The Killing (Netflix)

the killing

Synopsis from IMDB.com:  “The Killing” is a moody, character-driven detective procedural that weaves a murder mystery through a full season or more. The stories unfold through the eyes of Sarah Linden, a detective with the Seattle Police Department and who, at first, must mentor Detective Stephen Holder, a former narcotics cop. While their backgrounds produce investigative styles that clash — she’s by-the-book, he’s freewheeling — they manage to pull together for the case.

Starring:  Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell

My thoughts:  I heard about this show on the Real Crime Profile podcast, so I thought I’d give it a try.  My initial thought about the show was wow, it sure rains a lot in Seattle, and my second thought was wow, this show is really dark.

The Killing is the story of Sarah Linden, police detective and single mother to Jack, and Steven Holder, former drug addict and her new partner.  The first two seasons follow just one case – the murder of Rosie Larsen, a teenage girl who was found in the trunk of a car at the bottom of the lake.

There are ties between Rosie’s murder and the mayoral campaign – City Councilman Darren Richmond, a mayoral candidate, is the owner (his campaign) of the car Rosie’s body was found in.  The story took two full seasons to come to a conclusion, but it was a very  complex story, with a twist ending that I didn’t see coming.

The third season focuses on the murders of a number of teenage “street” girls.  The third season ended on a cliffhanger, and thank you Netflix, it was picked up for a 6 episode 4th season.  The 4th season deals with the aftermath of the cliffhanger in season 3, and also finds Holder and Linden working a new case – the massacre of a family, potentially by their teenage son.

What made this show so incredibly interesting to me was its intense character driven nature.  Sarah Linden is an incredibly interesting character.  Raised in the foster system, Sarah doesn’t trust anyone, and has major abandonment issues.    As a cop, she is kick ass and fights for her victims.  As a parent, she’s terrible; constantly leaving her young son by himself for hours on end.

Holder was most assuredly my character on the show.  He was flawed, but he was deeply loyal and had a very big heart.  The show spends a lot of time looking at how Rosie’s murder affects her family, and it seriously affects them.  Rosie’s mother has the hardest time with it all, as well as her two younger brothers.  The police make some serious mistakes along the way, which also has serious ramifications on other characters.

One thing this show was not was predictable.  The things that happened I didn’t see coming.  When I thought I figured it out, it turns out I hadn’t (one small exception was season 4).  The show got a little darker when it moved to Netflix (more language) but if made it seem believable.

Overall, this was a very good show and I would recommend it.  There are only 4 seasons, and season 4 only has 6 episodes.  Thanks to Real Crime Profile for the recommendation.

Happy watching.

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