The Killing—Season 1

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Solid story, smart acting, good looking series

Gets a bit too obsessed with creating twists on occassion


Welcome to Seattle…It’s depressing

The body of teenager Rosie Larsen (Katie Findlay) is found in a park in Seattle.  Detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) is brought in despite being in her final days on the force and assigned a new detective named Stephen Holder (Joal Kinnaman).  With ties to the political campaign of city councilman Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell), the case continues to grow more and more difficult as both Linden and Holder try to keep control of it.  As Linden and Holder track the killer, the family of Rosie Larsen finds themselves dealing with the loss and seeking vengeance.

The Killing—Season 1 aired on AMC from April 3, 2011 to June 19, 2011.  The series adapted a 2007 Danish series called Forbrydelsen (The Crime) and was met with positive reviews.  It received Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Mireille Enos), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Michelle Forbes), Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (“Pilot”), Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (“Pilot”), and Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series.  Enos was also nominated for a Golden Globe and the Directors Guild of America honored the series for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series.


Don’t worry dude…we pretty much accuse all of Seattle for killing this girl this season…

I’m a sucker for a mystery/detective show.  One of my big complaints about Law & Order is that I don’t care about the Order part…I just want to see the detectives’ search.  The Killing—Season 1 provides not only the detectives’ search but a smart family drama and political thriller.

I do have to say that despite liking The Killing a lot, I think it sometimes tries too hard for twists in the case.  It seems like there were a few unnecessary detours in the story that I don’t see detectives really following, or clues that got left behind for too long.  Despite this, The Killing—Season 1 is addictive and will probably be watched in a few sittings once you get into it.


I’ve had better weeks…

The strength of The Killing—Season 1 comes in part from the strong ensemble cast.  There really aren’t any weak links in the cast.  Linden and Holder echo Mulder and Scully of The X-Files in that they are determined but they both have faults and quirks that sometimes hinder their objective opinion of events…like real people.  The family in mourning also is great with Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton trying to balance the chaos that comes from losing a child.

The Seattle setting is also perfect for the series.  It is shot in a way that provides mood and feeling for the characters just through the fog and constantly rainy weather.  With a great cinematographer capturing the images of the series, The Killing—Season 1 looks fantastic.

I like The Killing—Season 1, and wish I kept up with it when it aired.  The show has a feeling of both something like the film Insomnia combined with Twin Peaks or The X-Files (minus the craziness).  If you want a night taunt thriller, check it out.

The Killing—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:



1.1       Pilot Airdate:  04/03/11

Detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) is on her last day with the squad in Seattle and preparing for a move to California with her son Jack (Liam James) and her boyfriend Rick Felder (Callum Keith Rennie).  When Linden and her replacement Stephen Holder (Joal Kinnaman) get called in on the discovery of a girl’s belongings near the forest, they begin to search for the identity of the possible victim.  Stanley Larsen (Brent Sexton) and his wife Mitch (Michelle Forbes) worry about their daughter Rosie (Katie Findlay) and learn that Rosie might be missing.  As her friend Sterling Fitch (Kacey Rohl) looks for Rosie, her activities at a party could be the key to finding her.  A city councilman named Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) seeking election finds his debate interrupted by the search for Rosie but also learns that someone in his campaign is leaking information.  When Rosie’s body is discovered in a car belonging to the Richmond campaign, the mystery is just beginning.


“The Cage”

1.2       The Cage Airdate:  04/03/11

Rosie’s parents are questioned about Rosie’s last actions as Linden learns that her boss refuses to sign off on her leaving.  As the Richmond campaign learns about the potential political crisis, Richmond’s girlfriend and campaign manager Gwen Eaton (Kristin Lehman) warns Richmond to use his wife’s death as spin for the death.  Sterling and Jasper Ames (Richard Harmon) are questioned by police on Rosie’s disappearance.  Rosie’s parents try to keep their kids in the dark about Rosie’s disappearance as Linden tries to find out what they can before Rosie’s story goes public.  Richmond agrees to sit on the story to keep an endorsement from a council leader named Ruth Yitanes (Lee Garlington) but worries about the traitor in his camp.  Linden debates leaving and learns how Rosie died.  Felder finds where kids at the school go to party.


“El Diablo”

1.3       El Diablo Airdate:  04/10/11

Losing his endorsement, Richmond finds himself in a firestorm as Rosie’s case goes public and denies any connections to his wife’s death.  The police investigate the party room at the school and question the janitor.  The leaking of the story causes problems between Linden and Richmond.  Linden and Holder get evidence from the janitor and learn that Kris Echols (Gharrett Patrick Paon) was at the dance.  Richmond uncovers Jamie Wright (Eric Ladin) is the leak and debates what to do next.  Holder searches for Kris, and Linden speaks to Rosie’s parents.  When Richmond confronts Jamie about the leak, Jamie claims he was set-up.


“A Soundless Echo”

1.4       A Soundless Echo Airdate:  04/17/11

Kris Echols and Jasper Ames are brought in for questioning after a video surfaces of them having sex with Rosie on the night of her disappearance.  Richmond works to get money for the campaign as he continues to take a beating in the press.  Jamie is contacted by Mayor Adams (Tom Butler) work for him after being let go by Richmond.  Sterling reveals she’s the girl in the video, and tells why she did it to Rosie.  The Larsens prepare to bury Rosie and learn that the police are looking for another possible boyfriend.  Gwen goes behind Richmond to her father Senator Eaton (Alan Dale) to try to get a meeting with the senator as both Mayor Adams and Richmond go to Tom Drexler (Patrick Gilmore) for money.  Rick comes back to Seattle to see Linden and worries that her job is going to break them up again.  The Larsens prepare to bury Rosie, but Stanley’s forced to return to his old roots when his bills begin to mount.  Holder gets a lead on Rosie’s activities.


“Super 8”

1.5       Super 8 Airdate:  04/12/11

Holder and Linden’s search leads to Rosie’s teacher Bennet Ahmed (Brandon Jay McLaren) and a video shot by Rosie.  Jamie continues to work with Richmond secretly and tries to find the mole in Richmond’s campaign.  Stanley and Mitch try to get back to work, and their children try to cope with their absent parents. Gwen meets with Richmond and pressures Richmond to get the Larsens to campaign for them.  Jamie gives Richmond the source of the leak, and Richmond asks him to look deeper.  Lender and Holder find more information on Rosie’s teacher and a toxicology report indicates that Rosie’s attacker might be a professional.  Richmond gets evidence of his leak and Gwen learns he suspected her.  Stanley decides he wants to know who the police are looking into in Rosie’s murder.


“What You Have Left”

1.6       What You Have Left Airdate:  05/01/11

Linden prepares to leave Seattle and worries about handing the case off to Holder.  As the police close in on Bennet, Richmond gets a heads up from the principal of the high school about Bennet’s involvement, and Jamie and Gwen encourage Richmond to cut his ties before Mayor Adams finds out.  Holder learns about Stanley’s mafia ties and learns that his record was covered.  Rosie is buried, and Linden learns Richmond knows about Bennet.  Stanley learns that Bennet is a suspect and sees him at the funeral.  A new witness comes forward that links Bennet and his wife Amber Ahmed (Ashley Johnson) to the crime.  Linden and Holder try to locate Bennet but learn Stanley is with him.  Richmond’s chances of election slip away when Bennet is brought up in a debate.



1.7       Vengeance Airdate:  05/08/11

Stanley debates killing Bennet  and finds he can’t do it.  Linden questions Amber and learns of another suspect named Muhammed.  Linden’s plans to head to California fall through and disappoints her son again.  Richmond finds himself in a firestorm over his position on Bennet and learns that the woman who killed his wife in a drunk-driving accident is up for parole.  Linden and Holder search for a man who knows Muhammed and are told that the Muslim community is angry that another missing girl isn’t being searched for.  Mitch debates what to do about Bennet and finds her husband is coping better.  A tip on the suspect puts Linden and Holder in more danger.



1.8       Stonewalled Airdate:  05/15/11

Linden and Holder discover themselves tied up in a Federal investigation into terrorists and realize that the legal loops might cause problem for their search.  Richmond prepares an offensive on Mayor Adams and orders Jamie to dig into his past…with big results.  Federal agents lockdown Linden and Holder’s investigation and new leaks cause problems for Linden. Bennet is placed on administrative leave and finds himself connected to the terrorist activity.  An accident by Mitch puts her children’s safety in question.  As Linden is told that the investigation is over, she uncovers a secret about Holder when she decides to follow him and learns the real source of the leak.  As Richmond’s campaign begins to look worse, Richmond decides to go dirty and leak the story about Adams.



1.9       Undertow Airdate:  05/22/11

A wiretap of Bennet surfaces information that might actually implicate Bennet to terrorism and Rosie’s death.  Mayor Adams goes on the defensive for Richmond’s secret smear campaign, and Richmond finds himself denying ties to the story.  Linden and Holder try to get an arrest warrant for Bennet but finds they can’t get a judge to sign it.  Bennet’s wife Amber’s discovery that her husband has been lying leads her to debate calling Linden.  Bennet returns to school against orders but finds that no one will listen to him.  Richmond goes to Tom Drexler for more money and makes a big gamble.  Linden and Holder bring in Muhammed Hamid (Jarod Joseph) and learn that they have to get him to talk before the FBI move in…but get more information than they planned.  Mitch finds no action is being taken on Bennet and demands that Stanley do something about it.


“I’ll Let You Know When I Get There”

1.10     I’ll Let You Know When I Get There Airdate:  05/29/11

Bennet is cleared from Rosie’s disappearance but is found nearly beaten to death by Stanley.  Richmond finds his campaign invigorated by the attack on Bennet and takes advantage of the situation.  With Stanley under arrest for assault and no suspects, Linden questions if Stanley former mob ties could be involved in Rosie’s disappearance.  As Linden and Holder try to trace Rosie’s actions on the night of the disappearance, the path leads back to Rosie’s home.  When Stanley’s employee Belko Royce (Brendan Sexton III) is brought in, a new lead develops in the form of someone named Adela.  New evidence turns up tying Mitch’s attempt to pay her bills leads to an unexpected discovery.  Rick returns to Seattle to talk to Linden about their relationship.



1.11     Missing Airdate:  06/05/11

Linden discovers Rosie’s Adela reference is tied to a ferry to the Wapi Eagle Casino, but legal problems keep them from being able to investigate.  Linden gets word that her son hasn’t come to school and discovers him missing without his cellphone.  Holder plans to meet with his family and reveals how he became a meth addict to Linden.  Linden and Holder search for Jack, and Linden worries that something has happened to him.  The warrant comes through for the ATMs at the casino to give clues to Rosie’s final night.


“Beau Soleil”

1.12     Beau Soleil Airdate:  06/12/11

The discovery of a Native American body in his waterfront project leads to a halt in work and a positive turn for Richmond’s campaign.  Linden and Holder discover Rosie’s secret bank account and traces it back to Rosie’s aunt Terry (Jamie Anne Allman).  Mitch visits Stanley in jail and learns that he recently renewed his mob ties. Linden finds Jack’s father Greg (Tahmoh Penikett) is back in their life and learns that he wants to see Jack.  The discovery of an escort service on Rosie’s computer reveals Rosie might have had a darker side.  Terry’s ties to the website is exposed and the search for a client called Orpheus begins.


“Orpheus Descending”

1.13     Orpheus Descending Airdate:  06/19/11

Linden and Holder find Orpheus is Richmond and set out to bring him in for the murder of Rosie Larsen.  Stanley is bailed out of jail by Terry but finds he cannot go home.  Gwen learns about Richmond’s affairs, and that he isn’t the man she believed him to be.  As the election grows close, Linden and Holder find what happened to Rosie in her last hours and try to find the evidence needed to stop Richmond.  As the case looks like it is coming to a close, who’s playing whom?

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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