TV Recap

‘The Killing,’ Episode 4: The Chronicles of Reddick

Everyone’s forming alliances, and most are paying a price.

By James Ross Gardner June 17, 2013

Bullet and Albino Bugs Bunny bond over carrots.

Last night was a bad one for Carl Reddick, Detective Holder’s older, more seasoned partner, who quickly found that the old ways of doing police work don’t cut it anymore. Sitting in an unmarked car and waiting to catch a suspect behaving badly blew up in his pockmarked face when Goldie the pimp made a break for Hooker Bones Lake and held an improvised press conference. And when he tried to flaunt his seniority, Reddick learned that the Seattle Police Department—at least the Seattle Police Department on The Killing—is no longer an older man’s (or even a man’s) game.

Dumping on Detective Linden, Reddick says to Holder, “I’ve forgotten more convictions than she’ll ever have,” to which Holder responds, “Yeah, well you’re a lot, lot older.”

And later, when Reddick continued his rampage of condescension, this time in front of Linden herself, he absorbed the zinger of the night, when Linden deadpanned, “Twenty-three years of experience and all you are is in the way.”

It was a bad night for Reddick because it was a night in which all kinds of new (or resurrected) alliances emerged. Holder and Linden are more or less partners again. Bullet and Holder have become simpatico, so much so that Bullet can reject Holder’s proffered baby carrots and (almost affectionately) call him a “big, hairless albino Bugs Bunny.” Over on death row, convicts Ray Seward and Alton Hill are bonding, which worries guard Francis Becker, who avers his own alliance by inviting newbie guard Henderson home for a beer. And out on the street, even Bullet and Twitch—rivals for Lyric’s affections—have their own adventure.      

But first we see things go south for creepy chain-smoking motel matron Mama Dips, whom you may recognize from that other Northwest murder mystery. A swat team ramrods her doors, busting johns. And Holder and Linden discover a hidden room behind the reception desk, a hidden room that’s actually a mini porn studio. Questioned back at the cop shop, she announces that the graveling, male-sounding off-camera voice in the porn vids is actually her voice, and we believe her, even as we swear off cigarettes forever.

Kallie’s mom Dannette, thanks to busybody Linden, watches her own daughter interviewed in a porn clip, and she coughs up a confession: On the evening Kallie went missing Dannette locked Kallie out of the house and didn’t answer the door when she knocked.

Meanwhile, the world’s worst parole officer blackmails Twitch into dropping his pants. Twitch copes by shooting meth, which Bullet discovers. She follows him as he looks to score more meth at Freeway Park, where some kids from an ’80s skateboard movie beat him to a pulp.

These characters soon learn that alliances come at a price. When Bullet brings back a bloodied Twitch to Lyric’s motel room, it only deepens Lyric’s affection for Twitch, not Bullet, who is literally left out in the cold. Henderson the guard learns that the supposed alliance forged by Becker was in fact a power play when Becker calls him out for not being able to force inmate Seward into taking his medication. And we know Danette’s newly revealed relationship with her boyfriend, the cab driver and Red Herring of the Week, John Mills, is a catastrophe in the making.        

Of course, the resurrected alliance between Holder and Linden will no doubt have its cost as well, especially with Reddick stewing on the sidelines. It’s hard not to view the final prison scene of the episode as prophetic: Becker takes advantage of Seward and Alton’s new friendship by savagely beating Alton until Seward takes his medication. Will Reddick pull a Becker and punish Holder and Linden for pairing up too?

The Killing airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.

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