The Killing: Season Four
Since Season One prolonged its search for the killer of Rosie Larson into the second season The Killing has been living on borrowed time. After more red herrings than a supermarket shelf viewers, and more importantly the network, became tired of the show and dropped it. But in one of the first moves of its kind, since followed by the high profile likes of Ripper Street and Community, it was revived for streaming by Netflix. But now finally the end is here for the show.
The third season dispensed with the characters we knew (expect for the central cop duo) and went with a new storyline which this fourth season (released August 1st) picks up from. Shortened to six episodes it’s a streamlined experience for the streaming service and seems to exist just for the last ten minutes of the show.
The last time we saw Linden (still a sour faced Mireille Enos) and Holder (still a greasy looking Joel Kinnaman) they’d offed their old boss James Skinner after finding out he was the ‘Pied Piper’ serial killer. Only as the first episode drops you straight into the action where that left off, it takes most of the hour to remember what actually happened a year ago in real time. Usually American shows go over the top with their ‘Previously on…’ intros, but here’s one time where it could really have done with one. A lot happens in a year!
What’s the fourth season about then? Well there’s another murder, gruesome and violent, there’s a cadet school run by Colonel Rayne (an intense Joan Allen), there’s Linden and Holder trying to cover up their murder of Skinner, and then there are a whole tonne of parental issues that are the cut and thrust of the six episode arc. Holder’s gonna be a Dad, Linden continues to mess her kid up, then a whole load of other heavily laden familial relationships happen that would be spoilerific so we’ll not mention them.
Enos and Kinnaman inhabit Linden and Holder perfectly now, they’re still moody, permanently wet – who’d live in Seattle, Washington? – bickering, and sat in the car smoking but hey, who wants anything more from them. Their relationship deteriorates more than you might think through the strains of covering up a murder, and it’s genuinely sad to see them be less trusting of each other as the hours go on. There are some particularly stupid plot points in their attempts to cover up their little secret, and the denouement of that is stretching things a little thin, but for the most part The Killing is as it always has been.
The final coda is the sunniest five minutes the show has had in its four years, literally and metaphorically. Though nice to see it is a little jarring, and not the ending you might expect. But probably the ending the characters deserve.