10
Apr
2011
The Killing: Season 1, Episode 3
El DIablo
Sam
This week's episode of The Killing felt like it was laying out the format for how they show will (try to) remain fresh every week. From just the first three episodes, the strength of the show is not in the characters. Linden, drier than a rice cake, is still waiting for the week to end so she can hop on a plane and get married and live happily ever after. Only problem is"¦THE KILLING! Sure she'll stay, but the time devoted to these conversations seem to be just filler.

This brings me to my next point on the show: How much of this hot dog is beef and how much is horse nostril? Sure, there's a more graceful way of saying that but that's how I felt with "El Diablo." There were little chunks of compelling television that was surrounded by non-essential moments that felt less like character development and more like a way to keep the show going until the next interesting revelation.

We start the episode caught up with Councilman Richmond who is doing the worst possible job handling the media in the wake of finding Rosie's body in one of his campaign cars. But Bill Campbell's performance still feels a bit wooden and the Mayor race feels so distant from the rest of the show, perhaps this is because Linden and Holder have yet to really intervene. The nugget of news released this week is that trusted staffer Jamie has been leaking vital information to the press. This is preceded by an awful us of pronouns when Richmond is discussing the identity of the leak. The "him", "he" and "his" could only be one person. Of course Jamie denies any involvement and storms off.

The other side story which seems like it may pay off later (though signs of that now are sort of bleak) is the Larsen family itself. They, mostly Mitch, are still reeling from the news of the murder. The scenes at the Larsen already felt tired. I wonder how much longer we'll be treated to a peak at how understandably crushed they all are before one of them decides to speak out.

But the most interesting part of the episode came from Linden and Holder who were able to track down Lyndon Johnson Rosales, the janitor at school who's been peeping through a hole in the wall to check out the students in the cage. He correctly ID's "El Diablo" who turns out to be our old friend Jasper who is joined by the also identified, Kris.

Finding out this gruesome detail of Rosie's night at the Halloween party gives us an idea of how the show will build from week to week. Rather than spend valuable time giving us reason to love the characters, we get teasing clues that broaden the reach of the case. It's too simple that these two high school kids would also be the murderers, right?

These moments on the show make for some good television but they are few and far between and the only character Ive come close to enjoying is Holder who continues to use his drugged out appearance (and fake weed) to bamboozle unsuspecting high school students. The Killing so far has shown me that there is an interesting mystery afoot that I should (and do a little bit) care about. I just can't say I care about what happens to any of the suspects or the cops. Can the show be successful without making me care about these people? Let's hope so.

C+
Tags: The Killing
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