The Killing: S3E03 “Seventeen”

8 Overall Score
Main Plot: 7/10
Side Plots: 9/10
Anticipation: 8/10

Linden is working again | Peter Sarsgaard | Homeless youth story line

Linden's scenes were pretty useless | potential work-place drama

In a television show where nothing is easy or simple about the enduring case, there was one element in this week’s “The Killing” that was stupidly so.

Sarah Linden just had to make a phone call reporting the crime scene she happened to come across on her daily run in a difficult-to-reach area. Everything is totally normal here, guys. Actually, upon discovering 17 biohazard body bags littering the grove, both the audience and Linden knew that her phone call really meant “So I’ve done your job, you can thank me later.”

Since Linden has the most experience in the Trisha Seward case, it makes sense that the Seattle Police Department would include her in the investigation, but handing back her badge with a simple signature seemed far-fetched. It almost seemed like Linden didn’t have a choice, and this lack of options was realized internally upon discovering the bodies. Her obsession with this case has fully resurfaced, and she believes that these 17 corpses share a common killer with Trisha Seward. It isn’t enough to pass the information down to Stephen Holder and Carl Reddick. Her former partner in the Seward Case, James Skinner, has bigger fish to fry as leader of Seattle’s Special Investigations Unit, but he knows that no one will put in as much time and analysis into this case like Linden. He hires her, and both of them hope they’ve made the right decision.

We find out that her “boy-toy,” Cody, wasn’t just a mid-life crisis fling, but Linden has a history of inappropriate workplace relationships. Reddick reveals to Holder that Linden had an affair with Skinner, which puts Skinner’s wife’s confrontation under completely new context. Comparing these relationships to her other relationships (i.e. ex-fiancé Rick) we begin to notice a pattern of relationships that are doomed from the start. Either Linden chooses to embark on a relationship that requires secrecy, or she voluntarily (and, yet, helplessly) chooses potentially healthy relationships and ruins them with work. I can only hope that a Linden-Skinner sequel won’t unfold this season because, as fans, we get it. Her inability to separate her work life from her personal life was made evident in strained relationships with Rick, her son and possibly her ex-husband. The story isn’t that interesting when it deviates from the case-at-hand and delves into personal territory, although last season’s episodes that offered glimpses at Linden’s institutional history did a lot to build up Season 3. Since this is a case that dragged Linden back without much of a mental choice, it’s likely that we will see how it affects her.

As for Holder, he clearly misses working with someone who has just a little bit more investment in a case that Reddick. Every time Reddick is on-screen, it is to make some inappropriate joke or play up the archetype of the donut cop. At the end of the day, Holder knew Reddick would punch out early. He doesn’t speak ill of his partner, but we could see the invisible single-tear shed as he talked to Linden like old times. Reddick is wedging these two apart. Because Reddick and Linden don’t get along and the department has to tip-toe around Reddick’s questions so as not to cause any awkward tension (“anonymous tip”), Linden pretty much stays out of the new-duo’s way. This leads to confusion when they both try to find Bullet, but Holder gets to her first causing Linden to waste her day. Hold that thought- the day wasn’t completely wasted. She did manage to creep up on Adrian Seward and ask him about the tree drawing she stole from his room. Adrian may or may not remember Linden, but he does feel the need to tell the first person who will respond that he wants to see his dad. When she sees Adrian’s teacher approach the kid talking to a mysterious figure, she only does worse by walking away in a nothing-to-see-here-folks manner. Sketchy, Linden. Holder, Reddick and Linden need to figure out a plan, or Holder needs to start cheating on his current partner in order to make progress. Office-drama, why are you always inevitable?

Bullet is already distrustful of male and authority figures, but after Goldie raped and assaulted her, she carefully seeks help through Holder. She chooses not to get into details but does enough to lead Holder and Reddick into Goldie’s child-pornography emporium where they catch him trying to escape. Goldie’s knife doesn’t match Ashley Kwon’s murder weapon, but his possession of child pornography with intent to distribute is enough to lock him up. Only that doesn’t happen; Skinner lets him go in order to secretly trail his moves for 72 hours and, in the world of “The Killing,” the operation gets botched when Bullet blows Holder’s cover. From what we can ascertain, Bullet has reason to be distrustful of men. Her father is nonexistent, except for sending her money. Until we know her family history, we’ll have to live with fragments. So far these fragments are her callous life in the streets, having to face pimps like Goldie and Twitch, and refusing to prostitute herself for money. Bullet seems like a solid character, casted perfectly.

There isn’t much to say about Bullet’s crush and Twitch’s girlfriend, Lyric, this week except that she’s just as scared as every other homeless kid. All of these teenagers act tough, but under that veneer of assurance there’s desperation and anxiety. She’s afraid of her environment, especially since word of the body bags got around, and wants to move to California with Twitch. Twitch is a narcissistic, greedy pimp who will say the right thing at the right time in order to keep Lyric close by for reassurance. Lyric leeches on him with every forced attempt to call him “Baby,” but she’s just looking for anyone who will show her care and affection. Although she doesn’t realize it because it might not be socially acceptable for her, the affection she’s looking for in Twitch is obviously in Bullet. Bullet maintains in the friend-zone because she’s not really a man, which is ironic considering how feminine and appearance-conscious Twitch is.

On death row, Ray Seward managed to smuggle a razor into his bar of soap. At the right moment, he opens his secret-soap compartment and places the razor inside his mouth. Even with his history of violence, the show portrays Seward as someone to be fearful of and yet to sympathize for. Considering the evidence and the fact that a third season was even made, Seward most likely did not kill his wife (Cue the plot-twist jingle.). As for why he thinks about more violence? I can think of a couple of reasons. First of all, there’s a cop who gets off to pushing his buttons. When Officer Beckard told him Adrian would end up in prison one day as well, and Seward should have spared him by slashing his throat, it was an intense moment. Seward loves his son more than he loves himself, and that’s the reason he used the razor to cut out the letter “A” tattooed on his chest in the middle of the night. Seward didn’t want Adrian to end up like him. While I doubt he killed his wife, he still has a lot of inner demons that he clearly doesn’t want Adrian to inherit. Moreover, he doesn’t feel worthy of being Adrian’s father and having his initial branded on his chest. He’s ashamed, and he keeps silent because he knows that nothing can save. There is one thing, we know, and that’s Linden. Even if Seward confessed, he’s been through the process before and ended up on death row. A confession wont make Linden, Beckard or anyone in the Department of Corrections believe he is innocent. Linden needs to find the serial killer responsible for the 17 dead bodies. So far, the evidence is favorable to Seward. The bodies appear to have been killed three-to-five years ago – all within a 6-month period. This doesn’t rule out the possibility that Seward MAY be the serial killer, but as Linden said, “If you thought your dad murdered your mom, nearly cut her head off, would you want to see him?” Some things don’t add up.

 

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Author: Claudia Marina View all posts by
Journalism student at the University of Florida. Sally Draper is my spirit animal. I love writing about TV and how it affects culture. Occasionally I watch bad TV, but reviews make it better.

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