holder is one of the best reasons to watch the show, but I think the fact that we didn't see him in the preview was just a tease to make us think he might be killed. Holder is one of the characters I truly care about, you want to see him succeed. So glad there was no Mitch. I'm not really interested in Richmond or his staff either. I have a feeling the whole casino story is another red herring, it's time the show gives us some real suspects, although I believe that in a good mystery you are watching these real suspects throughout the story, and not just the last few episodes.


Well, I guess the point of a good show or book for that matter, is that everyone comes out of it with their own perspective. I think the show is a very good drama. Unlike "cop" shows, you get well rounded insight into all the characters effected by the "Killing". It's not just about "who done it". It goes beyond the pale and invites us into the mindset of each one of the characters, why they chose the paths they did and the aftermath of their decisions. Very Good acting.


I return to the show for the acting, and hope in vein something will be exciting. Switched to another show and caught the recaps. Too many red herrings, not enough happening.


1. As far as I can tell, no one has announced that "The Killing" will not be renewed for a third season. On the other hand, the show's ratings are now similar to those of "Rubicon" near the end of its short run. 2. Holder better not be dead. While the show's ratings have fallen to the point where it probably cannot be salvaged anyway, killing Holder would be ... the last nail, the straw, ... pick your favorite cliche. 3. Linden, the cop, goes on the lam with her son ... because she can't think of a way to keep him from jumping out the window? Seriously? And this is the kid who doesn't want to be with her, anyway? 4. Stan has been great all along. If only the other members of the family were as well written and acted ... It was a relief to see none of Mitch and little of Terry. Too bad we had to see Richmond and his campaign staff.


Did the show get conceled? I haven't heard anything... I hope they'll resolve the murder before they cancel it.

Ronald simkins

I must have watched a different show. Linden is such a crappy mother that I can't imagine what Jack will become. On the other hand Holden is a better parent for Jack than Linden will ever be. I have to say I am not surprised that the show got cancelled.

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The Killing Season 2 Episode 7 Quotes

You can't put a price on wisdom.


Laugh it up Linden, my dojo's a sanctuary of light.