TV Recap

Investigating The Killing: Episode Five

Our gang of suspects and detectives is just a bunch of control freaks.

By Allison Williams April 25, 2011

Photo courtesy Carole Segal/AMC.

Stan considers vigilante justice…or he’s stuck on his son’s whole bedwetting problem.

It’s all about self-restraint this week on The Killing. Everyone’s trying to impose a little control over their behavior—a natural response to a murder, an addiction, or a case that won’t quit.

Dad Stan has been the rock of the Larsen family since Rosie’s death, but in this episode he starts to show his grief. Sort of. He breaks down in the sanctity of a roadside men’s room. (It’s well-acted, but this pattern of Mitch and Stan trading grieving scenes is starting to feel indulgent.) Even after that tortured sob, Stan tries to regain some sense of control by enlisting his associate, Belko, to pinpoint a murder suspect for him. That probably won’t end well.

Stan’s not the only one trying to rein himself in: Detective Holder has been celibate for six months; we don’t know if that’s a 12-step program, self-punishment, or, hell, a joke. And Mayor McDrunkypants (er, Mayor Adams) brings a sober buddy to drinks with the Richmond campaign double agent, Jamie. No one trusts themselves in The Killing.

But that brings me to the queen of self-control, Detective Linden. In a small, crucial scene, she buys nonrefundable plane tickets to Sonoma—over the phone (who does that?). Since she can’t return them, she’ll have to make herself go, right? Anyone who’s ever used that reasoning in buying a gym membership knows it’s bullshit. That’s not willpower, it’s wishful thinking. It doesn’t beat the look she gives the wall of crime scene photos. Overcommitment ahoy.

A side note: Compared to Linden’s careful dance with her own intentions, Richmond is starting to feel like a pretty ponderous character. He acts so put-upon as a candidate—not much love for politics or even people. No need for the martyr act, Richmond! No one’s making you run for mayor. (Or are they? Did Gwen push him into it for her own reasons? Did her senator father? Or my current favorite character, Newly Drunk With Booze And Power Jamie?)

Most ridiculous fake Seattle thing The whole speech Mayor Adams gave about the history of the fictional old-boys club. It was like Seattle bingo: Miners! Loggers! Boeing! I half expected him to natter on about how Paul Allen owns it now.

Current murder suspect Frankly, I couldn’t focus on a murder suspect this week—I was too busy freaking out at the casting of Bennet Ahmed’s wife. Teacher married Chrissy Seaver from Growing Pains! But I’ll circle back to Gwen, whose temper flared when her ex-boss, Yitanes, told her that Candidate Richmond suspected her as the campaign mole. Gwen responded emotionally, not even seeing the practicality of her boss/boyfriend’s due diligence. She’s hiding more than a few dirty campaign tricks.

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