April 4th, 2011
01:45 PM ET
[Editor's Note: If you haven't watched "The Killing" yet and you want to, beware: Spoilers below!]
AMC's new series “The Killing” kicked off last night and, just like with any premiere, we spent the bulk of the episode getting to know the characters and watching as the season's subplots began to unfold.
This moody, Seattle-based crime thriller centers around the murder of Rosie Larsen, a high school student who is seen briefly at the beginning of the episode as she attempts to flee from an unknown assailant.
Put on your speculatin’ hats, detectives - we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.
Lifting a page from 1995's “Se7en,” the episode opens with a changing of the guard at the Seattle Police Department as homicide detective Sarah Linden finishes up what was to be her last day on the job. She was all set to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area with her fiancé and sullen teenage son.
But while packing up her office, her successor - Stephen Holder, a former narcotics detective with unorthodox investigative techniques – arrives, and while the two don’t clash outright, the brash Holder meets his match in the focused Linden.
An opportunity for Holder to work his first homicide comes when the two answer a call at an area park. The only clues from the crime scene are a bloody sweater and an ATM card belonging to Stanley Larsen, Rosie’s father. A visit to the Larsen home reveals the family had not seen Rosie since leaving for a weekend camping trip. Friends had not seen the girl since a Halloween party at school on Friday evening.
The Larsens are by all appearances a typical middle-class American family – Stan owns a moving and storage company and works hard to provide for his wife Mitch and their three children. Rosie is a good girl with her sights set on attending college out of state after graduation.
When Rosie is eventually found in the trunk of a vehicle hoisted from the bottom of a lake, a check of the license plate reveals the car is registered to the campaign of Darren Richmond, a city councilman locked in a tight race for mayor against the incumbent Lesley Adams.
Although he seems like a decent enough fellow, Richmond is surrounded by drama of his own, including his relationship with campaign manager Gwen Eaton, some as-yet-to-be-revealed mystery surrounding his late wife and the increasing likelihood of a mole within his campaign.
After a round of preliminary interviews, the suspect at the top of the detectives’ list is Rosie’s sometimes-boyfriend Jasper Ames, who has a previous arrest for car theft. The Richmond campaign car Rosie was found in was also reported stolen. Of course this means we can eliminate Jasper from the pool of possible killers. Is he annoying with entitlement issues? Absolutely. Is he going to be a thorn in our side all season? Probably, but he didn’t kill Rosie. We’re on to you, writers!
After Linden’s effort to coax Rosie’s classmates into offering new information fails, Holder relies on his previous experience working undercover and sticks around to do some digging on campus. After plying a couple of girls on the soccer team with marijuana (I told you his techniques were unorthodox!) they tell him that students often sneak off to the school’s basement to “party.”
Holder scores a newbie victory when he discovers what appears to be the original Larsen crime scene in a section of the basement known as “The Cage.” The scene is chilling: Rosie’s crumpled witch’s hat next to a mattress covered in blood-soaked sheets and a bloody handprint on the dingy basement wall. Detective Linden isn’t going anywhere, it seems.
So, who killed Rosie Larsen? The questions are plentiful for what looks to be another winner for AMC. Was Rosie killed as part of an elaborate set-up of the Richmond campaign, or is the murderer someone on the inside? Was it a classmate or is it someone close to the family? Who bought Rosie the expensive shoes found among her belongings, and why didn’t her parents call to check in on her while they were out of town? Let’s speculate in the comments!
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