Tuesday, October 03, 2017

TV Tuesday: The Killing

For the past few weeks, during the end-of-summer TV lull, my husband and I have gotten hooked on a dark, suspenseful mystery series called The Killing on Netflix. All the new fall shows are starting now, but we are still loving this great suspense show!

Mareille Enos (more recently of The Catch) plays homicide detective Sarah Linden. As the first episode opens, Sarah is on her last day on the job in Seattle, ready to retire and start a new life with her boyfriend in sunny Sonoma, CA. She and her son, Jack (played by Liam James), have tickets for a late-night flight and have already packed up their home.

Then, a new case hits: a 16-year old girl, Rosie Lawsen, is missing and soon found dead. The case really gets under Sarah's skin as she and her replacement, Stephen Holden (played by Joel Kinnaman), criss-cross the city trying to find clues to Rosie's murder. Sarah misses her late-night deadline - a few times - and finally pledges to stay an extra week to try to wrap up the case. But this case is not easily solved.

Meanwhile, Rosie's family is devastated. Her father, Stan (played by Brent Sexton), owns his own moving company, but years ago he worked for the Russian mob as a "fixer." Her mother, Mitch (played by Michelle Forbes), is wrecked by depression at the loss of her daughter and can't even take care of their remaining two younger sons. Her sister, fun aunt Terry, steps in to help.

Meanwhile, there is a close mayoral race going on in Seattle, pitting the sitting mayor, Lesley Adams (played by Tom Butler) against the handsome, charismatic man-of-the-people councilman Darren Richmond, played by Billy Campbell. Politics gets pulled into the mix when a car registered to the councilman's campaign is found to be connected to the case.

The action goes back and forth between the detectives trying to solve the case, the grieving family who wants justice, and the ever-more nasty political campaign, as the Richmond side tries to distance itself from the horrific crime, and the Mayor tries to imply Richmond was involved. The tone of the show is dark and brooding, much like Sarah herself, set against the backdrop of a mostly dark and always raining Seattle (you won't want to visit the city after seeing all this dark rain!). There is plenty of suspense as the experienced detective and the newbie work (sometimes at odds with each other) to try to find a lead, with all kinds of unexpected twists and turns in the plot.

The entire cast is excellent in this show, but Mareille Enos is really outstanding. If you've only seen her before as the glamorous, wealthy Alice on The Catch, you will barely recognize her here. This is a grittier, more real feeling Enos who fully inhabits the character of Sarah, with her almost-obsession with being a good detective and solving this case in constant battle with her desire to be a good mom (and some secrets in her background). Her relationship with Holden is also an interesting one to watch develop, as she completely distrusts him at first, and he has his own secrets. His performance is also very good - both characters feel real and relatable.

We are in the middle of season 2 (of 4 seasons total), and Linden and Holden are still working on the same case, with all elements of the show digging deeper and deeper. There are surprises and red herrings in every show, plus plenty of character development on all sides. Like I said, we are completely hooked. If you liked The Fall, this show has a similar dark, gritty feel to it (it seems to be as dark and rainy in Ireland as it is in Seattle). It's perfect for this spooky season! (though we enjoyed it during the hot summer, too).

The Killing is a Netflix Original program, so it is available for streaming only on Netflix, with all four seasons there. Or you can watch it on DVD (link below).





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