The Killing Review: “Try” (Season 3, Episode 8)
This was hands down the best episode of The Killing yet. It’s been an intermittently decent season, with moments of greatness and infamy, but I’m glad Veena Sud and her entourage finally buckled down and delivered an exquisite 42-minute long extravaganza.
I know I’ve said some pretty nasty things about season three, and continuously questioned the main characters’ choices and motivations. Holder’s impulsiveness was starting to get on my nerves, Linden seemed to worry more about the Seward case than Kallie Leeds, and I just plain hated new character Twitch. Nevertheless, there are several brilliant additions to the cast who continue to amaze me every week, which include Peter Sarsgaard as Ray Seward and Amy Seimetz as Danette Leeds. Alas, the latter was nowhere to be seen in Try, but then again, neither was Twitch.
The episode starts with the hunt for Pastor Mike (who’s in the back seat of Linden’s car with a knife to her throat) in full progress. There’s no denying that Linden’s got the smarts. She’s not someone you can hold hostage and expect to fully cooperate — as she converses with the (former) minister, she seems to be plotting her escape, and calculating every possible outcome. Ah, did I mention she swiftly turned her radio on while her captor wasn’t looking? As she drives Mike around Seattle, she gives her fellow officers subtle hints about their whereabouts, even though it takes her all night to finally mention a familiar story about a bridge, which Holder immediately gets.
At that point, however, the pastor sees the radio’s been turned on this whole time, and decides he needs to execute Linden. A truly amazing, flawlessly executed scene. For a minute there I thought we’d see another Belko moment, which is actually a bit of a cliché. You know how it goes — guy holds someone at gunpoint but finds himself surrounded, feels guilty, panics and ultimately shoots himself. We’ve seen it before, not only in this show, but in countless other TV series and movies, therefore, I’m glad they didn’t go for it this time around.
Even though it does seem for a while that Pastor Mike’s going to either commit suicide or kill Linden, at last he drops the gun, unable to turn into the man the cops think he is. As the police show up, Linden protects Pastor Mike, and tells them he’s not armed. As it turns out, she believes he’s not the murderer. She could see in his eyes that he meant well, but was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he found Angie Gower. He’s subsequently absolved, and thus he becomes season three’s own Bennet Ahmed, as I’d predicted.
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