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Season 3 of 'The Killing': More Dead Bodies in a Deadened Reprieve
June 2, 2013  | By Ed Bark  | 6 comments
 

Canceled before AMC belatedly said, “Never mind,” The Killing more or less returns to the living Sunday with a two-hour Season 3 premiere preceding a new episode of Mad Men.

Network publicity materials urge TV critics to “refrain from revealing specific story lines in advance so that viewers can experience the full impact of the investigation as it unfolds throughout the season.”

But AMC already has violated its own dictum — and compromised Sunday’s final scene — with the on-air tagline, “17 Victims and Counting.” So the title really should be plural this time around, with AMC also promising that the The Killing’s murder mystery “will be resolved over the course of 10 episodes, ending with a gripping two-hour finale.”

Some reviewers griped long and loudly after Season 1 didn’t end with a revelation of “Who Killed Rosie Larsen?” Season 2 finally answered that question during the course of Seattle mayoral candidate Darren Richmond’s (Billy Campbell) highly improbable road to victory after first being a prime suspect and then getting shot and paralyzed.

Richmond is neither seen nor mentioned during Sunday’s re-launch (June 2 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET). But for the record, it’s one year after the intersection of his election and the closing of the Larsen case. Sardonic detective Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman, top right), easily the overriding reason to watch this series, has a new veteran partner after sulking, staring, emotionally bruised Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos, top left) takes a minimum wage security job on an island 15 minutes outside of Seattle.

Alas, the discovery of a brutally murdered runaway teen girl compels Linden to very slowly get back in the game and rejoin Holder. First, though, she must tell her latest perplexed boyfriend, “You don’t know me. I break things.”

Linden was nearly broken three years earlier after closing a murder case that still haunts her. Ray Seward (Peter Sarsgaard, right) is now on death row, with 30 days remaining before he’s executed for brutally killing his wife. But similarities between that murder and the new case at-large have Linden agonizing over whether the right man is incarcerated. By the way, he’s requesting a hanging death rather than lethal injection to prove he’s a “real man.”

Season 3 of The Killing(s) is further proof that just one murder is like playing tiddlywinks in these ongoing TV times of Showtime’s Dexter, Fox’s The Following and NBC’s Hannibal, which NBC last week renewed for a second season because its low overall ratings are sweetened by the show’s popularity among both the affluent and the young.

All of those series are built on serial killer foundations, and now The Killing is following suit by piling up corpses of young runaways while also having another one go missing. Other potential targets remain, including featured ‘tude-copping teens known by street names of Bullet (Bex-Taylor-Klaus), Lyric (Julia Stone) and Twitch (Max Fowler). Kinnaman’s Holder has an especially well-played confrontation with Bullet after earlier going easy on her.

Overcast, color-bleached Vancouver again stands in for Seattle, although Enos’ Linden is her own one-woman rainy day. Still wearing those impenetrable thick sweaters, she’s become a tiresome drain on this series. If only Holder could have gotten a new, snappier partner. Instead he’s stuck with her again in a rather laborious opening two hours that lack the initial spark and pop of those early Season 1 episodes. Additionally, Sunday’s final revelatory scene defies plausibility. How could all of those dead … well, you’ll see.

Maybe The Killing will hit a firmer stride before crossing this season’s finish line. But the feeling persists that executive producer/writer/director Veena Sud again will come up short in what looks to be a last gasp. That initial heat from Season 1 has been lowered to room temperature. Kinnaman continues to give The Killing a pulse. But he can’t do it alone, and at this point merits a new, more vital vehicle in which he can really gun his engines.

GRADE: C+

Read more by Ed Bark at unclebarky.com

 
 
 
 
 
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6 Comments
 
 
Niewis
The Killing is a supremely written show with two well developed main characters who make you feel connected to the show. Season 1-2 had me up at night contemplating the crime and the characters. Only good writing can elicit such a response and if you can't recognize it, you miss the essence of the show. Season 3 delivers the goods, keeping the suspense present without dumbing down the plot to appease viewers with short attention spans and limited imaginations. AMC spares us from the dull 13 episode main stream dramas. Please produce season 4 of The Killing!
Jul 14, 2013   |  Reply
 
 
Lizzy
I agree with Patricia Bee, Lou Pia and Dennis Engstrom - the sweater comment is a inappropriate. Is Holder wearing too much outerwear?
Jun 20, 2013   |  Reply
 
 
Goofball Jones
So far I'm far more hooked into this season that I was last season. The first season was fantastic. The second season was good, but not as good as the first. I know people and critics complained that they weren't spoon-fed facts and "who did it", but I enjoyed it.

Now THIS season has been great so far. It's filled with interesting characters and it's really not predictable....which is a good thing. I also like how Linden is a regular person, not some unrealistic super-model that happens to be a brilliant detective.
Jun 16, 2013   |  Reply
 
 
Badger51
Overall I enjoyed the first episode, love the scenery and the physical presence that the show has....However, a bit of a grumble....how is it possible that a number of suspicious objects were in an accessible place, albeit somewhat isolated, for months or years before Linden discovers them?
Jun 7, 2013   |  Reply
 
 
Joel
Is that really Joel Kinnaman @ top right? It doesn't look much like him (to me anyway).
Jun 3, 2013   |  Reply
 
 
Patricia Bee
I guess non-sexy females leads don't interest men. "Still wearing those impenetrable thick sweaters...?" What is it you would like to see which the sweaters prevent?

I was intrigued about Veena Sud's creation when originally reading about "Forbrydelsen" and its popularity in the UK. If I'm going to be stuck with police procedurals, at least it is a relief to have a female cop who doesn't prance around dark alleys perfectly coiffed and manicured in improbable tight short skirts and stilettos. Rather than finding her "a tiresome drain on this series," Sarah and her demons interest me, and the marked contrast between her and Holder seems genuine rather than contrived, the latter being the case on most cop shows with female protagonists.
Jun 3, 2013   |  Reply
 
Lou Pia
I agree with you completely, Patricia Bee. I love the lead characters, and am very happy to be spending time with them again in their moody world. This is the only crime drama that intrigues me, mostly because it is so atypical. Love the writing and cinematography as well.
Jun 6, 2013
 
 
Dennis Engstrom
I'm a hetero male and agree with Patricia Bee about Sarah. I like to look at attractive women, but feel insulted when cop shows feature female cops who look like models wearing tight skirts and showing cleavage. Sarah looks like she could have been a cop and is an interesting character.
Jun 4, 2013
 
 
 
 
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