The Killing Season 3 Finale Recap: The Killer Is…
The Killing Lives! Netflix Orders 6-Episode Final Season of AMC's Cancelled Drama
To me, The Killing has always been more about the journey (of Linden and Holder methodically working and charmingly vibing) than the destination (of solving the titular homicide).
Oh sure, executive producer Veena Sud & Co. tested us — and how! — by dragging out the “Who killed Rosie Larsen?” storyline for all of Seasons 1 and 2 (and cooking up enough red herrings to feed the entire population of Seattle for a year). But Season 3′s meditative march toward taking down the Pied Piper — the brutal serial killer of teenage prostitutes (and perhaps the wife of wrongfully executed Ray Seward) — has been an altogether different animal. The implicit promise of a resolution at the end of 12 episodes has allowed us to bask in the sad, sombre, overcast mood (punctuated with bursts of Holder’s cheeky humor). Along the way, we’ve been treated to some of the most subtly powerful (or should we go with powerfully subtle?) acting work on the small screen all year.
And yet in tonight’s back-to-back finale installments — “From Up Here” and “The Road to Hamelin” — the time arrived to recount the evidence against a certain member of the Seattle Police Dept: Yep, Detective Carl Reddick, Holder’s former professional partner and Linden’s frequent verbal sparring partner. As Linden and Holder outlined to their boss, Lt. James Skinner, the proof was damning (albeit circumstantial).
* Reddick initially tried to dump the case on the hapless Jablonski
* He used to live next door to the Pied Piper’s first victim
* He took Bullet’s final calls to the precinct, before she turned up murdered
* He let the only survivor of the serial killer, Angie, slip out of the hospital before she’d met with a sketch artist
But — whoops! — maybe they shouldn’t have shared with Skinner and Skinner alone, a fact Linden learned when she stopped by her boss/lover’s home to discuss the case and the subsequent disappearance of little Adrian Seward, the boy whose mom had been presumably killed because he’d seen the murderer from his tree-house perch several years back. When Skinner’s family arrived home, Linden spotted his daughter sporting the gaudy turquoise ring once owned by missing teen Kallie — tying everything together in one bloody (convenient) (horrifying) (slightly contrived) knot.
The season ended with Linden holding Skinner at gunpoint as he took her on a verrrrry long drive to the secluded lakehouse where he was allegedly holding Adrian. But it turned out the boy was merely camped out at his dead mother’s gravesite. After a long night of head games, though, Linden gave Skinner the Old Yeller treatment, putting a bullet into him — much to the shock of her just-on-the-scene partner Holder. “No!” he cried. “No, no, no.” And just like that, we cut to black.
The ending was so abrupt, in fact, I half wondered if there’d be some kind of epilogue after the final ad break. But nope, this is how The Killing ended, not with crisp certainty, but with typical fuzziness. (Whether the ending is just for now or forever, we won’t know until AMC announces either a Season 4 pickup or an ill-advised cancellation.)