The Killing "Eminent Domain" Review: Sheep Gone Astray

By Noel Kirkpatrick

Jul 01, 2013

The Killing S03E06: "Eminent Domain"

Way to completely kill my Pastor Mike suspicions, show! Obviously if we're supposed to think that it's him, it's not him. I shake my fist angrily in your direction, The Killing. (And now watch it be Pastor Mike anyway.)

After last week's police work in the form of lucky breaks, "Eminent Domain" had the detectives mostly cooling their heels while they waited for Angie—the young girl who escaped from the Pied Piper's care last week—to be coherent/lucid/untraumatized enough to identify the person who abducted her, particularly if her abductor was the still-missing Joe Mills. Of course, that Angie went missing while on Reddick's watch wasn't suspicious at all. Not at all.

The "whodunnit?" aspect of this season has seemed fairly front-and-center for Linden and Holder, but the case is having less of a significant impact on them than the Rosie Larsen case did. The removal of Jack and Regi from Linden's world has made her obsession with police work, and this case in particular, feel rather hollow so far. There haven't been any ramifications—for her not going home, for her not seeing Cody (remember Cody?). As we've discussed in the past, The Killing has always placed more of an emphasis on the repercussions of a case than on the case itself, but Season 3 hasn't executed that feeling as well as Seasons 1 and 2.

Through Danette, Season 3 has attempted to draw parallels between her and Linden as two absent mothers. While we got to see Danette struggle with the realization that her neglect of Kallie and trust of Joe Mills could be construed as a contributing factor in Kallie's disappearance, hints of Linden's mental state came only in the form of her badgering Angie and being scolded by Skinner—nothing that meaningful, really. Take Linden's interrogation of Danette: It was the emotional confession of one crap mother talking to another, and Linden stoically took it, all the while still judging Danette. Linden is self-aware enough to know that she's a poor parent, but without Jack around, that awareness doesn't land for me in a way that feels important.

At least it's been important for Danette, though. Her arc, thus far, has been nicely plotted. While I balked at the lack of a resolution to last week's cliffhanger with Joe (I guess it really wasn't all that important that we know why Joe had Kallie's cellphone? At least not right now?), the discovery threw Danette for a loop. Unlike the grieving Larsens from last season, who sometimes felt a little circular in terms of development, Danette has had a bit more of a trajectory. Her time spent with Bullet wandering about Seattle, reminiscing about Kallie's inability to grasp the fundamentals of hide-and-seek, gave her some much needed shading, and provided this episode with a bit more emotional weight by showing the impact that Kallie's disappearance is having on someone other than Bullet.

Kallie's disappearance is also finally starting to become more entangled with Seward's time on Death Row, which is nice to see, but I again felt left wanting from a Linden perspective. The admission that Seward is on Death Row for a crime he didn't commit and in a case that drove Linden over the edge should have felt like a way bigger moment for her. There should be some sort of professional and existential break, but we're not seeing it. If Linden is very much dead inside as a result of the Larsen case, that would be one thing, but this season hasn't presented us with anything on which to base that assumption.

Thankfully, we're seeing these breaks in Seward. The anger, the disbelief, and the frustration Seward felt at having the detective responsible for putting him where he is say all this—and on a day when he'd already seen the closet thing he had to a friend kill himself and then had a sit-down with his father—were all unsurprisingly well-executed by Peter Sarsgaard. While Seward has felt occasionally disconnected from the rest of the show, small scenes like tonight's help remind us that the search for Kallie and the Pied Piper have had an effect on him as well. The Killing isn't as upfront with the passage of time as it used to be, but a reminder that Seward has less than two weeks before his execution adds a little more pressure to the show's slow pace.


– To circle back to Pastor Mike, I was glad when Holder, in a more contemplative mood, was thinking and talking through his thought process in trying to get inside the Pied Piper's head, and how it reasonably would connect back to Pastor Mike with all the choice words and phrasing and the confessional booth aspect of the rear view mirror.

– I really liked Amy Seimetz, who plays Danette, in this episode. I should probably get around to watching her in Upstream Color soon, huh?

– "Yo, vintage player. You got a smoke?" Never change, Holder.

– Despite the terrific comments, at the moment there aren't enough eyeballs swiveling this way each week to justify continued coverage of the rest of the season. We'll circle back occasionally, as the plot or a particularly strong reaction to an episode warrants. Until then, enjoy the show!

What'd you think of "Eminent Domain"?

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  • jmonkey24 Jul 25, 2013

    The past two episodes have both showcased things the killing hasn't done yet. they've been my two favorite eps of the entire series and an awesome directing job by Jonathan Demme. finally, after three years, i actually can't wait to find out what happens next!

  • aravindshivar Jul 26, 2013

    This is the best on TV right now! They should review the next 2 episodes!

  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 24, 2013

    I agree ! Episode 9 was the best of the season and I don't understand why no one is reviewing this here !

  • aravindshivar Jul 26, 2013

    It's TV'com's loss!

  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 29, 2013

    Episode 10 is emotional torture porn. Not violence, not sex but torture of the heart but yet many fans I think will love it just as much.

  • aravindshivar Jul 21, 2013

    the buzz for The Killing is huge!

    the last episode, (ep 08, "try") is considered as one of the best episodes on TV on any show this year.

    The new episode (tonight) is again considered as superlative, check tweets;=hash

    It's a shame that you guys have abandoned a brilliant show like this at the crucial time.

    only 3 eps left!

    Pls review the latest ep!

  • AssandroJourn Jul 02, 2013

    This episode was more of calm before the storm. Though I have a hard time buying Danette's "best mom of the year" sudden awakening of conscience. That woman threw her own daughter on the street and now she's all of a sudden worried about her? Seems a bit inconsistent. Her worrying sick is hard to connect with her outrageous neglect of her daughter - one thing is to send her to shelter or friends or relatives but she didn't care where her daughter would end up when on the streets. And why Bullet doesn't warn her fellow runaways that serial killer preys on them?

  • emmiegirl Jul 02, 2013

    ""The "whodunnit?" aspect of this season has seemed fairly front-and-center for Linden and Holder, but the case is having less of a significant impact on them than the Rosie Larsen case did." I disagree. With the last case it felt like Linden and Holder were their own worst enemies, both totally self-defeating basket cases.

    For Linden, this case, the doubts she had about Seward's guilt, are the gravity in her universe. It already broke Linden once, and the emotion she showed Seward was the most we've ever seen from her. I think the weight of her responsibility in sending a man to deathrow is drowning her; if the state puts him to death, it will be the ultimate undoing of Linden. I don't think she will survive it.

    Moreover, I've spent the entire season reviling Danette (and a couple hours riding around with Bullet half-assed looking for her child is going far to redeem her with me) but the interrogation scene showed Linden facing her own behavior as she has shown the woman nothing but repugnance, not even an ounce of compassion, yet in that scene she had no choice but to face the fact that the distance between she and Danette is really rather negligible and mostly her own projections.

    Holder is Holder and so long as he doesn't go back to smoking meth it's all good, but he's the sort who doesn't let on the kettle is boiling until the house is burning down.

    I still want to know what Seward did to believe he deserves to die! The man is obviously innocent of the crime he's been sentenced to death for, he obviously loves his son, what did he do that he would refuse to fight for his own life? Was it that he wasn't there that night (and perhaps up to no good) or did he have knowledge of his wife's extracurricular activities and he didn't put a stop to it? What is he so guilty over? He comes across as so intelligent, intellectual even, so the burden must be profound. It is the plot arc I most want to see resolved. (Ok, yes I want Kallie to be alive but that just isn't as juicy to me.)

  • noelrk Jul 02, 2013

    I see where you're coming from, and would like the show to meet your notion, but I don't really feel that the show is dramatizing the idea of Linden "drowning" in a convincing way.

  • emmiegirl Jul 03, 2013

    You're right, I am likely being generously interpretive. She always looks constipated, which is I guess is Mireille Enos's cop face for every emotion except crying. Not very much emotionality there.

  • gizma1982 Jul 02, 2013

    Loved the episode, love the show, love Linden and Holder :)

    There are awfull series that are named here, and you are cutting this show's comments ??

  • aravindshivar Jul 02, 2013

    I've a feeling that Seward's dialogue "I don't have a son" (he said this to Linden in Episode 1) is going to be the biggest clue in the case. I think he is not the biological father of Adrian. Well, just an intuition, lol

  • ShannonKielbl Jul 02, 2013

    NOOOOO!!! You have to keep track of Holder's verbal gems. I love them so much. I thought for sure you'd mention that he dropped not only Galileo, but Copernicus???!!!! Love him 4 eva.

  • noelrk Jul 02, 2013

    His explanation of Galileo and Copernicus was pretty priceless.

  • MrSaltan Jul 01, 2013

    If it's not the pastor, my money is on the probation officer....

  • McCovey Jul 01, 2013

    I want to like this season because I liked the last two season so much. I would say The Killing was my favorite TV show the previous two years--I couldn't wait for Sunday night for the next episode. This year I am having trouble even remembering what happened the week before and not caring all that much. We have to start seeing more of the detectives' personal lives. I am just not drawn into the kids on the street story--sorry if I offend anyone by saying that. I realize it is a real societal concern. I also am bored with the prison scenes. I am just not excited by anything on the show. Sigh. There should have been something better to do with Linden and Holder than the writers have come up with for this season. I am beginning to think they solved the Rosie Larsen case too soon. Finally, I wish the scenes in the prison weren't so hard to see--they are so dark I can't figure out what is going on.

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