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‘The Killing’ Review: “72 Hours”

The Killing
AMC

The end of last week’s episode of ‘The Killing‘ found Linden investigating the mysterious 10th floor of the Wapi Indian casino and getting herself knocked out by an unknown person in one of the series’ best episodes yet.

This week Linden wakes up in a psych ward, unsure how she got there. As it turns out, a casino worker had Linden turned over to the psych ward, claiming she was planning on jumping off the 10th floor to commit suicide. It’s yet another tricky power play from the seemingly omnipresent Chief Jackson.

The bulk of the episode thankfully focuses on Linden’s possible 72 hour stay at the psychiatric facility and Holder’s desperate, furious attempts to free her. Unable to reason with Carlson, who believe she belongs there, Holder goes rogue and tries to come up with some solid evidence to prove she’s onto something and not just irrationally obsessed with the case.

Over at the Larsen household Stan is starting to see reason. He first apologizes to Terry for hastily dismissing her, and then attempts to set things right with Bennett Ahmed (Rosie’s teacher, who Stan and Belko beat and left for dead in season one). Ahmed isn’t having it, but that doesn’t keep Stan from chugging along. In a nice, genuine moment,  he calls Rosie’s cell phone and hears her outgoing message. He leaves a message for her that he knows she’ll never hear, apologizing for not telling her sooner that he wasn’t her real father. At episode’s end he’s brought home a one-eyed dog for his sons, but perhaps he should be a little concerned with Tommy, who killed those three baby birds last week and is clearly struggling with the concepts of life and death.

Meanwhile, the Richmond campaign is still doing rather well. Jamie finds one of the mayor’s buttons in Darren’s office and tattles on Gwen, who has to spill her guts about why she had Mayor Adams in Darren’s office so late at night. This plot thread is rather uneventful this week, only give us two pieces of info: In ‘The Killing,’ a video goes viral on the internet when it has 1200 hits, and, Mayor Adams did not rape Gwen when she was 14. He only kissed her. It’s still wrong, but it’s not nearly bribe-worthy material.

The episode seems split this week — on one side we have the emotional struggles of Linden in the psych ward, and on the other we have the procedural goods that are still moving ahead quite nicely, keeping up the pace from the last few episodes.

Linden’s psychiatrist produces a photo copy of that drawing that mysteriously found its way onto Linden’s fridge. The drawing was made by a little boy named Adrian. At just six years old, Linden found him locked in his apartment with the corpse of his hooker mother, who’d been dead for a week by the time they discovered her.

‘The Killing’ hasn’t done an elegant job of making us, as the audience, question Sarah’s sanity until now. She’s the clear protagonist, and we’re always on her side. We see that she’s right; we see what she sees. As the conversation escalates with the psychiatrist, we begin to wonder if Linden might deserve to be there. Her obsession with Rosie’s case hasn’t seemed entirely unreasonable given her career as a homicide detective, and the way we’ve been conditioned through procedural TV to believe that detectives empathize greatly with the victims. The psych ward allows us to step outside of that familiarity into almost an entirely different show — and in this one, maybe Linden’s obsession isn’t very healthy.

Typically psych wards are used as a function in TV and movies to show the way we dismiss women with strong opinions and views as insane. Many decades ago, this idea was a reality, and women really were locked up for being too emotional or vocal about their convictions. This episode calls back to that idea, but it’s a bit shaky.

Unfortunately, the psychiatrist always functions as exposition, and here it’s no different — it’s just as blatant, trying to draw connections that should be more subtle, like how this case is similar to the one that put Linden away the first time, and how her childhood has made her so empathetic when it comes to the child victims in each case. But we’d never know about the case that landed Linden in the psych ward or about her childhood without the discussion with the psychiatrist. The problem is that every time the doctor asks Linden a question, she’s also delivering exposition — as psychiatrists do, cluing us in to things we might not be picking up in our subconscious — and it feels like exposition.

While Linden’s struggling to prove that she’s not insane, Holder is off doing some rogue solo detective work. He discovers that the night of Rosie’s murder there was a break-in at Adams’ and Ames’ (this should be a band, or the name of a boozy drink) waterfront development. The perpetrator was one of Kovarski’s guys, but Ames didn’t press charges, leading Holder to believe that this big, shady thing — whatever it is — goes all the way to the top. It’s not just some of the police force. It’s also the local mob, Ames, and Mayor Adam’s City Hall. With all of those guys meeting, presumably on the 10th floor of the  casino, Rosie must have overheard something that got her killed. He takes this info to Carlson and finally gets the number to the one guy that can get Linden out of the ward — her psychiatrist, who also happens to be her ex-fiance.

With Linden out, the hunt is back on for who — or what, exactly — killed Rosie Larsen. As we near the end of the season, it looks as though we’ll finally get those answers.

 

 

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