That 'F—-ing Idiot' Damon Lindelof Defends 'The Killing' Season Finale

Entertainment Features
03.30.12 21 Comments

Oh, he would, wouldn’t he? The guy behind “Lost” has written an op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter supporting Veena Sud’s decision not to reveal Rosie Larsen’s killer at the end of the first season. But before you start trashing Lindelof, he’s going to head you off at the pass.

Even before you got to this sentence, you have already decided I’m a f–ing idiot. Because only a f–ing idiot would dare defend “The Killing.”

But defend it I shall. Sure, I understand why you’re angry — I was, too. But this is precisely what qualifies me to change your mind. And I know what you’re thinking. “Ooh. He’s self-servingly finding yet another reason to whine about Lost.” You are, of course, correct.

OK. So, we’ve established that Damon Lindelof is a self-serving, f–ing idiot. Should we even consider his defense? Let’s see what he has to say.

Were we misled? Yes. And yet, it turned out that misleads were sorta the point of the show.

In fact, the messaging behind “The Killing” continually reinforced that it was not going to be the cop formula we were familiar with, but something else entirely. There would be profound meditations on grief. Red herrings. Investigative dead ends. These are the things that drew us to it in the first place … so in some way, shouldn’t we have expected a lack of resolution? More importantly, it was either incredibly stupid or incredibly bold not to give us what we were demanding. I am inclined to believe it was the latter.

Incredibly bold is promising us ice cream and giving us Gelato. The season finale of “The Killing” was more like promising us ice cream and giving us a brain contusion. You’ve not convinced me yet, Lindelof. Please continue.

The minute we start vilifying writers for taking risks, we become complicit in an effort to make television boring. I am not interested in the dive where the guy just jumps off the board and flawlessly splishes into the water. I want to watch the one where there is a high probability he will belly flop so devastatingly that even the traditionally emotionless German judge cringes in empathy. And friends, I have had my fair share of belly flops.

Here’s my problem with that metaphor. I naturally appreciate it when writers take risks. The writers took a risk in formulating the show they did: Creating a season of television that centered on the investigation of one single murder. The problem is not entirely the way the season ended; it’s the way it hobbled to that finale. The show stopped being interesting by the 7th episode. By the 11th episode of the season, it was excruciating to watch. Those of us who kept watching did so for one reason only: To find out who the murderer was. If everything leading up to the botched season finale had been better, more compelling, more entertaining, I might have felt duped in a good way.

Let me put this in terms most of us understand: A sexual metaphor! If, say, Olivia Wilde had promised us a mad passionate night of love making and removed one item of clothing all the way up her stairwell but shut the door in our face at the top of the landing, telling us we’d have to wait until tomorrow before we closed the deal, we’d shake our fist and smile. “You minx!” But you know what? We’d sure as hell return the next night.

“The Killing” is more like the frumpy girl at the bar you pick up at last call. If she’d promised sex and then shut the door in our drunk face at the end of the night telling us we’d have to wait until the next night to close the deal, we’d curse her for making us walk 16 blocks in freezing rain for no goddamn reason, but we probably wouldn’t go back. We’d go to a different bar and find a better show.

That’s what most of us are doing with “The Killing.” “Game of Thrones” and “Mad Men” is like Alison Brie and Olivia Wilde in one night. Why would we also invite the frumpy girl to tease us after we’re already spent?

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