Monday, November 28, 2011

TV Series - When "The Killing" Kills You & a Dubious Filipino Connection

In the bleak woodlands, beautiful Rosie Larsen flees for her life while someone pursues her in unfettered demeanor. The chase gets frenetic, then the scene is cut showing homicide detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) as she spends her last few hours in Seattle. She looks forward to a new life in San Diego where her fiancĂ© has moved. Back at work, she meets former narc agent Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) who’s joining the homicide division. She’s cleaning house, taking the last vestiges of her Washington memories, while the latter moves in.

We are then ushered into the lives of the people around Rosie’s bleak community: her loving parents, her bestfriend; her mean, influential and complicit boyfriend Jasper (Richard Harmon); and Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell), a charming and soft spoken councilman who’s running for Mayor in Seattle. Within 24 hours, Sarah and Stephen follow the track that leads to Rosie’s dead body – inside the trunk of the popular council president’s campaign car, submerged under the river! Was the affable politician connected to her disappearance? He seems to be covering clues. Or is it Jasper? Holder has also uncovered a blood bespattered basement that reeks of carnage and violence.

Then there’s Mitch and Stanley Larsen (Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton, respectively), Rosie’s parents. They last saw Rosie that Friday morning before she left for school. She was going to stay over her friend’s house for the weekend so they didn’t worry until Rosie’s absence from class was reported. Their marital relationship is depicted in tender moments, thus we’re taken into their lives like concerned neighbors. “I will find my baby,” declares Stanley, but what he eventually learns does not prepare him. The scene at the beach where they tell Rosie’s young brothers of how Rosie’s “Gone to heaven…like Grandma” is nothing short of heart breaking.

The narrative is well paced and compelling, you find yourself hooked to Linden and Holder’s investigation. There’s a sense of subtle urgency and understated pathos that’s hard to shake, you’re pulled into this dreary and cold, grey world that’s deceptively addictive. The series has been compared to the allure of “Twin Peaks”, what with its atmosphere of constant dread and desolation. That it is an adaptation of a Scandinavian mystery series is a risky proposition, but the production succeeds in bringing on something equally absorbing. Will Sarah be able to leave a case unresolved? Will Richmond unravel his secretive ways? Will the Larsens find their baby girl’s justice?


There's a dubious plot in episode 3 involving the discovery of the basement lot where kids "party". This leads them to the school janitor named Rosales. When Linden and Holder visit him home, an elder lady opens the door for them. When asked if they could speak with Rosales, the lady replied, "No here". When they came inside, she surprisingly muttered, "Wala!" I thought i was mishearing things. The lady after all doesn't look Filipina, but she followed this with "Wala dito!" (Not here.) The janitor turned out to be inside the house. When they found him, he was already unconscious after jumping from his 2nd floor window. He has indeed seen things. Funny thing is, he looks latino more than Filipino. Later that night, Linden visited Rosales at the ICU, post-op. She shows him a photo of Rosie. "Did you see whom she was with?" Rosales shouted, "El Diablo!" Nope, he sure isn't Filipino. If the woman were indeed Pinay, they she would undoubtedly speak English, instead of the moronic drivel of "No here!" But how is the janitor related to the non-Pinoy looking old woman who spoke Tagalog? Search me.

In the succeeding episodes, plot thickens when seemingly innocent characters gradually turn to have connections to the murder: Rosie's childhood friend Chris, the Somalian high school teacher, the teacher's young wife, and that uncomfortable undercurrent involving Stanley (Rosie's dad). Suspense lays on thick.

It kills me.

Mireille Enos as Detective Sarah Linden. She's leaving town, but gets her last case.

Agent Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) moves to homicide.

Charming councilman Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) is keeping secrets. Does it have anything to do with Rosie's death?

Linden and Holder make an intriguing pair.

Finding something inside a submerged car.

Detective Stephen Holder

What does a mother and a father do?

Mireille Enos

Joel Kinnaman (above and below)

Richard Harmon

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