Published March 30, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome
The investigation returns this Sunday night with The Killing‘s two-hour second season premiere on AMC and a new marketed tagline — Be Careful What You Uncover — on the show’s poster. Following a Twitter riot over last season’s finale, showrunner Veena Sud has promised that the central mystery and last season’s marketed tagline — Who Killed Rosie Larsen? — will be solved in this season’s finale.
In addition to not solving the murder in last June’s finale, The Killing turned Joel Kinnaman’s detective Stephen Holder, one of the few likable characters, into a seeming villain, who betrayed Mireille Enos’s lead detective Sarah Linden and set up Seattle mayoral candidate Darren Richmond for arrest. So it’s not surprising that in early filming of season two in Vancouver (which began in late November and is scheduled to wrap in late April), I never found Enos and Kinnaman at the same location shoot.
The set-in-Seattle cop drama debuted last spring with what is considered to be one of the smartest, most stylish and rainiest pilots in years but lost its lustre along the way with too many red herrings and erratic writing. I balked in the third episode when writers clumsily explained gallons of blood smeared on the walls around The Cage in the high school basement as the product of a nose bleed and the rape video as a young girl (Vancouver’s own Kacey Rohl)’s desire for attention. But I stuck with the series to the end and will be back on Sunday night because I developed an attachment to these characters. And that’s the dichotomy: the performances are sublime even when the plotting goes array.
Entertainment Weekly magazine named and photographed Mireille Enos and .Joel Kinnaman as Entertainers of the Year in 2011 along with other AMC show casts and later singled out Kinnaman as a Breakout TV star in 2011 for his “new partner” character Holder (Kinnaman joked that one of the privileges of going to Swedish acting school is doing two months of rain tower). But the same magazine also put the show on its Bullseye 2011 TV Edition with this caption — “The Killing in three words: It rained. Disappointed.” — and named the season finale as one of the worst TV episodes of the year for being unwilling or incapable of resolving the Who killed Rosie Larsen? mystery in a single season.
EW’s criticism is mild at best compared to the vitriol spewed by other TV critics. Early this year, showrunner Veena Sud backed out of a The Killing panel at the Winter Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, leaving it to the AMC President to talk about The Killing’s upcoming season. Lost showrunner Damon Lindeloff thought she should take her lumps, tweeting “We showed up after cages and Nikki and Paolo. Take your medicine, guys.” But TV critics actually hissed when AMC’s Joel Stillerman spoke about The Killing, even after he asked them to “Be nice”.
Despite the controversy or maybe in part because of it, The Killing leads gather more acclaim. Mireille Enos, who spent the summer in Europe playing Brad Pitt’s wife in the upcoming feature film World War Z, looked radiant at the Golden Globes, where she was nominated for her lead performance. She and Michelle Forbes picked up Emmy nominations too (as did Veena Sud for writing the pilot and Patty Jenkins for directing it). And Joel Kinnaman has just been cast as the lead in a reboot of RoboCop.
So these are no longer two relative unknowns filming in our city and there have been a few more security measures as result. Early on in the filming of season two, I photographed this clandestine meeting of Holder with Gil, played by Brian Markinson, under the Granville Bridge.
My photo at the top of Joel Kinnaman as Holder exiting his beater car, cell phone to ear, was of another Holder-Gil meetup, this time in cofee shop at the corner of Main and Alexander in Gastown.
A little while later, I found Mireille Enos as Detective Sarah Linden investigating the aftermath of a bombing, filmed in Chinatown. My photo of her isn’t crisp because of all the fake smoke I had to strip out but I kept it because it’s such a Sarah Linden expression on her face.
Almost everyone in the cast seems to be back for the second season. The new poster shows the bereaved Larsen family, as well as suspect Seattle Mayoral candidate Darren Richmond and his campaign workers. Apparently, I just missed seeing Brent Sexton on set as Stan Larsen dressed in shorts and carrying a baseball bat (I saw his double setting up the scene but left when asked) and there have been sightings of the two young actors who play the sons but not of Michelle Forbes as the mother Mitch or Jamie Ann Allman as her sister Terry yet. And while I have not seen Billy Campbell on location as Darren Richmond (who was about to be shot in last year’s season finale) or his campaign love Kristin Lehman as Gwen Eaton, I have photographed Eric Ladin on location as campaign manager Jamie Wright.
We should also get to play some more rounds of Spot-the-Local-Actor in season two. I’m especially looking forward to the return of Patrick Gilmore as sleezy billionaire Tom Drexler; Brandon Jay Mclaren as Bennet Ahmed; and Kacey Rohl and Richard Harman as Rosie Larsen’s schoolmates.
Of course there will be new characters too as the political conspiracy unfolds, such as Lt. Carlson, a politically-savvy Seattle police officer played by Mark Moses of Desperate Housewives and Mad Men fame. I did see Moses about town and on set for a guest appearance on Fairly Legal, but not on location for the filming of his eight episodes of The Killing.
As the investigation continues, The Killing has returned to several downtown and downtown eastside spots: Quayside Marina in Yaletown where Regi’s boat is moored, the S.A. Larsen exterior at the old Burrard Ironworks building near the Main Street overpass, the Seattle police station at Hastings & Carrall and Lord Strathcona School, among others.
That’s Mireille Enos at the top being battered by real rain and wind at Quayside Marina in Yaletown, but there are hints that the second season of The Killing will have a little less rain and more sun. Despite Joel Kinnaman’s extensive rain-tower experience, this season I spotted a production assistant standing at the ready with a big umbrella on set to shelter him from light rain between takes.
A drier The Killing. Say it isn’t so.