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The Killing episode 3 (El Diablo) - review

The Killing

Review by Tim Carson

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

The third episode of the dark and brooding crime series didn’t break any new ground from the first two.

It continued in the seemingly relentless Seattle rain at a pace not often seen in US crime drama. Slow and patient like the lead detective on the case Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and lacking a little of the get-up-and-go of her new partner Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman).

But that’s no criticism as the brooding atmosphere suits the dark nature of the crime and the pain it brings, highlighted by the very unflinching portrait of the murdered girl’s family and their attempts to cope with the tragedy. Rosie Larsen’s father Stan (Brent Sexton), her mother Mitch (Michelle Forbes) and her two young brothers are all feeling her loss and trying to cope in their own ways, but the scenes involving them are painful and hard to watch. It makes the drama all the more powerful and real.

Meanwhile, the hunt for Rosie’s killer or killers takes a powerful leap forward as Linden and Holder get a lead on a suspect – hunting down the school caretaker who’s got his own spyhole into “The Cage” discovered beneath the school in episode two. While far from innocent he eventually points the detectives in the direction of one of the early suspects – rich kid Jasper Ames and now his ‘friend’ Kris Echols.

It seems that Rosie’s killers may well have been linked to her high school love life and there is some damning evidence. It’s here that The Killing most resembles Twin Peaks with suspicion for the death of a teenager centring on pupils at her high school in much the same way Laura Palmer’s death initially seemed linked to some of the more rebellious elements of her school. But we know (or at least you should) how that turned out.

It’s likely that although the evidence against the two boys is strong, that there’s more to the murder than that. Given that Rosie’s body was found in the boot of a car belonging to the mayoral campaign of councilman Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) and that he’s involved in a bitter battle for the office it seems certain that this will factor into the killing.

The press is already on his back and there is infighting and betrayal within his own camp that forces him to break with his idealistic campaign and hatch a pragmatic deal. It feels like there is more to come from this thread of the plot and that somehow it’s going to factor into Rosie’s death.

With plenty of strands and loose threads The Killing feels like it’s just getting going and unfortunately for Detective Linden it’s not going to be wrapped up by the weekend so she can get on that plane to California.

We’re just starting and already there’s plenty to love about the show. The characters and strong and intriguing – whether that’s the composed and silent Detective Linden or the stoic Stan Larsen – and we’re only just starting to get to know them. There are plenty suspects, lots of unanswered questions and a great sense of foreboding. The Killing is definitely a show that’s worth immersing yourself in.

The Killing is on Channel 4 on Thursday nights from 9pm..

Next: The Killing episodes 1 and 2 review