So, last night, when Ghosts of the Past dutifully trotted out “He’s not her real father,” it was hard to feign interest. Really, The Killing? Really?
And yet, here is a show that has a man weeping because he doesn’t know how to deal with a catheter, that has a tender almost-love scene that ends in a hug—a hug with years of history behind it, that has a quiet, thoughtful revelation about baloney sandwiches, that has Tahmoh Penikett…oh, thud. You almost had me.
I’m not on board with anything about the Jack’s father storyline. Not that she had a past relationship with Mr. Perfect Body and No Personality, not that this guy disappeared from their lives for ten years and now suddenly cares so much, not that it’s in any way okay for him to criticize her parenting under those conditions, not any of it, and certainly not Penikett’s acting.
And I’m not on board with Mitch’s flight, and her new quest to rescue all the teen girls that aren’t dead, although Michelle Forbes acts the hell out of it.
The basic direction of the show: We follow the murder mystery significantly less than we follow the people, and we dig into the people in a way that respects character development, is one that I fully support. The people are mostly interesting. I’ve converted to a pro-Darren girl, mostly because I’m a pro-Jamie girl, he’s really a human being with flesh on his bones. Holder, Linden, and Stan Larsen round out what makes this show great when it’s great.
But this was a weak episode, and I don’t think the series can afford many more weak episodes after all this floundering.