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Relationship Recap: Reluctant Partners Sarah and Stephen on The Killing 

Photo Credit: AMC

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to write about this excellent new show. Not only is The Killing an intricate and interesting procedural, but it actually gives us the character development we crave. Of course we want to know who killed Rosie Larsen but I also want to see how her death affects her family and friends. I want to know that her murder meant something to this community. This show feels real, it feels like this is what might actually happen in an investigation like this. It feels honest and it makes me more invested. The tense and sometimes adversarial relationship between Sarah and Stephen also feels authentic. Stephen feels like Sarah’s horning in on his case and she feels like she knows the right way to go about catching the killer. I love their difficult relationship.

Both Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman are new to me. Some of you may know Mireille Enos from Big Love, but I never really watched that show. So she is a fresh, new discovery for me. Both of them are.  With Sarah, here is a strong woman who has known success and is respected as a cop. She solves her cases and is dogged until the end. It sounds like she’s only got one unsolved murder in her case files – and I can’t wait to hear more about it. She’s engaged and wants to move to Sonoma to start a new life with her fiance and her son. Stephen comes off as smarmy but he’s competent. And they wouldn’t have gotten their first big break in the case if it wasn’t for him. Stephen wants to be lead but Sarah has the experience and the confidence brass. It’s her investigation and they’ll do it her way.

I think their different styles are what makes this partnership work. I’m not sure how Sarah’s been with past partners but I feel like Stephen challenges her. Maybe it’s true that she has to pull him back and make sure he’s running down the leads she tells him to, but I feel like he’s good for her. Maybe he’s pushing her to do her job without her even realizing it. And Sarah kis definitely making Stephen a better cop. I think he’s used to being lazy and maybe getting by on his looks, but that really doesn’t fly with Sarah. If she asks (or tells) him to do something, she always has a reason and so far it’s helped their case. I’m not sure I want or need to see these two get along. I like the way this partnership works. And I believe they’ll find Rosie’s killer eventually. Until then, I’ll tune in every week to see how they continue to irritate and challenge each other as they come closer to catching a killer.

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