That’s my one-word review of the series finale of The Killing. Drop the mic. Close the laptop. And walk away.
Because I seriously don’t get ending the series with Holder and Linden together. Do you? It’s not like they’ve been a “will they or won’t they” couple for four seasons. I mean, this isn’t Castle.
I’m glad the series flashed forward a few years, and ended with them both in a happy place. The Killing is totally the kind of show that could have gone in a completely different direction with Linden visiting Holder’s grave or something equally depressing.
But Holder is sober and counseling other addicts. He’s no longer with Caroline (who didn’t see that one coming?) but he’s a great dad to a little girl who makes fun of his vegan cupcakes and scratchy beard. Linden is smiling (smiling!). Jack survived her bad parenting and is going to college. They’ve both moved on from investigating homicides, and found peace. Hooray!
But the idea that these two are some great love story, destined to be together? No, thank you. I adored their friendship and partnership. But I don’t want them together romantically. The only small consolation is that we didn’t have to see them make out.
Okay let’s talk about the rest of the episode. Colonel Rayne kills Fielding and Knopf just as Holder and Linden arrive with a search warrant. Rayne confesses to killing the Stansbury family, which, of course, is not true. Kyle is her son and she was trying to protect him. Driven to a blind rage by his fellow cadets, Kyle killed his mother, father and older sister. He then killed younger sister Nadine, who he loved, because she knew he was the monster.
Fielding and Knopf called Colonel Rayne and she helped them cover up the crime. I don’t know if I really buy that Fielding and Knopf would call Rayne. They didn’t know Rayne was Kyle’s mother. Why did they think she wouldn’t turn them all over to the police? In general, this season’s crime never became as interesting as it should have been, and did not utilize the always fabulous Joan Allen to her full potential. But I was glad it was wrapped up early in the episode.
Linden feels overly protective of Kyle, and initially wants to let Rayne take the blame for the Stansbury killings. She and Holder exchange more vicious words. Linden pulls a gun on Holder and accuses him of taking the shell casing as protection—proof that she is the one who killed Skinner. “I should have known you’d leave me too,” she tells him. (Which echoes their end of the episode reunion where she tells him, “I should have known you were the one person who always stays.”)
Holder and Caroline are awaiting her ultrasound when he finally confesses that something is very wrong. “There’s been an incident and it’s bad. It’s real bad. And I’m going to have to make a choice between me and her,” he tells her.
However, he doesn’t have to make a choice. Linden confesses to Reddick. But suddenly Billy Campbell, who last was seen in the second season, is back as Mayor Darren Richmond. He tells Linden that the evidence shows that Skinner took his own life. After all, we cannot have the people of Seattle knowing that a Lieutenant in the police department was the Pied Piper serial killer. If Linden tries to tell the truth, who will believe her? “You have a history of mental illness, Sarah,” he says. Holder looks on from the other side of the one way mirror knowing that Linden has absolved him of any involvement. Linden leaves her badge and moves out of her house where she finds the missing shell casing stuck in an air vent.
My favorite scene came between Holder and Kallie’s mother at the cemetery. Danette is attending to Kallie’s grave the way she never attended to Kallie when she was alive. Holder apologizes for the way he spoke to her and gives her Kallie’s earring. Holder then visits Bullet’s grave—which was a lovely moment considering the bond Bullet and Holder shared last season.
Overall I didn’t love this final season. From the rather mundane crime to Holder and Linden’s stupidity with handling their cover-up—there were too many flaws to overlook. What kept me coming back were the performances, particularly the sublime Joel Kinnaman. I’m looking forward to watching him on his next TV series.
Other thoughts on “Eden:”
•Holder quote of the week: Upon seeing Linden after many years, “Oh snap! 1-900-LINDEN, dial and you shall receive.”
•Did you catch that Linden was running at the beginning of the hour, just like she was at the beginning of the Season Three finale? She was still trying to outrun her problems.
•Sarah Boey, the young girl who played Holder’s daughter, was terrific. In their brief scene, you totally felt the father/daughter bond.
•In the future, Holder has a smart phone. I’m so proud.
What did you think of the series finale of The Killing? Talk about it below.
Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and a regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.