TV Recap

Investigating The Killing: Episode Six

More suspects. More clues. Fewer crimes against Seattle verisimilitude.

By James Ross Gardner May 2, 2011

Aunt Terry: “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking pot.”

Well hello there new suspects. I’m looking at you Terry the Neko Case–loving aunt. You too Amber Ahmed, the teacher’s wife who’s somehow possessed the body of Growing PainsChrissy Seaver.

You join The Killing’s rascally ranks of potential perps: Bennett Ahmed the dreadlocked and too-obvious-to-be-the-killer teacher; Dad Stan’s bearded right-hand man, Belko Royce, who used to be a gangster and used to wet his bed (not necessarily in that order).

I’m guessing that episode six (“What You Have Left”) destroyed a lot of viewers’ theories last night. I know my Belko Royce conjecture (I’d taken to calling it the BR Bedwetter Theorem) took a nosedive. Royce is looking less like a threat to the Larsen clan and more like some sort of codependent defender. Which isn’t to say he’s completely innocent. (See the way he ominously looked up the stairs just as the family exited for the funeral?). Also, he’s mourning too hard.

But now we’ve got Amber Ahmed, whose word the cops don’t trust—and who wouldn’t answer the door when they came calling and instead cowered with a hammer (murder weapon?) in the corner.

Most surprising of all: Terry. Sidelined until now as the supportive sister of Rosie’s mother Mitch, Aunt Terry’s starting to hog some screen time. And thanks to an awkward exchange in the funeral line we know she has a connection (as jilted lover?) with Jasper Ames’s jet-setting father. She’s so traumatized by that encounter she sulks away to Rosie’s empty bedroom, downs a bottle of wine, lights a joint, and zones out to Neko Case’s “Hold on, Hold on.”

Meanwhile, Detective Holder becomes more of an enigma every episode. After eyeing a drug buy, he whines in vague terms to an associate (his sponsor?) about his habit of making bad choices. What are those bad choices? Shooting heroin? Wearing the same ugly-ass hoodie for six days straight? Or did he kill all the hookers in Detective Linden’s gallery of missing girls? We don’t know. But it’s all the more intriguing given his thinly veiled racist banter with Amber’s sister; you could practically see both characters fantasize about squashing Muslims. (Unless of course Holder was manipulating his witness, as he’s done in the past.)

What does episode six mean in the grand scheme? I take a lot from the exchange between Mitch and Stan in one of the first scenes, where they can’t agree on when Rosie gave Stan a pair of cuff links. They’re so certain of their memories, but they can’t both be right. It’s a reminder—a sort of primer going into the episode—that memory is unreliable and corruptible. When Holder and Linden question Bennett’s neighbors, so certain of what they saw, the witnesses can’t be trusted. No one can.

Most ridiculous fake Seattle thing I’m going to give the producers a pass this week. Bennett Ahmed’s passive-aggressive neighbors were pretty spot on. And the hermit with the telescope who over explains everything with a stutter and won’t make eye contact? We all know that guy.

Current murder suspect I know we just got a new pair of promising potential killers, but they could just as easily be victims. (Though in the case of Aunt Terry, I bet her carelessness or selfishness in some inadvertent way led to Rosie’s demise.) For now, I’m taking a long hard look at Michael Ames, the rich father of Rosie’s ex. Remember a few weeks back when it was pressed upon us, more than once, just how much Jasper hates his father? Now we’ve got this weird, sexually charged link between Old Man Ames and Terry. And where did Rosie get those expensive high heels? You have to wonder.

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