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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Donnie or Marie. I Love. It. AMC's The Killing

So who's it gonna be? Donnie or Marie? 

Last week's episode leads us to believe that either Gwen or Jamie is responsible for the Larsen murder. They know the Mayor doctored the photo of Richmond passing through the toll may episodes ago, but Sarah offers to 'drop it' and pursue the Richmond campaign in the Larsen case if the Mayor agrees to call off the 'dogs' waiting to arrest her and Holder. They hole up in Holder's car and review the evidence from the night Rosie was killed. They discover that Gwen canceled her dinner plans that night and her where abouts were unknown. Jamie, on the other hand, "went to the City Hall gym at 4:37 AM. Security guard didn't let him in; didn't have his key card" (Holder). Sarah goes to City Hall to inquire about key card replacements, but a Mr. Kimberg (sp?) says that the list of key card holders was deleted from his hard drive on Monday, October 8th, the Monday following the Larsen murder. However, a new card was issued to Gwen. Now the assumption is the card found on the 10th floor belonged to Gwen, but Holder and Linden head back to the casino to retrieve the security disks that provides video of passengers on the elevator headed to that floor (which later reveal Jamie riding up in the elevator). After a brief, unpleasant verbal exchange with Chief Jackson, a photograph on the wall catches Sarah's eye. The picture includes Gwen standing with Chief Jackson  and her father, a the ribbon cutting ceremony for the casino. The detectives now have a solid connection between Gwen and the casino, but Linden asks the remaining questions, "What is her connection to Ames?" The answer may lead them to the next link: the Waterfront Project. Now, cut to the voting booths. Gwen takes Richmond outside to wait for the car and give a shielded interpretation of her own goodwill and work for the campaign: "I tried so hard for you. We came so far, Darren." When the limosine arrives Gwen makes a quick exit and says, "I'll see you at the next stop." Her transition from grasping Darren's hand and releasing it is emotionally suspect. With these latest allegations and investigations by Linden and Holder it is too easy to read into both Gwen and Jamie a lingering guilt.

After checking with Gwen's canceled dinner with Council woman Yitanis, she tells the detectives that Gwen uses sex to maintain control over the Richmond campaign. We also learn that Michael Ames' wife is actually the owner and controller over the Ames company. We than encounter a grand twist. As the title of this episode suggests Jamie is not left out from speculation: Jamie helped push through Ames' contract for the Waterfront Project. Holder and Linden go back to the campaign office to speak with Jamie and learn that Richmond was unaware of Jamie's intent to sway one of the Mayor's backers by helping Ames out with expediting the contract.
This idea also surfaces: "What if Gwen and Jamie did it together?"

Linden and Holder head to the yacht club valet and find the campaign car was driven by Gwen Eaton  to the club. This is the car Rosie Larsen's body was found in.

Meanwhile, Mitch is home on Halloween night and in many ways her arrival is more of a disruption and is mostly welcomed by her youngest son, Denny. Terry is less then thrilled, and Tommy, her oldest son remains angry at her abandonment and subsequent return. Mitch seems to expect everyone in the household to continue living as if she never left. When Mitch brings Denny home from school he asks his Aunt Terry to make him a grilled cheese sandwich. Mitch offers to do it, but Denny like the way Aunt Terry makes them. Terry reassures her that they'll be happy to have her back cooking after all the grilled cheese sandwiches they've been eating lately. This slight jab of truth and anger brings out this exchange between characters:

"You know, I found a new place to live not to far from here." (Terry)
"This yours?" Mitch holds up a bra.
"Oh, yeah, I just put some of my stuff in twith the laundry. So I guess you guy's will be busy moving soon so I better get my ass in gear."
"I thought that since you were back-"
"What house? What are you talking about."
'I'm sorry, I thought that you knew. I found out by accident. You should just talk to Stan about it."
"Yeah, yeah I will.'
"Don't be mad at him. We all did the best we could while you were gone. It was hard. Stan, the boys, they needed-'
'What, Terry? They needed what? You have no right to judge me... you don't know what it's like, you don't have a family you don't have children. It's like, what do you know about any of this?'
'What I know is, I've been working my ass off to keep this family together while you were trying to 'find' yourself on some vision quest. You still had so much, Mitch, And you walked out. You walked out."

Later, Mitch confronts Stan about the house, realizing she should have trusted him that their money didn't go toward illegal activity, but into a home with a backyard. Stan sees this new home as a fresh start for the family, but Mitch sees it another way:
".... I came back to be here. With you and the boys... I don't want to leave this, I don't want to leave her behind."
Stan comes clean with his feelings:
"You know there's no moving on. As long as we're here, in this house... Yeah, I think we should move on. You don't have a right to look at me like that. What I've been through these last few weeks... you're the one who left. The boys, the boys needed you. I needed you and you walked out. I was the one who stayed."

Mitch is entitled to believe that the role of mother gave her the right to leave (just as Sarah's role as mother allowed her to say goodbye to Jack) that she loved her daughter more than Stan simply because she's blood and technically Stan was her step-father. His anger toward Mitch is more than warranted as her decision to leave the family was of her own accord.

So who killed Rosie Larsen? Tonight is the big reveal, the season finale of AMC's The Killing, and unfortunately, the last episode. This program has been incredibly sustainable through great writing, storytelling, and acting; it's a terrible shame that a smart, literary drama was not renewed another season. My post on the finale will publish tomorrow night (6/18 after 9PM). I hope to continue posting occasional writings on the show, specifically criticisms in relation to family, politics and feminism.  I've always viewed The Killing as a good, compelling read.

What's for dinner: grilled cheese sandwich with the crusts cut off. 

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