Monday, April 18, 2011

The Killing: A Soundless Echo

Well, it’s day 4 of the investigation, and the secrets are starting to fly. Some are being discovered by the cops, and some are just sitting on the periphery, waiting to be found out by the cops. The suspect pool gets bigger – and deeper – and a favorite of mine seems like the perfect candidate for the murder…except I’m thinking he may have peaked to early.

We start in the most logical place you would think to start after last week’s video revelation, in an interrogation room, where the skate rat is going through a form of withdrawal. Detectives Linden and Holder watch him scratch, waiting for the right moment to go in and start the “interview.”
They finally walk in and show him the first video, the one with Rosie being interviewed. She looks pretty, in her pink wig, and they try the psychological approach with the skate rat, but to no avail. He ain’t budging.

By this time, Jasper makes it into the police station, but unlike his friend, he comes loaded with an attorney. Linden goes off to speak with him, while Holder continues with the skate rat, but not before getting reprimanded by his boss to clean up his act a bit.

Linden shows Jasper the second video, the one with the boys having their way with “Rosie.” Only Jasper alludes to a different story, much to the chagrin of his lawyer. I wonder, if lawyers had a more successful time keeping their clients from making outbursts to the police, would less crimes be solved?

The Larsens are moving forward, attempting to plan Rosie’s funeral. And let me just say this right here…Funeral directors are creepy. Mixing the death of a loved one with a monetary amount is obviously a necessity, but has to be extremely difficult to capture the right balance. I don’t think I could do it. And I definitely don’t want my loved ones to have to go through these awkward conversations. I’m leaving explicit instructions to have my body dumped in a river. That or taxidermied.

And here’s our first look at Richmond campaign headquarters – and things aren’t looking good. He’s getting hammered in the polls, and there’s no money to fight back. Gwen suggests a meet and greet with “Tom Drexler,” one of Seattle’s many wealthy guys, but Richmond doesn’t like that idea, some because of his capitalistic philosophies, but mostly because he thinks he’s an asshole.

Holder is trying to get somewhere with skate rat, but not having much luck. In fact, the skate rat asks him if everyone knows Holder has “the itch like me.” And just like that, Holder is thrust back into a sketchy light. Linden interrupts the interview just before it’s about to get juicy, but Holder blows her off. At first I didn’t get what was behind this; I thought Linden simply didn’t like the way Holder was doing things, but it makes much more sense in the next few minutes…

We head off to a blue collar bar where people like Jamie and the current mayor would never be caught dead in, to find Jamie and the current mayor meeting. Ah, it’s because it offers them some privacy. The mayor makes his “I want you on my team” pitch to Jamie. It seems as though Jamie was exactly what Gwen suspected – a guy who just wants to be on the winning team.
Richmond, still disgusted by the thought of having to grovel for money from this Drexler cat, tries hitting up his supporters for more money. Of course, with his smoky/whispery delivery, and form letter opening, I can’t say I’m too shocked he’s getting turned down. He doesn’t quite have the emotional Obama appeal down just yet. Gwen, however, has some other plans…she places a call into a senator.

Ah, now the interview interruption makes sense! Linden is questioning Sterling. It seems it was she, and not Rosie in the video. This I guess is what Jasper told Linden, and what Linden was going to tell Holder when she interrupted. Boy is there egg on his face when he catches up with these two. And you can tell, since he’s using his “Just fucking tell me what I need to know” approach and not his “hey underage cutie, how about telling me stuff” approach. What we learn:

  • The blood in the cage was from a Sterling nosebleed.
  • The sex was seemingly consensual.
  • Sterling paints the picture that Rosie had “changed” in the recent months, and that she was going somewhere after school.

Holder wants to go talk to the Larsens, but Linden’s already got that shit locked down. She tells Holder to go hit the bus routes and find out where Rosie was going. Yeah, I don’t think I’d be thrilled with either task.

Gwen meets with the senator she called, who also happens to be her dad! Who also happens to be Charles Widmore from Lost! Alan Dale, the actor here, apparently has cornered the market and potentially shady older white rich men in power. And could you imagine if The Killing was taking place in the same universe as Lost? It certainly would make for some slightly more intricate murder theories. We’d also probably get a really weak payoff at the end of the series.

Sarah meets with the Larsens at the precinct, and asks about the expensive shoes and lockbox key. The parents seemingly know nothing about Rosie’s possible secret double life. Taking a call, she leaves the room, and the Larsens happen to see the “board” where all the evidence is kept, including graphic pictures of their daughter. Looks like maybe Holder should have spoken with the Larsens.

I do appreciate that we get this Linden stumble here. It shows that she isn’t infallible, and maybe, while she’s obviously a good detective, doesn’t have all the answers. Maybe Holder does have some good input for the case. Of course, knowing Holder, he would have held the interview in the same room with the Evidence Board.

And then we make a quick transition to what seems to be an art gallery opening or something of that nature. Sexy women and men cavorting around an open space, sipping wine in the middle of the day. Exactly what I picture Seattle socialites doing with 90% of their time. I only make note of this because the edit that brought us here started on a mid shot of a random woman/model wearing shoes that, at least to me, look exactly like the high falutin’ shoes Rosie had. Hmmm.

We soon learn this even is being held by the infamous Tom Drexler, which AMC’s website describes as a “wealthy entrepreneur. That’s funny, because I like to describe myself as a poor entrepreneur. Just to give myself some cache. Anyway, there’s a lot of posturing at this event, with the current mayor, Richmond, and Drexler. And it’s all going on inside a basketball analogy. Basketball is becoming more and more frequent, and tying some of the separate plot threads together. The mayor also takes what could be considered a pot shot at Gwen, which only throws more suspicion on her as being the campaign leak. And who are we really kidding, here? As we’ll soon find out, it wasn’t Jamie, and there haven’t been any other characters from Richmond’s campaign even introduced. It’s gotta be her, right?

Holder is mad that he’s riding the bus. Because I mean, there’s no way anything could possibly come from this bus ride.

Linden heads back to Reggie’s boat where she’s jumped by… her fiancé! He apologizes for being a dick on the phone the other night, but still asks a couple probing questions about her situation. And, while I’m sure there will be a bigger payoff in future episodes, right now there doesn’t seem to be a big deal here. I guess she could just quit and walk, but basically she’s being forced by her boss to stay on for an extra week. This plot line just isn’t doing much for me.

The Larsens are at church, trying to finalize the funeral service. And then the priest has to go and open his big mouth and say how Rosie is now with God, and God is looking over everyone. Now, I don’t want to make this a religious debate about the existence of God, but c’mon…remember, it’s only been four days since Rosie’s death. I’m not sure the grieving process has truly ended. And it seems that Mama Larsen feels the same way since she angrily asks where God was for Rosie when she was alive.

Richmond meets with Drexler one on one. Drexler suggests he wants a stadium close to where he lives, but Richmond wants none of it. He says that’s just as big a vanity project as the mayor has cooking with his mall. He sticks to his guns! And lo and behold, Drexler likes his stick-to-itiveness and floats him some much needed cash. Yay?

And now a drive down Suspicion Lane…Daddy Larsen apparently bought a house? It was to be a surprise, but he doesn’t think he can move there, so he plans on selling it. Belko is there, and basically says if Stan says the word, the politician will have an accident. But Stan doesn’t want that, saying, “I don’t do that anymore.” Well, at least now we have some more shady developments brewing.

At high school, Sterling gets harassed by some kid, which…if we go by the timeline, it’s been 4 days since one of their classmates has been murdered. That seems a tad harsh, even for a teenager. Mama Larsen wanders in though and gives Sterling a hug, telling her it’s not her fault. Now, you can take that as a consoling gesture, or you could take it as a subtle admission of guilt. I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Stan is off meeting with an older gentleman with an accent, sitting alone in a restaurant. Uh oh. These types of meetings never lead to happy endings. Anyway, its obvious they have some sort of past relationship, so when Stan asks for money, it’s not just a loan shark type transaction. Again, it’s obvious this is simply an introduction of another plotline (and the introduction of another suspect) but for right now, not much information is offered.

Holder is still riding the bus, stewing in his own anger and filth. About to get off and say fuck to this perceived wild goose chase, the bus drivers change shifts (I’m going to be honest – the way back during the first time he got a negative reply showing the driver Rosie’s picture, I thought, “ there has to be other drivers, right?”) and he strikes gold. The new driver has seen Rosie before. Why does he remember? Because Rosie was white, and we’re in Black Seattle now. And, wait, who’s the only black character to have been introduced so far? Hmmm.

Sarah is offer to the Larsens to research the bedroom after finding her kid’s stash in a pillowcase. And I’m going to be really annoyed if the first police search didn’t unearth secret documents because Rosie put them in a pillow.

Mama Larsen is still at the high school, where Rosie’s teacher finds her, and begins to offer some consoling thoughts about Rosie. Consoling thoughts that start to get a little deep, and personal – at least a lor more personal than a teacher would probably perceive in a student.

Next comes a weird scene between Sarah’s fiancé and Jack. The fiancé had brought up some cakes to try in hopes of locking down a caterer for the wedding, and Sarah’s kid found them and started chowing down. The fiancé comes out, sees the mess, yet instead of lecturing the kid on maybe not, you know shovel someone else’s cake down his throat, he joins him in the gluttony. I’m guessing this is to show that now matter who it is, Sarah pulls away and throws herself into her job until it’s done. Except, her character so far has not shown any type of doggedness or emotional attachment. She’s asked to leave, and been denied. Other than leaving just recently to search out the Rosie’s bedroom, she really hasn’t been immersed in the case. Again, I’m guessing it’s going to be something that rears its head in later episodes.

Sarah of course finds stuff in Rosie’s room (thankfully not in a pillow)…love letters written wistfully and personal, and they sound vaguely familiar. As that’s happening, Holder gets to the end of the line on the bus and finds a community center hosting one of those basketball programs sponsored by the Richmond mayoral campaign. The signs are everywhere…plots are converging…and it’s all coming together. Just like in Space Jam!

Richmond and Jamie meet. Delicious! Richmond knows Jamie wasn’t the leak. And now he’s hatching a plane to make Jamie a mole in the mayor’s campaign. Oh surely just to find out who the leak is in Richmond’s campaign. But, if Lord of the Rings taught us anything, it’s that even good intentions get corrupted with power. Oh, and that elf chicks are totally hot.

Holder is directed to a trophy case to find the person Rosie came to the community center with and it’s, to no one who’s been reading these recaps shock, her high school teacher! Holder finds a trophy case in the community center and hey look who’s there – why it’s the teacher!
Sarah reaches the end of the notes to see if the paramour signed them. Of course he did, he’s a struggling poet who surely thinks one day these letters will be part of a larger exhibition of his writings in some university library somewhere. Of course they’re signed, “Bennet.” As in Bennet Ahmed, her teacher.

The last scene is back at Richmond headquarters at night, as Richmond is looking out the window at a billboard of himself is being put up, his very own personal vanity project.

Suspect List

Bennet – Oh boy did they pile the suspicion on him. So much that I’m assuming he has peaked way too early to be the actual killer. Obviously he’s still in play here, but the way this show dismisses suspects almost as quickly as fingering him, I’m guessing we’re going to learn he was building a church while rescuing a bus of endangered animals (all of them mind you), during Rosie’s murder.

Darren Richmond – Well, the guy is finally getting a little dirt on him, showing off a side that at least has him aware of back room dealings. Whether or not that could translate into murder remains to be seen. And this basketball program he’s been pitching continues to come up in more and more places.

Stanley Larsen – His past coming back to haunt him. And there’s a lot back there! Between his partner bringing up stuff (most assuredly illegal), to the meeting in the restaurant, this guy’s got some skeletons.

Mitch Larsen – She seems to be grieving like any mother would, but there are a few instances here and there that suggest she might know something more about her daughter’s murder. And aren’t we supposed to look at the family first?

Belko Royce – Stanley’s partner has ties to the family and ties to a criminal past. Could Rosie have gotten involved in something that he had to take care of? We don’t know much about him.

Gwen Eaton – I hesitate to add her to the list of suspects, since it seems there’s a lot to lose and not a lot to gain for her to be the murderer, but she is hiding something, so anything is possible at this point.

Tom Drexler – I’m putting him on here for two reasons. One: he was just introduced and I’m willing to bet he will play a bigger role in this, since he seems important. 2: The whole shoe connection. I know it could just be me reading into things, but next week when it’s discovered he had a shoe fetish, you’ll know where you read it. Plus, the basketball connects him.

Senator Eaton – Would Gwen’s dad have Rosie killed to derail Richmond’s campaign because he didn’t like that he was sleeping with his daughter? Did you see what the guy did to Desmond?

Janek Kovarsky – The guy in the restaurant. Not only did he allude to a sketchy past, he’s got a middle eastern accent. That’s pretty much reason enough to convict him right there!

Your thoughts? I liked this episode a lot, because the pieces really started moving and you could start to see how they might fit together. I’m not sure the momentum this episode showed cand be sustained, but if it can, I’m excited about the potential. Now, there is a chance all these connections and shady pasts could slip into the preposterous, but so far I’m on board. As for my pick of the teacher? While it looks great if the show ended next week, I doubt he's the killer now. I'm going to go shift my focus over to this Drexler character, based on my shoe theory. Yeah it's silly, but it's all I've got right now.

Please leave your comments below!


gdr said...

I'm still going with Stanley as the murderer. His moving van has rope to tie her with, and I'm not sold on this alleged "camping" trip the weekend Rosie was murdered. And since he has access to all of this, this theory makes Belko suspect 1-b.

Mitch... completely agree on her. Grieving about her daughter's death or grieving about what she did to her daughter, or at least what she let her daughter become.

Bennett... sleeping with Rosie or wanted to sleep with her. He's ok with her death since now she can't give the real story of their relationship. Agreed, probably not the murderer but certainly not ruling him out.

Open issues...
1) Kris and Jasper were very nervous when they were snagged, almost like there's more that they haven't been fingered for yet.

2) Mr. Ames is allegedly out of the country. He's a big real estate guy, and so is Drexler. My guess is the mayor's in bed with Ames some how and now Drexler is trying to get into Richmond's camp.

3) Where's Aunt Terry been?

4) Why would Bennet and Rosie go to some youth club in the city?

5) Sterling still holding out on something.

6) Kovarsky was "never family" to Stanley. Perhaps a step-brother?

Goose said...

The major reason I don't think it was Stanley was because of the flashbacks of seeing her running through the forest and being chased. I don't think she would do that if it were her father. I think she would be pleading, but not running.

Definitely agree Kris and Jasper have more information. When Kris said, "That's all you got?" it certainly suggested there was more.

gdr said...

Yes, "if" Stanley were her father.

Also, what does this Rick guy do that affords him time to shuttle back and forth between Seattle and Sonoma, and have time to meet cake makers, all within 3+ days???

Jml1209 said...

We have to learn more about who Rosie was to look for clues. In Twin Peaks we learned a lot about Laura's promiscuity which suggested abuse in her past, which led to her father as the killer. All we know of Rosie so far is that she's an idealistic, smart, enthusiastic kid. I bet we learn slot more about her as this goes on and it will point us somewhere. Right now, her teacher and the politician seem the likely ones to exploit her youthful exuberance, and they're both connected by the basketball program. Seems a little too obvious, so I'm thinking all we're seeing is red herrings so far unless the clues are very subtle. I kinda think the shoes are going to be very big in figuring this out.