At the end of the last episode of AMC’s The Killing, a major break was made in the murder case of Rosie Larsen, as the police detectives Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder uncovered a video of a girl being raped. In the video we assume that the girl is Rosie as the video takes place in ‘The Cage’, a sultry and seedy room with a blood stained mattress where we have been led to believe that Rosie spent part of her final hours. Plus the perpetrators of this rape are key suspects Kris and former creepy boyfriend Jasper, but all is clearly not as it seems, which is a theme that seems to be running throughout the episode.
We open with the interrogation of the bad boys. Kris, who looks like Lisbeth Salander’s long lost sibling is suffering from withdrawal symptoms of some sort, hours of isolation away from drugs leaving him to simply shudder uncontrollably. While the all too cool Jasper is supported by a fearsome lawyer. Linden and Holder are clearly struggling now and their investigation is seemingly going nowhere and leading to no conclusion as of yet. Their only lead, the video, is then thrown into jeopardy when it is revealed that the girl in the video isn’t Rosie but best friend Sterling.
Sterling admits to Linden and Holder that she was jealous of Rosie, she wanted the attention of the boys and with Rosie around she never got that. Hence staging the rape which actually just turns out to be a night of illicit bedroom activity. Sterling’s jealousy of Rosie later turns into guilt as she reconciles with the mother Mitch Larsen, both of whom have an understanding of the pain each of them is going through. Sterling also reveals that Rosie may have been having an affair and regularly skipped school to cross the other side of town to meet a partner, which Holder goes to investigate.
Elsewhere in the episode the Larsen’s are still hurting deeply from losing their daughter, they’re keeping secrets from each other and they seem more disjointed than usual. They rarely communicate even as they choose funeral arrangements. Their relationship and emotional stability is tested even more when during an interview with Linden they accidentally see the crime scene photographs of Rosie’s body, showing that Rosie did suffer.
Another issue is the finances facing the family, they are a working class family who barely earn enough for their upkeep, and it is this world which Rosie desired to leave. Stan originally says about the expenses for the funeral that ‘they’ll manage’. While later on we see him looking with desperation and forgotten dreams as we see him outside the dream house he’d planned to buy and prepare for his family, which he can’t pay for. Stan however shows to the audience that he is a man not above the corruption. Outside the house he tells his colleague after a suggestion of “sorting out Richmond” that “he doesn’t do that anymore”. Also he is accepting money from a Russian man called Yanek.
A lot of attention is paid this week towards the mayoral campaign for the city. Last week Richmond fired one of his campaign managers Jamie, after accusing him of the information leak about Rosie being found in a campaign car. The Darren Richmond campaign becomes shadier and more suspicious by the minute. His other PR worker Gwen pulls strings with her powerful Senator father to arrange a meeting between Richmond and Tom Drexler, a billionaire who has a vested interest in political power over the city. He seems to especially hate the Mayor, and practically forces Richmond to take a sizeable donation. Meanwhile, the spurned Jamie is offered an integral role in the opposition and seemingly still hurt by the firing by Richmond, takes the job.
But as always with the show everything isn’t as it seems. Later, Richmond has a secret meeting with Jamie and it’s clear that they faked their falling out so that Jamie could get a job in the current administration and opposition. I’m guessing his role there would be to root out who leaked the information on Richmond, which slightly makes Richmond’s role in the whole Rosie affair less suspect. The other big reveal at the end of the episode turns our suspicions completely on our head about who has killed Rosie.
With a tad of cliched parallel editing, as Mitch meets Rosie’s teacher Bennet Ahmed, it is uncovered by Holder at a social club on the other side of town that Rosie has been meeting Bennet. In addition to this, Linden locates previously mentioned love letters stored inside a globe in Rosie’s room. I love that the show this far has complete faith in the audience in order to completely turn our suspicions towards other people.
Despite the show’s initial originality in doing something different in depicting the usual police procedural, this episode does fall into the trap of genre. The detectives seem to keep skipping from one interrogation or interview to the other. There is also an incredibly hackneyed scene where Linden finds a packet of cigarettes buried in her son’s pillow case and this compels her to search Rosie’s room again. This is obviously the life of a policeman and the show up until now has always been grounded in realism, and I have bought everything done in the investigation by the police. Here however it trips over in being a little dull.
I am however so gripped by this series, it is terrifically performed and the creation of atmosphere is so pitch perfect, and nothing is as it seems. As always, I can’t wait until next week.