The Killing Review: “Try” (Season 3, Episode 8)

The Killing Try 540x360 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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image 3ACF 51E3AC17 641x360 The Killing Review: Try (Season 3, Episode 8)

What’s left to say about Seward? I might be running out of ways to praise Sarsgaard. If you’ve been reading my recaps, you know how I feel about the capital punishment storyline. He’s gone from cocky and careless to insanely anxious and frightened, yet it’s not all his fault. True, he could have chosen to die by lethal injection instead of giving the system the finger and picking the gallows, but Linden’s visit in Hope Kills completely broke the man’s spirit, especially when she acknowledged his innocence.

He attempts unsuccessfully to contact her through his lawyer, who seems much more interested in arranging Seward’s burial service at this stage of the game, which forces the convict to get a hold of her himself. As always, I was deeply impressed with not only Sarsgaard, but also Hugh Dillon as Becker and Aaron Douglas as Gabe Henderson. The latter once again went through an exercise in awkwardness with Becker’s wife, who shamelessly hits on him, alleging loneliness and despair.

Try was an undoubtedly phenomenal episode, thus it saddens me that The Killing is unlikely to come back for a fourth season. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore this show despite its shortcomings, but let’s all be realistic here and admit there’s been a slight decline in overall quality (this episode notwithstanding) and ratings. Sadly, that’s what network executives will notice. It won’t be Sarsgaard’s award-deserving performance nor Veena Sud’s writing — it’ll be numbers. I suggest we make the best of these next four episodes, continue to praise every single talented individual involved with this grandiose production (with the exception of you-know-who), and eventually marvel at the revelation of the murderer’s identity.

What did you think of Try? Did it live up to your expectations? Do you think The Killing will come back for a fourth season, or is it time to call it quits? Sound off below.

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  • Austin Acosta

    Great Episode. Couldn’t take my eyes off the TV.