So the second season of The Killing wrapped up, and while it did a ton of things really well, one thing it did NOT do was set up a third season. The network hasn’t definitively said No to a season three, and there’s still speculation, and of course I’d welcome it, but it’s hard to imagine where it would go.
Salon has a pretty solid piece on the finale, complete with excessive SSS (Standard Salon Snark), but Willa Paskin has this little thingie in there that I really agreed with:
“After two seasons of ‘The Killing,” I am pretty convinced that there is a great show lurking inside of it, but that great show is not a tightly plotted, emotionally affecting crime drama. No, inside “The Killing” lurks a great show about mediocrity, about dogged cops who mean well but are bad at their jobs, adoring parents who love their children but damage them anyway, well-meaning politicians who intend to stay clean but make too many compromises. It’s not a searing indictment of corruption or malfeasance. It’s not a show about flashy, cynical or malignant characters. It’s a methodical drama about being middling, about those people whose very best is not great.”
That, in a nutshell, is what I love about this show. These aren’t great cops. They’re damaged people. These aren’t perfect parents. When the politicians mean well, which isn’t always, their good intentions are likely to be sabotaged by their own weakness. The show works because the characters work.
And that’s where I found the finale unsatisfying. The murder gets resolution, but many of the characters I cared the most about did not. The ultimate revelation of the murderer was profoundly emotionally effective, but obviously this show has only marginally been about the murder and the investigation - it’s why it’s NOT “a 26-hour episode of Law and Order”. It’s been more about the characters, especially in Season Two when so many of our favorites experience profound crises… Maybe just because he’s my favorite (even though I hated him for the first few episodes), I wanted more for Holder - more resolution, more of a sense of arriving somewhere, a sense of how this case transformed him. Even Linden, who ends the show with more of a “I’m ready to move on,” we don’t know if she’s really changed or if she just solved this particular troubling case so she should be fine until the next horrific murder of a young woman lands on her lap…