Netflix review: The Killing (US) – Season Two
Chris Bryant | On 09, Aug 2013Reading time: 2 mins
Following the same murder case as Season One, The Killing Season Two sees Linden (Enos) and Holder (Kinnaman) continue to investigate numerous leads and try to uncover a deepening conspiracy that involved the death of Rosie Larsen.
Also following suit from the first season is the never-ending line of characters and cover-ups, which now take a turn towards the political – everything from federal warrants to property planning. Last season got lost in that web and this, too, starts becoming somewhat tedious as every lead goes nowhere and every person seems to be a thinly-veiled stereotype that falls in line whenever the story needs to move forward
But with most of the major players already introduced, The Killing Season Two garners a bit more traction on the ever-so-slippery slope the US remake appeared to be on. With fewer suspects, we manage to concentrate more on each one and build a story that feels more believable. This is not to say that the show is completely back on track; it still dishes out enough empty twists that don’t shock and keeps up the feeling that the only thing the writers really care about killing is time.
The redeeming feature of the original season was the intrigue offered by its two leads. Kinnaman, as Holder, keeps his end of the bargain well (reassuring considering his upcoming turn as Robocop); he’s slick, mouthy and ever the comic presence (a feigned drunken row in a casino is his crowning glory). Linden, however, moves a little further towards the other characters’ M.O. in that her every decision, for some reason, has to be explained to the viewer. Apparently watching a woman with drive and talent isn’t quite enough and so we press further into her life and her reasoning. Her neglect of everything else in her life leads to some problems involving her son (including a great scene where she helps him to escape protective custody) and eventually comes to a head in a psychiatric ward. Thorough as her backstory may be, though, it does feel like filler. After signed up to the show to discover Rose Larsen’s story, having 12 others explaining it, one evidence bag at a time, is increasingly frustrating.
The last few episodes help. Aatually eliminating suspects and fixing the problems hanging over them, Linden and Holder begin to look like they may solve the case. The Killing is not bad television. It is certainly not as formulaic, unrealistic or drawn-out as many other American cop shows. It is better written, wonderfully shot and far more care and attention goes into every detail. But with such strong characters, this remake could be so much more.