As the inextricably linked stories begin to unravel on The Killing Season 3, it's clear that the series is in a fresh new world, even if the rain-soaked streets of Seattle still require you to carry at least a couple umbrellas.
Remnants of the familiar are still there, of course, including the dark and moody tone that chooses to match a palette of bland and dreary colors (save for the bright red body bags), and of course, Linden and Holder who help keep the show from sinking into a faceless and standard procedural. Also, it seems like everyone smokes even if they all claim to have quit.
Holder continues to be one of the stronger aspects of the series, whipping out quips in a popped collar jacket, playing it cool but clearly interested in solving the case - and more comfortably bantering with his old buddy, Linden.
It's obvious those two are a perfect match, although I hope not one that decides to go romantically. Linden has already hooked up with her past partner, which may or may not have helped her get back onto the case.
Yet, Peter Sarsgaard as Ray Seward is proving to be as intriguing a character, if not more so, in his fascinating portrayal as the death row inmate. Every scene with Seward is soaked with tension despite the fact that he's behind bars and surrounded by prison guards.
That eerie and slightly crazy feeling hangs over him with each haunting stare and quiet but grisly speech about ripping eyeballs out. And I love how the episode really only teases his character in the beginning, pulling the razor blade from the bar of soap, leaving you cringing in anticipation of an attack on the guards.
One that ultimately never happens, even with the various moments that come so close. I was prepared for Seward to cut the prison guards throat when he stepped over that line. But instead, Seward choose to cut himself; more importantly in the location of his tattoo dedicated to his son.
Which continues to beg the question of just how evil and dark side the character actually is.
All of his movements suggest something of a sociopath reminiscent of Kevin Spacey in Seven (although the police do mention that there is no killer out there who puts a woman's head in a box), but there's also fleeting glimpses of a man with some level of care for both life and son.
If anything, the cutaways outside of the case reminded me how glad I was we weren't meandering through an uninteresting political campaign or watching the Larsen family anymore.
The street kid focus is still the weakest part of the episode, but it does show another side to the city and the things some of these girls do in order to survive. You won't hear Taylor Swift strumming any cords about this type of life.
And hopefully, the core street kids - Bullet, Twitch and Lyric - remain byproducts of the world being attacked and investigated rather than red herring suspects later on down the line.
Although I wouldn't be surprised if Bullet took matters into her own hands with her rapist, who wildly and disgustingly had loads of videos of kiddy porn. Imagine having to be the officer who gets the unfortunate task of sifting through those.
Now whether Goldie, the pimp who raped Bullet, is indeed connected to Kallie's disappearance - or just happened to have a video of her - remains to be seen, but it's an interesting turn of events. Especially in how it takes the next step in ultimately connecting the bodies to Holder's case and possibly that of Seward himself.
Now, will Linden let Seward's kid visit him? Sounds like a bad idea (and so was asking him questions and then running quickly away), but it would be something to see how Seward acts around his son.
Either way, "Seventeen" kept things going from the premiere, further immersing itself into the rebooted world of The Killing, bringing Linden and Holder one step closer in the case and back to being partners, and providing a surrounding cast of characters that are for the most part interesting in their own rights.
At the back of my mind, there's still some fear that the season will find a way to derail itself. But for now, it's chugging along at a fantastic and compelling pace.
What do you think? Are you enjoying this new season of The Killing or should it have stayed cancelled? What do you think of Peter Sarsgaard as Ray Seward? Comment below?
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.Tags: The Killing, Reviews