'The Killing' Recap: Things Don't Look Good for Bennet

I have to be honest, The Killing is losing me a little bit.

I mean, it's always more challenging to watch a show that slowly unveils little bits of a mystery a time, as compared to the rabid popularity of shows like CSI: Some Goddamned City, which rely on a grab-bag of ludicrous storylines to reveal, research, and solve a new murder mystery during every single episode.

But I feel like for me it's less of an impatience issue and more of a frustration with the surface-skimming of the characters.

I want to know more about Rosie's murder, of course, but I also want more insight into these people I sit down to watch every Sunday night. Linden and Holder are the only characters who seem well-written at this point; everyone else exists more as a plot device than an individual.

It makes it hard to care, is what I'm saying.


Even the initially effective tones of misery from the Larsens are striking a repetitive note at this point. For all the small, wrenchingly good scenes of mourning (like the moment in Rosie's bedroom when they struggle with the reality of time stealing away their shared memories), we aren't given much of anything else to work with.

Who are Mitch and Stan other than two people grieving the death of their daughter? Their individuality is buried, and we know virtually nothing about their daughter—without depth to the characters, the result of a slow-moving investigation is a mild curiosity on the part of the viewer, rather than an invested, edge-of-the-seat connection. I'm starting to lose that feeling of "Man, I can't wait to see what happens next week!" because I just don't care as much.

Does that even make sense? I HAVE HAD A LOT OF COFFEE. Anyway, on to what we learned in this episode:

• The cops think Bennet's wife did it. Or did something, anyway. First Bennet sheepishly admits that oh, hey, he totally forgot, he DID see Rosie the night of her disappearance, at his house! When she returned a, um ... book! Yeah, that's it! Then there's some lazy-script business with a neighbor who just happened to be conveniently peering at Bennet's house with a powerful telescope that night, and this dude reveals that he saw Bennet and a "smallish type person" (Bennet's wife?) (GWEN?) carrying a wrapped up girl around midnight and bundling her into a black car. So now the detectives think Bennet's wife met Rosie at the door at 10 p.m., flipped out and hurt her in some way, and then dragged her off with Bennet's help around midnight.

• Meanwhile, in the comparatively boring political campaign storyline ... Richmond flounders in the debate by admitting that, yes, the guy heading up his much-lauded all star team is also the main suspect in the murder of Rosie Larsen, but come on, the man is innocent until proven guilty! Right? Anyone? Bueller?

• Stan takes Bennet for a ride. To a farm. Where he'll have lots of room to run and play. At Rosie's wake, Stan's coworker (who my husband totally thinks is the murderer, by the way, theorizing that the guy is helping the family out of guilt and a desire to direct focus elsewhere) tells Stan that the main suspect is Bennet, who is standing right over there. Stan goes over and offers Bennet a ride home, Bennet conveniently forgets his cellphone, and the episode ends with Linden chasing behind them as Stan grimly drives Bennet to ... CERTAIN DOOOOM?

At this point, I'm most interested in what's going on between Mitch's sister and Jasper's shitheel dad. There was a painfully unsubtle moment between them at the wake, then she's off getting hammered and listening to Neko Case's "Hold On, Hold On" in Rosie's bedroom. Could there be any meaning to the song itself?

In the end I was the mean girl

Or somebody's in-between girl
Now it's the devil I love
And that's as funny as real love

As usual, there are more questions than answers in this episode. The biggest question of all: can AMC keep us engaged throughout the next seven episodes? I sure hope so. I'm crossing my fingers they start giving us a little more to hold on to.

What did you think of last night's episode?

Image via AMC

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