Nicely played The Killing writers, nicely played. Last week
you had us on the trail of a pink-wigged red herring after the episode ended with phone camera footage of what looked like rich kid Jasper Ames and junkie sidekick Kris violating Rosie Larsen. But you fooled us! It was, we learned last night, Rosie’s friend Sterling—donning a pink mop—in a willing act of ménage à plot device.
But now you’ve really got our attention. In episode four, murder victim Rosie’s absence is felt more than ever. Nearly every scene seems to star a Rosie-shaped void that, as the episode title suggests, produces “A Soundless Echo.” Her parents, Stan and Mitch (Brent Sexton and Michelle Forbes), stare into an empty casket at a funeral parlor. Stan and his employee at the moving company, Belko Royce (Brendan Sexton), stare at the empty house Stan had bought as a family surprise. Stan: “Rosie never had a backyard.” Belko: “If you want to do something about that guy, that [mayoral candidate] Richmond, just say the word and we’ll take care of it. Like old times.” It’s the first solid indication that Stan has a less-than-spiffy past.
Other revelations: Seattle police detective Holder (Joel Kinnaman) may have a drug habit—a suspicion noted by both Holder’s lieutenant and asymmetrically coiffed suspect Kris. Rosie had likely met “someone she couldn’t tell anyone about,” someone who bought her blingy high heels. And the endorsement Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) so aggressively sought in episode three? It didn’t help him in the polls, and his campaign is out of money.
So behind Richmond’s back, Gwen Eaton (Kristin Lehman), his aide and lover, arranges a meeting with mogul Tom Drexler (Patrick Gilmore), a Paul Allen type “whose patron saint is Ayn Rand.” The candidate shows up at a Drexler-hosted party. So does his opponent, Mayor Adams. Later, outside the party, in one of the first rainless scenes in the series, Drexler hands Richmond a campaign check for $50,000 because, he says, “I want Adams going to his grave pissing in his adult diaper knowing he lost this thing because of me.” Richmond accepts the donation, but not before the actor playing him lowers his gaze and glowers, as if to say, Fine, now where’s my Emmy?
The biggest revelation comes in the last few minutes, when Detective Linden (Mireille Enos) discovers letters from high school teacher Bennett Ahmed (Brandon Jay McLaren) hidden in a globe in Rosie’s bedroom—after many references have been made about the deceased “wanting the world.” In one missive the teacher tells his pupil she’s “an old soul trapped in a young body,” then quotes a long passage that begins “There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing,” and ends with “a soundless echo.” (The quote, by the way, is from the 1942 memoir West with the Night, by aviator Beryl Markham, the first woman to complete an east-west transatlantic flight, a woman who had the world.) The screen cuts to Holder at a Richmond campaign office, where he’s discovered that Rosie often visited with the man in a photo on the wall. The man in the photo: Bennett.
Most ridiculous fake Seattle thing: Money Bags Drexler’s $50,000 adult diaper soiler comes in the form of a check from the “Tukwila Mutual Bank.”
Current murder suspect: All eyes are on Bennett now. But there’s no reason—yet—to believe he and Rosie had anything beyond a platonic mentor/mentee relationship. No, I’m getting increasingly suspicious of Belko Royce, Stan Larsen’s employee. Royce the derelict doesn’t likely have the wherewithal to lavish a mistress with expensive shoes or give her “the world,” but he seems like the adult most likely to murder for money. His offer to retaliate against Richmond suggests that he’s not only capable of violence—to do a hit, “just like old times”—but that he has special knowledge of the campaign’s ties to Rosie’s death. Could someone (Gwen?) in the Richmond camp have hired Royce to kill Rosie to hide a campaign secret, or even scare someone (Bennett?) into keeping mum about the secret? That seems likely. We know Gwen’s in the habit of going behind Richmond’s back when she thinks he’s being too soft. And that the show’s writers love to throw us off track.
The Killing airs Sundays at 10pm on AMC.