'The Killing' recap: Any Old Orpheus

the-killing.jpgWhile Linden and Holder are trying to track down Jamie, he's absquatulating with Darren so they can have a nice long talk about... Lots of things, but one of them is that Jamie accidentally killed Rosie Larsen. Kind of. What happened was that he caught her upstairs with a video camera, assumed she was part of the same kind of no-limit games he was himself playing (remember, he was up there conspiring with Ames and Nicole for all kinds of corrupt reasons), and beat her unconscious. Then -- after getting on the elevator for some reason, riding down with a scary face, and then presumably back up again -- he magically got Rosie into his car. She wasn't dead yet, though, and she led him on a merry chase through the woods, at which point he killed her a second time and stashed her in the trunk.

Of course, we know she still wasn't dead yet, but at this point that's all he is gonna say. So right around this time our cops show up, and he's waving an empty gun around and feeling sort of hemmed in, and before you know it, Stephen Holder has shot him dead. Gwen and Darren both flip the **** out, Nicole refuses to give evidence against Ames, and in the end everybody pulls themselves together. Darren's the new Mayor, at peace with his wife's death finally; Jamie is dead and no longer slapping old men around; Mitch has turned over a new leaf and is now ready to move into the gorgeous home Stan secretly bought her, and Linden even gets a metaphorical high-five from Lt. Carlson about, um, what good cops she and Holder are.

...And then they head over to the Larsens' to tell them the news. Remember that broken taillight Jasper mentioned? It wasn't on a taxi after all: It was on Terry's car. So when they show up, she figures the jig is up and they know her part in the murder, which is what clues them in. See, Jamie called Ames for help once he had Rosie in his trunk, but he was in Aunt Terry's car, given that they were thinking about running away together. Jamie and Michael got into a big argument by the waterside and Terry -- some hooker in Jamie's trunk being the last thing she's gonna let get between her and her man -- ended up sinking the car, listening to somebody dying as they slowly drowned.

...Which, ha, is just about the time Mitch and Stan show up. So there's a beautifully horrific scene in which Terry tries to explain the Greek Tragedy coincidence that caused her to accidentally kill their daughter, move in on Mitch's territory, kiss Stan out of guilt, turn Tommy into a serial killer by shaking him for locking Denny in her trunk, and all the rest of it. Even when the writing's been questionable, you have great actors making it work, and I'm happy to say this isn't one of those cases: Every twist and dramatic set piece in this hour felt earned, elegiac and wise. Just dreadfully sad.