This week's episode featured Indians. What else do you need to know?
AMC - The Killing - Page 11
Extended scene from episode 2.8: "Off the Reservation":
After a fruitless search of a dump site, Linden, working off a wordless tip from a young girl, points the search squad in the opposite direction. After some weed-trampling and a handful of dog barks, they locate a beaten and bloodied Holder, perched underneath a tree. Like an emptied, leaking, street smart water balloon.
Linden runs down a hill towards Holder who is being looked over in a could-care-less fashion by two officers in blue.
Linden: (Running.) "MULDER!!!"
Linden: (Running.) "MULDER!!! I'm coming!"
Linden: (Running.) "Shit. HOLDER. I SAID HOLDER!"
Holder: *cough* *cough* "'zat you, Lindo? Ugh. I got pummeled, yo. Tomahawk CHOP, yo."
Linden: (Reaches her battered partner, falls to her knees beside him.) To the two cops looking Holder over: "Call an ambulance! Get a doctor! Anything!"
Linden: "Holder...what happened....my God. Oh my god."
Holden: "Lindo..." *cough* "They thrashed my thorax. Them Indians, yo?" *cough* "They swarmed my shits. Now I know what WAMPUM means. Haha."
Linden: "Holder, just try to rest. Help is on the way...."
Holder: "Native Americans? Right. More like HATE-IVE Americans. Ha."
Linden: "SOMEBODY! MEDIC, PLEASE!! Holder, please, just relax."
Holden: "Futz the peace pipe, LIN-DEN. They brought the WAR PIPE! And then beats me ugly wit it, yo!" *cough*
Linden: "(sigh) OK."
Holden: "Now I know what WAMPUM means."
Linden: "You said that one already."
Medic: (A female medic arrives, out of breath.) "Hey, let me start patching you up, detective. Hold still." (The medic applies a bandage to Holder's bleeding forehead.)
Holder: "Now I gotta headdress, yo. Haha."
Holder: "Chief had BEEF, Lindo. She rawed me. Feel like potato stew up in this shit. WTF, yo?"
Linden: "Did you find out anything about floor 10?"
Holder: "One took off my sneaker. Pooped in it. And put it back on my foot, Lindo."
Linden: "Close enough."
Edited by Kevin Matchstick - 5/16/12 at 8:53pm
Until the last 10 minutes of the show,* I was concerned you'd have to take the week off, Matchstick. But you just went for the Dramatic Woods Scene, anyway. Bravo, sir.
Trying to figure out the Res Chief's play, here. Their objective, one has to imagine, is to reduce the attention the res is getting from the Seattle PD regarding the Larsen murder. Last week's attempt was through physical intimidation of the investigating detectives. Assuming they want to do so without blowback that would result in increased attention from the Seattle PD. So -- kill Holder, or beat the living shit out of Holder. If they meant to kill him and fucked up, they didn't bother hiding the body. So, we gotta assume they only intended to beat the shit out of him. But then they leave him on the Res? Essentially inviting the surrounding law bodies to come in and sweep for a fallen officer? Why not dump him in some corner of the next ferry, or a quick midnight drive to some Seattle back alley, so that they can deny ever touching him, accuse the crazy white detectives of pulling a Scorpio to their Callahan or something? But, no, let's make sure we give Whitey every reason to call in the Coast Guard and threaten calling the feds (which kept sounding like "I'll tell Dad!").
Turns out the bad guys are as incompetent in their jobs as the good guys. Fair match, then! Game on, no handicap!
So now Rosie was just a maid and sometimes waitress at the Res, which she kept a secret from everyone, including her family, because... I've got nothing. She wasn't illegally employed (right?), she was 16 or 17, even if she dressed older when working for tips. So she was on Beau Soleil just for the message board, then? I've completely forgotten how they tied her to that, now. And apparently she was making whore-level money as a hotel maid/casino waitress -- in a casino/hotel that supposedly cuts corners and exploits its employees, no less -- if those regular ATM deposits were anything to go by.
Mireilles Enos -- who is actually rather smoking -- is dressed down for good reason, and it genuinely speaks to her character. All good. Political Advisor Gwen does not have the same purpose or character, being a presumably sleek, stylish, urban professional woman. I've also seen Kristen Lehman look shockingly, ravishingly hot; so why does this show insist on turning her into Klaus Kinski?
*How did Holder get to the gate without a boarding pass? Or Linden for that matter, though maybe they let parents through to see their kids off? I don't know. Flashed his/their badge(s)? He used his ladykiller skillz to slay the TSA ladies? Maybe Veena doesn't know how jobs or airports work.
The Injuns done it! Or the rich boyfriend's developer dad (which would mean he had his boy [gasp] lie to the cops!), or more likely some henchman. Whoever it was, we apparently finally know where it happened: on the under-construction 10th floor of the Corrupt Indian Casino. Rosie went to her smoke-break perch to "say goodbye to the city" she was running away from that night (I cannot tell you how surprised I am we didn't get a bargain-basement cover of "She's Leaving Home" at some point. Maybe they're saving it for the finale). Running away with just a grade-schooler's sized pink plastic backpack? California on one pair of undies and two T shirts, sounds fun. Anyway, as Linden deduces it, some shady business deal happened in the room behind Rosie, and she was found and destroyed for it.* As proven by a blood-smeared key card found in the floorboards. Which Linden couldn't reach, and so the proof is RIGHT THERE, DAMMIT -- just like last week, when the 10th floor key was RIGHT THERE, DAMMIT. Tense!
And the ep ends with Linden being discovered and clocked in the face -- just like when Holder was, 2 weeks ago! "It's a symmetry" /lucas
Meanwhile, Mitch has made her way to Rosie's Real Father, who somehow doesn't know Rosie's dead, and Mitch doesn't tell him. Or tell him that he's the father. We do find out, however, that Rosie -- poor, locked-down, goodie-two-shoes Rosie who never got out to play, Strict Mom had her on the College Track 24-7 (remember?) -- somehow had made at least one (or more?) 4-hour trip to see him without anyone knowing (or this creep bothering to ask if her parents know where she is or calling them). College-track Rosie who was on social lockdown and never got to do anything and therefore was yearning to break free of the stifling family bonds and be FREE LIKE A BUTTERFLY could apparently disappear for a day or days to hang out with a grown stranger with nobody realizing. On top of holding a part-time job at a casino that it takes a ferry to reach (but not whoring, 'cause that's ludicrous). That's what happens when you don't communicate with your kids, people.
Oh, and Fat Louis CK got to tell his bird-stomping, psychopath-in-the-sequel son "I hate you, too!" Good times.
I must be watching this wrong. AV Club Guy is all over this wet mop of a show:
Later he says, "And the title refers to an honest-to-goodness hilarious scene." Matchstick, you have go for launch.
*Unless Rosie's nosebleeding friend was there, too. But that would stretch credulity!
Edited by Kevin Matchstick - 5/27/12 at 10:12pm
So, the circle has smallened (I'm sure it's a word), and it's either Jamie, Richmond, or Gwen that killed OUR Rosie. Or...someone tampered with the key card. Anyway, let's say they've narrowed it down.
- Sucks if it's Jamie because, well, it's Jamie. And it looks like it's not likely since they are very suspicious of him in the previews for next week. We probably can rule him out.
- Sucks if it's Gwen because she would have had to do it while Richmond left her to commit suicide. Doesn't make much sense. But neither does much on the show.
- Amazing if it's Richmond because they've spent the entire season building him into this wronged, dignified, deeply sad dude. Would be a trip if it was him.
But, honestly, I can't imagine it being any one of them, really.
So maybe someone took the heads-up that Lindo had the card and switched its access privileges.
Lindo could have had the thing fingerprinted. Or asked security who the card belonged to, by the way. Right?
Edited by Kevin Matchstick - 6/4/12 at 12:01pm
Yeah, the whole thing is really bizzaar.
If it was the mayor, why would he agree to a conspiracy to scuddle his own campaign?
If it was someone in Richmond's camp, why would they agree to a conspiracy to scuddle the Mayor's campaign, only to turn right around and have a conspiracy to frame their own candidate?
If it's someone from Richmond's camp, how would they have any pull to get cops and people in the Mayor's camp go along with their cover-up?
Why would the Indians collude with someone in the Richmond camp if it was up in the air that Richmond wouldn't support them like the Mayor would?
Who in the Richmond camp has ties to the russian mob and Beau Soliel?
Why is the Richmond Campaign headquartered in City Hall?
What motivation does either Gwen or Jamie have to frame Richmond for a random murder?
This show makes me want to punch fluffy animals.
I continue to love how the political wonks continue to believe that a suicide attempt announced the night before a local election -- with a potential 20-30% voter turnout, most likely -- and so no real chance to gain any traction in the greater local public awareness and zero in the national media will be harsher political poison than the national-media murder that's been hanging around Richmond's neck for months, even when the former exonerates the latter. "Dammit, Darren, let them think you killed her and pulled strings for the cover-up! Do you have any idea what a suicide attempt would do a political career!?"
Also: "10,000 hits!"
I also love how Linden's big move with the recovered bloody key card is to march right up to the Mayor's office for a big "AH HA! J'ACCUSE!" moment, then when that fizzles to go checking doors at random, I guess. Instead of, you know, like you said, checking the security logs for who the card was assigned to by HR (oh that's right, Veena hates HR).
Good thing no one in the Mayor's office happened to look over when two cops walked up to their big glass wall. I guess they could have had a good laugh watching them locked out on the other side, though. Waved, clinked champagne glasses, point to Richmond's teary speech and laugh some more.
If she was going to fuck the chain of evidence, why bother with the gloves and baggie? I could tell you it and anything on it is already inadmissable, and I got my law degree from Dick Wolf.
Prediction: The card'll be Gwen's, so we'll think it's her for most of Hour One. Then we'll find out Jaimie had to borrow her key card THE NIGHT ROSIE WAS KILLED, so we'll think he's the killer for 2/3 of Hour Two. He'll be collared, and reveal he was there -- but he didn't kill her! The blood got splattered on him and the card, which got knocked off when he caught her falling body and yelled "Nooooo! What have you done? INNOCENCE LOST." He'll be tearfully locked up for participating in a criminal conspiracy that doesn't make a goddamn lick of sense but that he's felt terribly guilty about and In Over His Head (like DROWNING -- OMG), and the actual murderer will be revealed as a Dirty Indian or That One Black Guy, because the show is so progressive it's post-progressive, who they'll hunt down for the last 5-10 minutes for an eventual very public arrest.
Prediction Alternate: All of the above, but because Linden and Holder are so horrible at being police, the murderer will get away, because that's all depressing and The Way Of The World. And then what's her name, the sister in law, after learning her ex-sugar daddy was involved in the criminal conspiracy that didn't make a goddamn lick of sense, will cap him and the murderer outside the courtroom New Jack City-style, so that Mitch and Louis Stan can have Closure. Or maybe Tom Edward Cruise Norton will, because he's already a killer and so who gives a shit, really.
Either way, final shot will Rosie's family moving into the new house, cause Louis Stan didn't sign the sale papers and he and Mitch had a talk that we see but don't listen to (so no one has to write it) because Montage Of New Beginnings And Life Goes On. Linden will also smirk and punch Holder's shoulder, who will fake like it hurts, and then she'll board her Flight to Jack. Oh, and Richmond wins the election, because everyone votes on the way to work or just after work or over lunch and haven't seen or looked for the latest local news and so don't know shit about the rally speech or the murder developments -- oh wait, that's the real world; Richmond wins because Sincerity. But the final shot's still the Larsen Movers van unloading into the new house.
If Rosie's ghost appears to anybody, I will masturbate to completion onto my big expensive HD TV and then smash it with a hammer.
I also like how Gwen gave a fat stack of cash to some random dude for making the video of Richmond go viral. Apparently, TV show writers have no idea what "viral" means or how it happens.
Well, hopefully we will ACTUALLY find out who Rosie's killer is. But who else thinks that the season will end with another big MUR-DUR that leads us into season 3? There was a bit of foreshadowing that somehow Rosie's murder is tied to that first case that sent Linden over the edge, so could it be that there is a *gasp* serial killer on the loose?
At this point, I'm kinda hoping that Linden falls asleep and wakes up in a red room with a dancing midget. That would make this series complete.
So...not to pull a Bunk here, but is there a reason both of them dress like hobos? What happened to well-dressed motherfuckers who liked to detect? For reasons beyond my own comprehension, this is on right now and I can't look away.
Also, why is the mayor in a wheelchair?
"Think of me as your sensei in the blood sport of life."
Holder: "Both Gwen AND Jamie had keycard hiccups the night of Rosie's murder? God is straight fuckin' with us, Lindo. Plus, what the shit kind of keycard in this day and age don't have a picture on it? Or a name? God is straight messing us around. I know it. I hear him heaven-laughing."
Linden: "That's thunder."
Holder: "Donnie and Murray stopped talking, yo. It's frut-trating, Lindo."
Linden: "Donnie and Marie."
Holder: "Yeah, Donnie and Murray."
Linden: "70s siblings with their own show."
Linden: "Gwen and Jamie."
You know what gets me about the "shocking twist" that Jamie was the one at the Casino that night?
In episode 1, Rosie Larson is connected to the Richmond Campaign because she's in the trunk of one of their cars. And after WEEKS and WEEKS of investigation, they come full circle to investigating people in the actual campaign. WTF kind of policework is that? We go from the Richmond campaign, to schoolmates, to pedophile janitors, to muslim teachers, to terrorists, to the russian mob, to a prostitution ring, to casino indians, back to the Richmond campaign, then to the mayor's campaign, then back to scoolmates, then to schoolmate's dad, then back to the russian mob, back to casino indians, and finally, back to the Richmond Campaign yet again.
Is it just me, or are these like the dumbest fucking police ever?
I still have doubts that Jamie is actually the killer of Rosie. i think this is one last Red Herring before we find out who the real killer is, which will probably be Jamie's creepy uncle or something, since, you know, he only appeared in the last 5 minutes of the second to last episode, so he would make the most sense.
Well, first off, of course it's not Jamie.
Second, they are without a doubt the dumbest police on TV. But, you do have to admit, everyone they investigated did something completely fucked up and suspicious that night.
Yeah, but I mean, what are the odds? It's like Rosie Larson was the center of a web of completely fucked up people, with an ungodly amount of secrets. It really stretches credibility.
And I honestly don't see the benefit of the Casino Indians and Aimes teaming up with Jamie against the Mayor when there is no guarantee that Richmond would side with them. I mean, I get the motivation of Aimes wanting to strike out on his own from his wife and run off with his mistress, and I get the indians wanted a sweetheart deal to develop their own stuff unimpeded by the city, but I honestly don't know how Jamie would deliver any goods without Richmond's blessing, especially if Richmond didn't end up winning the election. And how they thought that killing a girl in a Richmond motorcade car wouldn't fuck up their man's chances at an election is beyond me. If that was really the case, these guys are the worst conspirators on the planet, basically sinking their own man for no good reason. I mean, why not get one of the Mayor's cars and dump Rosie in there? That might have been just as effective as planting human remains at the waterfront dig site. Or why not do what they did with Holder and just dump her body on the reservation somewhere that no one would ever find it?
Seriously. Some of the worst writing ever. I can't believe AMC dumped Rubicon but kept this show.
Another thing - why didn't they just let Rosie go rather than killing her? What was she going to do with that information? Three people were having a meeting? Her death at least implied that there was some recognizable powerful person at the center of this. But she saw Jamie?
So I kinda called it -- Gwen was the suspect, until Jaimie was the suspect. Next week, Jamie'll be the suspect until we learn he was there -- but his card was splattered on and knocked off him by the Actual Killer. Who was either (i) Prone To Violent Lashing Out Dirty Injun Chief, (ii) Randomly Terry-Choking (But Really Was Leaving His Wife For Her!) Ames, or (iii) ... MYSTERY KILLER WHO TOOK THE STAIRS. Besides, it's been well established that Jamie does not have the upper-body strength to punch a chipmunk convincingly.
Looking forward to the 10 to 20 minutes we'll spend learning Jamie's Grampa Ted Wright isn't the tragic noble figure he told Richmond about but some scuzzy dude eatin' stewed tomatoes from a can. Which will have nothing to do with the Rosie murder except for Scuzzy Gramps' alibi lie for Jamie, which Richmond will learn about cause Scuzzy Gramps now decides to extort the Mayor-elect -- either over the fake alibi or, more hilariously, that Richmond used his name falsely and without permission in at least 2 speeches ("I'll call a press conference, show 'em the REAL Ted Wright!"). And Richmond will yet again Come Clean and tell everything to the police.
Do the writers even realize when they directly make the detectives look like idiots on their first day? Not just the weird convolutions that took them 2 seasons to follow red herrings, but stuff like Jamie pointing out that political operators woo the opposition's rich donors by doing favors, such as expediting bureaucracy, and may not tell their bosses about it. Linden: "You can do that?"
Linden: "Where did you learn that [Ames' company is owned by this other company]?"
Holder: "City planning office."
Linden: "You can do that?"
The Larsen material's gotten predictably awfuller with Mitch back, but at least the writers have stopped pretending we're supposed to like her at all anymore. But just in case we didn't get that Mitch Left, they made sure to include not one but two turgid scenes in which Mitch is told "YOU LEFT." It was like Terry and Louis Stan were having a turgid-off.
Love how the execution-style murder of a local crime boss, who is directly connected to the father of Rosie Larsen, and in which the cops have no leads or suspects, garners no more attention in this world than a radio report that makes Louis Stan smile. Nobody better tell Linden or Holder, because that is one juicy red herring they could have pursued for 4 or 5 episodes and we're running out of time.
I really, REALLY want the "I kissed your sister." "I fucked a traveling salesman. Wait, what?" "What!?" "What the fuck!?" "WHAT the FUCK!" conversation.
Mitch: "Don't you understand - I don't WANT to leave this house? The home we built together. The home where we raised Rosie, together. My heart is here, Stan. Here. Not in some new place. Not in some place that Rosie never ever set foot!"
Stan: "Mitch." (In tears.) "It's got a backyard."
Mitch: "I'm in."
The only real surprise would be if Richmond killed her, I think. Or maybe even if he knew about it, knew what Jamie was up to - ordered it.
I don't know.
The ultimate surprise: if AMC orders another season.
Supposedly Veena's said in the past that this season would wrap up Rosie's murder, while introducing a whole new one. Can't wait to see who gets mysteriously offed in a manner to invoke Linden's self-destructive obsessiveness, which we won't see because no WAY is season 3 happening.
Next week opens with the same shot of Linden and Holder watching the security camera footage, seeing Jamie. They give each other a nod, and head out the door in determination. Cameras pans back to security footage, and we see Rosie shoved rudely back into the elevator by Jamie, who gives her a Harrison Ford Finger of Doom before exiting. Rosie goes down alone and exits. Two minutes pass. Nosebleeder and two teenage boys get on the elevator.
The thing that's still bugging me... why would Jamie, if he did kill Rosie, be dumb enough to use a car connected with the campaign? Everything he's done the entire two seasons were fanatically in service to getting Richmond elected. He had to know that if a dead girl was found in a car belonging to the campaign, it could hurt his candidate.
Then, there was the hint that Linden brought up, that stuffing Rosie in a trunk and drowning her is more suited to a woman than a man since it's a more passive way of killing. Jamie just doesn't strike me as a killer. He might have witnessed the beating of Rosie, but my guess is it might have been Aimes, since Rosie would definitely recognize him, and he stole the car from Jamie because he doesn't have anything to lose if Richmond loses, since his wife is aligned with the Mayor. So he puts Rosie in the trunk, calls his wife, confesses his entire fuck up attempt at double-crossing her, and she's the one who dumps the car and drowns Rosie. I know it kind of comes out of left field, but that's the only scenereo that really makes any sense to me. I just don't see the motive for either Jamie or Gwen or even Richmond to be killers.
So who's taking bets on who gets killed for the next "mystery?" Will it be another member of the Larson family? Will it be politically motivated, such as the Mayor or Richmond? Or will it be something involved with the Indians? Or possibly just a totally new murder of someone with even more ridiculous secrets than Rosie?
I can't remember at all -- what (if any; this presumes police competence) evidence was found around the pond the car was dumped in? Cause whether it was accidentally driven in or slowly rolled in, the killer or killers had to leave the scene somehow. Was that ever addressed?
Murder scene: Ames says "She knows me!" Chief Jackson lashes out and knocks Rosie cold, blood on Jamie. (Holder: "So Pocahontas done it..." Chief: "She wasn't dead. As you know from the coroner's report.") They confirm she's not dead, and piece together from her backpack what she was up to (or she told them in a panic, "Don't kill me! I'm leaving to never return!" shake, slap, punch). They pile her into the car -- managing to avoid all security cameras on the way out, which, if that were possible, they all decided NOT to do on the way IN to a criminal conspiracy meeting -- Jamie bullied into driving, Ames and the Chief in the backseat with Rosie. Plan is to drive her out of town, dump her on a highway, start her on her journey. Rosie wakes up, and before Ames can say anything she freaks out screaming and flailing. Jamie slams on brakes, Rosie jumps out of the car, and Jamie chases her through the woods. Tackles her with nonviolent intentions, she gets covered in bruises and in the struggle her head gets slammed on a rock. (Linden: "So it was Jamie..." Jamie: "She wasn't dead. As you know from the coroner's report.") They again confirm she's not dead, and put her in the trunk so that she can't run off again when she comes to. Ames or the Chief calls a driver to pick them up in the middle of nowhere, and they all argue over the next move. Jamie forgot to set the parking brake, however, and the car rolls into the water. Jamie makes as if to dive in and get her out, and Ames and the Chief keep him from doing anything, which isn't all that difficult on any level. All three are arrested for whatever level of murder that makes them all out for.
Done and done. I put two bits on that scenario. Odds?
Veena Sud again borrows from Lynch, by creating a cliffhanger that she is sure will ensure popular demand for The Killing to return. After Life Goes On Montage (ending with Larsens moving into new house), we flash forward 5 years, in which we see Jack getting killed while on the way to visit Linden between college semesters. He's stabbed, hung, starved, suffocated with a trash bag, and partially fed to pigs.
SPOILERS: At the end of season 5, we learn the killer was Psycho Tommy Larsen, despite all the otherwise convincing threads that led our dogged officers to suspect, in turn, Governor Richmond, First Lady Gwen, Jack's No-Account Dad Who Quit On Jack Again, Linden's Psychiatrist/ex-Fiancee (and by the way, that was the biggest YUCK this show ever produced; creepers), Jack's Goth Ex-Girlfriend, Jack's Ex-College Roommate, Jack's Gay Predatory College Professor, That Professor's Wife, Some Person Found Via Jack's Facebook Page, Retired Alcoholic Duck Phillips, Rosie's Real Father, Jack's Pot Dealer, Cokehead Basketball Millionaire From Season One That No One Knew Jack Interned For One Summer, An Adult With Downs Or Mental History Jack Befriended At Fast Food Job, Jack's Rival On Lacrosse Team, That Rival's Closeted Best Friend, Holder (as a season 4 finale cliffhanger, exonerated by first commercial following year), A Comic Book Store Owner, Secret Fiancee With Dark Past, A Pimp, Two Registered Nurses In Cahoots, A Pig Farmer (of course), and Accidental Death. I may have forgotten a couple.
Edited by Kevin Matchstick - 6/13/12 at 6:24am
Jamie isn't the one that's chasing her at all. They went out of their way to show that he was wearing a hoodie that night. And then previews for next week show Rosie being chased by a man (or woman) wearing a hoodie. By The Killing writing staff standards, that usually spells misdirection.
maybe Jamie has a twin!
Edited by Kevin Matchstick - 6/13/12 at 7:41am
Whomever killed Rosie will be killed at the end of the episode. This will be the murder for next season.
And there is a good bet only the audience will know who the killer is, not Linden. They will have to solve this murder to officially be done with Rosie Larson.
And I haven't watched more than 2 minutes of S2. Just going off what I read in here.
Oh god, that would be the funniest thing ever. Knowing who the killer is for an entire season of watching Linden and Holder fumble about chasing red herring after bad lead after weak deduction after crap hunch? The un-Columbos. I picture the entire writing staff becoming utterly unglued without random red-herring stingers to end each episode.
So, just out of curiosity, I was wondering from the people who have stuck with the show through Season 2 and the people who left (justifiably) after Season 1 crashed and burned...
What would have made this series something that was actually enjoyable to watch?
I mean, the first episode or two of the series were pretty good. It was a good set up, the atmosphere was good, the characters seemed interesting, everything was well shot, and it had kinda a Twin Peaks-y vibe to it that I was digging.
But then, everything started to go horribly, horribly wrong.
I mean, from a writing standpoint, I can understand the difficulty in having to nurture a mystery over 12+ hours of television. After all, most crime shows can wrap up investigations in 45 minutes, so not being able to solve 1 murder over 2 or 3 episodes begins to try the audience's patience. And if you do try to get all "realistic," the show could get bogged down with boring procedural stuff that nobody really cares about. That just leaves character stuff, but too much of that and not enough plot can have the exact same effect.
I think the biggest problem with this show was that there were just too many red herrings, and the investigations into them made the police seem incompetent, while building up viewer frustration over the lack of progress in a murder they were generally interested about. That, and making the Larson family such a huge part of the show helped to make the tragedy of Rosie's murder seem diluted because we had to keep putting up with their strange cycles of grief and melodrama. (This is, of course, discounting all the ridiculous things thrown into this show, like the firehose loss of blood from nosebleeds and shit like that)
To me, I think this show really shined when it got rid of all the boring characters (Linden's kid, most of the Larsons, etc.), and just focused on Linden and Holder doing actual policework. I think the show might have worked better had they solved Rosie's murder early on, but that lead to bigger and more sinister mysteries. Or pull a 24 and have the initial event wrap up halfway through the season that leads into an entirely new storyline with the same characters in the second half. (ie: We caught Rosie's murderer! But he gets assassinated! Oh no! Wait, he's linked to a political campaign? Now we gotta investigate a conspiracy! etc.)
When I look at amazing crime shows, like The Wire, they were able to have great crime stories that spanned seasons, and still have great character development. Season 2 of the Wire started with a great murder mystery, just like The Killing did, but they actually wrapped it up and gave a satisfying conclusion at the end of that season, all the while expanding on an over-arching story and introducing some truly amazing characters into the mix. So things like that can certainly be done, and done well. But the Killing just failed on so many levels.
So what could have been different? What could have made this show actually good as opposed to the piece of shit it turned out to be?
There are so many ways the show could have been improved. Keep in mind that I gave up around the fifth episode of season 2 so I can't comment on anything that's come since...
Well firstly there's the obvious things - the shitty dialogue, the awful policework, disposable tertiary characters etc.
But my biggest issue was with the plotting. Any good crime novel (think Chandler, Ellroy and so forth) is filled with red herrings so that's not really a problem. The problem comes with the time-wasting nature of The Killing's red herrings. A good comparison point might be The Black Dahlia novel. It's filled to the brim with characters who might/might not have done it and yet there's a feeling that every step forward the detectives make in the case isn't just a way to get the novel up to 700 pages but rather a deepening of the mystery. We're slowly led into the Dahlia's secret world and therefore understand the detectives' ensuing obsessions. The Killing on the other hand, while it harbors similar ambitions, is nowhere near as succesful. By the time I gave up I felt like I'd learnt NOTHING about the case. I had no idea who Rosie was (a prostitute, they said, but it was all to obvious that they were going to change that knowledge at some point), I had no idea what had happened to her and I even had no idea why some of the characters were involved. In other words, while I have should felt like I was delving deeper into this rabbit hole, all I felt was a sense of being LIED to. Like all I have to do is tune into the last 10 minutes of the show when the only truth that matters would be revealed.
Yeah, a lot more time with the two leads. More scenes depicting why Linden is actually good police. Certainly less red herrings. The amount of stuff that happened that night to falsely implicate people is hilarious. No nosebleed girl, for sure. Actually make Rosie a real person - and have her haunt the show more. I think the guy that plays Stan Larsen has done amazing work on this show, but obviously less of the Larsens. Much of the time spent with them is so much filler. Make the political stuff somewhat interesting. They struggled with that sometimes on The Wire. But, man, here. Wow. Have Linden not be confused by an e-mail attachment. Make her mental problems actually matter - like on Homeland. Don't have Holder talk like a complete cartoon.
But, I don't know if I'd love it as much if they fixed any of it. It's just so damned earnest in its awfulness.
And something else - give the show a thematic throughline. There's nothing wrong with having a bunch of subplots, if they're done pulled off correctly. 50% of Black Dahlia basically has nothing to do with the case yet it still feels cohesive 'cos they expand on the central themes of the book. But here I feel like they're just throwing shit at the wall to waste our time, which I guess would be fine on an episode of Bones or something. Seriously, after a season and a half I had no idea what the fuck The Killing is meant to be about.
You can pad out a central mystery by twisting the backstory with red herrings and cliffhangers, but as Evi said, when they're revealed as red herrings they need to have deepened the overall mystery and change what we know about characters we've become involved with. Not just be blank walls requiring a U-turn. (Ahmad Bennet -- bangs teens?/kidnaps kids?/underground railroad! ...no progress.) At the very least have them affect or change or illuminate for us the investigators (as in Black Dahlia), but nope. Scratch that, that'd be a bonus. At the VERY least, remember the plotting and stop undermining it (I still laugh thinking about Stan's "That's [guy I killed]'s kid!" after the cops spent an ep uncovering kid's Lifelong Secret Identity.)
Alternatively, you can slow down the procedural process and become more of a character-based drama. This is what I thought we were in for early on in Season 1, and settled down for it. Unfortunately, the Killing writers are even worse at that than they are at plotting. For example, in season one we didn't get to the semi-obligatory plot-goes-on-hold-for-a-personal-crisis episode that lets us in on our two leads' inner lives until 2-3 eps before the finale, and by then no one gave a shit anymore. And again in season 2, we finally get intimate with Linden in the mental ward, but just before the finale (and most of her revealing moments refer to some backstory case we never saw, not the one we've supposedly been engaged in for 2 seasons). The Linden/Jack/his-Dad story couldn't be less engaging, unless it was the "not going to California yet" story that came earlier; neither of those ever really progressed, they just repeated themselves until they stopped. With the Larsens, they seem to think Mitch having a road trip adventure qualifies as an arc, when in fact she's in the EXACT SAME PLACE now that she was by the end of season 1, zero change. No doubt she'll have a season's worth of growth in the finale. The less said about the ridiculous political wing, the better.
In fact, on that last point: Any kind of verisimilitude beyond location shoots and rain towers would have done wonders. Do some research so that people's jobs make sense, so that people use computers and phones like people use computers and phones, so that the police characters don't come across as ignorant as TV producers when it comes to detecting. So much of the writing comes across as "We don't know how this works and so neither will the audience. Because Linden is our hero, she will be the audience surrogate and learn this too. Boom, audience feels smarter and engaged."
I think there lies the central problem: The Killing writers constantly underestimate the intelligence of their audience, which may be because The Killing writers are perhaps not all that intelligent. Bless their hearts.
How about show some flashbacks with Rosie and her family, Richmod, and whomever else is involved leading up to the murder. Puts the audience a little ahead of the police and able to actually guess better. What people tell the cops and what acually happened are two different things. Might be better than the crappy filler they did in S1