The Killing Review: What's on the Tenth Floor?

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The Killing may have started out as a basic investigation into the death of Rosie Larsen, but like many simple beginnings, the path in question is not without its twists, turns, and uncoverings. There's usually something deeper at the heart of it and especially when death is involved, the characters are all effected in a variety of ways.

Truly, season two has pushed its focus more so on the people's lives that are in some way connected to Rosie Larsen whether it's her parents, the police, or the people she knew.

The past has been slowly revealed (Linden was in a psych ward? Gwen had an after party fling with Mayor Adams at 14?) and the secrets that seem to surround everyone are bubbling to the surface.

But what is it that makes us care?

Sayonara, Hiawatha

When the show first began, I tuned in for the concept of following one case over a stretch of episodes. It felt new and fresh with such a serious and slow process take on what really happens after a murder.

However, what kept me around (aside from wanting to know who killed Rosie Larsen) were the characters. Sure, a plot has to be well written and compelling enough to get me interested, but the characters help drive the show. You have to like the characters whether you like them or love to hate them, their actions and moments suck you in so you want to take the journey.

Without interesting or entertaining characters, everything falls flat or let's you find yourself checking the time for when it will all be over.

Which, unfortunately, "Sayonara, Hiawatha" spent more time with characters I'm less invested in.

I can say that I've managed to find a little more interest in Billy Campbell's Richmond, but at the end of the day, I'm not really concerned if he wins or loses the campaign. I hope he wins especially with all that he's been through, but it's just not at the top of my list.

It was certainly good to see him regaining some control over what made him run in the first place and telling off Chief Jackson for her shady ideas on not getting taxed and building whatever she wants. She rubs me the wrong way and I'm glad he told her to get lost, even if her endorsement could help determine his victory.

As for Stan, Brent Sexton does a great job of conveying his emotions and frustrations with what life has doled out for him, but his family often has me rolling my eyes. The intent is clearly for viewers to see how the death of a loved one can turn into a pitfall transforming everyone. And it has.

Except Tommy comes off as an obnoxious brat and Mitch's woe is me attitude continues to be grating.

She finally spoke with David Rainer, a really calm and nice guy who explained that Rosie was leaving. Yet she refuses to say that she is his kid or that Rosie was even murdered. She's so stuck on herself instead of anyone around her that I'm left not caring.

Linden and Holder save the day though because these are two well acted and pretty well written characters.

Maybe it's because they are directly focused with the case that is the central aspect of the show, but I'm interested in what they are up to.

Joel Kinnaman proves his prowess as an actor and fan favorite with phenomenal scenes like confronting Gil in his home and his endless blabbering in the hotel casino as a distraction. He can do both comedic moments and serious dark ones. He's a well rounded character that helps make me want to watch to the bitter end.

Even Linden's determination, as well as her relationship with Holder, are entertaining to watch. They are so different, yet work so well together.

The other portions left me more bored than anything, but Linden and Holder's scenes had me captivated.

So much so that the final ten minutes of finally entering the mysterious tenth floor was chock full of suspense. From the eerily dark setting, Holder's continuous exclamation for Linden to turn off her flashlight and get out, and Linden trying to understand Rosie's reasoning for going back to the casino, it had me glued to my seat and I was waiting for something bad to happen.

And while it did, and no idea who it is (maybe someone not from the casino?), the bloody city of Seattle keycard leads the investigation right back to the campaign. What was it that Rosie witnessed and who was that third person in the room?

Sure, everyone's impacted by the death, but the real gripping, compelling, and driving force of the show remains the case and its two wonderful lead detectives. That's what keeps me hooked and patiently waiting to find out who actually killed Rosie Larsen.


Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (62 Votes)

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


Sean, why shouldn't Tommy be a brat? He's distressed and acting out. I enjoyed Stan yelling "I hate you too!" at Tommy because it is so wrong and so unexpected; only evil parents act this way in regular TV shows. I also thought that the crying/hugging scene between Stan and the boys at the end of the episode was very moving despite being sappy; I thought it was probably the best family moment in the show so far.


wait, just to clarify. Gwen talks about how her first kiss was with was more than that, wasn't it? He raped her, right? and she just didn't wanna explicitly say that? but alluded to it to Darren?


"I'm going to be really disappointed if it turns out that Rosie died for none of the reasons we've been fed (or will be fed, in future episodes), but simply died as an accident, and whomever was with her panicked and decided to put her in the trunk and sink the car, etc." --Don't worry, ain't happening. Rosie was ALIVE when she was put in the trunk. She was struggling and even chipped her nail off while the car was sinking. This is a brutal murder.


We don't know yet that Gwen's father actually knew of the rape; the mayor may be lying. Still, abuse of power is such a major theme of the show that it wouldn't be a surprise. This whole episode had me thinking about how much I love this show. Sure, it has its flaws, but it gets a lot of things right. Kudos to AMC for not being afraid to air this and other quality shows with slow pacing that demand a lot of their viewers (e.g., Rubicon, The Walking Dead). Sometimes excellent acting and outstanding moments (even if a show's quality is inconsistent) are enough.


I agree that it's Linden and Holder's characters, and the actors who play them, that keeps me invested in the show. But there are so many diversions and unbelievable storylines that it's very hard to say this is a show worthy of them. Why didn't Rosie tell David that he was her dad? She had read the letter saying that he was, so why not tell him? I can understand that Mitch wouldn't tell him because she doesn't want him searching for her and finding out she's dead. But Rosie would want him to know, that's for sure. Are we really to believe that Gwen wouldn't mention being raped by the Mayor after all these years, why wouldn't she have come out with it before he was elected? There are many storylines that defy credibility, I'm afraid. But I do love Linden & Holder, so I'm sticking with it.


So Gwen was raped by the mayor when she was 14 and her dad knew about it... ridiculous! Was trying to hang in until the end to see who killed the girl, but the show isn't really about a dead girl or a murder investigation. It's a soap opera - like Dallas - and a bad one. Every characters has seemingly infinite skeletons in their closet and no one is ever who they seem to be. This makes iut impossible to like the characters because we're never sure who anyone really is. After a good start to season 1, this show runner and these writers really dropped the ball.


I'm going to be really disappointed if it turns out that Rosie died for none of the reasons we've been fed (or will be fed, in future episodes), but simply died as an accident, and whomever was with her panicked and decided to put her in the trunk and sink the car, etc. That said--the mayor is a pedo--maybe he was trying to have his way with Rosie, and she fought him off, fell, etc? She was only 16. I really felt for Gwen when the mayor told her he basically had her father's permission to molest her at 14. UGH. Mitch--if she decided to ever return home, I don't know that I wouldn't slam the door in her face. I understand that she's grieving, but the whole selfishness of her journey--she has two other children at home that she purportedly loves--is annoying the frak outta me! The fact that Rosie was working at the casino, in the evenings, and her parents had no clue where their kid was, just speaks to the disconnect and dysfunction in that family. I see that Terry is back in next week's preview. She needs to go away. Now.


I have been watching the show since the beginning and find it intriguing. One question I have that no one has ever addressed is: there had to have been two people invoved in the murder. One who commited the crime, put Rosie in the trunk of the campaign car, and one to drive the killer back to town. Any thoughts?? Chili


Any evidence on the card was probably ruined when Linden kept touching it with her un-gloved hand. It's useless as evidence now - any lawyer could get it thrown out - so this one will be solved not by clues, but in a Scooby Doo unmasking.


I too have become bored with the side issues but a good mystery has to have these to keep all avenues open. Without the campaign and Stan the show would just be another procedural police show. Saying that, I have always thought the answer is going to be found in the campaign. Too much time is spent there for it not to be crucial to who killed Rosie.

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