Two weeks ago I started to write an article entitled "The Killing Has Got to Go" - but I never finished it, which is a good thing because it has won me over, yet again. Seriously, I've never been so conflicted about whether or not I like a show and want to keep watching it. Usually it's pretty obvious to me, or I put an okay show in my "backup" file and watch it when bored and have nothing else (I've got hooked on some of these types, like the sitcom "Happy Endings").
I've always stood by The Killing because of its two lead characters, Linden and Holder, and the actors who play them, Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman. I like watching them. I like how they interact, their manners of speaking, their facial expressions, etc. Last season, I was won over by the episode that only featured the two of them, on a road trip to find her runaway son.
I don't care about Rosie Larsen. Or the Larsens in general (the living ones). The only exception might be watching mamma Larsen from time to time, just because the actress who plays her is strong. But the rest of them can go. And the governor shouldn't have survived the gunshot. Because I can't stand his scenes or story lines. Why is he there at all?
OK OK I'm back on my hating The Killing track, which is off where I am now wanting to go, which is to liking The Killing and enjoying these last episodes.
Enos's performance this past Sunday was stunning. And I actually got chills when Holder comforts her at the airport after she puts her son on a plane to get as far from her and danger as possible. How he stands behind her, the action shot close to their upper bodies, the details of what's happening a bit unclear, but we know: he wants to touch her, make her feel better. And she needs to be touched. They're starting to have a real Mulder-Scully thing going. There's obvious sexual tension, they care deeply for each other, but any fulfillment of sexual or romantic desire is so obviously a recipe for disaster. So it ain't going to happen, or shouldn't. And then maybe in the last minute of the last episode, there's a look that suggests, "This might just happen."
There was also the realization that they're equally insanely involved in their detective work, even if they're not really that good at it. (A for Effort, I suppose.) Their sons need them, but they choose their jobs over spending quality time with them. Either they're addicted to the criminal world or they're afraid to fail as parents. It's probably a mixture of both, which Kinnaman and Enos display perfectly.
We finally see that there's great risk in their line of work. She's constantly afraid for her son (which is why he finally left) and he was beaten to a pulp, on the verge of death. Enos's frantic search for him was acted out in a beautifully intense and dedicated performance. Kinnaman's was a bit underplayed, but just as strong. I loved his final look when it becomes clear that Linden is, uncontrollably and dangerously, "all in," now willing to sacrifice anything to advance the murder case. It seems like it should have been like this from the start, beginning just a few episodes into the first season. But The Killing has taken its time to get real intensity out of its detectives.
If the show somehow found a way to replace the governor's subplot or make it more interesting, as well as bring mamma Larsen back in a thrilling way, it could just perhaps become a good show. Because it seems to have Linden and Holder pretty figured out.