Yes, it's got to many frustrating plot points and illogical character behavioral tics. The pacing is slower than Rusty Staub trying to reach first base. And the 11 days the show has documented so far must be taking place during what has to be the single rainiest stretch in Seattle history. (Like, seriously — build an ark, Noah.)
Still, you could do a lot worse than watching the dark AMC procedural "The Killing." And the mystery at the heart of the show — who killed Rosie Larsen? — remains tantalizingly, addictively indecipherable with just two episodes to go in the season. With the penultimate hour set to air Sunday at 10 p.m. ET, there would seem to be too many suspects, too little time.
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From a viewer's perspective, trying to sort this mystery out now is kind of like trying to solve a particularly tricky brain teaser on the Game Show Network's "Chain Reaction": We need one more letter to get the word.
My best stab at whodunit — and I'm not alone — is obnoxious pipsqueak campaign manager Jamie Wright (played by Eric Ladin). But I say that more because he's an obnoxious pipsqueak than for any rational reason — though it would finally tie the campaign's car, in which Rosie's body was found, to the killing.
It could have something to do with Rosie's dad's gambling debts and ties to the Russian mob. As last week's episode ended, Rosie's final-night ramblings led to a chintzy casino.
It still could be dreadlocked teacher Bennet Ahmed (Brandon Jay McLaren), even after suffering a beat-down of silly proportions. And what about too-polished mayoral candidate Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell)? Or how about creepy Larsen employee Belko Royce (Brendan Sexton III)?
Finally, it could also be Detective Stephen Holder (breakout star Joel Kinnaman, pictured at right), who, earlier in the season, pointedly leered at girls at Rosie's school — even if the end result of the leer was to tease information from them. But such a twist would likely jettison the many Holder-philes if there's a second season.
The list of red herrings is endless on "The Killing," which is partly why the show continues to be compelling.
At least we know, thanks to plot teasers from network reps, that the murder will be solved in the June 19 finale — not a huge surprise, given that the Danish original the AMC series is based on uses the same format of one homicide case per season. But the guarantee of closure will help while viewing the final two — no unresolved cliffhangers! — in the unlikely event the series doesn't receive a second-season order (although to be very fair the ratings are by no means terrible).
Anyway, check out the vexingly compelling plot lines for the remaining two episodes:
Sunday, June 12:
As the investigation continues, Rosie is tied to an unusual Web site; work is halted on the waterfront project, which gives Richmond's campaign a shot in the arm; and imprisoned Stan comes to grips with his demons, while Mitch uncovers secrets about her murdered daughter.
Sunday, June 19:
On the season one finale of AMC’s critically acclaimed series “The Killing,” “Orpheus Descending,” airing Sunday, June 19 at 10PM ET/9C, the police connect a new piece of evidence to the campaign car and to Rosie the night of her murder. Stan and Mitch reflect on the past as the future of their family hangs in the balance.
(However, the less-cryptic Wikipedia logline for the finale reads: A twist in the polls and a death causes grief in the campaign. Sarah and Holder discover the murderer of Rosie Larsen and while doing so, cause a problem. Stan is released from jail and comes home to find no one in the house. Murderer revealed!)
For newbies who'd like to catch up on "The Killing" before the June 19 finale, AMC.com will be streaming the first 12 episodes for a limited time.