Wrapping up The Killing

Day 13 (and episode 13, “Orpheus Descending”) of The Killing finally wrapped everything up into a neat bow, revealing the murderer of Rosie Larsen, allowing Mitch and Stan Larsen a sense of closure so that they can begin the healing process, and sending Detective Linden out to San Francisco to reconcile with her fiance. The final shot of the season shows Linden and Rick Felder standing with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop as the soon-to-be-married couple exchange their wedding vows.

I am, of course, joking. The Killing, throughout the series, has consciously evoked the conventions of the police procedural in order to depart from them, and the final episode from season one is no different.  If you haven’t seen the episode yet, read no further, as SPOILERS follow.

For those of us who have seen the British series State of Play, the increasing investigative focus on mayoral candidate Darren Richmond has felt a little too obvious. We’ve seen this twist before. Certainly, by the end of season one, Richmond has been arrested for the murder of Rosie Larsen. But did he actually kill her? All we know for certain is that Det. Holder falsified evidence, supplying a security camera photograph  (“I’ve got the nail,” for Richmond’s coffin,  “if you’ve got the hammer”) from a camera that turns out to have been out of operation for 6 months.  Det. Linden discovers this when she receives a phone call while sitting on the airplane getting ready to taxi out for the flight to Oakland.

Is Richmond guilty? Will he actually live to go to trial? Who exactly has Holder been meeting with? He told Linden it was his AA sponsor, who, he said, was keeping Holder’s paycheck and doling out the money slowly to prevent Holder from giving into the temptation to buy drugs. That doesn’t seem to be the case. Was Holder supplying false evidence in order to frame Richmond (at the behest, perhaps, of a political rival)? or because he indeed thinks Richmond is guilty?

The Killing has been renewed for a second season, so I guess we’ll see (eventually) how the answers to these questions play out.

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