The world of The Killing must have a ban on sunlight and happiness.
It only ever seems to rain, and the characters are encumbered with current difficulties while being wracked with unfortunate pasts. Where is that hopeful light at the end of the tunnel?
"Missing" maintained the dismal feeling via its heavy dose of character development. It was the Linden and Holder show, as the two detectives revealed their human and emotional sides with a mixture of foster homes and meth addiction.
In fact, the hour was so focused on Linden and Holder that no other major player - from the Larsen family to the Richmond camp - garnered any real screen time. The Rosie Larsen case was subjected to mere bookends for the episode.
Linden continued to unravel. The stress of the case had clearly been eating away at her, as the additional problems of her fiance and son piled themselves on top. She was far more shaky and agitated, but even more so after she learned thatJack was missing.
Which was understandable and even paralleled the Larsen family and their predicament. I could see why Linden became filled with frustration, sadness, confusion, and even guilt. The thought that perhaps she was simply a bad parent weighed heavily on her mind.
For a character so unnerving in demeanor, this episode was filled with her emotional range. Yes, Linden is human after all.
Holder took up a strong supportive role, giving Linden a sense of loyalty and reliability. He was there for her, even when he could have simply left. It's just sad that he wasn't able to illustrate that goodness for his own family. Ah, to be a tortured soul searching for redemption.
Of course, the partner connection was stronger than ever despite the missing child. Linden managed to crack a few comeback jokes and even, wait for it, a few smiles. Despite their various styles, these two are the perfect dysfunctional team. They just aren't of the wacky antics kind.
Unfortunately, the whole "Jack missing" storyline felt weak. It appeared more like a catalyst for the character development and even the reveal of Jack's real father. It was hard for me to buy his acting out as believable, especially when he has appeared more quiet than rebellious. Plus, Jack's references on the show have been so minuscule and in passing, that it didn't make sense to devote an entire episode around him.
Additionally, the pace of the show dropped even slower. A majority of the time was spent sitting and waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
While I appreciate the devotion to character and background detail, I don't want it to take away completely from the focus of the case. There needs to be a balance.
And with only two episodes left, I'm now slightly afraid of the story being neatly and quickly wrapped up. Bow included.
Hopefully, I'll be proven wrong and The Killing won't go out with a cliched whimper.
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.