The Killing: S3E07 “Hope Kills”

7.3 Overall Score
Main Plot: 7/10
Subplot: 7/10
Anticipation: 8/10

Seward's scenes, fast-paced plot progression

Rewarding faulty theories

You guys, I don’t know how I feel about this week’s “The Killing.”

  1. WOW, shocker – but honestly, the last episodes were not that impressive and left me a little on the fence for my love of the show.
  2. I’m going to go ahead and take the liberty of referring to readers of this series as “you guys,” because I feel like every cranky episode review brings us a little closer together.

And now, in my best AMC-announcer-guy voice:

This week on “The Killing,” Holder’s illogically placed theory of Pastor Mike being the killer gets rewarded.

I should be happy for some progress, but I’m just mad at the writers for taking such an easy route.

Following my Joe Mills theory of innocence, I don’t believe Pastor Mike/Mark is the killer. My answer, obviously, is that we are only on Episode 7. I’ll probably keep on saying this until the end of the series, but if Pastor Mike ends up being the killer, we could be treading on serious “Twin Peaks” territory.

For those unaware of the series (shame on you) or those who just need a reminder, the killer was revealed mid-season on “Twin Peaks,” leaving the remainder of the show to follow a Sci-Fi tangent, which was only loosely tied to the original case at the end. While “The Killing” will never venture into Sci-Fi territory (and for that, I am grateful), if the show reveals the killer in the next couple of episodes, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to guess that the second half of the season would be devoted intense, last minute measures to save Seward from the gallows.

While this would be a “Killing” that I’d love to see, the chance of this happening is rare. In order for Linden to find peace with herself, the Seward case and the “Pied Piper” case ultimately have to be related. In other words, there would be no time wasted. I have a feeling we’re going to go around in a couple of more circles before the case gets resolved.

“But he had a knife to Linden’s throat!” you’re probably thinking.

Yeah, and Joe Mills still has Kallie’s cell phone.

The show is embarking on new leads without resolving initial ones. Seattle’s police have forgotten about all about Goldie, and now it seems that they are OK with Mills running away, as long as fingers keep pointing to the pastor.

While Goldie and Mills are suddenly deemed irrelevant, I find it hard to believe that Holder and Linden never made the connection between the two former prime suspects. Goldie makes a profit out of the porn tapes that Mills makes. Wouldn’t it make sense for Linden to question Goldie on the whereabouts of Mills?

Forget that! Holder’s shepherd/flock theory is clearly the direction we should be looking in.

Actually, here’s why it’s not:

Skinner reiterated my thoughts when he brought up the possibility that Mike was nothing other than just the guy who drove the escaped victim to the veterinarian.

Logical explanations just aren’t Linden and Holder’s thing, so they shut it down by saying that Pastor Mike had access to all of the victims. Skinner treats this as some sort of eye-opening information, but this has been established. Let’s not forget that when Linden and Holder met Rayna by the pizza place, she told them that the girl who escaped was seen at Beacon Home after fainting (probably from a loss of blood). This means that she would have run from the woods to the only safe place she knew that wouldn’t send her to a formal hospital. If Pastor Mike was the killer, and she was seen running away from said killer two episodes ago, she would not have returned to the exact location where the killer works.

My theory is that Rayna called Pastor Mike who came from his house over to Beacon Home and took the girl the veterinarian. Rayna claims the girl was screaming in horror at the sight of him; the girl also screamed when Linden discovered her at the vet’s. Terror is normal behavior after nearly having your head cut off. Mike left his car somewhere to be cleaned without questions (knowing that blood would only attract negative attention from the media, heavily following this case) and got a rental in the meantime. He didn’t want to say anything because “Beacon Home is a safe space” or whatever prepared speech he always repeats when the cops come and also because he has a history of kidnapping.

This is where it gets a bit more complicated, but maybe he just wants to “save” these kids by seeking help for them. Maybe he had to “kidnap” a girl in order to remove her from a harmful situation. I’ll admit, that detail and the knife wielding are scary and suspicious, but they have to be answered in the next episode.

However, putting all the unanswered questions and general absurdity aside, this still was a solid episode. Viewers got some relief or suspense knowing that this might be the killer. After weeks of not hitting a true lead, Pastor Mike is just the refresher we need. Now, if only this had been the first lead, I’d be stoked to get behind this theory. The only problem is it arrived too late and it seems sloppy. If Pastor Mike is innocent and his kidnapping story checks out, the show’s writers are just lazy, practically mimicking Season 1’s teacher trail.


  • Peter Saarsgard “killed it” again this week (sorry, not sorry). His scene with Henderson was his most powerful performance on the show, so far. When Henderson is tasked with weighing Seward to get the counterweight just right, Seward laughs but it’s shrill tone is really a combination of fear and tears masked under his tough-guy persona. He’s really understanding that this is real and overall, he’s angry for having his life placed in other people’s (hint: Linden) hands.
  • Well, the show had to give Bullet something else to be concerned about. She finally got the girl and left her alone with “the only guy in Seattle who’s not a pedophile.” We’ll see what the writers dish on us next week.


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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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