The Killing Season 3 Review “Try”

The Killing Season 3 Episode 8 Try (5)

It seems like the writers of The Killing were taking their time, weaving a tapestry of crossing storylines and characters. Then they realized that they had only handful of episodes left and needed to hustle to avoid another audience Rosie Larson rebellion. The problem at this stage is that there are too many suspicious characters and the suspense is starting to wane.

Last night, Pastor Mike was handily scratched from the suspects list. He had always been a shifty figure, easily tied to the young prostitutes through his shelter work. At the end of last week, he became Holder and Linden’s primary target after they discovered he’d been previously arrested for kidnapping a young girl. Pastor Mike disappeared as the police closed in, which created the suggestion that he’d harmed his houseguest, Lyric. It certainly seemed like a bad guy had been discovered, if not the bad guy terrorizing Seattle’s underbelly, especially when Pastor Mike took Linden hostage.

The first part of the episode centered around Linden cruising around with Pastor Mike, trying to talk him down. She concealed her radio, which she switched on so that the police would be able to listen in on the conversation. There wasn’t a sense that Linden was any real danger – because she’s Linden and the lynchpin of the show. The purpose of the conversation with Pastor Mike seemed more about letting Linden share some of her emotional toils that she’s been keeping in. They talked about her son, her troubled childhood, and the stress of her job. On a personal level, this was satisfying because we so rarely get to hear Linden admit her struggles.

When they finally arrive at the waterfront, Linden is genuinely terrified that Pastor Mike is going to shoot her in the head. I wondered why she didn’t try to get the gun away from him. She’s a police office, so I would’ve thought she’d at least try to run or get the gun. She pleads with him not to kill her, and he doesn’t. In return, she keeps the police who arrive at the scene from killing him. I felt like I would’ve wanted the exchange with Pastor Mike a little earlier in the season to get thing moving.

It feels like there’s an urgency to scratch off suspects and things are going to get sloppy. For example, the end of the episode with Bullet was concerning. Bullet made a seriously bad decision by telling Holder that Lyric had been kidnapped by Pastor Mike and said she was being taken to the woods. I didn’t really understand this. Did Bullet really believe Lyric had been taken and just invented the phone call part? Why would she do that? Holder came down unbelievably harsh on her. It was a little too harsh, but understandable since he was worried about Linden being in the hands of a killer. But here’s where I thought things went wrong. Bullet tracks down Angie and offers her drugs in exchange for the identity of the man who attacked her.

Bullet then tries to contact Holder and leaves him a message that she knows who the guy is. She should’ve just told him who it was, because of course Holder is not taking her calls. At the end we see Bullet sitting alone in a diner, and a mysterious car pulls up outside. This is where I start to get worried. First, if that’s the killer coming up on her at random, that seems way overly coincidental. Second, if it’s not random, how would the killer know that Bullet knew his identity? Presumably, Angie is on the train out of town so he couldn’t have gotten the info from her. We don’t have any info that Bullet has told anyone else. This is setting up a scenario where Bullet gets attacked and either rescued by Holder or Holder is emotionally punished by finding Bullet’s body. Either of those options feels cheap.

What was once the most uninteresting part of the show, Seward’s prison scenes, has now become compelling and is getting too little airtime. Seward has started to realize that he’s going to be killed and is having a full-on meltdown. His panic attack was some stellar acting on Sarsgaard’s part and really brought empathy to his character. I would like to see more done on the investigation with his murdered wife. Especially since there’s only two days until he’s executed. You’d think Linden would be working a little harder on this.

There’s a lot to resolve in only three episodes. I feel like the story dilly-dallied a bit too much and that storylines are going to be resolved too quickly with neat little bows. I hope I’m wrong.

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