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‘The Killing’ Review: “Donnie or Marie”

The Killing
AMC

It was the penultimate episode of ‘The Killing‘ and the big question was… well, it was still, “Who killed Rosie Larsen?” But after last week’s breakthrough, that answer may be more close than it’s ever been. In fact, we may have been right on top of the answer the entire time.

Judging by the way this show has toyed with us from the beginning, we’re not ready to write off Mayor Adams as a suspect just yet. The show does solid work of clearly defining a suspect from week to week and getting us to believe in that suspect just as much as our detectives do. And we have to or else we aren’t in their corner.

Linden offered a deal to Adams — she’d drop the falsified toll booth photo that Adams planted to implicate Richmond in the killing, if he’d keep the police and Lieutenant Carlson out of the way so Linden and Holder can investigate Richmond and finally bring this mystery to an end. That moment kept us saying, “Take it, Adams. It’s been two seasons, you owe it to yourself and to the audience to play ball.” Lucky for us, he did.

Pretty soon, they discovered that it was Gwen who ordered the new city key card to replace the bloody one left behind at the casino, and Gwen and her father were pretty tight with the Wapi casino people. Jamie wasn’t totally innocent either — an e-mail he sent showed his support of Ames’ ambition to leave his wife and start his own company. In the clear this week were Chief Jackson and her girlfriend after a video provided them with a solid alibi.

“Donnie or Marie” ditched the melodrama (mostly) and lost the balance the show’s had in the last few weeks as it shifted straight into procedural with Linden and Holder conducting a straight investigation, and interrogating suspects all over town. At this point in the game, though, it was sort of what we needed being that we’re approaching the finale. We’re looking forward to answers and motives and the hows and whys — we don’t need any more mournful glances of Lifetime network family moments.

Speaking of which, Mitch returned home, which was throwing off the already shaky family dynamic. Mitch was still more concerned with wallowing in her own feelings than recognizing Terry’s generosity, and Mitch and Stan debated moving into a new home. And frankly, it was boring, aside from Stan’s very rational assertion that they needed to just move on with their lives already.

Here, at the tail end of two seasons of all this drama, it seems like ‘The Killing’ just wants to wrap this up as much as we do. The end is in sight for the Larsen family; and thank the gods of television because we just know we can’t handle any more of it.

Linden and Holder confronted Roberta, Chief Jackson’s head of security and implied girlfriend. After they spotted a woman with a similarly broken arm in an older photo, the detectives explained to Roberta that this woman used to have her job, and has since been confined to a correctional facility, having taken the fall in a murder case to absolve Jackson. They knew Roberta had an un-manipulated security disc that showed who was on the 10th floor the night Rosie was murdered.

And here was a straight answer! In order, the people on the elevator to the 10th floor that night were: Rosie Larsen, Chief Jackson, Michael Ames, and — wait for it — Jamie, Richmond’s right hand boy.

The final scenes in this week’s episode had a distinct David Fincher vibe — from the lighting, to the way each scene was framed, and even the elevator security camera footage. That is, until that final pesky shot of Jamie staring straight into the camera, which made a sincere moment of dread utterly laughable, turning Jamie into a cartoon villain — and he already had this young Robert Englund thing going for him, so a small teeter in the wrong direction could’ve made it feel like overkill.

As we neared the conclusion of the episode, Richmond was called to meet with a mysterious man claiming to have some information. Jamie entered and Darren asked, “Why did you lie to me, Jamie?”

How much does Darren know? How much does Gwen know? Did Jamie really kill Rosie Larsen? Only one more episode to go in this season of ‘The Killing.’

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