‘The Killing’ Review: “Openings”
'The Killing' ended last week with Terry entering a mysterious black car in the middle of the night, and our dearly departed Rosie was afraid of a black car she believed to be following her around. The shadowy male figure inside Terry's black car is revealed to be Terry's married lover Michael Ames, father of Jasper, spoiled brat and former boyfriend of Rosie.
The way that these people are intertwined is explored rather gracefully this episode, showing just how embedded our characters are with each other, sometimes without even knowing. It's one of 'The Killing''s stronger points -- the idea of just how small a big city can be, especially under such tragic circumstances.
We learned from Alexi at the end of last week's episode that Stan is not Rosie's real father, which gives the murder investigation more intriguing possibilities. Linden speaks with Stan who informs her that he knows he's not Rosie's father, and he isn't sure who is. Mitch is the only person with that information, but she's run off and no one can reach her. Stan does remember a shoebox that Rosie often looked through, but he hasn't seen it in some time.
Linden and Holder discover Terry's affair and a text from Rosie to Michael with a vague threat to tell his wife something if he doesn't pay her $5,000. They also find out that Michael ditched a plane to Vegas the night of the murder, and his car was seen at the ferry to the casino -- the same casino that provided the detectives with an ATM photo of Rosie just prior to her death.
The pair speak to Jasper, who snottily reveals that he saw his father dropped off at home at 4 in the morning by a cab with a busted tail light -- just like the cab that took Rosie home last season.
Richmond's story this week is throwaway stuff -- he has a change of heart and turns on the Richmond charm to save his campaign, which gets Gwen to return from D.C. The campaign felt more compelling last season when Richmond was a possible suspect, but now -- even with the probable set-up from the mayor -- it feels pointless.
Mitch continues to bond with Tina, until she suggests that the girl call her mother. The scene manages to finally find the poignancy that's been set up in this obvious pairing, with Mitch using Tina as a placeholder for Rosie and Tina fumbling for parental guidance. The moments between the two of them in this episode are eerily beautiful, only hindered by the horrible Lifetime movie-of-the-week score, thankfully ditched in a later scene where the two of them lie in bed together like mother and daughter. Naturally, when Mitch gets out of bed she discovers that Tina has ransacked the place, stolen her money, and uncovered that shoebox Stan mentioned earlier. In it is a letter addressed to David Rainer, informing him that Mitch is two months pregnant -- it's a letter she intended to send but never did. Did Rosie ever meet her father? Was he dangerous?
Lieutenant Carlson pulls Linden's warrants on the casino and Michael Ames, when the latter shows up with Jasper. Jasper admits that he sent the extortion text to his father from Rosie's phone and the Ames' lawyer provides an alibi for Michael that evening. You can see Linden realizing that she's losing control over this case, and the restraint that Mireille Enos shows as she unravels is impeccably unnerving.
Linden and Holder return to the Ames house to speak to Mrs. Ames, who maintains that Michael couldn't possibly be Rosie's father because they were living in Indonesia at the time, and Mitch wasn't there, obviously. As they leave, they see the owner of the casino entering the party, which might just be the reason why she refused to give them the surveillance footage last season.
When Linden returns home she discovers a mysterious drawing of woods on the fridge. It doesn't belong to her son Jack, which can only mean that someone is watching them -- probably the same person who left Rosie's backpack on the Larsen's doorstep. The episode ends with a mysterious gloved hand in a dark car holding a cigarette and watching Linden and Jack, who have relocated to Holder's apartment for the evening -- is this our first look at the killer? Is 'The Killing' finally bringing the mystery of who killed Rosie Larsen to an end? It would appear so.