Monday, May 16, 2011

Review - The Killing Season 1 Episode 8 Stonewalled

After watching "Stonewalled," I though to myself: "What is The Killing about?" What a show is about, after all, establishes the baseline for what is actually important and what makes a show worth watching. There is an obvious answer out there--"it's about a killing, of course!"--but that doesn't seem to fit with everything we see on screen.

The biggest thing that sticks out is the Richmond campaign. Aside from its connection to Bennet and the campaign car, the plot has run its own track, following Richmond and his advisors in the mayoral race against Adams. There is yet to be concrete sign that any of this is related to Rosie's death, but the plot is still a huge part of the show. Eight episodes into a 13-episode seaosn, why have the writers not revealed the connection? If the the show was about a killing, wouldn't they let us know already that it is important?

Another thing that's been on my mind is Rosie's past acquaintances who showed up in the first few episodes. We see how the Larsons are dealing with Rosie's death, but what about Sterling, who was supposed to be Rosie's best friend? Jasper? Were they just characters to initially move the plot along, or do they have other roles?

It is understandable that the show would focus more on the Larsens. Family always takes precedence over friends, but in terms of screen time, it is getting a bit much. While Michelle Forbes is as good as ever, it's kind of the same stuff. Mitch is slipping and almost gets her two kids killed. She can't/refuses to look ahead, and instead clings to a past she knows she'll never had. But I do wonder why its relative importance seems to be so high when nothing is really going on.

When I look at these things, they don't seem to fit together either as a coherent plot or theme. There is an underlying sadness which permeates everything, but it's not a substantial force. So, at the end of the day, I don't really know what part of The Killing is relevant.

These concerns are probably not too important, though, as one can appreciate a show even if there are numerous unanswered questions. "Stonewalled" handles the Holder-Linden relationship and resolves the problems they've been having. The bald guy turns out to be Holder's sponsor, so he's not up to anything (unless he has more secrets). After all is said and done, they each have a better understanding of each other and we should see much more cooperation in the future.

The Richmond campaign took a turn this week, as Richmond, after listening to his wife's killer (it was only drunk driving, contrary to previous implications), blows a gasket and decides to go negative, leaking to the public that Adams has been paying to keep a mistress quiet. We get to see a darker side of Richmond, in contrast to the weak man Jaime describes. This may or may not be related to Rosie's murder, but it is a definite turning point in both the campaign and Richmond's character.

As far as the salient points of the murder investigation go, there is heavy implication at the end of the episode that Bennet is involved with terrorism. The FBI is all over the place, and Bennet's wife hears him in a phone call talking about passports and the police. Luckily, Holder had the foresight to put a wiretap on Bennet. Is this another mislead? Probably, but we have to get through all these to reach the real murderer.

Score: 8.7/10
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