detectives now have a troubling new concern: Who really killed Rosie
Larsen? Linden and Holder are back to square one after spending episodes
chasing a false lead.
But by the time the detectives
discover Bennet's innocence, it's too late. Bennet is likely dead or close to it after Stan
Larsen and his helper and family friend Belko beat him repeatedly in a
field at the conclusion of this week's episode. Bennet pleaded, tried to
explain why he could never properly explain to the cops his whereabouts
that night in order to protect the young girl. Stan had stopped
listening—like an animal, he and Belko smashed their fists and kicked
the desperate teacher, who initially tried to flee after they pulled him
from their vehicle's trunk. The entire scene unfolded with creepy,
disturbing brutality, from the number of Stan's blows to the shadow
punching of Belko in the background. Despite the dramatically
inconvenient timing—the detectives learning Bennet's innocence just as
Stan takes matters into his own hands—the killing is powerful, sad, and
completely fitting in the wicked logic of the show's bleak narrative.
These damning moments create what will surely be one of the lasting new plot
arcs: What will happen to Stan Larsen? The man may end up behind bars,
rightly, for killing a man. Surely the cops will investigate
Bennet's murder as well (and even if he somehow survived that endless
pulverizing assault, there will still be questions from the police).
character on The Killing inspires as much pathos as Stan Larsen, the
blue-collar moving man and loving father of the murdered teen Rosie
Larsen. Emotion rolls with ease through his big frame, played with
expert nuance and pain by Brent Sexton. In many ways, the first season
has introduced him
as the perfect father, a man who dotes on his two sons, his wife, and
formerly on Rosie. He even bought them a new house in secret because he
wanted the kids to have a backyard.
qualities make his violent side all the more tragic, especially
considering that such violence once was encoded in his past, when Stan
was part of a local mob group. The show revealed early on that Stan once
killed people, that he had a gambling problem, but also that—touchingly
authentic to the character—he never felt the need to be that person
after meeting Mitch and becoming a father. But his wife, initially sure
of Rosie's killer, was the one who chastised him for letting Bennet go
and inspired him to kidnap and beat the teacher bloody and raw.
What made the
unflinching conclusion of this week's episode so heartbreaking was the paired set of tender
scenes earlier: Bennet's unfortunate, failed attempt to return to his
high school teaching job and Stan's gentle, playful dialogue with the
small girl with the broken bike. They
reminded the audience that these characters have many dimensions and
successfully placed viewers into their eyes and into their struggles.