Posted Monday, April 25, 2011, at 9:12 AM
[Caution: There are spoilers ahead! So ifyou haven't yet watched "Super 8," come back when you have and shareyour thoughts and theories. If you need a refresher, read our write-ups ofepisode three and four .You can also check out AMC's helpfulplot recaps .]
Last night'sepisode of The Killing began as theprevious episode did, with Linden and Holder confronting the suspect(s) who surfacedin the final minutes of the preceding installment. In "A Soundless Echo," thosesuspects were Kris, Jasper, and Sterling, who told the detectives that thevideo filmed in the Cage was not what it seemed Super 8 film that Rosiehad made. (Later, the detectives watch the wordless film and find blurry imagesof a girl on a bike is it Rosie? along with shots of buildings and a flock ofmonarch butterflies. Side note: Holder sure seems to know a lot aboutbutterflies!)but didn't explain what itactually was . In "Super 8," Lindenand Holder go see Bennet Ahmed, the teacher whose incriminating-seeming letterswere found hidden in Rosie's bedroom. He asserts his innocence, repeating whathe'd said to Mitch earlier that Rosie was a special student who had a thirstfor knowledge and sharing with them a moody
But Bennet isn'tcleared just yet. First of all, we know he works with candidate Richmond'sbasketball All-Stars program, and that he had access to Richmond's campaigncars. Even more damaging to his credibility, though, is the fact that hispregnant young wife is a former student of his (played by the former
!) whoserelationship blossomed when Ahmed sent the girl, then a high school senior,long letters urging her to pursue her dreams
just like the ones Linden found inRosie's room. The detectives also catch him out on a pretty big lie: He saidthe flooring company that could have provided him an alibi on the weekend ofRosie's disappearance canceled its planned appointment, but it was actuallyBennet who canceled it. Linden and Holder find a bunch of plastic sheeting andsuspicious-looking chemicals in his house, including a jug of ammoniumhydroxide. A lab tech later finds the chemical all over Rosie's body and insideher lungs; he explains that it could have been used to erase any traces of asexual assault.
Last week,Alan Sepinwall at HitFix
that the show might be falling into a linear, narrative rut: "pick a suspect,alibi him out, pick a new suspect, alibi him out." But while I still worryabout the show being stuffed with too many fake-outs
a move I'll dub theBlow-Up Doll, in honor of the pilot's corpse-that-wasn't-a-corpse
it does seemlike all the main suspects' stories are filling out and getting weirder; no one'sbeen definitively ruled out yet. In fact, I'm beginning to feel the tinglingsof a conspiracy theory. Is Rosie's Super 8 film somehow connected to Kris,Jasper, and Sterling's cell phone video? We also know that Gwen has some (ahem)familiarity with video production herself
or at the very least, with a hotshotdirector. It's also been revealed that Gwen used to work for Councilwoman
Yitanes, who was busted last nightas being behind the Richmond campaign leak. The political plotline stilldoesn't feel very integrated with the rest of the story yet, but I'm willing togive it a bit more time now that we've know Richmond and Bennet are buds.
This week, Ifully agree with the commenters who've been expressing frustration at thegrieving parents storylineit's a bit much to watch Mitch fall apart at thesight of a cereal called "Bits n' Pieces." (Couldn't it just have been, I don'tknow, generic Cheerios?) Though the moment when Mitch freaks out and shouts ather son, Denny, to get out of the tub was nicely creepy I think we're going toget something explosive from her soon. And while Stan's bathroom breakdown felta bit showy, it did set a potentially exciting plotline in motion, as Stan toldBelko to have his friend a groundskeeper at Fort Washington start nosing aroundthe school investigation. Last week I predicted that Stan, who has a shadycriminal past, was being set up for some kind of vigilante action. Bennet Ahmedmight want to keep his eyes open.
Personally, I'llbe happy to have some more active, forward plot motion that doesn't have to do directlywith the fact-finding investigation. I really like the mystery aspect of The Killing , but when a show is all about clue-sniffing, each episodereally stands or falls on how satisfying the revelations are. I keep thinkingabout Veronica Mars , which somecommenters have brought up as a comparison. Each season of that show was builtaround a single, central mystery, but there was so much else going on at thesame timeromances, family drama, quotable zingers. I rewatch Veronica Mars all the time, even thoughI know who killed Lily Kane. I wonder: After we learn the identity of Rosie'skiller(s), will repeat viewings of TheKilling still be enjoyable?
Holder'splotline seems to be opening up, as wellwhich is welcome news, since Joel Kinnamanis my favorite thing about the show. At one point outside the policestation, Linden watches as Holder takes an envelope from a man in a car; Holdertells her it's his blackjack winnings. At the very end of the episode, we watchas Holder puts an envelope in a mailbox on a suburban street; inside the house,we can see a woman and two kids. It looked like he was kissing his fingersafter he did it. Is that Holder's secret family inside? Last week, commentersspeculated about Holder's own drug past (during his interrogation, Jasper thetweaker seemed to finger Holder as a fellow addict) maybe that's why he can'tbe with them. It would certainly help explain why he's been celibate for sixmonths, if he's staying faithful to a wife he still loves.
Lastquestion, which may be neither here nor there: What's up with the mayor? Is he really the kind of hateful guy whowould disparage his opponent's "Rainbow coalition" of "blacks, fruits, whores,and drug addicts," or was he just baiting Jamie?
Photograph of Brandon Jay McLaren as Bennet Ahmed by James Dittiger.