The Killing Season 3 Review “Eminent Domain”

The Killing Season 3 Episode 6 Eminent Domain (2)

We finally got some movement on last night’s The Killing. I’ve been complaining the last couple episodes that the Seward plot is languishing, and that finally got a much needed jolt into relevancy. Missing girl Kallie’s mother also became a lot more interesting now that she’s genuinely concerned about the well-being of her daughter. Holder demonstrated that his zen approach may be just as valuable as Linden’s instincts, while Linden proceeded with her police tactics of “rules schmules.”

Let’s start with Seward since this story has been largely disappointing until now. We have seen in past weeks Seward stubbornly embracing his prison life by ignoring the taunts of the guards and trying to forget his son. This week, Seward visited with his incarcerated father, helped talk his cellblock mate into suicide, and got a disturbing visit from Linden. For the first time, Seward showed how angry he is about being in prison. When Linden told him that she doesn’t think he killed his wife, he exploded at her. This is the type of reaction you’d expect from a man unjustly accused. The look on his face, though, when Linden told him that his son had seen the killer was interesting. He looked shocked and there was something else. The last message he got from his son’s foster mother was that his son forgave him. If Seward really didn’t kill his wife, how does he reconcile his son’s forgiveness with the knowledge that his son may have actually seen the killer?

On the outside, Kallie’s mother’s parental instincts finally kicked in after she discovered that her boyfriend had Kallie’s phone. This sent her to the police station in search of Linden. In a rather callous moment, Linden harshed on her for previously lying to police about her boyfriend’s whereabouts. Linden has a perpetual sense of righteousness, despite her own failings as a parent, and this didn’t seem like the appropriate time to unleash it. I did like seeing the softer side of Kallie’s mom and liked the scenes with her and Bullet. Her mom is the only family member we’ve seen for these missing children and it makes the story more poignant. Even bad parents can love their children.

Linden is starting to get back into her habit of investigating crimes like a bull in a china shop. I don’t like it when she starts to come unhinged. In this week’s episode, she had an annoying confrontation with her boss/former lover. She lost her cool and ended up sounding like a hysterical nutter. This is the complexity of Linden, I suppose. There were times in the previous seasons when she was such a bad mother that I came very close to disliking her character. You definitely don’t want to be in the position of disliking a main character. Removing her son from the equation has simplified things, but she’s still a challenging character to embrace. Linden does best when paired up with Holder since he has the power to talk her down from crazy. It makes me sad to think of how happy she was at the beginning of the season before she got dragged back into the police force. Half of the time now she’s alone on a personal crusade to right her previous wrong against Seward and the other half she’s obsessing about stopping the serial killer. Isolated Linden is not a likeable Linden.

The big reveals of the episode came from Linden’s discovery that Seward’s son saw the murderer and from Holder’s suspicion at the end that the churchman running the teen shelter may not be what he seems. It was a fantastic scene when Linden got into the closet, lay down on the floor and had Holder walk into the room. The pastor as murderer seems unlikely because it would be too easy. But, if he is the one mutilating young girls and dropping them at the vet office, that would make sense. The serial killer and the mutilator can’t possibly be the same person.

At this point, my money is still on Holder’s partner as the killer. Though, I’m starting to feel like guessing is futile.

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