"We've gotta focus on the future, Mitch,"
Stan tells his wife after clearing out the belongings in Rosie's
bedroom. "We have responsibilities."
Stan speaks the
truth. Day-to-day living continues, and Stan and Mitch must care for
their two other children, still alive and mystified by the inchoate
strain that has overtaken their mom and dad. "He was mad," one says to
his brother about Stan's prickliness during breakfast. "Did we do
something wrong?" The malaise of unhappiness has caused Mitch to become
careless, and she even forgets her two sons in the car, gas on and in
the garage. She seems to barely register the significance.
But when the characters in The Killing submerge their grief, they harden.
Consider the way Linden ignores her family's problems for the professional, as
in this week's conclusion when she goes with Holder rather than
reconcile with her son and work out why he leaked crime-scene photos.
Remember how Mitch comes at Stan with special edge. Witness how, just
after his emotional outburst over his wife, Richmond took the political
low road in leaking the story about his opponent's mistress—both
uncharacteristic and brusque.
Even the passage of
years fails to completely relieve the stress. Richmond clearly mourns
his dead wife long after her passing. "It gets better," he told Mitch
Larsen in a prior episode,
yet the audience still sees how he visits his wife's grave, how the
subject of her passing stands between him and his lover and aide, Gwen.
grief becomes buried but never quite extinguished, and sometimes
white-hot emotion flares again. Richmond revealed that side of himself
this week, after listening to the courtroom plea for forgiveness from
the woman who killed his wife. In the politician's most visceral display
to date, he retreats to the bathroom and smashes his fist into the
mirror. The mirror's cracks capture a dozen reflections of his features,
symbolically illustrating the multitude of faces with which he has to
face the public world—so many of which can never fully acknowledge the
grief that leaves his knuckles bloody in a courthouse restroom.
element, even more frightening and inscrutable, is the sense of guilt
and judgment that so often accompanies the pangs of loss. Husband and
wife began blaming one another for their daughter's death: Mitch angrily
accuses Stan of letting Rosie stay home on her final weekend; he fires
back that Mitch's strictness compelled their daughter to hide things.
What remains after loss is not only memories of the past but also a
tougher view of the world, one that closes off the possibility of a good
life full of sympathetic people. The woman who killed Richmond's wife
suggests that people aren't designed to forgive, a sentiment that Holder
echoes when recounting his junkie-era crimes.
"I don't expect forgiveness," Holder tells those attending his N.A. meeting. "If it comes or not, that's none of my business."
of the Week: How much will terrorism play a role in the Larsen
investigation as Linden and Holder attempt to sidestep the FBI? What
will the wiretap of Bennet's phone turn up? When will all mounting
frustrations, from the case to the FBI to her son leaking photos of the
Larsen murder, cause Linden to finally break?