I was beginning to think that my copious note-taking during each episode of ‘The Killing’ was distracting me from whatever emotion and suspense had been building in the show. This time around, I decided to forego taking any notes, and instead sit back and let Veena Sud’s perpetually rainy Seattle wash over me. My plan worked. Sort of.
It’s now Day 20, and this is one of the episodes I’ve cared most about. It’s still the same angst-ridden plot and gruff-talking characters, but I felt a little more connected this time around. However, the Evil Indian Tribe is precariously close to rubbing me the wrong way. Do the controllers of Indian reservations really ever act this way? (“This is our land, white man!”) I mean, isn’t that being laid on just a tad too thickly? Not to mention that apparently the entire reservation population is in on whatever conspiracy they’ve hatched together. Nicole Jackson, leader of the all-powerful casino, has the entire place wrapped around her finger. She snaps her fingers and beefy thugs appear to beat intruders to a pulp. Cops or not, it’s “their land,” and that constitutes the willful beating of police officers, all the while sporting sickly grins. The last time I saw a town this in tune with each other in the ways of evil was when Scully got infected by some sort of weird worm by a cult of crazies, only to be saved in the nick of time by John Doggett.
Doesn’t ‘The Killing’ have that kind of feeling now? It’s like suddenly we’ve been transported to an ‘X-Files’ episode where an entire population of people has a single mind in committing evil acts for their fearless leader? Nicole is the only one calling the shots, and the rest of her people simply carry out her orders, whether that be manning the blackjack tables or beating down an outsider detective. I just don’t think that I can get fully on board the Evil Indian Tribe train. It’s just too weird and seems far too unbelievable for a show like this. Now, if Fox Mulder walked in asking questions and got the same beatdown that Holder did, I wouldn’t question it. But when you’ve tried to build your entire premise on strict reality, with inner personal grief being the main subject, suddenly throwing in a malevolent Indian casino owner and her town of ruffians doesn’t really jibe.
I did, however, feel for the rest of the story threads in this episode. I felt the Linden’s dread when the Child Protective Services agents showed up (which must be the fastest recorded time for an investigation like that), and her fear that her son would be taken from her. I connected with Stan’s pain when he looked at Rosie’s stuff and had to relive those last minutes he saw her alive (“…and she was sad”). I understood how Richmond’s story of running for election, even while everything seemed lost, will eventually tie back into the story about Rosie. Everything seemed to gel together quite well in this episode. Everything except those malicious Native Americans.
When Holder was lying on the ground getting kicked and punched from numerous assailants, I had to ask whether we’ve entered Hokumville? What dimension have we traveled to? This surely isn’t the show that I’ve spent 20 hours (oh dear God) watching over the past two years. Sadly, like Indian casinos, the Evil Indian Tribe is simply a byproduct of something even more pernicious. This is what you get when you go the conspiracy route. There must be a faceless, emotionless, blood-thirsty, all-controlling group behind the curtains. The Evil Indian Tribe fits the bill. Sure, there are still a few more things that will come to light before this season ends, but I think it’s safe to say the Indians had something to do with Rosie’s death. That, or they’re a group of people fit more for the talents of Mulder and Scully rather than Holder and Linden.