A 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 If anything typifies The Killing, it’s the last minute OMG that gets rescinded in the first five minutes of the following episode.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.