Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What I’m Watching: The Killing (Series Finale)

The Killing: Season 4, Episode 6 “Eden”

I didn’t expect much from this finale, mainly because I found this final shortened season to be excessively grim – even in comparison to this show’s content in its first three seasons – and far from pleasant or rewarding. I’m not sure exactly what this finale could have offered in the way of productive or fitting closure, and it tried hard to do that but didn’t succeed too well. Instead, what we got was a harsh and miserable conclusion to the big mystery of this season which had us actually see Kyle murder each member of his own family after being egged on and manipulated by his cruel classmates at school. It’s difficult to justify such disturbing material that doesn’t lead to anywhere enlightening or dramatically compelling, and I could have easily skipped this whole plotline. In a throwback to the show’s original incarnation in its first two seasons, we got a very surprising cameo from Billy Campbell as a far more bitter Darren Richmond than we’ve seen before, politically aware that ignoring Skinner’s killer status and letting Linden go free was the smart choice. After that, a trademark flashforward showed that both Linden and Holder ended up in relatively decent places that weren’t nearly as awful as the times during which we saw them on this show. Holder got in one last “Dial 1-900-Linden” quip, and Linden pulled up the car so that they could return to the place where they felt happiest in their lives. I don’t quite buy it, and I think that this show’s third or even second season finale would have been a much wiser and stronger place to end this show.

Series finale: C-
Season grade: C+
Season MVP: Joel Kinnaman as Holder
Series grade: B-
Series MVP: Joel Kinnaman
Best Season: Season 3
Best Episode: “Try

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