Monday, June 20, 2011

The Killing 1.13: Stretching Television

So The Killing concluded its excellent first season on AMC last night not with a revelation of the killer and a resolution of the killing but with an unexpected smack of a twist, a cliffhanger, and (of course) Linden yet again being torn from the plane with her son.

You just knew that whatever the ending, it couldn't be conducive to Linden's plans from the beginning of the series to get out of Seattle.   So when you see her on the plane, and get that call, and look at the expression on her face, you just knew that this pain on the plane was bound to happen.  Linden is stuck to Seattle worse than a fly to flypaper.

But the content of that call - the reason for her pain - was totally unexpected.   She thought she had wrapped up the case, with Holder's help.   Except the photo he had supplied of Richmond at the crucial tollbooth was bogus.   And that raises at least a few episodes and likely more of new questions:

1. Why did Holder fake the photograph?   Because he's Rosie's killer?  Nah.   Because he was sure Richmond was the killer, and wanted to nail him, by whatever means?  More likely.   Because he was paid by Richmond's enemies to do this?   That's sorta likely, too.

2. Who was in the car that Holder gets into at the end?   The call girl he had interviewed last week?  Not likely - what was her motive?   Jamie and I think Gwen were at the Richmond rally (see below), but I'm still suspecting Gwen for something no good in all of this mess.   How about Mitch - all we know about her at this moment is Stan stays she's gone.    And there are Richmond's political enemies, as I indicated above, or their operatives.  First on this list would be the mayor.

3. The cliffhanger is that Richmond may not survive Belko's assassination attempt at the rally.  In fact, we all but see Belko pull the trigger at point-blank range.  But in television land, almost anything is possible, including a hand at the last minute pushing Belko aside.

The Killing has certainly stretched what we can expect of television, including, now, not ending a season about a killing with the unmasking of the killer.  Pulling Holder out of the hat as a bad guy in some way was a brilliant move, especially because we (and Linden) had really grown to like him in the past few episodes.  This is all to the good - too many correct expectations has always been the enemy of good narrative.

I'll see you back here with my reviews of Season 2.

See also The Killing on AMC and The Killing 1.3: Early Suspects ... The Killing 1.5: Memorable Moments ... The Killing 1.6: The Teacher ... The Killing 1.8: The Teacher, Again ... The Killing 1.9: The Teacher as Victim, Again ... The Killing 1.10: Running Out of Suspects ... The Killing 1.11: Rosie's Missing - from the Story ... The Killing 1.12: Is Orpheus the Killer?

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