Note to 'Killing': Find the bad guy already

Ellen Gray / Philadelphia Daily News /


Published Jun 10, 2011 at 05:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

I no longer much care who killed Rosie Larsen.

There — I’ve said it.

For those who’ve watched AMC’s “The Killing,” which has just two episodes to go before we presumably learn whodunit, not caring (much) makes me: a) an idiot, incapable of appreciating complex theories regarding potential suspects; b) impatient with prolonged displays of grief (a position advanced by Meghan O’Rourke in a recent piece for Slate); or c) a person who doesn’t like being jerked around.

I’m sure there are other choices — hey, that’s what e-mail is for — but if you’re watching “The Killing,” the rest of your time becomes that much more valuable.

And if you’ve been here from the beginning, seemingly eons ago, you may recall that I rather liked “The Killing,” a set-in-Seattle remake of a Danish series about the investigation of a young girl’s murder that stars Mireille Enos (“Big Love”) as homicide detective Sarah Linden.

I described Enos as “a genuine screen presence,” noted a strong performance by Michelle Forbes as Rosie Larsen’s grief-stricken mother and suggested that the best reason to watch the show might be to “resensitize those who’ve seen one too many episodes of ‘Criminal Minds’ — or overdosed on local news.”

That was before I realized “The Killing” was really the slow-TV version of “24” and that the red herrings would become a little more far-fetched each week (the point of no return for me was the discovery that the suspected Muslim “terrorists” had been trying to protect a young girl from genital mutilation).

I know enough of loss to not put a stopwatch on the Larsens’ grief, and indeed, the honesty of that expression remains one of the show’s strengths. Some weeks, it’s the only thing that distracts me from Sarah Linden’s sweaters and my conviction that if I’d just started in Week 1, I’d have a Nordic pullover of my own nearly knitted by now.

This past episode, a detour in which Sarah changed into something with Lycra and spent most of the hour looking for her missing son, was in some ways the plotting equivalent of “24’s” Teri Bauer getting kidnapped.

But it was also a genuinely suspenseful hour, one in which we learned a few things about our somber detective, and were reminded of how much better “The Killing” might have been if it weren’t trying so hard — and so haphazardly — to distract us from what should be its very heart: the loss of Rosie.

‘The Killing’

When: 10 p.m. Sundays

Where: AMC