The Killing Review: Back In Action

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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.

Ray Seward sits in prison

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?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (49 Votes)

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


The return of Linden and Holder, was not something I was anticipating but I've decided to watch. When I watch the Killing at can't help but try to put myself in Denmark, the birthplace of this show. How different are the Danes from us average Americans? Bullitt (I see her as a female Steve McQueen, rebel) is the highlight of the show for me or is she just a diversion from the real story? Take your Prozac before you watch this show, it's disturbing, dark, and depressing.


4. I don't mind the kids. I like Bullet. I like the other girl (is that Twitch or Lyric?) even though she refuses to trust her instincts. I mostly buy Holder's ability to talk to them. 5. Goldie is almost certainly what he seems to be. A butthead pimp and rapist who belongs in jail who may have a very tenuous connection to the murders. On the other hand, it's not beyond this show to get us to dismiss him, only to pull him back in towards the end. 6. I still don't know what this show is about. It's not about the personal lives of police. It's not a CSI-type procedural. It's not about the victims. Does it exist mainly to tell us that nobody in power cares or wants the truth? That if we want truth, we need damaged rebels who are willing to destroy their lives and careers to get it?


We're getting a lot of hints about what's going on, but red herrings abounded during seasons 1 and 2, so who knows? 1. It looks very much like Seward is playing the part of a very guilty badass in order to protect his son. Adrian saw something. The murderer knows and forced Seward to cop to the murder in order to protect his son's life. This is why he has to deny any feelings towards his son, it's why he wants Linden to stay away from the case, and it's why Linden is unknowingly putting the kid in danger. 2. Why does Linden have to do everything the wrong way? Why is she fighting Holder? Why is she questioning the kid without the permission and presence of a guardian? And why doesn't she understand that if the kid does know something, she is endangering him? 3. Unwillingness to revisit the Seward case makes Linden's old partner look guilty, but I'm putting that down to pride and fear about his career. 4. I don't mind the kids. I like Bullet. I like the other girl (is that Twitch or Lyric?) even though she refuses to trust her instincts. I mostly buy Holder's ability to talk to them.


This episode is much better than the 1st. I am also glad the story is moving a little faster than the 1st season or at least it seems so to me. Can someone remind me about the drawing? It seems Linden met Adrian in season 2, right? I remember seeing the drawing but cannot remember the kid at all.


Seward is certainly tortured but I'm not yet convinced that he's the villain. Very curious. I can't help but wonder how clean Elias Koteas' character's hands are in all of this. While all the adults have been solid, I've got to add that I've been nothing but impressed with the teen talent. They've got me rooting for their safe keeping even though so much tragedy looms over their heads (just like the city's weather).


Great episode!! So glad "The Killing" is back :) Really like how this story is unraveling and Peter Skarsgaard is fantastic as the "villian" w/many sides...can't wait til next Sunday!

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The Killing Season 3 Episode 3 Quotes

I saw her driving off with some Eminem wannabee with a molester 'stache.

Street girl

It's a crime scene. I called the cops.