The Killing Season 2 Finale Recap: Who Killed Rosie Larsen? Well…

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It's Official: The Killing to Return for Season 3 — With New, Self-Contained Mystery
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It's Official: The Killing to Return for Season 3 — With New, Self-Contained Mystery

Stop! If you haven’t watched The Killing‘s Season 2 finale, back away from this SPOILERIFIC recap, and come back later. Otherwise, welcome, and come on in…

Maybe now Sarah Linden can finally catch some shut-eye.

In one somber, twisty hour, we finally got the answer to the question we’ve been asking for two seasons now: “Who killed Rosie Larsen?”

And while, yes, it was Darren Richmond’s campaign aide Jamie Wright who chased the teenage victim through the woods, brutally beat her, and stuffed her into a trunk, it was Rosie’s own Aunt Terry who put said car in drive and sent the girl to her horrific, watery death.

“I didn’t know! I didn’t know it was Rosie!” pleaded Terry, who’d done the evil deed thinking she was killing a random girl who’d overheard Jamie colluding with Chief Jackson and Terry’s wealthy married boyfriend Michael Ames on a plan to sink Mayor Richmond’s Adams’ waterfront development project and then profit with an alternate scheme of their own.

And to be honest, while I’m glad Jamie turned out to have blood on his hands — really, last week’s penultimate episode took him too far down the path of guilt for some final, last-act twist to absolve him — Terry’s awful, awful involvement was, as Holder put it, yet another example of wrong place, wrong time. And certainly wrong action.

A few other thoughts/observations on “What I Know”:

* If I had one complaint about the finale, it was the lack of the Linden-Holder dynamic that’s kept The Killing deeply compelling even in those moments where I wondered if the writers had a real plan for an ending. Aside from her drab brown sweater, the usually vividly painted Linden didn’t seem much different in Season 2′s final hour than most obsessive TV detectives, while Holder had few opportunities to flex his winning brand of Zen street sarcasm. I’m going to hold out hope these cats come back for a third season — just so long as the Larsen case is put to bed, and a new murder becomes their dual obsession.

* Anyone else find it chilling how the raucous laughter of the Larsen kids in the opening scene — flashing back to Rosie’s final day on Earth — sounded very much like the screaming of a murder victim?

* I’m kinda glad Jamie was killed off (by Holder’s gun) in the opening 15 minutes, since his whole descent into “I did it all for you, Darren!” madness made him seem more pathetic than scary. Still, those flashbacks to the actual murder were bloody awful: Jamie discovering Rosie at the casino construction site and realizing she’d overheard the illicit pow wow; Jamie “accidentally” knocking videocam-wielding Rosie to the floor as she tried to flee the scene, and thinking he’d killed her in the process; Rosie waking up and fleeing Jamie’s vehicle, only to get chased down in the woods and put back in the trunk (but did he have help getting her body out of the casino undetected?); Terry, overhearing Ames and Jamie trying to concoct a plan of what to do with the bound and battered girl whose existence threatened the futures they’d planned; and Terry, putting the car in drive, knowing that Ames’ unscrupulous waterfront idea had to become a reality, or he’d never have the money to leave his wife.

* That last bit, with Rosie’s screams audible under the plinking, almost peaceful piano music, was like a punch in the gut. And that it was shown against the backdrop of Terry confessing her crime while sitting on Rosie’s bed, Stan and Mitch listening aghast in the doorway, was like a punch in the gut with a two-by-four. Yeah, she maybe didn’t know it was Rosie, but she knew it was an innocent human being she was slowly drowning! Yikes.

* I probably should’ve known that Darren had already gone to the dark side the morning after his victory in the Mayoral race. I mean, what kind of person would be able to whip up a press release spinning the death of one of his closest advisors while sitting no more than 15 feet from a patch of carpet covered in said advisor’s blood and gore? I guess the kind of person that could agree to a closed-door meeting (sorry, Gwen, you’ll have to wait in the hall!) with Chief Jackson and Michael Ames just a day after learning they were tied to the killing of a girl in the name of his campaign, a killing that he’d been accused of and — as a result — had lost the use of his own legs. Here’s hoping Gwen takes the high-profile election win and uses it to find a better gig with a better candidate!

* I liked that Linden pieced together Terry’s involvement when she spotted the Bad Auntie’s broken taillight, and realized she’d been the one to bring Ames to the lake on that fateful night. But the revelation made me wish the whole Beau Soleil subplot had never happened: I mean, Rosie having knowledge of her aunt’s involvement with an escort agency was, on its own, a believable plot development; but then we also have to buy that Rosie was friendly with the son of Terry’s married lover, and that by sheer happenstance, Rosie ended up on the 10th-floor casino construction site at the exact moment said married lover was conducting a nefarious business meeting? That just seems like one coincidence too many, no? Or did I miss something over the expanse of two seasons that would help me make sense of it all?

* That final scene of Rosie’s “What I Know” film short may have been a tad cloying, but I can’t quibble with the Larsens having a brief respite from grief after the worst October ever endured by a single household in the history of ever.

* What happened to Jack? Not even another quickie phone call? Oh, Linden, you may be a fascinating character, but you remain a pretty crappy mother to the bitter end!

And now it’s your turn to share some thoughts on The Killing finale! Ready, set, sound off!


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