This week's episode, which zeroes in on possible suspects more dramatically
than any previous week, creates new momentum. Credible evidence
continues to pile up against both Rosie's teacher Bennet Amhmed and now his wife (and former student) Amber. The detectives even wonder whether Amber may have been the one to kill Rosie in jealousy, with Bennet assisting in cover-up. Witnesses report seeing Bennet carrying a
body, and another scene of Amber, scared of detectives and clutching a
weapon, certainly doesn't suggest innocence.
The show has thankfully lost the need to introduce a new scary suspect with each
episode. Instead, this week's let the story of Bennet and Amber unfold
with new shades of complexity. Rosie's young English teacher may well be
guilty to some degree. All his recent talks with detectives come across
as babbling, contradictory, at times outright deceptive. He may not
have been the one to finally kill Rosie, but he's very possibly a part
of the murder's cover-up. His hands are hardly clean, and
the show is better for having developed a real suspenseful arc and
sticking to it, expanding on its drama rather than creating
transparently straw-men suspects to knock down.
The Killing still delivers all the narrative grace and psychological thoughtfulness alluded to in its initial, heartbreaking debut.
The characters, from Holder to Sterling to Stan, provide enough
original and deft characterization worthy of weekly attention. There's
no shortage of excellent moments (Stan angrily lifting boxes, Richmond's
brief run-in with Linden, Holder's tragically shabby suit). The varying
narratives also tie even closer together. Councilman Richmond's connections to Bennet
through his All-Stars outreach program create concrete problems for the
mayoral candidate, and his opponent even brings up Rosie Larsen's
murder in their debate.
The real question the show leaves us
with this week—will Rosie's father Stan attempt to kill Bennet? The
episode ends (to a fitting tune by Neko Case) as Stan
learns that the police have targeted Bennet, and he proceeds to drive
the unsuspecting teacher home. Stan's overflowing grief may cause him to
kill—a move that would propel the remaining several episodes forward.
His reputed dark past suggests he's capable of ending lives, after all.
possible murder, however, seems unlikely, based on The Killing's track
record. The show does have a habit of leaving the audience with
the juiciest of suspects or scenarios, only to magically remove the
tension immediately in the next episode. Many of the concerns about the
show's quality are valid enough and may become more significant after
the first season concludes and the Rosie Larsen case is resolved. But as
this week shows, The Killing has begun to look past the Suspect of the
Week to explore new forms of conflict and suspense as the characters
Questions of the Week: What explains the strange
allusions (dropping money, his friend in the car, the celibacy) to
Holder's past—could the former narcotics agent be a former addict? How
will Sarah's fiancé Rick respond to her skipping out on California a
second time? What role will Stan's former gambling problem play in weeks