Sunday, June 19, 2011

{alltv} 'The Killing' season finale: Wait till next year

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For nearly all of Sunday's (June 19) season finale of "The Killing," it looked like the twist at the end would be that there was no twist: Evidence kept piling up against Darren Richmond, and he wasn't doing a very convincing job of countering it.

That would have been infinitely preferable to the out-of-nowhere twist and non-ending we actually got in the show's final moments. I said in one of the preview posts I wrote earlier in the season that the show
played pretty fair with the audience; I'd like to retract that statement now, because even though there is a second season of "The Killing" coming, the finale was such a copout that it's really hard to have faith in the show going forward.

The implicit promise of "The Killing" was that by the end of the season, we'd know who Rosie Larsen's murderer is. Instead, all we know now is that Richmond has been framed by whoever picked up Holder in the car, Linden presumably can't do anything about it now that she's finally headed to California and Richmond himself is possibly dead at the unhinged hand of Belko Royce, or at least gravely wounded.

That's not cool.

The series obviously wants us to be asking who Holder's mysterious partner is, why Holder hung Linden out to dry and (again) who really killed Rosie. What I'm asking now is why if "The Killing" wanted to take this path all along, why it didn't at least have enough regard for its viewers to, say, let us see who Holder's conspiring with. Cliffhangers are fine -- and inevitable in a series structured the way "The Killing" is -- but to leave essentially everything up in the air simply isn't a fair play.

Given what just happened, it feels now like the only honest beats we got from the show were in portraying a family's grief at the loss of a child. The writing didn't always measure up to the performances Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton gave, it at least gave them a chance to show the real, raw emotion that expresses itself in situations like the one the Larsens have dealt with over the course of the season.

As for the investigation: Can we now trust anything at all that Holder did? Rather than prove himself a competent detective as it seemed like he was doing with the way he sussed out Richmond's likely route in the campaign car, we're to believe he was just playing a con. How far back does that go? Has he been setting Linden up the whole time? It's exhausting to think about, and frankly not worth the effort.

"The Killing" burned up an awful lot of goodwill for me in the finale; what did you think?

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