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AMC’s ‘The Killing’: Episode 9 – “Undertow”

After last week’s episode I’ve found a stronger interest in the show. Not that I lost interest, but this week certainly held more anticipation than the past few did. The show has found a flow as Linden and Holder have grown closer. Their relationship is what is now driving the show. Richmond’s campaign seems to be spiraling downward since going negative, and the Larsen’s have been promised that Bennett will be arrested soon.

We see Stan and Belko back to work, unloading a house and Stan is asked by a little girl for her bike out of the moving truck. As Stan gives it to her, you can see him pretending she’s Rosie. He puts her on the bike, and fixes the chain, and straps the helmet on her head. As he sends her down the road and tells her to be careful, it seems symbolic of letting Rosie go. Stan is moving on.

Linden and Holder’s warrant falls through and their wire is inadmissible. And Richmond? His release of info on Mayor Adam’s mistress has been spun by Adam’s to look like lies and Darren’s problems just continue to grow, as his supporters jump ship in the wake of the perceived lies.

As Richmond’s political aspirations dwindle, his buddy Bennett attempts to return to work. He garners support from neither co-worker or students, and his class actually walks out on him. If this isn’t a bad enough way to start the day, unbeknownst to him,  his wife has gone to Linden with the phone number of Muhammad she seeks.

Using the number given to them by Mrs. Ahmed, Linden and Holder track down the elusive Muhammad, but not before being confronted by Mitch Larsen. She is irate that Bennett is still free. And this is something that Stan is gonna hear about.

Richmond has hit rock bottom and must once again crawl to Tom Drexler for another handout. This time he wants $5 Million to fix the Somali community damaged by recent events and bad pub. He believes this will be the gesture that wins him an election. It’s a ‘Hail Mary’, or more accurately, a $5 million shot. Drexler gives Darren the Basketball and tells him the money is his if he makes it, but if he misses, he must withdraw his name from the race. Cut to commercial…

Once we return from commercial break we learn that Muhammad and Bennett didn’t kill Rosie, but have instead taken the missing girl from the Muslim community. They are trying to get her to Canada to help her escape her parents. Mitch then finds Rosie’s pink ‘Grand Canyon’ shirt in the wash and quickly realizes what we already know – Bennett didn’t kill her daughter. It’s realized too late however, as Mitch has already sicked her husband on the teacher. As the Stan and Belko open the back of their van we hear Bennett scream in terror.

Richmond returns to his office with a basketball in hand. This means of course, he hit his shot. He has his funding. The screen then cuts back to Stan and Belko as they proceed to beat Bennett. Beat him to viscously to hear Stan’s phone ring. Mitch is unable to call off the attack.

It’s a good follow-up to last week, but it does re-open the suspect list and it doesn’t get us any closer to a solution. Though, as many people have already guessed, the ‘Belko Theory’ gained some grounding tonight. As Stan is beating Amhed, Belko can be seen punching a rock in frustration. I give it a a solid 3.5/5 Bears.

 So who’s your guess?

AMC’s ‘The Killing’: Episode 6 – “What You Have Left”

The sixth episode of The Killing starts as we prepare for the funeral of Rosie Larsen. This is a reminder of how little time has passed on the show. Despite this already being the sixth episode, Rosie’s body isn’t yet in the ground. We see Richmond’s campaign is trying to get back on track with the return of Jamie, but there is still friction with Gwen concerning trust issues. And Linden’s investigation just keeps pointing towards Bennett.

Now some people may say the show is moving slowly, but I actually appreciate the pacing. They are taking their time to play all the angles and producing a true ‘who-done-it’. So, what happened tonight?

Episode 6 focused mainly on Bennett and the evidence seemed to just continue to pile up, only now it seems perhaps it wasn’t Bennett who killed her, but rather Chrissy Seaver Mrs. Ahmed who may have committed the crime.

Belko’s source called in with Bennett’s name, which was delivered to Stan. As the episode came to a close, it did so with Stan giving Bennett “a ride home”…something that does not bode well for Bennett. Especially since in this episode we learned a little more about Stan’s past. Before Rosie was born, Stan was muscle for the Polish Mob. And though he has no record, it seems like killing Bennett wouldn’t be a stretch for Stan.

Linden and Holder know Stan has Bennett and are desperately trying to find them. Bennett is also having a major effect on the Richmond campaign without even knowing it. Darren assuming Bennett’s innocence has refused to distance himself from the teacher in fear of ruining an innocent man. The mayor is using this against Richmond obviously and his longshot to become Mayor just got a little longer…

Not an overly eventful episode outside the funeral, but the plot progressed nicely. This was my favorite episode yet, expertly crafted – 4.5 Bears. Boom. I’m quite excited for next week.

AMC’s ‘The Killing’: Episodes 1 to 5 – Suspect List

Through 4 weeks and 5 episodes The Killing has given us a murder mystery full of political intrigue and family drama. That, and a wide array of suspects. A classic ‘who done it’ type that has the patience to build the story up for long enough, so that a one point or another, we’ll have to look at everyone.

The show started off with a missing girl and a police investigation. What was initially thought to be a prostitution exchange gone wrong lead Seattle police Detective Sarah Linden to a Mr. Stan Larsen. The man she assumed was in the fields with a young lady the evening prior. They turn out to be very wrong as the reason they were led to him in the first place, the credit card, was in the possession of his daughter – Rosie, who no one has seen for a few days. As Stan frantically searches the city for his daughter, Detective Linden, and her soon to be replacement – Det. Stephen Holder – find a car in the lake. In the trunk, they find Rosie.

The murder of Rosie Larsen is really no closer to being solved than in was at the end of the pilot, but Detective Sarah Linden’s suspect pool is growing…

Since the discovery of the body, and through 5 episodes, we have seen several suspects introduced. People ranging from fellow students and school faculty, all the way up to city officials. So, let’s start at the top.

Rosie’s body was found in the trunk of a campaign car for City Councilman Darren Richmond who is running for Mayor. The car was reported stolen a few days prior, but that doesn’t clear anyone. Here are the most likely suspects…

Darren Richmond – The almost perfect politician. A widower whose intentions are true and who is refusing to exploit the Larsen family even if it means he’ll lose the election. That’s not very believable. It’s easy to point a cynical finger at him as the viewer because he seems so squeaky clean. Aside from his secret relationship with Gwen, he appears to be the most morally grounded character on the list.

Gwen Eaton – Darren’s right-hand man – err- woman. Aside from their torrid love life, she is only ever shown working towards getting Richmond elected. And while Jamie is sure she is the leak in the campaign, Darren seems to sharp for that. There is something suspicious about her though, and I’m sure she’ll have some secrets pouring out any episode now…

Jamie Wright – The easy pick from this bunch. From episode one he saw Rosie’s death as nothing more than an opportunity to cement the campaign and advance his own career. He seems pretty morally ambiguous. The motive though seems absent as far as connections to Rosie.

Also within the political spectrum, Richmond’s enemies, people who benefit from seeing Richmond’s name tarnished.

Mayor Lesley Adams – The dirty Mayor, easy on crime – easier on big business. It’s clear that the only thing he cares more about than money is his legacy. And losing the election to a Do-Gooder like Richmond would not be good for said legacy. It’s not beyond the realm of believability to see him hiring someone to connect a murder to the Richmond name.

Councilwoman Ruth Yitanes – Now here is a real politician. She’s a long shot to be out killer, but she’s too involved with both Richmond and Adams to be ignored. She is greedy and conniving, and her husband employees a lot of people…

So it was Richmond’s campaign where the cops looked first, but they quickly changed focus to Rosie’s school…

Sterling Fitch – The best friend. The stupid best friend any how. Here she is, lying to the cops about where Rosie is, and every confrontation with anyone ends with her in tears. She was obviously jealous of Rosie, that why she wore Rosie’s wig when Kris and Jasper ran a train on her in the basement. But this crime seems a little brutal for her to have done…alone anyhow.

Jasper Ames – Here is the kid EVERYONE wants to be guilty. He is a spoiled rich, pompous little ass. He treats other people like toys for him to play with and discard. He has no respect for women of any kind, but seems deathly afraid of men that his daddy’s lawyer can’t control…including his father. This may well be our killer even though the evidence has pushed him from view for the moment.

Kris Echols – Jasper’s best friend. I guess. I don’t think Jasper has real friends, but this scumbag is pretty close. He seems to have run his course, but if things come back around with Jasper, he could be involved as well.

Schools aren’t just full of kids though, there are Custodians and Teachers there as well…

Lyndon Johnson Rosales – The pervey janitor. He liked to watch the kids having sex in the school basement. Yes he’s a perv, but I doubt he’s our killer.

Bennet Ahmed – That brings us to Rosie’s English teacher – Bennet. Over the last 60 or so minutes of showtime everything has pointed to this beacon of education. We find out he married the youngest daughter from Growing Pains one of his old students, and he wrote notes back and forth with more than one of his other female students. There were also allegations of misconduct from his old school where no charges were drawn as the girl in question was mentally handicapped. He is who the show wants you to think is guilty, but it’s just too early to tell…

And then there are the Wild Card picks. A few characters that seem to have no motive at all, but with 8 episodes left, who knows what’ll be uncovered.

Belko Royce – Stan Larsen’s right hand man at the moving company. Plenty of talk about ‘the old days’ which, while it hasn’t been explained yet, sounds ominous. He and Stan were obviously into something illegal. And while I don’t see Stan as a viable contender, Belko seems pretty gung-ho about collecting info on the case – perhaps to deflect suspicion from himself.

Michael Ames – Jasper’s dad. Said to have enough money to buy whatever he wants, perhaps he had Rosie killed. Maybe she overheard something she wasn’t supposed to. Anyhow, any one who could raise a kid like Jasper can’t be all good.

Det. Stephen Holder – Ok, not officially on the suspect list, but Linden doesn’t trust him, and neither do most of the audience to this point. He may or may not have both drug and gambling problems. Or maybe he’s on the take? The Lt doesn’t seem to have any faith in him either. Kris calling him out for his drug habit and the envelope of cash from the last episode makes you think there may be something there…

Mitch Larsen – So long as we’re drawing comparisons to Twin Peaks, how crazy would it be if the reason her mother is taking this so hard is because she is responsible? Unlikely, but not impossible.

So the question remains – Who killed Rosie Larsen? for a more In-Depth list, check out AMC’s Suspect Tracker. BUT FIRST, take a second to vote on out poll. Thanks.