The Killing Review: "Numb" (Episode 2.03)
We don’t blame you if the first season of AMC’s gloomy The Killing left you with a bitter taste in your mouth. The entire premise of the police investigation was to discover who killed Rosie Larsen. Throughout the 13 episodes of the debut season of the show we followed the investigation conducted by Sarah Linden (Mirelle Enos), veteran detective who was about to leave the force, and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman), a former narcotics officer recently switched over to homicide. The duo navigated through the rainy streets of Seattle, which itself became a character thanks to the amazing cinematography of the crew.
The show relied on red herrings at the end of each episode, which equaled a day since the murder of the teenager. There were twists and turns about who actually killed Rosie. All signs pointed to Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell). He’s a suave up-and-coming politician with a hidden past and seems to have ruffled someone’s feathers. By the end of the final episode of last season we see Richmond get shot by a Larsen family friend as he’s getting arrested and discover Holder faked a toll booth photo that was the key piece of evidence leading to the politician’s arrest.
In the two-hour season premiere the show leaks out vital pieces of information that the cliffhanger left us all wondering about. Richmond is okay but is paralyzed. More importantly Holder isn’t a part of the conspiracy in the Larsen murder. He just wanted to prove he’s worthy of a detective badge and is still a dirty cop.
In this week’s episode, “Numb,” the show dives back full force into the investigation instead of playing catch-up for the viewers who either forgot what happened or quit watching because they were tired of the cheap tricks. The most pleasing aspect about the episode was that there was no major twists in the final moments. Not really, anyway.
Everything seems more clean cut and upbeat. Gone are the mysteries that allowed viewers to hang on every word. Gone is the ominous tone of the city looming over the investigation. Gone is everything that made the first season so enjoyable and unlikeable at the same time.
It’s a risky move to take the gritty drama and turn it into a glorified spin on the traditional police show. The two-hour premiere, though it didn’t necessarily propel the series forward, kept true to the nature of the show. Now, with “Numb” the drama seemingly is taking a step towards the next part of the grieving and investigating process. Everyone and everything seems to be in a haze.
The Killing is changing, possibly for the better, but at this moment, it definitely needs to pick up its game. Even though there wasn’t a plot twist at the end of this episode, there was one huge revelation that makes us ask two questions. Is Rosie’s murderer part of her father Stan’s (Brent Sexton) former mob that he left when she was born? And if so, is the mob just out to teach him that you can’t leave?