I may be one of the few people in the world that loved the finale of The Killing’s first season. I’ve outlined the reasons before, but to sum it all up: the story was nowhere near ready to end in the penultimate episode. Period. Now, if this were a cut-rate police procedural then, yes, it was ready to be tied up. The Killing, on the other hand, is not a case-of-the-week Cop Drama it expands its narrative into the lives of the suspects, the victims, and the police themselves in a way that is distinctive to its form. With what we have learned of Linden’s destructive past attachment to cases, the continued revelations from within Casa Larsen, Holder’s increasingly dense back story and the grudging relationship–and, codependency?–that has formed between him and Sarah, the ugly locker-room view of Seattle politics casting a shadow on the transformation of the newly afflicted Darren Richmond; not much of this, nor the hundreds of other pieces of expertly crafted nuance, could have happened if The Killing narrative had reset itself last season. This isn’t to say I’m willing to wait another season to find out who killed Rosie Larsen. The finale of season one of The Killing tested my capacity for anticipation to the limits, season two has somehow expanded those tolerances, and right now I’m nearing explosive levels of contemplation because I don’t think Jamie Wright did it, in fact I think there are still more viable suspects.
How could I be so naive? Read on to find out.
1. Red Herrings are in place
Throughout “Donnie or Marie” we were fed several Red Herrings. Most of these informed a “Gwen is the killer” solution to the case. She was driving the car Rosie was found in, she has mysterious gaps in her alibi, and she appears in a photo connecting her to the Casino suggesting her ties may be deeper than revealed. The Killing does a wonderful job at setting these sorts of things up and has served us numerous ‘sure thing’ solutions over the two seasons it has run, but none have ever held up. The problem with this kettle of fish is that beyond a few platitudes and a telling threat to call her attorney, Gwen hasn’t actually been cleared here. The appearance of Jamie on the surveillance tape was like a splash of bleach on all of the evidence pointing to Gwen, but is the evidence against him any better? So far none of the pieces of ‘evidence’ presented against Jamie have been directly connected with the murder of Rosie Larsen. If we weight the evidence against the M.O. of the show, it’s pretty likely this sense of certainty we have that the case has been solved won’t hold up in the show’s final hour. In fact, since Gwen was not even remotely cleared on the points that seemed to condemn here she is very much alive as a suspect in my book.