The Killing Season 3 Review “Hope Kills”

The Killing Season 3 Episode 7 Hope Kills (9)
The Killing has been cruising down a dark road for the last couple episodes, in no particular hurry to get anywhere. Last night, it caused some serious whiplash by slamming on the gas. All of the season’s major storylines careened off in directions that are interesting, but I suspect do not lead to the ultimate destination – who killed the teen prostitutes and Seward’s wife.

The most logical place to start is with Pastor Mike. At the end of last week, Holder started to suspect Pastor Mike, who operates the teen shelter, may have an involvement with the missing and dead girls. He certainly acted the part of shifty pedophile with his wall of little girl photos and placating tone. This time it was Holder, not Linden, who lost his cool and almost went after the guy without probable cause. Linden pulls him back and they set about building their case. They learn that Pastor Mike is using a false identity and was previously arrested for kidnapping a young girl in another state. They also discover that his car is missing, which raises suspicions that he’s driving a rental because his car is covered in blood. One of the shelter’s residents also outs him for lying about having ever seen Angie – the young woman who was previously discovered by Linden and Holder at the vet’s office.

This gets me back to one of my concerns from that plot point. The killer of the girls did not drop them off at the vet to be put back together. We must have two perpetrators – the young girl mutilator (the pastor) and the serial killer (identity still unknown). It’s unclear if either of those two are also involved in the child porn ring. I hope there’s some connection there, otherwise the child porn storyline was completely useless.

After Pastor Mike eludes the police, his car is discovered, with blood all over the back seat, much like Angie described. Here’s where things get dicey. Before fleeing, Pastor Mike lets Bullet and Lyric spend the night in his house. He shares some creepy alone time with Lyric before both disappear from the home. It’s unclear if they left together or if something sinister has befallen the naïve girl. Pastor Mike resurfaces, though. As Linden heads out for the night, she’s surprised by a knife to her throat. The pastor is in the backseat and takes her hostage. This particular turn felt hokey to me. I liked everything with the unraveling of the pastor’s role until that moment. Of course, Linden is not going to die so this kidnapping is not all that suspenseful.

I’m saving the big stuff for last, so let’s talk about some of the smaller highlights. There was another great scene between Bullet and Holder. The girl seems to finally respect him. Their banter is cute and funny. It also takes away some of Bullet’s toughness and reminds you that she is just a kid. There was an awkward scene between Linden and her former island boyfriend. The ex’s confrontation with her felt over-the-top sinister. Linden was overly harsh and the ex was overly agitated. I feel like they are trying to throw as many possible suspects at us to obscure the identity of the killer. Now, the formerly harmless boyfriend seems like he could be the obsessive type who might just lash out at women. It’s a stretch to toss him in at this stage of the game.

The big story point involved Seward. Finally, this went somewhere! Seward is starting to understand that he is actually going to be executed. He hears the pounding of the carpenters who are constructing the gallows. He goes in to be weighed so that the noose and drop calculations will ensure his instant death. And, again, he is taunted by Becker about how it will be when he loses the contents of his bowels in the moment of death. Seward breaks in a way that we haven’t seen with him. He demands to see his lawyer, and he rages in his cell. It was a very violent display. Interestingly, before he loses his temper, Seward pokes back at Becker by asking if his wife is cheating on him. The combination of his outburst and this description of a cheating woman almost made me wonder if Seward isn’t the killer after all. According to the forensics, the other victims died before Seward’s wife, so he could have killed them. As for the most recent killing, maybe there is a copycat. There’s also the message from his son, who supposedly saw the killer, that he forgives his dad.

The point of the show is clearly to keep us guessing until the very end. I hope next week they get the pastor out of the way. I appreciate that things have picked up.

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