‘The Killing’ 1.11 Recap: “We Are the Cops, Asswipe!”

I’m fighting over what I should nickname the last episode of ‘The Killing’. It’s down to two finalists: “The Great Search for Jack” or “The Linden and Holder Show”. In other news… Well, there is no other news. This is certainly a disappointing episode.

I’m not one to poo-poo a show for focusing on its characters more than the plot, but episode ‘Missing’ goes about it in the wrong way. We’re interested in what happened to Rosie, and we need the story to keep moving forward without getting too bogged down in the personal lives of the show’s characters. I need a healthy balance, but this episode is so off-balance that it’s actually hard to watch the whole thing.

We don’t see any other main characters during this episode. It’s all Holder and Linden. Linden’s son Jack goes missing. He hasn’t shown up for school in days. So Linden puts her investigation on hold to try to find her wayward son. This comes directly after the two minutes she spends at the casino before she’s booted out because it’s Indian property.

For the next hour, we follow Linden and Holder around as they search for Jack. We can see the bond between the two of them growing, which is nice, but I found myself saying: “Okay, enough now. I get it. Let’s move on with the investigation.” Unfortunately, the show continues like that. It’s frustrating because I can feel the show not moving forward. We’re stagnant, motionless.

The character interaction between Holder and Linden is a crucial part of the show, but spending an entire episode on it, this close to the end of the season? That just doesn’t make sense to me. You’ve got to give us something to go on with the murder case, or give us a few other developing storylines. This episode seems lost and a little like a filler episode in a shortened season that doesn’t need it.

It’s a good thing we get a much-needed cliffhanger to keep us intrigued about Rosie’s whereabouts the night of her murder. It comes in the last seconds as the episode winds down. There she was, in the ATM camera. Now what?

Other Random Thoughts:
  • Rosie looked dolled up. Almost too dolled up, if you know what I mean.
  • Am I a callous human being for not really caring about Holder’s personal life and his estrangement from his kids? I find it the least interesting part of the show for some reason.
  • Jack has done nothing but be a thorn in the side of the investigation. First he emails all those pictures of Rosie to his friends, and then he pulls this crap and makes us waste an entire episode on him. Sorry, but part of me was hoping that was Jack under that sheet under the overpass.
  • Man, that episode kind of put me in a negative mood about the show. Hopefully next week’s episode redeems it.

9 comments

  1. I had a feeling that you wouldn’t like this episode, Aaron. However, I felt the complete opposite about it. For me, this was the show’s best episode yet.

    I *loved* all of the character stuff between Holder and Linden. We learned a ton more about both of them than we’ve ever seen before. What really surprised me was how funny Holder was. He’s always been a frustrating character because he acts like such a doofus, but he proved in this episode that there’s actually a quick wit under there when he wants to show it.

    The episode was also such a refreshing change from the expected cop show formula. As important as this case is, we’re reminded that it’s not the only thing in the characters’ lives. They’ve got a lot of other crap to deal with, crap that this case has been distracting them from. This job is ruining their lives.

    Linden’s absolute anguish throughout the episode was really compelling. And that fact that her son turned out to be the one place that, as a cop, she should have immediately known to look for him first, but she completely refused to even acknowledge it as a possibility, goes to show just how screwed up she is. She’s a terrible mother, and she KNOWS it. She’s watching herself mess up her own son’s life, and it’s killing her that she’s unable to change who she is or do anything about it.

    Also, I don’t think those were his own kids that Holder kept calling. They were his sister’s kids.

    • Aaron Peck
      Author

      I’d have to argue that it didn’t really break from any procedural workings. It just had a long drawn out conversation between Holder and Linden that was punctuated by the standard cliffhanger at the end of the episode.

      I didn’t really “hate” the episode, but it felt to me like filler. I think the season has already established the toll this has been taking on Linden and that we didn’t need an entire episode to restate that.

  2. i was hoping that jack was under that sheet too. i liked the ep. because it showed the toll it’s taking on Linden. and it made Holden a little human. i’m happy we did not see any of the mayor’s race going on. i wouldn’t vote for either of them.

  3. I agree with Josh – this was, for me, by far the best episode yet, and shows that there could be so much more to this program than just trying to figure out a murder. I didn’t miss the other characters at all, nor did I care there was very little going on in the Rosie investigation because the writing and acting were so riviting.

  4. Mike Attebery

    Also my favorite episode in a while. I’ve been struggling to stick with the series, but this was what they needed to have about 4 episodes back!

    • Aaron Peck
      Author

      I wouldn’t have minded it earlier in the season, but it’s getting down to crunch time, and in a shortened season it didn’t feel right to me. I guess I’m in the minority here.

      • TJ Kats

        Me as well. I agree that for episode 6-8 this would have been a great episode but getting this close to the end should have more to do with the case.

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