7.9

The Killing Review: “Dream Baby Dream”

(Episode 4.04)

TV Reviews The Killing
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<i>The Killing</i> Review: &#8220;Dream Baby Dream&#8221;

This final season of The Killing is shaping up to be one long public service announcement about not sending your children to military school. Seriously—how awful are these kids? Even Fielding, who came to Kyle’s defense, now has him playing a game where the cadets slap each other in the face to the tune of “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” No one seems to care that this poor kid’s entire family was murdered.

Kyle is starting to remember things. Or is he? It’s hard to tell if his memory is being jogged by his classmates gaslighting him, or if things are really starting to come back. He sees his sister Nadine in his dreams (“Did the monsters go away,” she asks). He gets hand-drawn maps with the location of all the dead bodies marked with a red X. And someone leaves a gun in his room with a message to finish what he’s started. Kyle is rightfully freaking out. “It’s coming back to me and I don’t want it to. I don’t want to remember,” he tells Colonel Rayne.

Colonel Rayne’s reaction is to lock Kyle in his room, while hinting that Kyle may be hallucinating. That’s suspicious in general. Even more suspicious—the red Camaro Holder and Linden have been trying to track down belongs to Rayne. Oh and the killer stopped in a gas station bathroom and left Philip Stansbury’s tooth behind (because why wouldn’t you have tooth as a memento of your killing spree?). With only two episodes left, it’s possible that Rayne is the killer. We’re running out of suspects that would be interesting. Maybe Rayne was trying to defend Kyle from his monstrous family (but that wouldn’t account for killing little Nadine)? Could Colonel Rayne be Kyle’s birth mother? Did she give him over to the Stansburys because he was her love child with Phillip? Did Kyle’s mom sexually abuse him? We learn that he broke his mom’s wrist because she treated him “like I wasn’t her own kid. She never touched me. She always wanted me to touch her.” Whatever is going on, I’m still not as interested in this story line as I should be.

And Lincoln Knopf continues to be a scary kid. He’s got posters of supermodels in his bedroom with their eyes and mouths cut out. His mother is not particularly concerned about this—apparently Lincoln’s therapist has assured her it’s his way of expressing himself. His mom clearly did not how to manage her son’s behavior, but she doesn’t seem particularly concerned that he most likely had an affair with his tennis coach. “You’re kid’s a piece of shit no doubt, but he was 16 years old,” Holder says, horrified by her bad parenting techniques.

Despite my ennui about the Stansbury murders, I’m very invested in what’s going on in the Holder and Linden show. We learn that Jack’s father doesn’t want Jack to live with him full-time any more. “If anything happens to you mom, I’ve got nobody,” he tells his mother. So that’s why Jack came back. It raises the stakes for Linden. Linden continues to alienate everyone around her—this time Reggie, the only really supportive mother figure she ever had. And speaking of mothers, Frances Fisher popped up as Linden’s birth mom. Looks like Mama Linden gave up Sarah, and then went on to have a family of her own. Now she has two children, one in college, one about to start. “You were such a happy little girl,” she tells her daughter. Considering Linden never smiles now, that’s hard to believe. Also, that’s a pretty big-name actress in a rather small role, so I’m curious about whether we’ll see Fisher again.

Linden is suspicious that Holder is using again, but Holder seeks out solace at a monastery. Was his drug lapse a one-time thing? I hope so.

Meanwhile Reddick, bolstered by the fact that the snitch told him Holder confessed in a NA meeting, continues to get closer to the truth. He questions Skinner’s wife and asks her if her husband had an eye for young girls. “You know, I think we’re done now,” she responds in a way that makes you think she wasn’t so naïve as to what her husband’s true proclivities were. But she does tell Reddick that she saw Linden throwing something into the lake. By the end of the episode, Reddick is pulling Skinner’s car and body out of the lake. He’s also discovered the bodies of Skinner’s victims (could we finally get closure on Callie?). And where are Holder and Linden? Right there watching him do it. Now that the truth is coming out, who will be the first to crack? Holder or Linden?

As I said in my review of episode three, I’m not sure which way I want this to go. Do I want Holder and Linden to be caught, or do I want them to get away with murder? Can Linden ever justify what she did? I still can’t decide. How about you?

Other thoughts on “Dream Baby Dream:”

•Holder quote of the episode: “Everyone seems to think I’m a piece of shit tweakhead, but you seem to think I’m something better.”

•Linden’s shell casing is still missing.

•There’s something very American Horror Story about all the scenes at the military school.

Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and a regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.