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The Killing Review: "Openings" (Episode 2.06)

April 30, 2012  |  11:39am
<I>The Killing</i> Review: "Openings" (Episode 2.06)

Slow and steady: That seems to the mantra The Killing has decided to take. While the first season wasn’t action-packed, the current season has slowed down considerably, allowing for events to unfold organically. It’s taken weeks of episodes to reveal clues that were set up in previous episodes—some from the first season.

While the show relied on last-minute revelations that always seemed to be some sort of red-herring—a frequent complaint among casual fans—the show seems to have put aside the formula of trying to trick its viewers. It turns out Rosie wasn’t Stan Larsen’s real daughter, and instead of resolving this little side mystery in one episode, it is being fleshed out into a more important clue. It might possibly be an underlying force the remainder of the season.

In addition to dropping the dramatic twist endings (at least for now) the show is also doing a superb job of reintroducing characters and scenes without holding out hands. Up until now a lot of characters that had multiple-episode arcs in the first season have simply fallen off the grid. However, that is no longer the case.

“Openings” has Linden and Holder starting to connect a lot of dots between the slew of long-forgotten characters. While it is easy to be frustrated with the constant shifts in who is important to the case, we must remember that the investigation has only been unfolding for 19 days. It may not seem like the writers planned for these lapses, but it is entirely plausible that characters like the Ames family haven’t been mentioned for a few days.

Don’t remember Jasper and his father Michael? Jasper was Rosie’s boyfriend, and it turns out his father was sleeping with Rosie’s Aunt Terri, who was a professional escort. He also owns a land development company who supports Mayor Adams.

The tightly woven details are enough to make any drama come unhinged, but the mounds of information are divulged in an easy-to-follow manner. The episode dances around the idea that Michael Ames is somehow involved with the murder, but it is quickly discarded, perhaps a little too quickly. From the way the show operates it is entirely plausible that Ames and Mayor Adams are somehow involved in the murder of Rosie Larsen. Even Linden and Holder seem to think so.

It is a little frustrating how back-and-forth the investigation has been. Was the murder mob-related? Did it happen because of political motivations?

Isn’t that what it is like to be a detective? Cases aren’t so cut-and-dry like a Law & Order episode. There are hundreds of leads, multiple persons of interest, internal hiccups at the department and a number of other reasons murder investigations takes weeks, months or even years to solve. That is why I feel so many critics and fans have called the show “boring.” We are in the day and age where condensed police procedurals have made us think the justice system works at the snap of a finger.

That never was The Killing’s objective. From day one it was paced to allow viewers to feel everything each character was feeling. This show is, above all else, a character-driven drama. It just so happens to have a murder mystery as its underlying force.

My red-herring twist explanation:

This is the first time all season that there wasn’t really a twist. Sure, we see that Mitch finally figures out Rosie knew that Stan wasn’t her father. Plus it turns out someone is stalking Linden, most likely because she’s getting closer to the truth. By the looks of what was presented in the scenes from next week, getting closer means unraveling more of a conspiracy. This time the casino looks to be the mastermind of it all.

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