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'The Killing:' It took a village to kill Rosie Larsen

Actors Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos in a

Actors Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos in a scene from the second season of the television series "The Killing." (Credit: Handout)

Who killed Rosie Larsen -- this being the last remaining question of the fall TV season and which kept the few remaining fans of "The Killing" along for the ride until the last tangentially logical twist because they've held on this long and what else have they got to do anyway?

He killed her. Actually, no she killed her. In fact, someone else who was more directly involved killed her -- but didn't actually push the car in the water -- and someone else too. That makes four murderers, and when you consider Rosie's parents, some incompetent police work along the way, dimwitted boyfriends and girlfriends, plus everyone who knew them and also must have known that Rosie worked at the casino -- including everyone at the casino -- then, by my count, half of Seattle was implicated in the killing of Rosie Larsen.

I exaggerate of course, but by now, you've probably reached the jump on this post, and -- spoiler alert! -- I can now tell you that the only person who got arrested in the killing Rosie was Terry, her corrupt and corruptible aunt, although of course Jamie Wright (Eric Laden) -- the mayor-in-waiting's skeevy campaign manager -- was pretty much the trigger man so to speak. (He beat her up.) And the beating was done at the behest of casino boss-creep, Nicole Jackson, and Michael Ames -- dad of boyfriend Jasper -- who had ties to the casino, so they're even more directly involved.

And even though Nicole beat up Holder a few episodes back, she's still in business, and I think I saw Michael Ames not in handcuffs last night either, which means the killers pretty much went free - though why I have absolutely no idea.

Although the answer to that could get right back to our heroes Linden (Mireille Enos) and Holder (Joel Kinnaman) who spent so much of the last two seasons emoting, smoking each others cigarettes, and chasing really bad leads that they forgot to collar them.

And why blame poor Terry (Jamie Anne Allman) for shoving the car in the water, when hit man Stan, with more mob ties than Tony Soprano, is sitting happily at home watching a home video of Rosie that someone left in his mailbox?

I could go on, but the point of this post should be obvious by now: "The Killing" didn't make much sense. The show may or may not go forward next season, but if it doesn't, this second season -- created pretty much to milk the success of the first -- could be the reason.

Among other things, "The Killing's" producers struggled with time compression storytelling -- that narrative technique that follows a set number of days (or hours) over typically one season. ("The Killing" took place over about 26 days.) It's extremely tough to do because so many story lines have to be left dangling, in part to keep viewers intrigued and in part simply to move the story forward. But those lines also have to be tied, and tied in a convincing and emotionally satisfying way. "The Killing" simply could not do this -- and it was hard enough for "24" even during the good early seasons.

An obvious example -- the shooting of Billy Campbell's character, Darren Richmond, at the end of last season, leaving him for dead, though later just paralyzed. Not only did he recover from this devastating injury in mere days -- two or three episodes -- but was back on the campaign trail.

"The Killing" had an additional challenge -- dangle so many possible suspects, up to and including Mitch, Rosie's disappearing-act-of-a-mother, that any and all would be considered suspects. Then, simply to breathe, the show would temporize -- take off on story tangents that had next to nothing to do with the overall case, other than by implication. Example: Liden's incarceration in a psych ward, after she was removed from the case by a police chief who may or may not be involved in a cover-up that was related to the Rosie murder.

"The Killing" Larsen story line should have -- and could have -- ended after one season; the second was mostly all gas, red herrings and non-sequiturs. This should have been a much more satisfying conclusion, and absolutely would have been, had we been having this discussion this time last year.

Oh well, that's show biz. I'm very doubtful, by the way, that "The Killing" will be renewed, if only because Joel Kinnaman is such a hot property now. His big screen career is in full swing, and there's no reason to return to a smoldering semi-logical cop series set in a very soggy city -- even to the very show that got this hot career in full swing.  

Tags: the killing , rosie larsen , amc

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