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Sunday, August 4, 2013

From Up Here; The Road to Hamelin-- The Season Finale (& Hopefully NOT the Last) of AMC's The Killing

Tonight's episode was incredible. I couldn't wait to post, and sacrificed a little editing time because I couldn't wait to post. 

From Up Here
Opening shot: the trees, Sarah running through the woods; it looks like she's being watched; it's effective camera work. She runs faster and faster into the mist, bends forward, erects her body and stares with sadness at a single tree at the center of a clearing. She is grief stricken, guilt is heavy on her conscious. As the sky darkens she heads back to her house to find her ex-lover and boss, James Skinner, waiting for her. He was concerned that he could not reach her. Then reveals that his marriage is over. Sarah does not look that interested, yet when she walks into the house she leaves the front door open for him to enter. "Time off huh? And people say being relentless is a bad thing."  They talk about Skinner's deteriorated marriage, his unwant for retirement. "Sometimes I think, people like us, are supposed to be alone." "That's not true," she  says. They kiss. People like us. 

Holder sits in his car outside a church. The bell tolls; he enters to find a small gathering of sitting in pews close to the service. Near the coffin is a large photograph of Bullet, but not the Bullet we know from the street, not the transgender young woman, but of a straight, colorful, smiling girl. Danette sits next to Holder. They talk solemnly about Bullet's friendship. A couple in the front that appears to be Bullet's parents, sob. Lyric is there as well. "Bullet took care of her," says Holder. He soon leaves as the parents sob.

Next morning, Sarah's kitchen, Skinner walks in. Sarah looks hopeful, well rested. She is happy to have him there, but he seems uneasy. Something isn't right.

Holder show up at his girlfriend's workplace. She is surprised to see him.  "I'm sorry. I messed up," he says. "I should have told you about my past. You're a step up for me. And I"m a step down for you.. like five steps down... I just want you to see the good stuff." "That is what I see," she says.  He is surprised that she'll see him later. "We had a fight, it happens." "And for what its worth you're a half-step up for me." Holder is brightened, lovely to see the immediate change in expression.

The prison is next----- is cleaning up Seward's cell, packing up his things: a copy of Lonesome Dove, a blanket. The cell door remains open, empty; waiting for the next prisoner to occupy a place on death row. Like Seward's remainders, the Becker is packing his things, leaving the job. "Don't get to comfortable here..." he says. He wishes 000 good luck.

Holder arrives on the scene. A body has been found in a burned up car. A bullet from a 45 was found by Linden.  "You're my ride, so I guess you're stuck with me." The body is burned, legs slightly curled inward. An arm appears to be over the head.

Kallie's mom shows up at Lyric's job where she's waitressing at a fast food restaurant or diner.  "It's good to have girls around. remember that." Danette tries to make connections with her, offering to do her hair like a plea for love. I would not call this a search for a replacement, but an attempt at amends and forgiveness.

Twitch is in the new apartment trying to cook. He takes a packet of drugs, probably heroin, from his coat as he drags on a smoke and deliberates over use. 

Holder apologizes to his partner who requested a new partner. "Cops don't rat on cops."

At the station Sarah walks into the Captain's office. They chat about work, then he turns the conversation to this morning. He recalls Linden's incessant under her breath singing, the same song. He invites her to come to the lake with him, but she declines. He tries to lure her in with romantic notions, but Holder interrupts-- the coroner has something for them on the body.

In the car, Holder teases Sarah about her relationship with "the boss man." She gives his some background and the playful banter between them continues. Everything seems emotionally back on track for both of them.

Danette stands on a bridge, looking down at the water, then ahead. She watches to giggling girls walk by. She turns back and closes her eyes, counting to five. Her grief is unbearable.  Is she considering suicide? Lyric walks through the streets in her uniform. A car pulls up, she debates. Twitch sits on a rooftop, or overhang, the drugs still in his hand as he smokes. Everything is broken in their worlds as Holder and Linden seem happier and moving forward in the worship of a false God called 'normalcy.' But from up here, you can see that all is not what it appears to be.

Shot to the head. The victim is likely a female.  He took out all her teeth postmortem. Her ring finger is missing, but the coroner says this wasn't a new injury; it happened two weeks ago which means the body is likely Angie Gower, the girl they interviewed a few episodes back. In the car, they talk it through. "Who would have known Mills was our number one suspect...only a copy could have found out about mills... gotten to the storage unit before us, planted those trophies."  Sarah gets out of the car. "What do you want to do, let the state take another guy who didn't do it?" back at the station: Sarah scans the room, weighing the options: is the killer a cop?She even looks at Skinner. Holder gets a file and they leave. Everything's with the DA; holder suggests he could call Carolyn.  Most of the file is about Joe Mills. The review the file, the facts. Holder thinks the cop could be chasing the first kill-- placing the girls in the backseat   to watch them. They go to the first victim's home.

They interview the dad, ask some questions. Linden and Holder they claim they're there to prepare for the trial. He tells them that she was even picked up by an undercover cop. Holder scans family photos on the wall and see a picture of Carl with Bridget (the victim). He was also the one that told him they identified the body. Could Carl be the serial killer or is this a red herring?

Leaving the house, Holder says Reddick never mentioned knowing the victim.  Sarah looks up, sees a tree house. ".. was never after Trisha?    Trisha and Ray used to fight all the time... "Adrian's a runner too." This season has opened up more and more about Linden's past. They go to the woods and the platform for an older tree house still exists. Linden climbs the ladder to the tree house, Ray built it for Adrian.  Initials are carved into a tree. She looks across the water where the bodies were found. Sarah mentions the trees would have been bare--Adrian's drawing! Holder goes down to the water and sees something from his ... he was going to the apartment to kill Adrian-- he's in danger because he saw something. 

Adrian is leaving school, soccer ball in his hand and he's being watched. The car follows him as he bounces the ball down the sidewalk. I hope Adrian is a runner this time too. Th car moves slowly, in the background other kids are crossing sidewalks. Adrian is alone. Turns around. The car goes by Adrian knows something is wrong. The car is driving toward him, he stops in his tracks, drops the ball and recognizes the man--- honestly, the silhouette looks more like Skinner. Even the color of the car is slightly unidentifiable and could be tan or gray... commercial break! Intense! What a phenomenal season of storytelling.

Linden and Holder run to the house. The foster mom comes up the walk. Adrian is not home. Adrian's backpack is there, but he is not. A set-up to look as though he were home.  The backdoor to the house was wide open. Next shot, we see Skinner picking up his daughter. She asks where to mom is.  Is Adrian gagged in the trunk? His daughter is distraught by her parents break up and asks him if it's because of Sarah. "I can't be something that I'm not, I'm tired of it... but I'll always love you." Double meaning? His phone rings and it's Linden. Adrian's been gone for an hour and half. "Jimmy, we got the wrong guy." They reveal it's a cop. Skinner pulls them aside. Holder and Linden reveal the connections between Angie and Reddick.  Holder suggests he talk to Reddick, Skinner says no. "We keep this quiet between us," he says. All the more reason to point the finger. "I promised to keep him safe," Sarah says. 

They interview the mom of a friend. Adrian had come to there door. Adrian said to her that Adrian said he was being followed. She gave him a ride home therefore he was taken from his foster family's home. They go to the station to check the traffic. Holder gets stopped by internal affairs-- they're arresting him. Sarah calls Skinner hoping to clear it up. Remember-Reddick said he wasn't pressing charges against Holder: "Cops don't rat on cops." Is this Skinner's work?

Sarah goes to the station looking for Skinner. She tries calling. No contact.Traffic cam-- grey car shows up in the background over and over again. Sarah asks the officer to blow up the image of the car to get a better make of it. IA interviews Holder: they accuse him of making harassing phone calls, that Holder has his eye on Reddick's talk. They ask Holder for his phone.

The Road to Hamelin*
Sarah knocks on a door-- Skinner's house. The door is unlocked she walks in. She hears something upstairs and sees Skinner packing upstairs. She shows him the traffic cam; she continues  He berates her then apologizes. "I believe you, of course I believe you." "You should call IA."  His wife and daughter walk in as Sarah and Skinner are coming downstairs.  His daughter asks if he's really leaving. She's wearing the ring-- Kallie's ring! She walks out ahead of him, stunned, thinking, notices Skinner's car. Everything is a shock slow motion, he gets in his grey car and Skinner turns to look at her and sees the recognition in her face and knows she's figured it out. She pulls her gun. "IF you want to see him alive you'll come with me." "Hand over your weapon." He gives it to her.  She frisks him. "Where is he." "Arrest me now and you'll never see him alive again." She tells him to get in the car. They drive away. Skinner is the Pied Piper.

Holder is still stuck with IA. He tells them to call Skinner and that's how Holder finds out Skinner filed the complaint. He knows something is wrong.  The door is locked. "Admit what you did to Reddick." Holder tries to tell them his partner is in danger. He gives IA a big story that he's planted a bomb in Reddick's car, but it's all BS. It's a way to get Reddick at the station. "Holder's an idiot, he's not Al-Queda!" Holder needs help.  Sarah's phone rings. Skinner has complete control and Sarah is letting it happen. His threats about Adrian are effecting her. He tells her he notices Sarah's shaking hands . Holder goes to Skinner's house.  And he discovers Linden and Skinner left together. he knows Sarah is in serious danger.. Where's the lake house? Back to the car. "Why couldn't you walk away," Skinner asks her. "You used to trust me implicitly." He continues to manipulate her, talk bout their recent intimacy. "You and I are nothing alike." 

Twenty-seven minutes left! 

It's dark. Hours have gone by. Holder continues to try and reach Linden. No answer.  We hear more about Bridget, how all this began. "I make her get in my car. She spits at me. So I hit her... a reflex... she's bleeding... I know she's going to tell, bring me down... I take her out to the woods and um, I don't remember much after that... it was quiet... she didn't cry, she didn't scream, she just looked at me." He continues talking about the final look from the victim and Sarah comes to realize the psychosis. Sarah mentions his own daughter-- "I save them from the inevitably of their lives." Sarah calls him a monster. The scene is quiet, disturbing. 

Reddick's at the foster family's home.  He's on the phone with Holder.  Back to Skinner's car and they talk about Adrian. He says he didn't kill Adrian  he didn't think he was able to see from the tree house  but because Sarah was helping Adrian to remember so much, Skinner felt he had to go after them. Skinner is an arrogant, psychotic, manipulating ^&*^. He brings up Sarah's own hospitalization and she flips out, starts punching him. They veer off the road, but not before nearly hitting another car. She gets out and throws up. he gets out, walks over to her and tries to give her tissue. She is distraught, crying, kneeling on the ground. He steps closer and I cringe, he rubs her shoulder. She looks up, face soft, eyes nearly thankful and I can only hope she is now playing along and not succumbing to his manipulation. "Where is he." A statement. "Not far, " he whispers. This season has reminded me so much of the Green River Killer from the 1980's. I felt this about seasons 1 and 2, but here, with the discovery of the bodies, the victims being young women-- prostitutes, runaways; it's hard not to think the writers didn't consider those horrific events when developing this season.

Holder reaches a fork in the road and chooses to go right.  Skinner and Linden are still driving. I keep thinking Adrian is in the trunk. She brings up Kallie-- he doesn't remember her, or claims not to. Their headlights round the corner. "Are there more girls in the lake?" And other places he remarks. It gets worse and worse. Finally the car stops at the lake house. The long ride is over, then ending is near. Will he kill Sarah? He admits to everything. He killed Bullet too. Of course he did. She asks where Adrian is and he tells her to get out of the car. Holder is getting close. He parks the car at the house number. Turns off the lights and gets out. He begins walking through the darkness, trees brush over his face and I fear he isat the wrong house.  He calls Adrian's name, flashes a light in the darkness. 

Adrian is in the trunk. Is he still alive? Sarah asks for the keys. Reddick is at the cemetery  finds Trisha Seward's grave, hoping to find Adrian and he's been there the whole time! He's still a runner. Holy crap-- he's going to kill Sarah when she goes for the trunk. Is Holder back on the trail? Sarah fires her gun, shoots him as he talks about 'how he doesn't kill little children. Holder hears the shot. Or is Sarah going to kill Skinner? Holder talks her off the ledge. She kills him. Holder is witness. There's three minutes left on the clock. Holder is in disbelief. Sarah stands tall, smug, angry. Commercial-- is this how the season ends?


Now argument in my household commences over whether AMC will present a season 4 or dump the show. 

* I think episode two started here-- tonight is so intense that I lost track of time. 

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