by Alex Greenberger
For most TV shows, it’s pretty obvious when the writers knew they had to insert a filler episode to complete their full season order. For “The Killing,” it’s less easy to identify the filler episodes. Of course, that’s a bad thing. A very bad thing, actually.
This season’s sixth episode, “Openings,” is one that prompted me to question what has actually happened on the show so far. The series’ first and second episodes are the only ones I can say that I fully enjoyed because something actually happens in those two. Does that mean, then, that “The Killing” has simply filibustered for 17 episodes since its beginning? It’s sort of hard to believe it, but I really doubt we’ve gotten much of anywhere.
Part of that sluggishness is due to the endless list of red herrings that “The Killing” compiles with each episode. In “Openings,” we can add another–Jasper, Rosie’s boyfriend. Jasper didn’t do it, apparently; he only made his father look like the killer because he sent a suspicious text from Rosie’s phone as a joke. Or at least that’s what Jasper told Sarah anyhow. I don’t really believe Jasper, although we’re not supposed to take his statement at face value. That means that Michael Ames, Jasper’s father, is the Red Herring of the Week. I’m pretty sure he didn’t do it—that would just be too easy. And yes, Terry may have a relationship with Michael, and yes, Michael may have seen Rosie at the casino the night before her death, but still, I don’t believe the writers would actually move the plot towards finding any information.
Another part of the show’s lethargy is red herrings of the writing. By that, I mean the pieces of the show that aren’t relevant in any way yet the writers seem determined to keep them. The worst of the story’s red herrings is still Richmond. He’s now hired Gwen back. Big deal. In other news, Mitch bonds a little more with Tina (she’s not nameless anymore!) and ultimately convinces her to go back to her mother. Then Mitch gets sad about the whole ordeal.
That’s not to say, though, that nothing was accomplished in “Openings.” We did get some pretty great acting from Chelsea Ricketts, the actress who plays Tina, and Michelle Forbes. And towards the end of the episode, there’s a suspenseful moment when Sarah comes to the realization that someone has been in her apartment when she finds a drawing on her refrigerator. Other than that, however, “Openings” feels very empty and fairly pointless.
I have to point out this one scene, though, when Sarah discovers that Jasper wasn’t the killer. Sarah is shown sitting in the passenger seat of a car that Holder is driving. While Holder mumbles on about something I can’t understand (I wonder if Joel Kinnaman’s natural Swedish accent has something to do with the fact that he can’t enunciate when he speaks in English), Sarah receives a call. She doesn’t say what it is about, but she looks like she’s about to begin bawling. Sarah is so frustrated by the fact that she hasn’t cracked the case that she’s almost moved to tears. I sort of feel the same way at this point. This show just needs to end already. Or it needs to reveal Rosie’s killer. At this point, those are the only two options for “The Killing.” Either way, I’m not planning on watching a third season, if it’s lucky enough to get one.
Then again, “The Killing” does have a third option. Get David Lynch to write and direct this show, and I would willingly watch it until its desired ending. I realize that that’s just as unrealistic as the murder being solved in a timely fashion though. I’m just still bitter about the “Twin Peaks’” cancellation, OK?
Alex Greenberger is a staff writer. Email him at email@example.com.