‘The Killing’ 3.06 Recap: “This Job Is Not for Human Beings”

Sunday was a night of name dropping on ‘The Killing’. In the span of 30 seconds, Holder referenced Copernicus, Galileo and Darren Richmond. That last one kinda sent chills up my spine.

It’s the middle of the season and Linden’s obsessive nature has overtaken whatever common sense she started out with. Don’t get me wrong, I like Mirielle Enos in the lead role, and I like the sweater-clad detective character she plays. Linden is the antithesis of just about any other television heroine. She’s frumpy, doesn’t wear makeup, looks like she just rolled out of bed after smoking two packs of cigs, and somehow always gets the job done. Granted, it usually takes her ten times as long to solve a case that the ‘Law & Order: SVU’ detectives would have tidily wrapped up in an hour, and that can be a tad frustrating for a viewing audience.

Her obsessive attitude, though, boy, it just takes over and never lets up. She has tunnel vision here. Of course, she’ll end up being right, right? Wouldn’t it be cosmically hilarious, and show that Veena Sud and her writing team actually had some storytelling cajones, if they ended this season with the realization that, yes, Seward did indeed brutally murder his wife. That would send Linden into an unstoppable tailspin. Who knows how far gone she’d be once the fourth season rolls around (if it rolls around).

After Linden finds out that Seward’s son had a penchant for sleeping in closets, she and Holder revisit the three-year-old crime scene. Holder manages to relate what they’re doing to a couple of ancient scientific minds in the loveable-and-at-the-same-time-detestable way only Holder can: “We’ve been going at it all Galileo when we need to be Copernicus on this bitch.” Upon breaking and entering – because television police procedurals are rarely, if ever, actually concerned with proper police procedures – Holder provides a bit of extraneous dialogue about Mayor Richmond’s failed waterfront project so that we all know exactly why the apartment hasn’t been lived in for three years.I guess that the reference had to come sooner or later, but I’d rather not be reminded of the previous two seasons.

On the Seward front, the show finally explains how a death row inmate could come into possession of a special bar of soap containing a razor blade. It was a gift from ol’ papa Seward. How sweet of him. Seward’s meeting with his dad is uneventful, other than explaining where the razor blade came from and instilling something we already knew: Seward’s life really, truly sucks. And it would seem that he’s content with keeping it that way. The prevailing winds are quickly acknowledging that he had nothing to do with his wife’s murder. So why does he feel guilty for it? Why is he willing to die for it? Is it just acceptance of his fate? Or does he not really care either way? Even my love for Peter Sarsgaard is waning, since I’ve found it almost impossible to insert myself emotionally into his story thread.

Whenever the show switches to the prison, I feel almost a complete disconnect from Linden, Holder and the case of the missing girls. It’s like two different shows fighting for screen presence during the same airtime. Throw in the out-of-place drama surrounding the prison guards, which even if explained later on, most likely won’t feel any less nebulous than the first half of the season, and the show seems disjointed at best.

At the center of the story is the case and the focus on a world that my somewhat innocent mind would like to think doesn’t really exist. Child prostitution is tough subject matter, and there are times in the show where I find myself squirming. Sometimes I feel just as dirty as Bullet’s grungy fingernails.

Following the same standard ‘Killing’ formula, the first 40 minutes or so are dark and brooding, and move along at a glacial pace right up until the last five minutes where the score swells, and Holder has one of his many Ah-ha! moments. As they walk into the Beacon House and wait to talk to the pastor, Holder puts together yet another puzzle piece. Upon seeing the wall of neatly aligned pictures, he comments, “A shepherd and his flock.” Indeed. Was Joe Mills a red herring? Or do Mills and the pastor work together killing underage prostitutes? Or, will everything end up getting blamed on Darren Richmond again? Now that would be a twist!

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