The Killing Review: Gwen, Jamie and the Usual Suspects
I'm not sure if it's the anticipation of knowing that we will finally figure out who killed Rosie Larsen that's enhanced my viewing of these final episodes, but I can barely move at the moment. Darn that glue on my seat that resulted from part one of the season finale.
Although, technically, I'm not sure why it can't just be considered the penultimate episode leading into the "real" finale that airs next week, but "Donnie or Marie" pushed viewers towards two possible killers. And, no, the Osmond pair did not special guest star and sing out who the killer was.
Gwen or Jamie? Gwen and Jamie?
I know that's what the show wants us to think, but I can't help but have this itching feeling at the back of my mind that the final reveal of the night seemed too easy and that there's going to be a rug pulled out from under us for what could be considered another shocking twist.
I've always had my suspicions that the season would wind back up where we began, with the campaign fully immersed in the murder case, as Linden and Holder have continued to work tirelessly to get to the bottom of everything. Coming around full circle, perhaps?
Which, knowing that their leads and realizations of clues (Gwen photo friendly with the casino, Jamie pushing forward Michael Aames' project, Chief Jackson's physical abuse of her employees) has really put the two detectives in a fun place of power. Not only is there a sense that they can see the end in sight, but calmly and giving oh so cool interrogations was enjoyable to watch.
From Linden smiling because she knows they're close to the end, to Holder getting in people's faces and acting snarky with his "bro" and reindeer comments, the two are entertaining. They still have pasts and personal issues, but their teamwork and determination is preparing them for a victory. I hope that if we do get a third season that we spend more time with Linden and Holder solving cases.
The big shocker of the night was finally finding out that Jamie was meeting with Aames and Chief Jackson. It was a huge piece of information, and it's certainly interesting that Richmond discovered a particular tidbit on that subject from the campaign manager's grandfather. Why would he say anything now?
But even with that significant clue, it still doesn't prove that Jamie killed Rosie. And it still begs the question: Why? Why Rosie?
Have we ruled out Gwen because of the most recent facts we've learned? Have we ruled out everyone else entirely?
If anything, the discovery was an exciting one and a great place to leave viewers hanging, chomping at the bit to just know everything.
I kind of hope it was Jamie that did it. I can see plenty of motive behind his actions, but I'd love to have Eric Ladin, who plays Jamie, really expose and open up a character we haven't gotten a ton of chances to view outside of the office. In a way, I wouldn't mind not having another twist and instead really getting inside as to what happened and why, without quickly wrapping it up in the final 10 minutes.
In fact, it was enjoyable having the bounce back between Jamie and Gwen, with their raising potential to be the "true" killer, that for me, while I've suspected Jamie more and more, have still felt wary of jumping to conclusions. There's still a sense of not really having any clue who killed Rosie, which may be extremely obnoxious to some and perfectly riveting to others.
But that noir tone has never changed, The characters have remained true to themselves flaws and all, and the case, while at times long winded, in these last few episodes has felt like its moved somewhere, giving us something to grasp onto and feel as if the answers are within our reach.
Things are coming to a final head and I hope the final showdowns are worthy of the time we will spend on them. I'm hoping for something that solidifies and closes everything with a satisfying payoff, and while I know that those are big shoes to fill (very big shoes. Remember the last Killing finale?) I think that the rain will clear for just a moment to give fans what they want. At least I really want it to.
It's also important to mention that while not nearly as exciting as the case, Mitch coming home and getting told off for leaving was satisfying. The character has just never been one I've been clamoring for more scenes with, but having both Terry and Stan call her out for leaving her family while they sucked it up to keep it all going was great. Mitch tried so hard to defend her soul searching and prove that her love and pain was the only thing that mattered and even more so than anyone else's suffering.
Stan and Terry, bravo for letting her know what I've wanted her to hear for the longest time.
I knew that we wouldn't actually find out who killed Rosie (or did we?), but once again, the episode found a way to utilize its noir-ish tone, rain soaked backdrop and murder mystery to its advantage, delivering an entertaining hour of television that still has me formulating theories in my head. The true question will be whether or not part two of the finale can finish with the same gusto and give viewers the conclusion they've been holding out for.
It will certainly determine if we see The Killing return for a third season or instead hear the sound of remotes changing channels for good.
Do you think it's Jamie? Do you think it's Gwen? Both of them? Someone else? Just don't care at this point? Sound off with your comments, theories, and questions below!
The Killing: "Donnie or Marie"
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.