The Killing Season 3 Review “From Up Here” and “The Road to Hamelin”

The Killing Season 3 Episode 11 and 12 From Up Here;The Road to Hamelin (6)

This should go without saying, but if you haven’t watched the season finale of The Killing, you should avert your eyes. Last night, the killer was revealed and it was hardly a shocker: Lieutenant Skinner. I’ve been speculating for a while that the killer would be Holder’s partner Reddick or Skinner. I didn’t want it to be Skinner because I thought that would be really weak – and I was right.

The main problem with the season was that the pacing was so slow until the final third when they seemed to realize that they had to speed things up to wrap up all the storylines. In last night’s episode, the hints as to Skinner’s guilt dropped to the ground like a-bombs. Skinner’s marriage suddenly implodes and he shows up at Linden’s door (cue the rekindled romance that will make the revelation of his identity more emotional). He suddenly wants to take time off at his lake house. He gives a rambling speech to his daughter about how he’s tired of hiding who he is. He is also dismissive of Holder and Linden’s concern over Adrian and Reddick. This was irritating. These types of clues should have been far more subtle and woven throughout the season. For example, the relationship between Skinner and Linden should have heated back up several episodes ago. There were clues along the way that Skinner was the guilty party – particularly his complete lack of interest in whether Seward was innocent – but they dumped too much in the final episode.

It is clear that Skinner was chosen as the killer because it would have an emotional impact for Linden. Objectively, it’s far-fetched. The killer of young female prostitutes is a high ranking police officer? I get the Ted Bundy factor that you can’t judge a psychopath by his cover, but this still seemed incongruous. The explanation for why Skinner killed the girls was equally unconvincing. The first victim he killed was to stop her from reporting that he had hit her, which would have damaged his career. Somehow from there, Skinner decides that all young female prostitutes are trash and he’s saving them from a bleak future. Where did that come from? There was no explanation for the brutal way he killed the girls or why he cut off their rings. It also wasn’t clear why he killed Seward’s wife. He went to the apartment to find Adrian, but when he didn’t see him he decided to kill Mrs. Seward?

Another thing I didn’t understand was the tree house explanation with Adrian. Linden took Adrian’s drawing to the area by the water where the creepy warehouse was. From there, she looked out and saw the trees that matched up with the picture and that was the location of the bodies. But, the explanation for Adrian’s connection is that he was up in a tree house near the location of the bodies and saw them being dumped. His vantage point was not the same as the one from the pictures. I did some research on this, but if someone has an explanation please drop it into the comments.

It also felt like the Seward storyline was dropped. Linden didn’t give Skinner any grief about the fact that he just let an innocent man be hanged. Given that she watched the execution, I would’ve thought that would be in the forefront of Linden’s mind. Similarly, it seemed inconsistent with Linden’s character that she would kill Skinner at the end. I would have thought she’d be more interested in finding the other bodies and getting closure for the families of those girls. Maybe the revenge scenario would’ve been more convincing if we’d seen the Linden/Skinner relationship solidified over the season.

There were still many things that I liked about the episode that would cause me to tune again if there is a season four. Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman gave amazing performances. I think what needs to happen, though, is a tightening up on the show’s pacing. The goal shouldn’t be to cobble together the most shocking reveal possible in the final minutes. It should be to build a strong story along the way.

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