The Killing: S3E11-12 “From Up Here”/”Road to Hamelin”

4 Overall Score
Main plot: 4/10
Sub Plots: 3/10
Anticipation: 5/10

Moody atmospherics | Character "Me" time |

More unjustifiable plot twists | Loose ends untied

“The Killing” began its two-hour season finale with the same breathy atmospherics that I praised just 10 episodes ago. After a disappointing ending to the Seward plot last week, these atmospherics might be the only thing to save the finale. With Seward and Bullet both dead, there wasn’t much to look forward to, and yet, there was still two hours of “The Killing” left, meaning that there would surely be one last fall-off-your-seat plot twist. Unfortunately, “The Killing” took away my anticipation with every episode as soon as the show’s writers attempted to derail the show with Pastor Mike. It was a cheap move that left me unfazed with any shiny, new tricks up the writers’ sleeves.

The writers did manage to garner a response from me at the expense of Seward’s death. Not only was it baffling, but it made no sense. I went along for the ride, and held on at the most boring of times, because the Seward and Bullet sub-plots were the types of stories I enjoyed watching. Ultimately, the stories led to nowhere.

It’s this road-to-nowhere type feeling that ruined this season for me. As the season (and possibly the series) drew to a close, Seward had died without justice, Bullet died to evoke an emotional response from Holder (who was left as a foil in these last episodes), Lyric may or may not return to prostitution, Kallie was still missing and – wait for it – Joe Mills wasn’t even the killer.

The killer was the most unexpected person on the show, and after all the finger pointing at Reddick, “The Killing” spun you around in your chair once again and revealed it was James Skinner.

It seems obvious now that the killer would be the most unsuspecting person, who had no ties to the case whatsoever. Even if it were Reddick, it still would have made a little sense, since some story was there. There was no story with Skinner. His reason for killing 17-plus girls was “salvation,” but even he didn’t believe that. At the end of the day, it boiled down to “they’re garbage.”

Skinner didn’t even remember Kallie, which I find hard to believe since her disappearance practically jumpstarted the case he supervised. Bullet’s blue blue ring, which Kallie wore, was found on his daughter’s finger, and that’s when Linden knew that he was the killer. I would say that she “connected the dots,” or  “put all the pieces together,” but really, there was nothing to connect. The ring was enough evidence to prove Skinner guilty. He didn’t fight it. Instead, the viewers got the joy of experiencing another car ride through Seattle, where Linden talks in that whisper-fast manner, like my brother’s whisper-screams when he’s playing “Call of Duty” on Xbox live.

Skinner explained why he did it, but it seemed automatic – unconvincing. Linden kept repeating that she didn’t understand, and I didn’t even care.

If there’s one thing that kept the season finale from being a total flop, it was the first half. The first hour was filled with anticipation, and more importantly, some well-needed character time.

Like “Breaking Bad” and its relationship with Albuquerque, N.M., the character of Seattle on “The Killing” plays an important role in the show. It affects the other characters. Yellow and dust is to “Breaking Bad” what blue-gray and rain is to “The Killing.” Take away these elements, and their respective shows would be very different.

Setting and atmospherics provided quiet time for Linden and Holder in the aftermath of the case. If the season finale spent the entire two hours exploring the psychological state of these two cops (how Holder was turning into Linden and Linden turning into Reddick), the season finale would have been a success. The first hour teased us with this, but ultimately Linden’s romance issues, which have been pushed to the forefront this season, took over.

Linden’s unhealthy fixation with Skinner was analyzed by Skinner to be more than just workplace-inappropriate. Skinner claimed that Linden knew all along that he was Trisha Seward’s killer, and this attracted her to him. UM, OK. In order for Linden to put all her demons to rest, she shot the man – and that’s it. We’re left to our imagination to see what happens next – if there even is a next.

Will Linden become the next killer?

The only way that the show can make a successful return is if it stops trying to recreate what’s been done before. If the show can move past its basic formula for all cases, it might stand a chance at renewal. Even then, it will be hard to get my attention, but I did watch this entire season, right? Maybe I’m a masochist.

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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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