Episode 12 of "The Killing": "Beau Soleil"

Slate's Culture Blog
June 13 2011 9:51 AM

Episode 12 of "The Killing": "Beau Soleil"

[Caution:  There are spoilers ahead!  So ifyou haven't yet watched "Beau Soleil," come back when you have and shareyour thoughts and theories. If you need a refresher, read our write-ups ofepisode  threefourfivesixseveneight , nine ,and eleven .You can also check out AMC's  helpfulplot recaps .]

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No, no, no, no, no. That's about all I have to say aboutthat.

I'm sure that last night's Big Twist will turn out to be theseason's big red herring. And I know that I've complained aboutthe fact that the campaign storyline feels thoroughly disconnected from themurder investigation. But teasing Richmond as the killer, or even as a simple sickowho likes to patronize high-end escorts, just destroys our faith that the showtakes anything it's built up aboutits characters seriously. Next Sunday, when it's revealed that Richmond was justhiring Beau Soleil girls that look like his dead wife (we know from the photos inhis apartment that she's dark-haired, like "Celine," and like Rosie, for thatmatter) so that he could work out some of his deep-seated emotional issuesabout her passing (Get it? Orpheus ?Get it?), it'll still be annoying,because the writers assumed that we'd give the theory some credence that we'dbe willing to accept a conclusion that completely obliterated, in anuninteresting way, all that had come before.

(I've asked this before, but do we know for sure how Richmond's wife died? Didn't a reporter once note that Rosie's death seemed a lot like Richmond's wife? If so, "Orpheus"'s behavior makes sense, in a creepy-but-not-killery sort of way.)

According to last night's commercials, next week's seasonfinale features a final five minutes "so shocking," we'll be "talking about itall summer." I imagine I'll be too busy gritting my teeth to talk much. At thispoint, I don't know if there's a single character whose confession would make for asatisfying season capper. I keep thinking back to the excellent first season of Veronica Mars , which was also builtaround a season-long murder investigation. The big revelation at the end wassoapy and ludicrous, but because the show had spent so much of its energy up tothat point developing the characters and their relationships including those of the murder victim, Lily Kane there wasn't so much riding on the final twist. Butdespite lastweek's welcome departure , The Killing hasn't made character elaboration a priority, and I fear that failure's goingto be glaringly obvious next Sunday.

For what it's worth, my money's still on Terry being involved somehow.

Some random observations:

- Linden sure does like her BattlestarGalactica alums Helo Agathon is Jack'sdad! I'm guessing that by hiring Tahmoh Penikett, who's not a huge name but did recentlystar on a high-profileshow , the writers plan to bring Greg back around next season.

- Seriously, is Linden a terrible detective ?She's going to smoke out the bad guy by ... flooding his inbox?

- Drexler is a pain in the ass (and a supremely irritatingcharacter), but he does have striking taste in indoor pool design.

- When all else fails, plant an Indian burial ground underyour opponent's big civic infrastructure project! Works every time. Them Indians don't play.

Photograph of Gwen Eaton (Kristin Lehman) and Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) by Carole Segal/AMC.

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