The Killing: Bulldog

 Posted by on June 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm  The Killing
Jun 042012

The Killing episode 11 Bulldog: Mayor and RichmondA politician gives an inspirational speech, a speech he knows is political suicide. He spins it beautifully; it’s constructed so that, instead of being a confession of something shameful, it’s a call of hope. He relates his own struggles to the struggles of the voters, and turns his own moment of despair into an experience of unity with everyone’s struggles. The audience gasps at the shocking confession, exactly on cue, and exactly on cue, the politician’s chief aides react with surprise and confusion. The speech continues and is masterful. He finishes on a powerful, uplifting note, and puts down his microphone. There is the tiniest, weakest smattering of applause. Bravo, The Killing, bravo.

Why? Because we the viewers, in that moment, are well-trained by years of TV and movie watching to expect resounding applause, perhaps even a standing ovation, tears, and maybe, I dunno, throwing things in the air. It’s supposed to be beautiful. Gwen is supposed to hug him. None of that is right but we expect it, so the restraint in that moment is practically heroic.

But that wasn’t my favorite moment of Bulldog. My favorite was absolutely and without a doubt the elevator security camera footage. That big-ass grin was so earned, and so fun to watch, and a complete surprise as well.

I wonder if Linden’s fragile mental state will really knit itself back together just because she is vindicated and the murder is solved. I can easily see next week ending with Rosie’s killer in jail and Linden back in the mental hospital.

This episode had a lot of satisfying moments, and a lot of surprises. Young Alexi finding out how his father actually died was very constructed, very television–coming back in at just the right moment, just silently enough. Please. Yet resolving that particular dangling plot thread was satisfying and necessary, and I didn’t see Janek’s death coming at all. I mean, I knew whose gun that was immediately, and it obviously solves a lot of problems for Stan, but I still just didn’t see it coming. So again, bravo.

Another absolutely wonderful moment was Stan in the park, musing on the carefree life of Otis the dog. That tantalizing thought, that this could be enough, just at the edge of reach, was so beautiful, and delivered with such grace. Brent Sexton as Stan has really turned out to be a remarkable actor.

Finally, let’s talk about that last minute OMG. If anything typifies The Killing, it’s the last minute OMG that gets rescinded in the first five minutes of the following episode. But next week, we’re promised, is when we learn who killed Rosie Larsen, so I don’t know if this one gets taken away or not. I had my money on Benjamin Abani, the mayor’s tall, bald campaign manager, but now? I really don’t know.

Despite the fact that Who Killed Rosie Larsen? ceased to be the point long ago–there’s no way they can justify the journey they’ve taken us on with that alone–I really do want to know. Just TELL ME ALREADY.

On the other hand, next week is much more interesting to me because of Stan and Mitch’s reunion, because of Linden’s shifting mental status, and because Holder Holder Holder. See you then.


  7 Responses to “The Killing: Bulldog”

  1. I watched last episode, and disagree. This series’ writing was, and is, an unmitigated embarrassment. Anything that happens has either happened before (some plot twists just keep returning), or makes no sense whatsoever.
    That said, the actor playing Richmond has turned the curve and his credit rating is now good. OTOH Ms Enos needs some big break because she’s better than what this show is letting her do.

  2. When this season is over, I don’t want to see or hear about ANY of these characters ever again. The chance of me thinking about any of them is nil. Nothing to resonate. Dead as a door nail.

  3. I only resumed watching this show recently, so, perhaps for that reason, don’t see what all the (negative) shouting is about. Edgar Allan Poe said that the death of a young woman was the most effective theme. Be that as it may Rosie Larson seems haunting to me in a way reminiscent of Laura Palmer. (Perhaps suggesting how promise can be squandered in more ways than one.) I too want know who killed Rosie. As for the rest, the series certainly doesn’t have the resonance of Breaking Bad, Mad Men, or the Walking Dead but what I’ve seen seems well constructed, interesting and well acted – rather like Rubicon.

    • “but what I’ve seen seems well constructed, interesting and well acted – rather like Rubicon.”

      I sincerely wish it was any of those things, and just as genuinely, I wish it was even 1/5th the show Rubicon was and building further to be.

  4. I completely agree with the writer – this show is incredible. But after the last episode I’m left wondering if Raymond is actually the person who killed Rosie. I mean, did they ever explain why that email address was linked to his computer? Maybe it’s Jamie… but I just don’t see that. I think when the Chief called to warn whoever that their key card had been found by Lindon, it was Raymond and that’s why he decided to “confess” his attempted suicide that night. It’s his only alibi – and are we sure he couldn’t have done BOTH that night?

    • “I completely agree with the writer – this show is incredible.”

      Read a few more of her reviews. She’s more level-headed than that.

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