This is it. Rosie Larsen’s murderer has finally been revealed. It all seemed pretty straightforward this week, and the entire story unfolded right before our eyes through the creative use of flashbacks.
Jamie finally tells Richmond what happened on that fateful night. He was a part of a secret meeting between Chief Jackson and Michael Ames that was going to all but assure Richmond’s campaign win. It was to screw over the current mayor, but Richmond didn’t know about the dirty politics going on right underneath his nose.
It’s explained that Rosie was truly in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was on the hotel room’s balcony saying goodbye to the Seattle skyline before she took off to find her life’s meaning. Jamie caught her and instinctively hit her. Thinking she was dead, he put her in the car and started driving—only she wasn’t dead. This resulted in the chase through the woods until finally it all ended.
That’s how Jamie confesses right before Linden and Holder arrive to arrest him. He pulls a gun to commit suicide by cop. I guess a sense of closure was supposed to sweep over me as a viewer, but for the first time I honestly felt cheated by The Killing. I know it has been a common complaint on message boards that the show took its viewers for granted. Many critics said the drama used cheap red-herrings and parlor tricks assuming the viewers were dumb enough not to see them coming.
I never felt that way. I took how frustrating the show was to watch as a conscious effort to help the audience tap into what it was like to investigate a case as complex as this one. The show may have let me down from time to time, but only ever so slightly. I stuck with it because I cared about Rosie.
The show was all but wrapped up. Halfway through I felt it was too tidy. The creative team simply ran out of ideas, and everything was going to get a nice little bow wrapped around it. But, honestly, I should have known better.
Jamie only revealed a part of the puzzle. He revealed what most already had guessed, but it was the scene in Rosie’s bedroom that proved the show had one more twist up its sleeve, and it wasn’t a cheap one. Rosie’s aunt Terry finishes the story in perhaps the best scene of the entire series.
She reveals to the detectives what happened that night at the lake after Jamie put the still-alive Rosie in the trunk of his car. He was panicked and called Ames, who was about to leave his wife for good and run off with Terry. What were they to do?
We cut back and forth between the flashback of the fateful night and Terry crumbling to pieces as she sits atop Rosie’s bed. Ames knew he could never leave his wife now and that they had to somehow come clean. He would never murder someone who overheard their sleazy plan. Terry, not wanting to lose the love of her life, calmly shifts the car containing Rosie into drive and let it slide into the placid water.
Terry unknowingly sent her niece to her death, a secret she has kept and reveals to not only the investigators, but to Stan and Mitch who have just arrived home.
While Mirelle Enos, Billy Campbell, Joel Kinnaman, Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton have acted some breathtaking moments in the series, it was Jamie Anne Allman who gave the performance that blows the rest away. The scene put a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I rarely get. I couldn’t believe it.
The climax put the show at an all-time high, and the resolution didn’t falter. We finally get to understand who Rosie is through a film she left for her family. Richmond decides it’s time to quit being the nice guy and joins the world of seedy politicians as he helps clear the names of Chief Jackson and Ames. As Holder gets a call for another murder, Linden steps out of the car and walks down a busy Seattle street until she leaves the frame, letting the series end on an out-of-focus shot of everything that had just unfolded.
Not all of the missteps can be forgiven, but enough can to say this is a very satisfying ending to the question of who killed Rosie Larsen. Say what you will about the show as a whole, but this was a poignant finale for a frustrating series.