‘The Killing’ 3.04 Recap: “The Truth Is That We’ve All Got a Death Sentence”

Aaron is tied up with other things at the moment and asked me to cover the latest episode of ‘The Killing’ for him. So, let’s see what’s going down in the dreary, miserable, murder-ridden and perpetually rain-soaked city of Seattle this week.

I’m still not sure that I’m fully on board with this season’s serial killer storyline. I get that the show is trying to raise its stakes, but the intimate, personal nature of the previous Rosie Larsen case was one of the strengths of the show in previous seasons. That’s really lost here.

The big development in episode ‘Head Shots’ is that Holder and Linden are officially working together again. After getting fed up with Holder’s new partner, Carl (Gregg Henry), Linden tells him off in spectacular fashion: “23 years of experience and all you are is in the way.” Ouch. Seriously, that cuts to the core. Holder knows who the better cop is and sides with his old partner. Team Linderholden is back!

We have a couple of new suspects. When the cops raid the seedy motel where the runaway teen prostitutes like to stay, they find a hidden sex studio where the creepy porno movies had been filmed. The motel’s manager, Mama Dips (Grace Zabriskie), confesses to running the whole underage porn ring, including being the voice interviewing the girls on the recordings. When Holder points out that the voice is clearly a man’s, Dips replies that she’s a chain smoker. Obviously, she’s covering for somebody. No one buys her story.

A cop identifies a girl named Tiffany seen in one of the pornos. Linden talks to her, but she’s reluctant to give up the name of the man who recorded the videos. She insists that he was a nice guy. He even gave her some fries from Jack in the Box! Wait a sec… Didn’t that friendly cabbie share his fries with the girl Lyric last week? Yup, it’s the same guy. His name is Joe Mills and… dun Dunn DUNNNN… he’s also revealed to be the mystery boyfriend dating missing girl Kallie’s mother. The evidence sure seems to be mounting up against him. Of course, it’s still early in the season, so he must be a red herring. There’s no way they’ll find the serial killer this soon. In support of this assumption is the fact that, well, Tiffany is still alive and breathing, which she probably wouldn’t be if he was an evil teen-prostitute-murdering serial killer.

Other Stuff
  • Seward (Peter Sarsgaard) indeed used the razor to cut off his tattoo. He, quite strangely, starts buddying up with the annoying chatty prisoner in the cell across from him. The guards notice this. It seems out of character for him, like this must be a ploy and he’s going to set the guy up for something. However, when Seward refuses to take his antibiotics to prevent infection, the guards, rather than beat him into submission, make him watch as they beat the other guy. Seward actually relents, as if he cares about his new friend. Huh.
  • Dipshit teen Twitch (Lyric’s boyfriend, the one who thinks he’s going to become a famous model and actor), meets with his parole officer to tell him that he’s moving to L.A. The p.o. is a super creep who falsifies the kid’s drug test in order to hold the threat of a parole violation over him, and then rapes him. (This propels him pretty high on my list of suspects.) Later, Twitch gets high and picks a fight with some skate punks, who beat the living fuck out of his stupid pretty face. I don’t feel bad for him in the slightest.
  • The pimp Goldie, who was a major suspect in the case, arranges for a press conference (!) in which he publicly spills the beans about the serial murders, professes his innocence, and insists that the police have been harassing him. Based on one of his comments, the press dubs the serial killer the “Pied Piper.”
  • In case you didn’t put it together, Holder’s girlfriend is played by Jewel Staite from ‘Firefly’, which makes the “Serenity” tattoo on his chest pretty amusing. She doesn’t really have much to do in this episode, but I heart Kaylee and felt that she deserved a shout-out.

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