So about that 'Killing' finale...
June 21st, 2011
09:56 AM ET

So about that 'Killing' finale...

Remember the days of season one, when Rosie Larsen’s murder appeared to be nothing more than a student-teacher relationship gone awry? Well, forget all that because Sunday's finale left us ensnared in a tangle of plot twists that will likely send even the most seasoned armchair detectives back to the drawing board.

We began with Linden confronting Richmond over his use of the screen name “Orpheus.” He, in turn, gave her a lesson in Greek mythology before she escaped the apartment unscathed and went to work trying to tie him to Rosie’s murder.

The detectives took another look at the campaign car and discovered gas tank and odometer discrepancies that conflicted with the councilman's alibi for the night of the killing.

Meanwhile, Richmond publicly denounced allegations that he was responsible for a string of affairs – all with fair-skinned brunettes – and told Gwen he’d made mistakes after Lilly died. Who leaked the surveillance photos to the press remained a mystery.

At Richmond's request, Jamie later attempted to comfort Gwen, who was feeling doubly burned after a run-in with one of Richmond’s former lovers. Jamie asked Richmond if he had any skeletons he needed to know about. Richmond creepily sipped his scotch and told him not to worry.

The fuel and mileage discrepancies continued to gnaw at Holder. After a bunch of math and considerable brow-furrowing over a map of the area, the detectives ended up at a remote gas station straight out of the Hollywood Creepy Old Service Station set factory. The curmudgeonly attendant told the detectives he remembered a black sedan and a screaming girl on the night of the murder. (Way to report that, boss.)

The gas station was only a few miles from the crime scene and a canvas of the area turned up Rosie's other shoe. Linden struggled with the what-ifs of the situation – whether Rosie would still be alive if she’d simply done this or that.

Linden later returned to Richmond’s apartment and accused him of killing Rosie. Though enraged, he maintained his innocence. Cut to Gwen, hiding out in a broom closet looking panic stricken as she listened on. Remember my theory from last week? Bag it. Swap Gwen for Jamie and add a dash of scorned woman with the desire to win the election at any cost. Gwen’s panic wasn’t over her relationship with a potential killer, but the sound of law enforcement circling the wagons.

Gwen went into Cover Your Ass mode and caught Linden outside of Richmond's place where she proceeded to throw him under the bus. She told Linden that on the night of the murder, Richmond left her in the middle of the night and returned soaking wet hours later. She also gave Linden the disc containing the video of Rosie shaking hands with Richmond at the campaign event. And with that, the set-up began.

Holder later surfaced with photos of Richmond behind the wheel of a dark sedan on the night of the murder and the lieutenant gave the detectives the go ahead to arrest him. And arrest him they did, right in the middle of a campaign rally.

But what about the Larsens? Television’s saddest family continued their pitiful trek through the stages of grief. Terry bailed Stan out of jail, but he elected not to return home in light of the tense jailhouse conversation he had with Mitch in last week’s episode.

Although they later reconciled, Mitch chose to leave home anyway, citing her response to Rosie’s death and the negative effect it had on the family. I’m holding out hope they eventually relocate to the little house Stan bought before Rosie died.

Terry attempted to console Belko after Mitch fired him and apologized for telling him that he wasn’t a part of their family. He responded by saying that it didn’t matter as Rosie’s death had torn the family apart.

Later, during Royce Family Bath Night, Belko went about cleaning his gun to the soundtrack of Richmond’s arrest on the evening news while his mother luxuriated in a bathtub full of Jean Nate and bellowed for him to bring her a towel. Boundaries, this family lacks them.

So! Cliffhanger time! Belko was in the crowd as Richmond was presumably released on bail and raised his gun to fire on the man he saw as responsible for destroying the closest thing to a family he’d ever had. We’ll have to wait until next season to find out whether Richmond is hit or the assassination attempt is thwarted.

Finally, under the impression that the Larsen case was well on its way to being closed, Linden and Jack finally boarded that plane to California. Right before takeoff, Linden received a call from highway patrol informing her that the tollbooth cameras – you know, the ones Holder claimed had taken the pictures of Richmond – hadn’t been working for months.

Holder, meanwhile, got into a car driven by an unknown person and told them “the photos worked” and that Richmond was going down. SQUEAL! Who is Holder in cahoots with – Adams? Drexler? Gwen? How deeply involved is he in the set-up? What does he stand to gain?

So that's it! We’ve got lots of exciting details to obsess over until season 2 begins. What did you think of the finale?

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Filed under: television • The Killing • TV recaps

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. check out sol yours truly on

    Wow, wonderful weblog format! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you made blogging glance easy. The entire glance of your web site is fantastic, let alone the content material!

    March 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dee

    ok, so I was not happy to not find out who the killer is. I however do not believe it is Richmond. I truly believe it is that creepy guy who gave him 5 million dollars. Ya know, the one who had teens swimming in the pool above Jamies' head. Do I believe that Richmond is creepy? Yes. But a killer? no!

    July 5, 2011 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. igoreli

    If the director whould cut some rare bad scenes (which are unrealistic – including one in the hospital), it would be perfect series. It's poetic and slow like a rainy day. And the finale was good.

    June 27, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. Elephant Robot

    The problem with the finale has nothing to do with the fact that the killer wasn't exposed (although... come on), but more to do with the fact that the show – far from being "non-tradiitonal cop fare," is becoming pulpy cliché.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. Stolen Kisses

    I have calmed down a great deal since my explosion Sunday night, but alas still have feelings of being used. While VS did tell us that this was not going to be your run of the mill cop show, I still feel as a viewer I was struggling to watch every week what was a convoluted parade of mismatched personalities and events with dangling evidence thrown in there for added enjoyment/confusion. People have asked the question of those like myself why did we stick around? Simply because we were waiting and waiting for the writing and plot and development to happen (just like it had so wonderfully in the pilot and E1) , sort of like a child perhaps looks around for that still unopened box left under the Christmas tree. I WANTED this to come together so badly because there were so many good theories out there based on the fragments and character clues we THOUGHT WE KNEW ( and those we artfully meshed together in our own minds – kudos to Matt over at the AMC site) that we were loyal with good intentions. Is that so hard to understand? Well, at the end , everyone got the rug pulled out from under them again by our friendly showrunner, and some of us are probably choosing to leave the room.
    I am not angry anymore, like Mitch I am overwhelmed and melancholy....and I NEED to get away from this feeling of being deceived. Will I be back? Well, Rosie IS dead, that much I know for sure. Maybe that will be enough for me as I travel further and further away from my memories of The Killing. Honestly, right now I think my gut is telling me to run also but they say time heals all wounds. I could be setting myself up for another round of creme pies heading straight for my wide eyed (and deserving) face.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tomas

    Will not be returning to this next season. Thanks for nothing, AMC. And to think it started so promising.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ab

    The entire season was frustrating with a lot of bumps along the plot. I lost interest in it midway through just because of the constant red herrings and the ridiculous set-ups: Rosie's friend wears her wig and has a nose bleed, African girl has the same shirt, Bennet has questionable history with students, Rosie has to return a damn book in the middle of the night...and so on. But the episode wear Linden and Holder are looking for her kid drug me back in. I finally cared for a couple characters and finally there was some character development beyond the shallow politics of the mayoral race. But the finale destroyed it for me. Maybe my fault for actually believing we'd find out "who killed Rosie Larson" but it felt incredibly cheap like soooooo many of the previous setups. I doubt I'll watch the next season.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. mags

    So...who is your best guess for the killer?

    June 21, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. steve

    the show did dip midway through.holder's been great all season and the thought of him being vulnerable to corruption doesn't seem far fetched. the conclusion was a bit out of leftfield but i loved it and the season.

    June 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Alexandra

    So, not the ending of the Danish version. Yuck. I stopped watching after four episodes. Cannot stand the slow rhythm. A real waste of time. Viewers would do better reading a good book.

    June 21, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lee

    The hype before the finale said it would be "bone chillling." Evidently they meant the finale would leave you cold. It certainly did for me. I won't be back next season.

    June 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ab

      When she sat in the plane, I seriously thought "oh God, her phone is gonna ring." Then it rang and I thought "oh God, it's not gonna be the councilman." I'm guessing a lot of people felt the same way. I think I'm done.

      June 22, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. Name

    I really enjoyed it too. Am looking forward to next season.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. romaoo

    I guess i'm the odd man out. I loved the show, could'nt wait for it to come on every week. The ending was definitely a let down, but still interesting. I also thought Holder was very creepy, especially in the beginning. Now I'm dying to know who he was with. I also wonder who really killed Rosy, because Im not convinced it was Richmond. I really did want her murderer to be revealed at the end. I dont like waiting to next season but I will watching it.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee Anne

      I agree with you. I thought it was full of suspense and plot twists every week. I thought they would reveal the killer at the end also but I was delighted with this "what a cliffhanger!" finale. I wasn't even aware there'd be another season, I thought it was a miniseries so I love the anticipation. Now, the scene with Bennetts wife and Stan? I agree with everyone else-it was cheesy and uncalled for.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bryan

    Not the best season finale ever, but it is up there...for me. Other people are just impatient.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeanine

    Very disappointed!

    June 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Anonymous

    Terrible! AMC lead us to believe this show was going to solve a murder in 12 episodes. I won't be watching season 2. I guess if the writers ever decide to allow the murder to be solved (in season 2 or maybe they have plans to drag this out like "Lost") it will be posted online somewhere and I can just read who did it. I won't be wasting anymore of my time watching the show.

    June 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  17. HH

    It's ridiculous that Holder would be able to provide fake pictures at the toll booth of Richmond without anyone questioning it. Really? Come the toll booth employees don't know about the murder not to mention it would come out in the courts (if not before) that the pics were fake. Stupid.

    June 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Andre

    I watched the whole season – I will not waste my time on another season. We are no further along now than when the season began – just another "X-Files" or "Twin Peaks" type of show that will string us along with no closure. It is too bad – I really liked the show at the beginning.

    June 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Spencer

    It is called 'The Killing' not 'The Killings' so, if you aren't interested in the characters and you want a murder solved in a one-hour show just watch an episode of Dateline. I think the show is entertaining, which is what it is all about, right?

    June 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andre

      I disagree – the show would have been just as interesting if they had solved this murder and moved on to a new one next season.

      June 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • jackcameron

      It may be called 'The Killing' but 'The Wire' wasn't called 'The Wires' and still managed to be about more than one case.

      June 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Laurie

    I too didnt get the scene with Bennet's wife and Stan. She would HAVE to know him! Other than that, I was excited by the ending? I always thought Holder was a little creepy. They tried to show a softer side, but definitely a dark side to him. I am anxious to see what lies ahead. Does Linden go to CA? Does she jump up and demand to deboard?.....

    June 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  21. jackcameron

    I think it was pretty clear that the scene with Holder in the car and the scene with Linden in the airplane were probably shot after they found out they were renewed for a second season. Without those two scenes, the case is over. This way, they can continue it in Season 2. It's unfortunate because I would have been just as interested in a new murder in Season 2 rather than going the Twin Peaks route.

    June 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Fabio

    I can't believe it's not butter

    June 21, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  23. Kari

    @Techo Viking: Perhaps we have been told...perhaps it is Richmond...perhaps season 2 will deal with knowing who the killer is and watching him get away with it?

    June 21, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  24. be quiet

    The season finale was such a let down. I didn't miss an episode all season and thought for sure they would end things the right way. Not only was there no reveal, but then they throw in a last second assassination attempt on Richmond. Like that's enough of a cliffhanger to compensate for not revealing the killer?

    Each season should be contained in itself. The viewers would come back for season 2 to start fresh on a new case. The way it stands now, the viewers will forget key plot points and clues during the down time – which will make the ultimate reveal pack far less of a punch.

    June 21, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  25. Kari

    This is the first recap I've read (out of at least a dozen) which makes sense to me – kudos. One thing that bugs me and that I've yet to see anyone mention is the fact that Gwen, as Richmond's lover, does not have the same features as all his other women (dark haired, blah blah). Is this an oversight in the casting/storyline or does it have more meaning (perhaps showing how little Richmond actually cares for her?)?

    June 21, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • neato

      Maybe Richmond is with Gwen because her dad is a politician?

      June 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • lolo

      I said the same thing last night! I assume it was an intentional casting decision. We shall see!

      June 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      I'm thinking that Gwen was his try at moving on. When he couldn't do that he chose Rosie. However it makes you wonder what his dead wife looked like. I don't remember ever actually seeing her.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  26. George

    It was awful. Anyone who thinks otherwise either wasn't paying attention or has low standards. To me, the scene that sums up the mind boggling stupidity of the show is the scene at the hospital between Rosie's dad and Bennett's wife. It's a scene that does nothing to move the plot forward in anyway. It's totally unnecessary. And it's also totally implausible. Here is the man who beat her husband half to death who is the father of a high profile murder victim, and she doesn't recognize him? It's so ridiculous and insulting to the intelligence of viewers.

    June 21, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • lolo

      i am a huge fan of the killing and i thought the finale was great. however, the one scene that did drive me insane is the one you mentioned! there is no way rosie's dad would have been allowed anywhere near bennet in the hospital! and for bennet's wife to not recognize him, i agree again, was absurd.

      June 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Techo Viking

    Worst ending to a season ever. I'm beyond disgusted with this show. It started great then started to decline in the middle of the season. To throw that many plot twists at us in the last 5 minutes is ridiculous. AMC led us to believe we would find out who killed Rosie this year(yeah, they may not have explicitly said it, but they implied it), but yet it was a bait and switch to set up season 2. There are more questions now than there were early in the season. The show is a hot steaming pile of confusion. They should have solved the murder and moved onto another murder in season 2. I'm done with this show and embarrassed to have recommended it to friends.

    June 21, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  28. jalisa

    Me Too! Even my cat likes it!

    June 21, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  29. Bob

    Brilliant conclusion. I had assumed that the season would end with the killer exposed. Not so fast my friend. Can't wait until next year.

    June 21, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Adeles big butt

      Shame the last episode didnt end with a mass suicide by the cast and crew.

      June 21, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |

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