It’s raining in Seattle…again.
After cancellation and revival, Season 3 has arrived. We’re back to the Northwest where we reconnect with Veena Sud’s cold, dark, and damp world, this time with many more horrible crimes – multiple teenage murder victims. By the end of the 2 hour premiere, Linden and Holder are nearly back in place to work together on these cases. They seem connected to a case referenced in Season 2, and Linden may have helped to convict the wrong person.
Matching the consistent damp, grey tone of the series, Season 3’s crimes come from a victim pool of dirty pale wet kids, runaways in the rain. It appears that the girls who are ‘working’ get into cars and are murdered in the same way as the victim in Linden’s previous case. Holden reaches out to Linden due to this similarity, who is not a police officer anymore.
The biggest challenge, going into season 3 was to position Linden and Holder back together, into crime-solving mode. Linden had seemingly put an end to her career as a detective as she left Holder, walking out of the car at the conclusion of Season 2. With some psychological issues, an obsession about a previous case (the one related to Season 3), and some serious family issues, she had had enough. Or had she?
Season 3 depicts her, in beautifully efficient fashion, as a complacent ferry traffic worker, living a less complicated life. In one powerful shot we see that she is in a relationship with another complacent ferry traffic worker. Though she seems grounded and happy, we know – because we know the series and we know Linden – that this won’t last long. Linden eventually digs into the case and, in addition to discovering a connection to her previous case, ends up finding a whole lot more.
The series does manage to successively reboot itself, primarily because of the efforts made toward selling us on Linden’s obsession with this case, and the intriguing aspects of the cases themselves. However, to this point, “The Killing” is only set up as a serial crime mystery – serial as in 12 episodes. One of the achievements of the first season was its ability to intertwine the victim’s family into the case, so we experienced their grief as well as learned details about the victim and her family. This produced some deeply dark moments as we saw the family grieve, however it was relevant since the family remained connected to the case. I hope season 3 similarly inserts some additional connected characters. It does seem to be working on this already, however, Peter Sarsgaard’s character is the only one so far that really makes an impact. The runaway scenes, to this point, come off a bit like an afterschool special warning us of the real world dangers of living on the streets. But I do give credit to the series for being realistic and showing these dangers in full force, for example, with the rape scene.
Like everyone, I had expected a crime serial, with Linden and Holder on the case. So, with that set in place, what are “The Killing’s” current assets? Talented writing and revealing of case developments in creative fashion, ‘Rosie Dawson style’ (Season 1/2). Depiction of the continued character growth / struggles of Linden and Holder, with great performances from Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman. The addition of the intriguing / disturbing Ray Seward, played by Peter Sarsgaard.
Will that be enough to keep this season of the series in the ‘very good,’ sometimes ‘great’ zone? Personally I don’t think so, but we’ll see what else develops. What do you think?
Final Note: I’m so very glad to see that Linden’s son Jack lives in Chicago; it was difficult to root for her as we watched her be such a horrible mother in Season 2.