The Killing Review: “Head Shots” (Season 3, Episode 4)


Last week’s episode of The Killing was undoubtedly a disappointing one. I emphasized that it would have been a complete disaster had it not featured Peter Sarsgaard’s electric performance as Ray Seward. This week’s episode was far better in comparison, and it once again made good use of lead characters Holder and Linden, which I applaud. That being said, there were still some weak points like Twitch and Lyric’s several inconsequential scenes and Max Fowler’s wooden acting — no, it’s not getting any better.

I mentioned before that I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the new characters introduced in the third season. I’m fine with Skinner and Bullet, though, as the former’s intriguing connection to Linden needs to be further explored in future episodes, while the latter has been slowly bonding with Holder. Bullet’s devotion to finding Kallie is enviable — she’s unquestionably more determined than most detectives working on the missing girls’ case — and, even if she doesn’t have the means to locate her friend, she has once again proved to be instrumental to the ongoing investigation, as she identifies the room where Kallie had been filmed.

Holder and Linden head over to the shady motel from the second episode with a warrant, and subsequently find a secret room in the back, which teems with cameras. When Holder interrogates desk clerk Mama Dips (played by the wonderful and vastly underrated Grace Zabriskie), she attempts to protect the filmmaker by claiming to be the man who shot Kallie’s porn video (“I’m a heavy smoker”).

As expected, the case is getting more and more convoluted. Holder and Linden are tasked with finding the link between the bodies found at the swamp and Goldie’s kiddie porn, while Linden is still convinced the Seward case is somehow connected or should perhaps serve as a starting point. She doesn’t come any closer to finding Trisha Seward’s killer in this episode, although she does manage to squeeze some information about Kallie’s whereabouts out of the girl’s neglectful mother.

It’s all good stuff. Holder’s relatively new partner Carl Reddick is another fantastic addition to the show, albeit not a helpful one. The guy is all over the place . Once Goldie is allowed to make his next move, Reddick loses him in the consequent car chase. He doesn’t only embarrass himself — he makes Holder look bad, and Skinner ends up taking all the blame. Yeah, nice going, Carl. His ineptitude and inadvertent behavior causes friction with Linden. Come on, the guy’s a total slob, but has the nerve to mock Sarah and call her out on her “inexperience”? She puts him in his place without a second thought in the episode’s (arguably) best scene.

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