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Moment of Goodness

Moment(s) of Goodness: The Killing “The Missing” 

Photo Credit: AMC

It’s a rare show that will stop to smell the roses and build a back story on its characters. Even rarer when it’s in a limited run/not yet renewed, and the core focus is a murder mystery, but that’s exactly what The Killing did Sunday night. Two episodes shy of its finale, it hit pause on the Rosie Larsen murder investigation (aside from the teaser and coda) and instead focused on Sarah Linden frantically searching for her son, Jack, and leaning heavily on her reluctant partner, Holder, who came through in spades and potentially sacrificed his own familial reconciliation in the process.

We learned the full extent of things only previously hinted at–Linden was a foster care kid, bouncing from home to home and neighborhood to neighborhood until she was released from being a ward of the state. Regi was her social worker. She had quit smoking, hence all the gum, but the stress of the day has her chain smoking alongside Holder as he drives her all over the city. She moves from cold to terrified to pissed off to devastated and back to composed, and Holder’s there for the whole day.

As the hours tick by, he has to bail on plans to see his sister and her children and atone for the coin theft we heard him confess in NA. We hear his increasing pleas for sympathy and understanding that this time is different, that he’s helping a friend, as he can only leave messages that he’s coming, he’ll be late, and finally he won’t be there at all, but begging to be allowed to come by later, we learn, so he can replace the coin. We find out he was a meth head and is now deeply religious on a cosmic level because it’s the thing that saved him.

In the end, after a terrifying few moments where a boy like Jack is found dead and Linden collapses, they return to find Jack safe and sound at the hotel, and Holder finally leaves Linden’s side with instructions to “kick his ass,” and she quietly responds, “no doubt.”

I loved everything about this episode, especially when there have been interviews about the actors’ rapport and we hadn’t really been allowed to see that. I’ve not seen the source Danish series so I don’t know if they did this, too, or if it was a gift from the producers who realized they needed to capture it. It was a neat love letter to Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman, their characters, and the audience to let us see Linden and Holder as people with complicated lives outside their case. Awesome, awesome episode.

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