I realize that many of you who watched The Killing may have bailed on it after the first season, and some more may have ditched it in the second season. But there are a few of us who either kept at it, or returned for the third season, which ended up being a strong — and ultimately devastating — season of the show, thanks in part to a new serial killer case self-contained in one season, and a brilliant performance from Peter Sarsgaard, playing a death-row inmate. The third season ended up being the version of The Killing we’d wanted all along.
Though the series was cancelled by AMC, Netflix picked it back up for a couple of reasons: 1) The first two seasons play well on the streaming service, where viewers didn’t have to wait 9 months between installments to find out the mystery in the first season, and 2) because season three ended on a cliffhanger, and Netflix probably knew that viewers who got sucked into the series would want some closure.
With only six episodes to produce, it was a relatively inexpensive and sure bet for Netflix. Here’s what we know so far about the final season:
1. It premieres on August 1st, 2014. While it is only six episodes, because there are no commercial interruptions, the episodes will run longer than the customary 42 minutes (they will run closer to an hour). Netflix also allows profanities, and Joel Kinnaman will be dropping F-bombs.
2. Veenu Sud will return as showrunner, and the two major characters throughout the series are both set to return: Mireille Enos’ Sarah Linden and Joel Kinnaman’s Stephen Holder. Gregg Henry, who had a recurring role in the third season as Detective Carl Reddick, will also return this season as a regular.
3. The new cast member in the final season will be three-time Oscar nominee Joan Allen (The Contender, Bourne Supremacy, Luck). Frances Fisher will also join the series as Linden’s mother, who abandoned her at an early age.
4. Allen will play Margaret O’Neal, the head of an all-boys military academy where Linden and Holder will be investigating the murder of a family, survived only by their military academy son, Kyle Stansbury (Tyler Ross), who was shot in the head during the massacre. The final season will explore the wealthy and privileged.
Here’s what Allen looks like on the show, via EW:
5. We know from The Killing fan group that Linden and Holder will be visiting a cemetery at some point during the season.
6. The final season will not be open ended, according to showrunner Veena Sud (via Screencrush):
Season 4 is really the end game for Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder…This was the end I’ve wanted to tell from the very beginning. This is how I imagine the story of Sarah Linden would end. The way the season ends, I don’t think that there will be another season. It’s the way I’ve wanted to end the story from the beginning so I’m very grateful to come to this end instead of hanging like we were before.
So, no fifth season, for sure. Unless the fourth season does well, probably.
7. We should also find out the outcome to the season three cliffhanger, when (SPOILER) Linden shot and killed her former partner, against the advice of Holder.
Before you begin on the final season, here’s a short summary of the first three seasons:
Here’s a short teaser trailer for the final season (it contains no new footage)