Is The Killing Moving Too Slow, or Just Fast Enough?

I’m not sure I really got a sense of The Killing’s glacial pace until Sunday night’s episode, in which Rosie was finally laid to rest. We’ve been watching this series for weeks, and we’re just now getting to her funeral. I haven’t minded the slow unraveling of the mystery up to this point—and I’m not sure I mind now—but there was something a bit overly drawn-out about the episode. I know The Killing is on track to a cathartic conclusion, so why am I suddenly getting a little antsy?

Part of the problem is that Linden and Holder are clearly focusing on the wrong suspect, and that’s frustrating to anyone who has watched a police procedural before. Granted, The Killing is an entirely different genre, but come on, you don’t really think Bennett Ahmed did it, do you? Even his wife is a long-shot at this point, since they’ve already given her a motive and means to do it. I agree that they both appear to be likely candidates—particularly the wife—but it’s too soon and too easy for things to be that simple.

Then there’s the fact that all of this feels a bit too familiar, and I’m not referring to the original Danish series. (Which I haven’t watched, because, duh, I don’t want to know how AMC’s version ends.) But, um, Mystic River, anyone? Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it, but the father of the murdered girl taking the law into his own hands and going after the man he thinks killed his daughter. I don’t think Stan is going to go through with it and kill Bennett, but it’s still pretty damn similar to Mystic River’s climax. And let’s not forget Jimmy had the wrong guy, too. (I warned you about spoilers!)

I’m picking on The Killing, but it’s still one of the best series on TV right now. There was a lot to enjoy about Sunday’s episode, most of which had nothing to do with the murder investigation itself. And I’m fine with that—as I’ve said before, resolutions to season-long mysteries are very often disappointments, so I’m glad we have compelling characters and side stories to focus on, too.

For once, I was interested in the Richmond scenes, which are usually the low points for me. In previous episodes, the political aspects of The Killing haven’t meshed with the rest of the story, but I loved the way everything came together this week. Richmond was advised to distance himself from Bennett, whom he's standing next to in a photo used in his new campaign ad, because of the teacher’s possible involvement in Rosie’s murder. I admired Richmond’s insistence that people are innocent until proven guilty, and that it was wrong and unnecessary to push Bennett away. But I also appreciated the other side of the equation, the way voters might react to the associations between Richmond’s campaign and the murder, and how the current mayor would use this information against his opponent.

And what’s the deal with Terry? She came home from Rosie’s wake, lit up a joint, put on a record, and started crying. Sure, this could just be grief over her niece’s death, but it seemed like more than that to me. What is she hiding? And what about that significant glance she exchanged with a mourner and his wife at the wake?

Larger questions aside, there are still great moments of symbolism: Rosie’s brother squishing the worm crawling over his sister’s grave, Linden getting the door closed on her at the wake. I’ll concede that this week’s episode never entirely came together for me, if only because I feel like I’m being strung along more than I need to be. But The Killing remains great television, and I’m in it for the long haul. I can always choose to focus on the details that interest me instead. Thankfully, there are plenty.

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