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

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Things are not looking up for Ray Seward. Or maybe they are. We ignore the man’s intentions, yet we’re practically convinced of his innocence, which makes us root for him. Warden Becker’s patience seems to be running out, as Seward refuses to take the antibiotics he needs to combat infection — you may recall he cut himself in the shoulder by the end of last week’s episode in order to erase the tattooed “A.” Much like Seward, Becker’s a huge question mark. His purpose is clear, but his vendetta against Ray is a complete mystery. Is it personal, or is he just an unbalanced individual? It doesn’t help that Seward’s been teasing him about close relatives.

In one of the show’s most uncomfortable scenes, Becker invites inexperienced prison guard Gabe over to drink some beers. Gabe had unsuccessfully tried to get Seward to take the medicine, and he lies about it, as he possibly fears Becker. The warden’s a complete workaholic — he almost seems to find pleasure in what he does for a living. His marriage has been crippled by the continuous long shifts he works, while his son avoids spending time with him. When he leaves the room, his wife awkwardly hits on Gabe. It must have been a long night for him.

Fellow inmate Alton becomes friendly with Seward in a scene that echoes the black-and-white flashbacks of American History X. Becker is annoyed by this, but also notices an opportunity to subdue Seward, as he had finally shown a sign of weakness. The warden instructs his guards to beat on Alton until Ray forces himself to swallow the medicine (and his pride). Alton announces that he could have taken a few more blows and kicks and Seward shouldn’t have let them win, to which he replies “They won a long time ago.” Becker’s motives behind his attempts to tame Seward will hopefully be addressed in forthcoming episodes.

Twitch is by far the least likable character in the show. I actually enjoy Julia Sarah Stone’s performance, although Lyric is almost as terrible a character as her dimwitted boyfriend. The problem with Lyric is that she’s badly written, whereas Twitch has potential of becoming a solid (if not necessarily popular) character, but I find Max Fowler’s performance to be lackluster. Alas, there were decently (yet ultimately insignificant) written scenes that played out ungracefully due to Fowler’s inability to convincingly play a street-kid.

The episode ends with the revelation that Kallie’s mom currently dates cab driver Joe Mills (who had previously warned Lyric about the murders), the man who filmed Kallie’s porn video the night of her disappearance.

What did you think of this week’s episode of The Killing? Let us know in the comments below.

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