If ‘The Killing’ had anything going for it in the past two seasons, it was the fact that the show didn’t play by the book a whole lot. Instead, the writers decided that focusing on the grief, pain and anguish of a murder was more important than actually solving the crime. Fine. It makes for a slow narrative, but that’s what the show was going for. This third season is not only slow, but frustratingly clichéd as far as cop dramas go.
Everyone has convenient storytelling devices and clichés that they hate. Mine? Well, my number one, most hated plot device is when the bad guy surprises a driver from the back seat of a car. Believe it or not, this is always on my mind. Always. Whenever I’m somewhere dark and walking to my car, I always make note of my periphery and I always, without fail, notice that, “Hey, I can clearly see into the back seat of my four-door sedan.” If someone was lying in wait to ambush me once I sat down in the driver’s seat, I would’ve already seen them before I got in. So, why do storytellers keep insisting that their characters, no matter how smart and observant, are constantly flummoxed by stranger-danger from the rear seat? It’s such a stupid, nonsensical way to put a main character in danger, because it seems implausible at best.
Linden approached her police-issued sedan on a well-lit city street, only a few hundred yards away from a busy crime scene, and somehow didn’t detect the giant lumpy mass malevolently waiting in her back seat? Here’s a detective who, on a big fat hunch, followed a crudely drawn child’s painting to a mass grave of young prostitutes in the middle of the woods. Yet her skills of observation completely elude her when the only thing needed in that situation is average peripheral vision capabilities? This is such a poor, stupid way to end an otherwise tense episode. It put the brakes on whatever this season has been building to.
Good grief, what a dumb cliffhanger!
In other news, Bullet and Lyric are waifs in love. It’s kinda cute in a strange way. Seward’s story is no closer to making much sense. His brief, religious-tinged conversations with the Man Formerly Known as Alex Krycek do little to alleviate the problem that the show has confined its best actor to tiny cement room. Rarely do we even see a framed shot of Sarsgaard’s face without metal bars cutting vertically through the picture. I’m tired of the subplot about the guards and however they’re supposed to fit into the grand scheme of things – or if they’re even supposed to fit in at all. Maybe we’re just supposed to realize that being a prison guard is tough on the guards and their families? If that’s the case, the show has succeeded.
Sorry for the brief encapsulation of this week’s episode, but I find myself too annoyed by those final five seconds. They only serve to undermine Linden’s character, the show’s patented way of telling its tales and, you know, logic.