If you keep
watching reading you will be spoiled :: SPOILERS AHEAD
About the Show: The first season of The Killing is set in Seattle, Washington, and follows the investigation into the murder of local teenager Rosie Larsen, with each episode covering approximately 24 hours. The first season covers the first two weeks of the investigation and has three main story-lines: the police investigation into Rosie’s murder, the attempts of her family to deal with their grief, and the fluctuating electoral fortunes of a political campaign that becomes embroiled in the case.
Episode Synopsis: The episode’s title is a quote from West with the Night by Beryl Markham, and the quote is found in a letter to Rosie that is revealed in this episode.
Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) watch Kris Echols (Gharrett Patrick Paon) while he fidgets in an interrogation room. Linden enters to question him, but Echols denies killing Rosie. She shows him a video of Rosie at the Halloween dance, but he is unwavering in his denial. Holder ponders to Lieutenant Oakes (Gary Chalk) that Kris, desperate for meth, will soon crack. Oakes tells Holder that Holder looks worse than the suspect and to clean himself up.
Linden sets up Kris so he sees Jasper (Richard Harmon) and his lawyer (Fred Henderson) entering an interrogation room across the hall. Holder hints to Kris that Jasper’s lawyer is cutting a deal. Linden plays the cell-phone footage from The Cage for Jasper, who claims it’s not what it appears to be. Across the hall, Kris explains that he would never hurt Rosie because she was nice to him. When shown the same cell-phone footage, Kris scoffs that the police don’t know anything.
Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) is told that Mayor Adams has opened an eight-point lead. Gwen Eaton (Kristin Lehman) suggests that he asks Tom Drexler, a wealthy entrepreneur who loathes Adams, to finance a media package. Richmond declines. Mayor Adams (Tom Butler) meets Jamie Wright (Eric Ladin) at a bar and invites him to join his “winning team.” When longtime donors spurn Richmond, Gwen Eaton secretly calls her father, Senator Eaton (Alan Dale), asking him to arrange a meeting between Richmond and Drexler. He admires her creativity, but criticizes her for having sex with Richmond.
At the high school, Sterling (Kacey Rohl) confesses that she’s the girl in the cell-phone video. She explains that she was tired of never being noticed when Rosie was around and went to the Cage with Jasper, because she was drunk and he was nice to her, adding that she was wearing Rosie’s costume because Rosie had left the dance. She also claims the blood found there was from one of her nosebleeds.
Noting that Rosie sometimes boarded a bus after school, Sterling thinks that Rosie was secretly meeting someone. Holder says that he will follow up with the Larsens, but Linden says she will handle it, eliciting grumbles from Holder. Later, at the police station, she questions the Larsens about Rosie’s possible affair. Mitch (Michelle Forbes) doesn’t believe that has occurred. The Larsens then visit a priest (David Abbott) at a church to make arrangements for Rosie’s funeral. Mitch fixates on the tortured Christ on the crucifix at the church. Mitch asks the priest where God was when her daughter needed Him.
Stan Larsen (Brent Sexton) drives his employee and friend, Belko Royce (Brendan Sexton III), to a suburban home. It was to be a surprise purchase for Mitch, but now he cannot afford it. Belko offers to take care of Richmond, referring to a contract killing. Stan replies that he doesn’t do that anymore. He later enters a Polish restaurant to see Janek Kovarsky (Don Thompson), who scolds Stan about ignoring him for the past 17 years. After Stan explains his financial situation, Janek offers several thousand dollars, saying that family always comes first. Stan responds that they were never family, before taking the money. He later stashes the money in a drawer at his moving-company office.
Mitch arrives at the high school and sees Sterling in the hallway. She hugs Sterling, telling her that she’s not to blame for Rosie’s death. Sterling tells Mitch that Rosie was happy on Friday night and that she doesn’t know whom Rosie may have been seeing. Later, teacher Bennet Ahmed (Brandon Jay McLaren) discovers Mitch on a bench in the hallway. He tells her that her daughter was a smart and eager girl. He shows her a copy of Rosie’s favorite book.
Following Linden’s orders, Holder rides the bus that Sterling had mentioned. He shows a picture of Rosie to the driver, but he doesn’t remember every passenger’s face. Holder is about to give up, when a new driver takes over. He shows this driver the picture and is told that she was an occasional passenger who rode to the end of the line. At the end of the bus line, Holder follows a student wearing a high school varsity jacket to the headquarters of the Seattle All-Stars after-school basketball program.
He begins showing Rosie’s photo around. He is directed to a photo of one of the teams, along with their coach, Bennet Ahmed. Meanwhile, Linden discovers several handwritten letters hidden in Rosie’s room. She reads a lengthy one, which is signed “Bennet.” At the high school, Bennet offers Rosie’s book as a keepsake to Mitch.
And now you are a suspect, Bennet
My thoughts in three sentences: I was not surprised that the boys, Jasper and Echol’s, were not the killers, and I suspected that the girl in the video was someone else (I didn’t Sterling, but that connects, too), what I was surprised at was Bennet. He did not come across as a teacher who was involved with a student, a “trope” that is usually played out more obviously, though I’m not convinced that he killed her. I was also surprised by Rosie’s Father’s ties to a criminal family (even if he says they were never family).
Best: The style of storytelling is brilliant in this show, the slow reveal, the unexpected surprises that catch me off-guard, but are not outlandish the portrayal of so many human flaws and complexities. The way they portray grief in Rosie’s parents is so raw and real and complicated in the way that loss and grief are. And, of course, I continue to be fascinated with Holder and Linden. I want to know more about Holder himself, his addiction, his past, what goes on in his head. And Linden, she is so shut off of anything in her life beyond her job. I see her relationships falling apart already and wonder what has made her this way.
Worst: Still no worst, honestly.
My predictions: Bennet has a lot of explaining to do, but I don’t think he’s our killer. I think Sterling knows more than she’s letting on. I also think the Seattle All-Stars after-school basketball program has ties to the Richmond campaign, as well as the criminal family that Rosie’s Dad was avoiding connection to, I think they have some political tie here, too.
Rating (out of 5): 5+