The Killing Season Finale Review: Who Killed Rosie?

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There's always a high level of expectations for season finales because, ultimately, they are the culmination of an entire story arc.

They are that conclusion that draws everything together in a climactic and hopefully satisfying manner, not only so that we viewers are eager to discuss it but also so they are clamoring for more. They are that pretty little bow that ties it all up (while leaving a few threads hanging) and closes the chapter for a particular story and certainly for characters, often times sinking or keeping up an entire show.

A lot can ride on such an episode.

So, in terms of The Killing, the bar was set so exponentially high, that I feared an untimely failing, an ending that felt too trite or a reveal that was so far past its expiration date that the result would be too sour to enjoy.

"Who killed Rosie Larsen?" has been that dangling carrot in front of all of our awaiting faces and finally - yes, finally - the truth has been revealed.

The Killing Finale Scene

On my first viewing I wasn't sure what to feel. I wasn't elated. I wasn't excited. I wasn't jumping for joy with the massive turn of events that took place in addition to the big question being answered.

I watched it again and, like the first time, was sucked into the world, mesmerized not by the victory of our hero cops, Linden and Holder, but by the gut-wrenching moments that unfolded.

Jamie revealed not only his dirty scheme team up with Chief Jackson and Michael Aames, but that he found Rosie and brutally beat her. All for Richmond.

Eric Ladin laid it all out on the line as the behind-the-scenes Jamie now stepping up and telling Richmond everything he needed to hear to turn to the dark side, even if it was disturbing. There was such a proud pleading in the character that I didn't doubt the man would do anything for Richmond, anything to win. It was his life. There was nothing else.

Jamie had not only sold his soul because of it, but finally achieving the victory that he had desired was enough for him to point his gun at Holder. Did he know it was empty? Did he want to die because he knew he had finished his task or because deep down he recognized the atrocious act he committed needed to be punished?

That type of transgression, especially after last week's episode, felt obvious. Yet, rather than play out like a complete red herring, it stuck to the character and closed that gap on some of the missing elements. It proved to be a tense showdown not only between Jamie and Richmond, but Jamie and the police as well. Jamie was connected after all.

Still, the show's somber spiral had only just begun.

The true killer was left to Rosie's own Aunt Terry, and in a truly tragic scene, Terry exposed her pain and anguish over the death. She never knew it was Rosie in the car.

Terry was so caught up in wanting to be with Aames that she was willing to kill a girl to do it. Karma's a fickle bitch.

Except finally discovering who committed the crime was more heart breaking than fist pumping. The slowly played piano keys echoed hauntingly over the flashback, in addition to Terry's tormented face in the present. It was a fantastic scene that didn't feel forced. It was tragic on all levels.

The Larsen family receiving Rosie's video may have felt a little silly in terms of really stating the obvious: that she loved her family. However, the moment was sincere in its efforts to provide that closure for the family, so I didn't mind its overtness. Good luck to that family being able to move on and forward.

And, yes, Richmond won the campaign, but it was still never a moment that I'd truly been dying for. Although his victory did provide the unsettling freeze out of his closest companion, Gwen. Turns out, you can't win by being the good guy. It wasn't the road I thought he would end up taking, especially after everything that had happened, but clearly Jamie's speech had a huge impact on him.

As for Linden and Holder, the two characters that drive the show, they were pushed more to the back for the finale to make way for the big reveals. But they did their detective work and helped expose a world that, despite those sunny days, possesses a perpetually gloomy cloud.

Can Linden truly walk away from her work? I certainly hope not because she and Holder are perfect partners, but for the sake of her character (if this ends up being a series finale) she can leave content in what she accomplished What a somber world they live in.

The road to the end may have been a slow burn, with unnecessary twists for the sake of twists, and some anger of mine directed at Mitch, but the show stayed true to itself and its tone and delivered some note worthy performances, especially in its final hour.

And, of course, it introduced viewers to the superb Linden and Holder, a pair I hope to see again in the future.

While not full of rays of sunshine, "What I Know" brought the Larsen case to a satisfying albeit depressing close. It was a nice end to the two seasoned chapter which really proved that on The Killing, when it rains, it most certainly pours.



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


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Best show ever. Best ending ever. The mystery was meant to take 2 seasons. That way there was no rushing the storyline or character development. Every minute was authentic because of its length and they were able to tell the full story. It started on the 5th for a reason. 13 episodes a season = 26 episodes to solve it = solving the murder on Haloween. This wasn't a show that was written as they went. Every scene and every episode had its full purpose right until the end. I'm watching it a 2nd time now and you really see the genius writing even more when playing it back. This show and ending is the best I've seen in a long long time if not ever. I hope they take 2 seasons to solve the next mystery as well. It's so awesome that way!!


Fabulous show in its every aspect. Wish there were more shows like this one. And I also agree it would be great to see Linden and Holder again.


Well after a long wait we finally get to to the end. Well not what I expected, brilliant ending. I don't think I could watch another series as it took too long to warm up and I started to get bored with it. Last three episodes were the best.


The usual line for me on whether a show is/was any good is if I miss it when the season ended. I don't miss the Killing at all. The ribbon that the writers wrapped up the show with - the Rosie's video to her family - was far too maudlin. They never really did get the time scale right either. Richmond's "recovery" was far too accelerated, while the Larson's grief seemed to drag on interminably. I think the failing of the show were from the Sud - she didn't know how to capture the mood of the original, and AMC, trying to stretch the show into too many episodes.


From the moment we see Terry looked terrified, when she found Stan's copy of Rosie's drown photo in the drawer with fax paper, I knew she did it. Despite some flaw in the story, this is the best crime drama I've seen in a while. I hope AMC would renew it. I mean if CSI: Las Vegas could have 12 seasons, it wouldn't be fair if this show only got 2.


Thank the gods it's over. Thank the gods it mostly made 1 + 1 = 2 sense. Thank the producers for giving us a show in which any character can do any old off-the-wall thing at any time. Terri decides to kill a girl because the girl indirectly threatens her well-laid plans? And she manages to keep the secret once she figures out the girl was Rosie? I don't believe it. Jamie commits suicide by cop because he loves Richmond's campaign more than life itself? I don't believe it. Richmond shuts Gwen out and invites the chief because he's only been pretending not to be a coldhearted bastard? I don't believe it. Linden decides to quit AGAIN after the Rosie Larsen case gets wrapped up? I don't ... OK, well, I can maybe believe that. I have enough of an emotional investment in the show to come back if AMC is foolish enough to renew it, but I won't be crying in my beer if they decide to retire it.


Richmond a true weasel at the end. We were led to believe he was the 'good guy'
in all of this. At least he is paralyzed and left to wonder what could have been had he not sleazed his way into the casino's comfort zone.


The parallels to Twin Peaks are startling, except for all the weird David Lynch stuff. As soon as we found out who killed Laura Palmer, the show fizzled and was canceled soon after. I hope for a better fate for The Killing. It was the most compelling crime show in a long, long time and far superior to CSI or any similar crud. I say that I hope it returns, but great care will have to be taken by the writers to give us a story that is different enough from the Rosie Larsen murder that we get a sense of newness while we are watching. If it's the same kind of crime, I fear that too many (not me) will lose interest.


please if it comes back next season a little less rain and a change of clothing for the detectives ! show was ok

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