‘The Killing’ Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 4 years ago by , Updated April 5th, 2011 at 7:28 am,

The Killing AMC 2 The Killing Series Premiere Review & Discussion


The title of the show should already imply how Linden and Holder’s investigation ultimately pans out (with Rosie found murdered). However, it’s a credit to the show that despite knowing the outcome, the climax of the pilot still proves to be poignant and powerful. The cast of strong actors should be thanked for that. There are also some nice twists put in place in order to firmly intertwine the plot threads of the core characters (the detectives, the Larsens, Richmond and his staff.)

The second hour of the premiere – entitled “The Cage” – delves into the immediate aftermath of Rosie’s murder, with the police trying to snag any leads they can, the Larsens trying to balance their grief, and Councilman Richmond being put on the defensive after his campaign is linked to the crime.

Like I said before, the pacing of this show is slow-burn – the entire pilot is a essentially an hour-long buildup to the title of the show. However, taking time with the “whodunit?” mystery is OK if there is something else to hold our interest. And luckily there is: the characters.

The Killing AMC 5 The Killing Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Detective Holder

My early favorite is detective Holder, though he admittedly comes off as somewhat of a douchebag for most of the pilot (with Linden being his even-tempered foil). However, towards the end of the second episode, we get to see that Holder’s douche persona is actually his sharpest weapon as an investigator. The scene at the high school where Holder tricks a couple of teenage girls into spilling a secret was great and kept me guessing about his character.

Forbes (whose steely expression is always a blanket covering her characters’ true depth) is a close second; I look forward to seeing what unresolved mother/daughter issues are haunting her. It will also be interesting to see if Mitch’s relationship with her husband (which starts off seemingly strong and happy) erodes under the weight of their grief. Definitely want to see how that plays out.

As the main character, Linden is OK – though her stoic attitude isn’t the most engaging feature for a leading lady to have. I hope that over the course of the season we see Linden being less disciplined, less robotic, and exposing more of her idiosyncrasies and flaws. The same goes Councilman Richmond: despite his squeaky clean manner and stoic attitude, there are hints that Richmond is fighting to keep some serious demons at bay.

The Killing AMC 6 The Killing Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Councilman Richmond

Final thought: The showrunners will also have to quickly resolve the fact that Linden has one foot out the door; two episodes in, and the contrived excuses for why this lady can’t simply get on a plane and go started to feel a bit cumbersome and contrived.

All in all, The Killing was a very intriguing show and definitely has potential for some great storytelling to come. Series like HBO’s The Wire have demonstrated just how rewarding the end results can be when you invest the time to truly explore characters and how they (and entire communities) are affected by the ripples of violence. Hopefully The Killing will be able emulate that power, while telling its own tale.

The Killing launches its two-hour series premiere Sunday April 3rd @ 9pm /8c on AMC.

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  1. I’ve just finished watching Series 1 of the Danish Series and it was brilliant. Hope it doesn’t get messed around too much for the US audience (cf Life On Mars)

  2. Reminds me a little of Twin Peaks without all the quirkiness

  3. They don’t explain whether they will wrap up the current case at the end of season 1 and then go on to another, or if the entire series (however many seasons) will revolve around the one murder?

  4. The original Danish series was the one case over the entire series. Series 2, which we are getting in the UK later this year, follows another case.

    It was nothing like Twin Peaks really, more a laid back 24 with each episode roughly covering 24 hours instead of one.

  5. I couldn’t watch the whole episode. While the dark tone reminds me of some british crime shows, most shows involving police and drama feel a bit cliche after The Wire.

  6. It could be worth sticking with. The pace could be quicker than the original as I believe it’s been cut down from 20 to 13 episodes.

  7. The setup is very much like Twin Peaks (which I love btw), the whole “Who killed Rosie Larsen” tagline is even copied straight out of Twin Peaks. Even the soundtrack feels similar with it’s slowpaced tunes. I really liked the soundtracks in both shows. The killing’s soundtrack is VERY different from any other crime show out there. There the similarities between the two shows end though. While Twin Peaks was dark, it was also quirky in it’s own special way. The Killing seems more dark straight through.

    Happy to see where this is going!