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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.

WERE YOU HAPPY WITH THE REVEAL OF THE KILLER?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
  • 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (193 Votes)

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

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I am glad i stayed for this. So many possible suspects, I really
did not guess it. I knew Jaime was hiding some freak obsession
but Rosie's aunt pushing it into the lake? Perfect and tragic.
Please do not make a season three, and let this show just culminate
the following it deserves. Who cares if there was a Swedish version?

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My question is: How did Jaime get Rosie out of the casino? We all saw him leaving alone in the elevator...

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Did it work as a drama? I'd give it a 3 out of 5. As a police show? 2 out of 5. Story, plot, and making sense? 2 out of 5. Jamie gunned down? Did it for Richmond? don't buy it. The aunt? did it so her lover wouldn't go back to his wife? Don't buy it. That he would be screaming all that at Jamie over and over while the aunt was 20 feet away? Don't buy it. These are not shortfalls of the viewer, they are shortfalls of the writers who didn't set any of this up - really anyone could have killed her - and changed characters however they wanted in order to fill the many, glaring plot holes. Mostly great acting, but the writing was middle of the road.

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I was really surprised to find out that the aunt was the one who made the car go in the water. What a twist to whole story. Loved it.

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I picked up this series in the second season, prepped by story summaries and my daughter who had watched season one. Though confusing and slow going sometimes, I thought the ending was well-done, nicely articulated, subtle, unusual in the way it left you down, but at least authentically so. How often do you feel like, once you discover the real killer, like Terri, you have compassion for them? And the final scene with Richmond, one of the best understated scenes I've seen in memory. I'll pass on one observation about Terri from my daughter, however: it feels like they pulled that one out of their ass, only because her previous behavior didn't seem in synch with the terrible secret she had been keeping.

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@dcornelius
I agree
It means
a.There is no trial.
b.Ames has to go down because he was at the scene of the crime, an accessory, and co-conspirator. If a felony is committed....with Jaimie dead, the umbrella would include both Terry and Ames.
c.either way richmond is a complete corrupt jerk.

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This season was a little on the boring side. So glad they finally found the killers. I couldn't believe Terry killing for a Man wow. I will definetly be watching next season I really like the Detectives.

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Sooo drawn out! Seriously! They way over did it! I almost didn't care anymore. Two seasons to present the killer was one season too long. Obviously they drew me back this year so they did something right. I probably wouldn't watch another season inless they conclude in one season. Liked the main characters and would like to see how things work out for them but not at the expense of having to watch it drag on endlessly!
I really liked reading these blogs and everyone's take on the show, it actually makes me hope they come back!

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I liked the narrative and the way the series took chances. I hope it returns for season three, although the dark ending fits in with the atmosphere and the overall arc of the story. If there is no Season Three, "The Killing" could go down as one of the best "two season TV shows" in the history of TV!

Sp-mckenna

@Jack - Yeah, Linden and Holder probably could have used a shower or something. Maybe find a clean sweater? I think there are loose ends as well, but for me the conclusiveness and emotional ending to figuring it all out in regards to what happened, worked for me. @Suzanne - Security really did seem non existent. I was even surprised that both the Richmond camp and Adams camp were in the same building. I never knew that they were that close. Does it always work like that or just works for this story. And it does work well as a final episode, and I kind of hope that if they do get the chance to come back, to take a new direction and leave the Larsen case and its surrounding connections behind to try something different. @Marisa1983 - At first I suspected Terry was involved and committed the murder out of her desire and love for Aames. And she did, but it was shocking that she had no idea that it was Rosie. Such an anguished filled scene.