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The Killing episode 8 (Stonewalled) – review

Detective Holder in The Killing

Review by Tim Carson

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

We hope you’re keeping up with The Killing, if not don’t read on!

After last week’s dramatic ending with the arrival of the FBI things get off to a slower start this week. Linden and Holder’s search for evidence in the locked room uncovered during their hunt for Muhammad is quickly shut down with the words “terrorist investigation”.

It’s not surprising given the paranoia over the words Muhammad and terrorist in America but it’s frustrating for Linden and for the audience because just as we think we’re getting somewhere the path is shut off.

But one thing we know by now is that Detective Sarah Linden doesn’t give up easily. Having identified clothing and other evidence that the locked room was being used to hold young girls she tries to keep the investigation into Rosie’s death going regardless of the FBI’s trying to shut it down. How credible the FBI’s belief that Rosie was being groomed as a suicide bomber we’ll just have to wait and see.

We do get answers this week about Holder’s junkie background and the mysterious payments he gets in brown envelopes. As is in keeping with the rest of the show we’re initially pointed in one direction – that he’s been leaking case evidence to the press in return for payment – only for the answer to be in completely the opposite direction.

Yes, it turns out he’s a good guy after all – or at least trying to be – as he was a junkie but has been clean for six months. The mysterious contact is actually his sponsor who’s rationing his salary- hence the brown envelopes. Oh and the family Holder visited before wasn’t his wife and kids but his sister and her kids. So is that all clear now?

While this misdirection is clearly an integral part of the show it’s actually starting to get a bit annoying as it lacks a little subtlety. The U-turns are often quickly-handled and with the frequent jump cuts between one scene and another it’s harder to become engrossed in characters and the story. You are just starting to settle into a scene and waiting for it to build into a dramatic moment when we cut away to someone else.

The overall drive of the show is still strong and the gradual reveal of character traits and motivations is compelling it’s just that after eight weeks you wish that every now and again some of the scenes were longer and there were less frequent jumps from one storyline to another.

And talking of other storylines the political battle is starting to get dirty as the idealistic Darren Richmond gets tough – naturally after a traumatic moment in court as his wife’s killer appeals for parole and forgiveness. He releases a damaging story about his opponent having a mistress but almost immediately regrets it. But is the fact that the mayor’s his mistress is clearly a lot younger than him a clue? Or will it turnout to be yet another red herring?

Those questions just like the final revelation that a wire tap on Bennet’s phone has revealed something all just mean the next episode can’t come soon enough.

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

Next: More reviews of The Killing