The Killing: Reckoning

The Killing: Reckoning

Sweet Mother of God, this week’s episode of “The Killing” is the best of the season so far. It kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish, with one scene catapulting into the next with fierce abandon.

Probably a combination of Jonathan Demme directing and knockout performances by all, including (once again) Amy Seimetz as Danette. I’m hoping she lands an Emmy, because she certainly deserves it. In the scene where she’s in the interrogation room with Joe Mills, you could just feel her panic and fear and hatred, especially when she leaped across the table at him like a wild animal.

Holder also deserves special recognition, as he tries to process his role in the death of Bullet. His grief almost led him to seek comfort in the arms of Linden, but she pushed him away. I’ve been thinking they’re sort of perfect for each other, but this isn’t how it should proceed. A relationship between them shouldn’t be the result of grief.

The episode begins with Danette leaving “missing child” flyers on car windshields. When she goes home, the door is open and the place ransacked. She calls out for Kallie, but finds only Joe, who beats her up and steals her money and car. At the station, she tells Linden and Holder that he took camping and fishing stuff, but she also has a storage unit with all of his backwoods maps.

At the storage room, Linden and Holder find a sleeping bag with a still-smoldering cigarette in an ashtray, so they race through the building in pursuit of Joe. Joe and Linden fight, with him landing several blows, then putting a choke-hold on her. She gets the last kick in, though, after Holder tackles him. The camera work in this segment is all shaky “Blair Witch Project,” and I love it.

The cops flock to the building and find a box of rings – Joe’s victim’s rings. But as Linden is looking through it, she also finds Bullet’s chain, and races down to the garage, where Holder is about to open the trunk of a car. Linden begs Holder to step away from the trunk. “Don’t open it,” she says. “Please, Holder. Just come over here. You don’t need to be here.”

Instead, he opens the trunk and finds Bullet’s body, immediately recognizable because of her “faith” tattoo. Oh, Bullet. Oh, Holder. She didn’t go quietly, though. Her wrist is broken, and she has dozens of defense wounds.

Down at the station, Holder has the option of going in and talking to Joe, “no witnesses, no questions.” He opts out, and there’s a great scene where he’s in his car as the rain is falling – rain, always rain – and his girlfriend gets in the car with him. She tries to sympathize, but he pushes her away. “This tattoo, do you even know what it means?!” yells Holder. “I’m an addict! I’m a tweaker! I shot meth into my veins every day!” She doesn’t understand. She’ll never understand.

Inside, a whole crowd of people are behind the one-way glass as Danette goes in to talk to Joe. “You had her cellphone,” she says. “What did you do to her in that hotel?!”

“Nothing,” he says. “I loved that kid. And you know that.”

Danette can barely stand to look at him, and says that Joe’s mother told her what he did to those kids. “She says you’re not her little boy anymore. She told me everything you did to those girls in the hotel, in those films. Why?”

“Those little girls, they came to me,” says Joe. “It’s nature. It can’t be helped. They look at me with that ache. That sweet, sweet ache. And they look at me with those little sad eyes, and they’re like, please mister, please, just make it go away. I was gentle. and I took care of them. And I made it go away.”

And here’s that great scene where Danette lunges across the table at him, and I practically stood up out of my chair. “What did you do to my baby?!” she yells. “Where is my daughter?! What did you do to her?!” She reminds me of Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone.” Only she actually cares about her daughter.

Meanwhile, Linden notes that Kallie’s ring is not with the others. She also asks whether they’re running any forensics connecting Joe Mills to Tricia Seward’s body.

Linden finally gets to question Seward’s son, Adrian (a terrific Rowan Longworth). Does he remember seeing anyone else in the apartment that night besides his mom? Yes, he says.

“What did you see this man doing?” asks Linden. “He hurt my mom,” says Adrian. “He had a knife.”

Adrian was in the closet that night. It was late, and he woke up. It was dark, but the Christmas tree was on. “My mom kept the lights on the Christmas tree at night.” Linden holds up a picture with a group of headshots, and Adrian points to number 5 – Joe Mills. He’s positive it was him. “Can I see my dad now?” he asks.

Skinner gives a press conference and says, “The so-called pied piper is finally off the streets, and the city of Seattle can rest easy tonight.” Why do I not believe that?

Linden picks up her messages – five from Seward – but as she starts to call him back, she runs into Danette in the hallway. Danette tells Linden that she thinks she deserves it (Kallie missing). She always picks messed-up guys, but Joe brought Kallie Christmas presents. One of those dolls with the hair that grows. Kallie was 12 at the time, which was three years ago. Danette also tells Linden that Joe was in Alaska that Christmas, meaning he wasn’t in Seattle the night that Tricia was murdered.

Linden goes to Holder’s and lets herself in with the key in the flower pot. She tells Holder that Mills was out of town the night Tricia was murdered, but no one knows that but Danette. Linden could use Adrian’s testimony to get Seward a stay of execution. Even though it’d be burying the evidence, Holder reminds her. “Seward is going to die tomorrow if I don’t,” says Linden.

Holder is grieving over the fact that he should have picked up Bullet’s call. Feeling completely desperate and grief-sticken, he leans in for a kiss, but Linden pulls away. “I’m sorry,” he says, and then breaks down weeping uncontrollably. Oh, this is killing me. Is this why the show is called “The Killing”? You’re killing me, Holder!

Later, while Holder is in the morgue looking at Bullet’s body, the medical examiner tells him that Bullet called the station several times last night. At this point, Holder is a loose cannon and goes to Reddick’s house, where he beats the living daylights out of him, as Reddick’s wife and daughter look on in panic.

The episode ends with Linden in her car looking at a baggie with four rings that couldn’t be tied to a particular girl. I believe she’s sitting outside the penitentiary.

More thoughts…

I’m a little confused on who Adrian shot. Did I hear correctly that a black guy showed up at the house, and Adrian shot him? Do you think it was because Adrian thought this would get him into the prison so he could see his dad?

The guy in the cage next to Seward who’s trying to encourage him and give him religious advice, and then starts laughing and says, “I thought you’d be harder to crack … on the outside I use my hands, felt ’em struggle and then just give in. But in here? The words do the killing for me. I’ve been killing you since the day we met.” That’s harsh, even for a killer.

Seward gets an extra hour of yard time before his execution. Yippee. “Get as much air into those lungs as you can,” says the guard.

The execution racket is apparently a big deal. One of the guards says he’s already got Seward’s hoodie and shackles sold.

Rachel Olmstead. That’s Bullet’s real name.

Skinner tells Linden that she should stay on after the case. “This is where you belong,” he says. Which is timely, because they’ll probably need her since Holder will be suspended for punching Reddick out.

It took some serious shock and grief to get Holder to give Linden a cigarette.

When we learned that Joe Mills was out of town the night Tricia Seward was murdered, did anyone else immediately think TWIN!? That old soap opera trick.

Interesting storyline with Twitch and Lyric this week. He’s got some extra money, and she’s all happy that they can finally start to live their dreams, but then he tells her that Bullet is dead. Instead of going to L.A., he puts a deposit down on a little apartment, and Lyric is overjoyed when he takes her there. I didn’t have high hopes for Twitch at the beginning of this season, but this turned it around for me.

Only two episodes left!

What did you guys think of this episode? Any theories on who killed Tricia Seward? Think Linden and Holder will get together before the end of the season? Do you WANT them to get together? Leave comments below! 


    • Ah – thank you. I almost wrote, “Or was that some other kid?” And then figured that would make me look really stupid. 🙂

      So did this shooting come out of nowhere? Where does it fit into this season?

  1. it’s the good old fashioned curveball out of nowhere that is to be expected from The Killing’s writing staff. They haven’t tied the shooting to any other events as of yet, but they have been melodramatically playing up Becker’s home life as a sad one for his wife and son for the entire season. We simply don’t know who the man is who was shot, nor why just yet.

  2. What a sad episode. Bullet’s ending was horrible. This season is making me a Killing junkie. If they don’t come back with a 4th season I’m not sure what I’ll do. I just know it keeps getting better and better. They better dish out some emmy’s to these folks.

    And wow, this is the first review I have found that isn’t completely shutting down the possibility of a Linden/Holder relationship. I agree that the non-kiss was a good thing. I think they are kinda perfect for each other and any kissing should be done while they both have their wits about them. Here’s hoping for that to happen before the next 2 episodes end.

  3. Becker is the red herring. It’s his prison guard partner who was just put on the execution team. Why doesn’t he want to be on the team that kills Seward? Guilt for being the guy who actually killed his wife? He has been missing just as often as Becker with the excuse of a crying baby at home. Wait for the reveal that he is without family.

    • Hmmm… good thoughts. I wondered what the deal with the prison guard suddenly being put on the execution team was all about.

      And there was that creepy scene in the “Hope Kills” episode, where Becker is showing Frankie the hanging area, and Frankie got all excited that his dad might actually be involved with the hanging.

      My notes from that recap:
      Was anyone else creeped out when Becker showed his son the hanging box? Then the kid seemed all excited that his dad might actually do the hanging. “I noose him,” said Becker. “Put the rope around his neck. Right and wrong, Frankie. It’s a choice.” Yikes. Scared straight at a tender age?

  4. Perhaps someone can clear up something that was interfering with the final 15 minutes of this episode for me. Why is the info that Mills was in Alaska the night of Trisha Seward’s murder being taken at face value? Putting aside the fact that Danette revealing that randomly at that exact moment feels very contrived from a writing standpoint, NO ONE questioned this info? I believe Mills told Danette that he was in Alaska, but if Mills was out murdering Seward that night, of course he’s going to Danelle he was somewhere else, whether he told her that night or years later. Was there an explanation I missed?

    • I wondered about that too. Didn’t Danette say she’d dropped him off and/or picked him up at the airport? But that doesn’t mean squat – he could have not gotten on the plane, or gotten on the plane and made his way back to Seattle, any number of things.

      And Danette isn’t exactly the most credible person. Do we know if she’s a drug user (I’m guessing yes)? And she said her daughter selling herself on the street was just a phase she’d grow out of. Here are the exact quotes from episode four, “Head Shots”:

      “Your daughter’s a prostitute. Are you aware of that?” – Linden
      “It’s just a phase. She’ll grow out of it.” – Danette

      So for Linden to not even follow up on Danette’s remark that Joe was out of town when Tricia’s murder took place is just faulty cop work.


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