Published June 18, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome
After a two-season investigation into the murder of Seattle teen Rosie Larsen, The Killing finally revealed who did it on last night’s season finale. Our dynamic detective duo Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder had a tough time of it in the second season as they closed in on the killer: starting with Joel Kinnaman’s Holder finding out he’d been set up to frame Seattle mayoral candidate Darren Richond with a doctored toll booth photo and then getting beat up by thugs at the Wapi Eagle casino and left for dead, while Mireille Enos’s Linden ditched her fiance, was suspended, lost custody of her son, got bashed on the head at the casino and committed to a psych ward for a day.
On the lam from their own Seattle police force, Linden & Holder strike an on-the-spot deal with Mayor Lesley Adams on Day 24 of the investigation to let them pursue two suspects (whom Holder dubbed “Donny and Marie”) from the rival Richmond campaign: campaign manager Jamie Wright and campaign adviser Gwen Eaton. After an interview with Wright’s grandfather, Kinnaman’s Holder is subjected to one more indignity while walking back to his beater car in an alley off Victory Square. The dreaded Vancouver rain tower.
Of course it wouldn’t be The Killing if the leads didn’t get completely soaked from time to time but I bet Joel Kinnaman regrets joking to EW magazine last year that one of the privileges of going to Swedish acting school is doing two months of rain tower. He was doused in take after take by a spectacular deluge, so spectacular I had to strip out some of the fake rain from my photographs so that you could see him.
Yet the second season has been nowhere near as damp or morose as the first thanks to Kinnaman’s Holder, who has single-handedly turned The Killing from a dead serious drama into an occasional dramedy. Apart from last night’s finale of course, which turned out to be nothing but sombre for Linden & Holder. Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know who killed Rosie Larsen.
Holder’s funniest moment had to be the one on Day 22 of the investigation when the motormouth provided a distraction in the Wapi Eagle Casino (some of it improvised by Joel Kinnaman) so that Linden could gain access to the 10th floor where Rosie Larsen was last seen alive: ”Hey, what’s up guys. You winning?….Johnny Knoxville you doin’ it man?…Show me your cards man…I love your haircut man. It’s slick. It’s old-school slick…Where are the ladies?…I’m talkin’ real ladies. Ain’t no party without no trim….What’s up Bobby [casino security chief Roberta Drays]? …I just want my phone back cupcake….Probably fell out of my pocket when you kicked the shit out of me the other day…Beware of the She-Wolf, she’ll crack your ribs…..Look at that [lifts up his shirt to show bruises]….Oh I found my phone…My Bad….My boss at SPD will love this one [takes photo with phone]…..Oh I’ll see myself out….Sayonara, Hiawatha!”
When Linden & Holder return to the casino on Day 23 with a federal warrant for the 10th floor, they seem to leave empty-handed until Casino boss Nicole Jackson checks the security footage in the elevator and sees Mireille Enos’s Linden, with a big ol’ grin on her face, holding up the blood-stained City Hall key card that casino security had overlooked under the floorboards. Yet another funny moment in a very serious drama. That key card leads the detectives to the campaign offices of Billy Campbell’s Darren Richmond, who I didn’t get to see on location this season (probably because he spent much of it hospitalized after getting shot in the season one finale and then confined to a wheelchair).
Either Jamie Wright or Gwen Eaton has been conspiring with Chief Jackson and real estate developer Michael Ames to install Darren Richmond in the Mayor’s seat in return for a new waterfront casino project they can profit from. So one of them was the third person at the emergency meeting on the 10th floor of the casino when Rosie Larsen was out on the balcony looking at the city lights, becoming an accidental witness.
I saw both suspects on location this season. Eric Ladin’s Jamie Wright filmed a scene at Victory Square of him hugging an assistant district attorney who reveals that it was Mayor Lesley Adam’s camp who doctored the photo of Darren Richmond at a toll booth to implicate him in Rosie Larsen’s murder and derail his campaign, done in retaliation for the Richmond campaign getting Chief Jackson to plant Indian bones at the Mayor Adams’s waterfront construction site.
Gwen Eaton and her father Senator Eaton have a long political association with Chief Jackson, but it turns out she wasn’t the third person at the meeting the night Rosie Larsen was killed. I saw Alan Dale’s Senator Eaton and Kristin Lehman’s Gwen Eaton filming a discussion on the south plaza of the Vancouver Public Library, while crew dressed the atrium for the Darren Richmond victory party where Linden & Holder will come to arrest Jamie Wright.
But Jamie Wright, who was my prime suspect in season one, isn’t at the victory party, filmed after the library closed.
He’s taken the newly-elected Mayor to City Hall, where he tries to justify all his actions, telling Billy Campbell’s Darren Richmond that he’s done it all for him: struck a deal with Chief Jackson for a waterfront casino in exchange for her sabatoguing the Mayor Adams’s construction site; hitting Rosie Larsen, putting in her in the campaign car and then chasing her through the woods all because she accidentally witnessed the emergency meeting between Jackson, Ames and himself. “I was only thinking of you,” he tells Richmond, saying someone has to do the dirty work that Richmond refused to do to win. His tirade is interrupted by Linden & Holder. And when Wright fires his gun in Linden’s direction, Holder shoots him dead. Is their case solved?
Linden knows there’s more to it. Michael Ames must have been at the lake too. Looking at the dead Wright’s phone records she sees a call from him to Ames at 3:37 a.m. on the night of Rosie’s murder. But how do they prove it?
Linden & Holder go to S.A. Larsen to tell the Larsen family about Jamie Wright. They are greeted by Mitch Larsen’s younger sister Terry, played by Jamie Ann Allman, who tells them the family is at their new house but should be back shortly. While waiting Linden notices the broken tail light on Terry’s car parked inside the garage.
Here’s a photo of the S.A. Larsen set near the Main Street overpass in Vancouver, taken early in the filming of season two. You can see Terry’s car parked on the right but the tail light doesn’t look broken. An oversight in continuity?
Terry, who was having an affair with Michael Ames and expecting him to leave his rich wife for her, picked him up at the ferry from the casino to take him to airport for their trip to Vegas when he got the call from Jamie Wright about a witness to their earlier meeting at the casino. Terry sits in her car with the broken tail light listening to her lover yell at Wright that their deal is off. He wants no part in the killing of this girl stuffed in the Richmond campaign car’s trunk. Wright ask Ames to phone his pal, mob boss Janek to kill the girl, because he can’t do it.
“We can’t let her go . . . this is your ticket to be free of your wife, ” Wright says. Ames calls him crazy and threatens to go back to his wife and start over. On hearing this, Terry gets out of her car and walks to the campaign car to put it in gear and watch it drive into the lake as the girl trapped in the trunk screams. So Terry is the one who ultimately kills her niece, without ever knowing that it was Rosie in the trunk.
The randomness is such a tragedy. Rosie Larsen was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“We got the bad guy”, Holder tries to reassure Linden later as they’re parked in an alley outside the S.A. Larsen set near the Main Street overpass.. ““Yeah?” replies Linden. “Who was that?”
After Holder takes a call about a new homicide, Mireille Enos’s Linden gets out of the car and stands for a bit staring at S.A. Larsenbefore walking away in emotional exhaustion.
I feel a bit like Linden. It’s unfortunate that The Killing followed the model of the Danish original in its first season, detouring into the world of muslim mosques instead of sticking with the political story. The murder of Rose Larsen might have been solved in 13 days instead of the 25 it took. That said, this season was excellent and I’ve become such a big fan of detective duo Linden & Holder — especially when they let Holder loose — that I would welcome a new case for them in a third season of Vancouver as Seattle.