The Killing "Eminent Domain" Review: Sheep Gone Astray

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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.



RAIN-SPLATTERED NOTES

– 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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