If day 21 of The Killing was Mother's Day, then Sarah Linden was having a horrible one. With a battered partner, no real help from the police and having to send your son away as her gifts, someone might want to think about just getting her a greeting card and bright tulips for next year.
"Off the Reservation" was split up into two focuses, with the front half involving the search for Holder and the back end trying to figure out Rosie's connection to the casino and Chief Jackson.
I've made it clear that Holder is my favorite character on the show with his quips and swagger, even if underneath is a gritty man struggling to deal with an addiction. He's too cool of a character to die. Right?
Although, I wasn't entirely sure he would survive, let alone be discovered this episode.
Thankfully, he was found, but the quickness of the resolution didn't feel forced. There was a true sense that the police were putting real time and effort into the search, literally digging through garbage just to find one of their own.
Seeing the image of Holder bloody and unconscious against the tree had me really thinking, "Did they actually kill him?" Holder received a massive beating (really, how can Chief Jackson and her posse not be given any consequences?) and I even half expected him to find his way into a coma or something.
Luckily Linden remained as adamant as ever and while it paid off for her partner, she had her badge and gun taken from her by Lt. Carlson.
Did anyone notice Lt. Carlson's meeting with the Chief? What's that all about?
Corruption and dirty back door deals seem to drive these people.
While I did miss out on Holder, this was really Linden's episode to shine. I wasn't as much of a fan of her mothering scenes with Jack (they need a real sit down to discuss everything and clear the air,) her persistence with the case is infectious.
And surprise, surprise, Rosie wasn't a prostitute after all, just a maid and waitress at the casino. But why did she need money? It had to be more than just to pay for her video camera.
Linden really keeps pushing and sometimes it certainly seems to break her spirit. She often appears distraught and confused (probably because of Jack, Carlson not having her back, that unknown past case), but it doesn't matter. She's so determined to get to the bottom of everything and bring the whole conspiracy down around itself.
I still have no idea how the political portion is going to tie in, aside from the tidbits we already know about the waterfront deal and Mayor Adams meeting up with Jackson. But why, oh why, can Richmond just not explain where he was?
Surely his competent team of Gwen and Jamie could put spin on his story and reveal a man in love with his wife instead of a crazy suicidal person. It just kills me he won't come out and say it, even if his pride is keeping it hidden.
I'm even bothered by Linden's refusal to acknowledge Stan Larsen. I know most of his tips on Rosie's murder are probably bogus, but she acts so cold to him. Poor guy, trapped in a place of trying to help but unable to. I am impressed at how well he has been able to keep it together though.
The ending was by far more quiet than last week, but it returned Holder to the stage and had the two ready to figure out what the mysterious tenth floor is all about. Even with their differences, eccentricities, and problems, Linden and Holder make a great pair and I'm glad they are back together.
And sure, even if Jackson and her crew come off as cliche bad guys, I'm glad that we've been able to add a little menace to the series. Whether or not they are truly involved in Rosie's murder is another thing, but I like the direction the show has decided to take.
Who do you think killed Rosie? What is the larger conspiracy? How is everything going to be tied together? Did you think Holder might actually die? Sound off with your thoughts below!
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.