Let’s face it: Since not telling us the identity of Rosie’s murderer in the season-one finale, THE KILLING has become one of those shows with which even people who defended the non-reveal (including me) developed a wary relationship. This season was uneven at best… or at least felt that was as it was unfolding. But after last night’s surprisingly effective episode, I’m willing to admit that the destination proved worthy of the somewhat bumpy journey. Here’s why:
After filling us in on the fact that squirly campaign aide Jamie attacked Rosie at the casino, there came a moment when Linden told Holder, “He didn’t say it.” Astute viewers — not to mention those who realized there were still a good 40 minutes left in the episode — began to suspect there was more to the story. And then came the stunning moment in which it was revealed that Terry, Rosie’s aunt, was actually responsible for her niece’s death… and that she hadn’t known the identity of the girl in the trunk at the moment when she caused the car to plunge into the lake.
The connecting threads
Once after it became clear that Jamie and Terry were each, in their own ways, responsible for Rosie’s death did it become clear just how wonderfully the political storyline and the one involving the girl’s grieving family had come together.
The finale’s first scenes featured Rosie’s final moments in the Larson home. The family was happy, there was sunlight beaming through the windows. It was a jarring contrast with the home we’ve seen ever since that fateful night, which was encased in darkness, both literally and metaphorically. And the scene in which Terry, fresh from her confession, threw herself into her sister’s arms and Mitch instinctively hugged her sibling before allowing her hands to pull away, as if they’d realized their own betrayal, was gorgeously staged.
Jamie Anne Allman and Eric Laden — as co-killers Terry and Jamie — gave stunning performances during each character’s moment of denouement. (Although come on… who amongst us wasn’t disappointed that Jamie didn’t at long last declare “I did it all because I love you!” to the politico he’s clearly besotted with!)
The lack of a cliffhanger
While it’s unknown as of yet whether or not THE KILLING will get a third season, we have to thank everyone involved for not leaving major loose ends dangling. Could that leave a lot of viewers who were only sticking with the show long enough to get a resolution feeling they have no need to come back? Possibly. But it’s nice to see a network put the satisfaction of viewers ahead of the need to leave them with an ending that will have them begging for more… which they might never get.