'The Killing' Is Back on AMC, and the Haters Are Shocked

Esther Zuckerman

Cable television's most frustratingly excellent show took another twist of fate Tuesday, as AMC revived its all-too-serial murder show The Killing for a third season. The move left many of the show's on-again-off-again critics unsure what to make of what they're calling a "red herring" — even if they're finally getting that new case they've been waiting for.

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AMC killed off (ha!) the show in July, only for rumors of its possible resurrection to start spreading in August. In November it looked like a deal for the show would be resurrected by way of Netflix, which has been winning over fans lately with its new format for saving Arrested Development. But according to Alan Sepinwall, Fox Television Studios says that "Netflix is not involved in this particular announcement. If and when we have something additional to announce concerning Netflix, we would do it at that time." And AMC announced today that it will rejuvenate the series — both the first and (to much chagrin) the second season revolved around the murder of Rosie Larsen, but the new season will (finally) have the protagonist detectives following a different case. David Itzkoff of the New York Times has the AMC summary: 

A year after closing the Rosie Larsen case, Sarah Linden is no longer a detective. But when her ex-partner Stephen Holder’s search for a runaway girl leads him to discover a gruesome string of murders that connects to a previous murder investigation by Linden, she is drawn back into the life she thought she’d left behind.

Though, as The Atlantic Wire's own Richard Lawson said, the show "vastly improved in its second season," it was maligned during its first season for red herrings. The first season's tagline was "Who Killed Rosie Larsen?" and at the end of the first season it never actually answered that question.  Hence surprise ensued among Twitter's TV critic crowd following this new announcement: 

I've been sitting in silence for 90 seconds, processing the news that "The Killing" is getting a third season.

— Michael Hogan (@m1keh0gan) January 15, 2013

OMFreakingG. RT @willapaskin: The Killing is coming back for a third season. So previous cancellation was just a red herring?

— Linda Holmes (@nprmonkeysee) January 15, 2013

If I could, I'd kill THE KILLING and give its life to RUBICON, like that guy from CARNIVALE. (Or to CARNIVALE.) But I can't, so I hope.

— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) January 15, 2013

"In 'The Killing' Season 3, Linden and Holder return to solve a murder in a world overrun by zombies, known as 'walkers.'" #changes

— Adam Sternbergh (@sternbergh) January 15, 2013

I am in shock about Season 3 of The Killing.

— June Thomas (@junethomas) January 15, 2013

Marlo Thomas tells good "That Girl" stories. She can laugh, because she doesn't know "The Killing" was renewed.

— Daniel Fienberg (@HitFixDaniel) January 15, 2013