I fly relatively frequently. In the past couple of years, I’ve flown on a red eye, leaving late at night, and I’ve arrived at airports at Oh-God-O’Clock. I’ve been to Kansas City, to Rio de Janiero, and every place in between: The waiting area for a boarding flight is simply never empty. Never. Now, most of us know you can’t accompany someone past the security screening, but you can if that someone is a minor who will be traveling alone. However, in that case, you are generally required to accompany them all the way to the gate, not hug them goodbye in a dramatically empty waiting area nowhere near the gate.
And then Holder shows up. Past the security screening. Without a boarding pass. Because.
This is all a really stupid complaint. An empty waiting area looks dramatic and saves money on extras. Holder showing up there made a very pretty shot: prettier than meeting her outside. But the sloppy approach to reality permeates this show, which relies on beautifully composed shots and strong actors rather than scripts.
The opening segment of Off the Reservation was excellent. People were histrionic and there were dogs and the search called back to the first epiosde and it ended with a bloody body of a cared-for character. It did what cop shows are supposed to do. But then we were back to strong actors behaving as best they can within the limitations of the script, and Linden staring into the middle distance.
I do want to call especial attention to the scene between Stan Larsen and Naomi. She shows up in response to his offer of a reward. We see right away that she’s an Indian, and we know that the mystery lies squarely in the reservation. Stan responds to her in a way that suggests she is different from anyone else he’s spoken to, and the mess at his table suggests he’s spoken to a lot of people. But within moments, we see that Naomi is a charlatan, a fake medium promising Stan he can talk to his daughter “for a small fee.” So congratulations, The Killing, you’ve learned how to dispose of red herrings in the course of one scene!
As sarcastic as I sometimes feel about the scripting, The Killing has beauty, which is undervalued on TV. There are precious few shows in which you actually want to pause and appreciate shot composition. This show is an exquisite visual experience, even when the plot is full of fail. And honestly, I’m not sure a murder mystery plot can ever be that compelling—is there any genre more thoroughly mined? Are there any permutations yet to explore? A show like this rises or falls, not on plot, but on characterization, acting, presentation, and filming. So the beauty matters a great deal.
This makes my own position a painful one, because advance screeners are available only with proprietary notices plastered all over the screen, including dead center, so for me, the beauty is diminished. I could watch live but it’s on the same night as Mad Men, so I’d never be able to recap both. For this reason, I doubt I’ll continue recapping after Rosie’s murder is solved. Because despite the plot being unimportant by my own reckoning, I want to know already.
After that, I doubt I’ll be back. Response in comments suggest y’all don’t care that much.