‘The Killing’ – ‘What You Have Left’: One debate and a funeral

05.01.11 6 years ago 73 Comments


A quick review of tonight’s “The Killing” coming up just as soon as I look like I donate plasma for a living…

“Who you are is five words: Dead girl in a trunk.” -Jamie

After the last couple of episodes left me feeling concerned, “What You Have Left” was a reassuring step back in the right creative direction.

I actually found myself mostly invested in the political plotline this week(*), as it got back to dealing with all the collateral damage being caused by the investigation. The show hasn’t done a particularly good job of making Richmond’s campaign itself and his vision for Seattle interesting, but dealing with the ripple effects of a single death is the kind of thing a show with this format can do well.

(*) Two complaints, though: 1)Richmond seems to go back and forth between hopelessly naive (his approach to this debate) and calculating (sending Jamie in undercover with Adams) depending on the needs of the plot, and 2)I don’t think either Adams or the show itself played the revelation about Bennet being a suspect particularly well. It felt more like a tossed-off detail, when of course it’s supposed to be the thing that torpedoes Richmond’s campaign.

The various rituals associated with Rosie’s funeral were well-done, and nicely-demonstrated just how much the family is all going through the motions, without the show seeming to wallow in their grief the way it did at times last week. And of course Stan’s pal Belko getting the call about Bennet in the middle of the reception sent an enormous charge through the episode’s final scenes.

Though the evidence right now pretty strongly points at either Bennet or his wife as the killers, it feels much too early for the mystery to be solved. So Stan could be on the verge of doing something very bad to yet another red herring. Or perhaps the show will take a very sharp left turn and devote its second half to Linden and Holder trying to chase down the fugitive Stan after he murders Bennet?

There are still problems – more silly talk of Linden getting on a plane to Sonoma (even her son’s not stupid enough to buy that), and not enough interplay between Linden and Holder overall – but where I felt my attention flagging the last couple of weeks, “What You Have Left” held my interest throughout.

Also, as a Neko Case fan, I can’t help giving bonus points to any episodic TV show that ends with a montage set to “Hold On, Hold On.”

Keeping in mind the usual warnings that any discussion of future plot details of the Danish series are completely off-limits, what did everybody else think?

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