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The Killing episode 9 (Undertow) - review

Det Sarah Linden in The Killing

Review by Tim Carson

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

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A gripping, exciting but also on one level a disappointing episode. Given all that’s gone before and the heavy use of misdirection and red herrings in The Killing it would seem to suggest that the most obvious suspect isn’t actually the killer.

At the start of episode 9 Bennet Ahmed and his mysterious friend Muhammad are clearly the most obvious suspects. Even top cop Det Sarah Linden is convinced that they are the killers and is plotting to have Bennet arrested.

But on the evidence we’ve seen so far as to how the show works it’s less clear-cut that they are the killers, and even at the start of the episode I’d have said it was highly unlikely. By the end of the episode it seems pretty clear that they didn’t kill Rosie – they did have something to hide but it wasn’t her murder.

Most of the circumstantial evidence unravels with Rosie’s mother finding the T-shirt she had previously identified as the one in evidence and the reason Bennet and Muhammad needed passports revealed. The girl they’d been involved with and the reason she was kept in the butcher’s room was to help her escape her family – or so it seems for now.

Bennet looks like he is going to pay the ultimate price for rumour and suspicion – a theme that comes out strongly in this episode. When he gets up in front of his class and says that “false rumours” have been spreading about him he is facing down the worst of them as some of his pupils have written “killer” on the blackboard. They believe he did it, the teachers believe he did it, the press believe he did it, the police believe he did it and so do Rosie’s parents.

When he isn’t arrested as Linden had promised Rosie’s mum Mitch cranks up her anger and blames Stan for letting him go the first time. He sets out to make amends and take “justice” into his own hands, kidnapping and then beating Bennet quite possibly to death.

What’s great and exciting about The Killing is the fact that the main plot of discovering who killed Rosie as almost secondary as the show seems more interested in the impact of that death on everyone connected with it. Rumour and suspicion abound and while everyone has secrets – from the mayor’s fling to Holder’s drug addiction – not everyone has committed murder.

The results of rumour and the damage it can do are seen across the city. The Somali community are subjected to attacks because for rumours that the FBI are investigating them for terrorist links, the Mayor is under attack due to rumours he’s been having an affair and, of course, Bennet is beaten to a pulp by Stan because of the rumour he killed Rosie.

Some of the rumours are true – for example we know the Mayor has been having an affair as he admits it to one of his aides – but we don’t know for sure which of the others are.

What is disappointing is that the exactly the inverse of that in that the main plot feels secondary and is not gripping or convincing enough. It still has plenty to recommend it and maybe the main plot will prove to have been accurate all along – and with just four episodes to go we’ll soon find out.

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

Next: More reviews of The Killing