The Killing: Stonewalled

The Case
The search for Bennet’s mosque buddy Muhammed has landed Holder and Linden in the middle of an FBI terrorism investigation. After busting into a padlocked room at 106A Renton Avenue, they are detained by Federal agents who are pissed that their case has been compromised. But the room they discovered looks more like pedophile heaven than terrorist headquarters. It contains a girl’s bedroom set and is filled with teen magazines, purses and stuffed animals. But the FBI’s case takes priority and they won’t let Linden inspect anything for ties to the Larsen case. They won’t even divulge Muhammed’s last name for fear of further compromising their investigation.

Linden doesn’t back down that easily and she manages to slip into an FBI van and take a picture of a pink Grand Canyon shirt found at the scene. Mitch Larsen confirms that it belonged to Rosie. She fell in love with pictures of the Grand Canyon in her grade 9 science textbook and her parents took her there the following year. However, even with a positive I.D. on Rosie’s clothing, her lieutenant won’t challenge the FBI and pleads with Sarah to let this one go.

So why is the FBI so convinced that Muhammed is a terrorist? It has something to do with fake passports he created for himself and several young female companions. Well … that could just as likely mean that he was a serial abductor!!! But the FBI can’t see past terrorism. They even wonder whether the connection between Rosie and Muhammed is that she was being influenced ‘in that direction’.

Guilty or not, the accusations are taking their toll on Bennet Ahmed’s life. The stigma of being a murder suspect is bad enough but when word of the FBI raid leaks to the press, he’s branded a terrorist. His principal calls him and informs him that “for the sake of the kids” it’s best if he doesn’t come into work for a while. I love how this show is trying to cover all the angles of a murder investigation – how it affects everyone involved: victims, cops, suspects, etc. Even if Bennet is innocent … will the stain ever really wash off?

The Detectives
Things have come to a head between Holder and Linden. Tired of his suspicious behavior and nasty attitude, she starts freezing him out completely. When he demands to know what her problem is she tells him, “Make yourself useful and stay here and do nothing.” Even the lieutenant chastises for the way she’s treating him. “You were supposed to train Holder, but you treat him like a lapdog.” She spies him getting into a bald man’s car and decides to follow him … right to a meeting for recovering drug addicts. She hovers unseen outside the door as Stephen gets up to come clean. We learn that he was raised by his older sister and that he’s wracked by guilt at having abused her when he was tweaking. “What did this rock bottom junkie do to pay her back? Lied to her, cheated her, stole from her.” He even stole from his 7-year-old nephew to feed his habit. And those strange envelopes he’s had delivered? His sponsor (the bald man) is holding his paycheques and doling out weekly spending money to remove the temptation to blow the extra cash on a fix. I think it’s actually kind of disrespectful that Sarah stands there and listens to his whole confession. She’s already discovered his secret and she shouldn’t hear his private thoughts unless he’s ready to tell her personally. Just as he finishes his speech, her cell phone rings and he turns to see her retreating figure running up the stairs.

Stephen as a recovering drug addict was a reveal we all saw coming a mile away, but I don’t think it was supposed to be ‘shocking’. Sarah never properly suspected it because she’s so single minded. She took his boorish behavior at face value and never thought about what could be behind it. I hope it’s a wake-up call for her to realize that people have lives outside the department … real problems they need to deal with. It’s not ALL about solving a case. Stephen’s actually smarter than her in some ways. He’s not neglecting his own needs in order to solve the Larsen case. Sarah’s own life is falling apart around her and she’s barely stopping to survey the wreckage.

Her tunnel vision has gotten so bad that she didn’t even know her son was emailing Rosie’s crime scene photos to all of his friends. They ended up on the nightly news and she assumed that someone from the department slipped up. But the culprit was far closer to home. She’s berated by an angry parent and when she confronts Jack, he’s blasé about the whole affair. She tells him, “Do you have any idea what you put that girls’ family through?” and he comes right back with, “Figures, you only care about other people’s families.” He has her there. The woman is completely consumed. But his comment barely moved her. She just tells him she’s all he’s got. Oh that’s nice – I wasn’t aware that being a single parent was a valid excuse for being a crappy one. WAKE UP SARAH!

The Richmond Campaign
Darren Richmond finally takes off his white hat and throws down the gauntlet – determined to beat Mayor Adams even if it means dirty tricks and bad politics. He attends the parole hearing of the drunk driver who killed his wife. His blood boils when she reads a letter asking the loved ones of Lily Richmond for forgiveness. He punches a mirror in the courthouse bathroom, smashing it to bits. There’s a fantastic close-up shot of his hand, his wedding ring smeared with blood. When he returns to campaign headquarters he’s a changed man: vengeful, brutal, single-minded. He orders Gwen and Jamie to release a damaging secret about Mayor Adams that Tom Drexler fed them.

‘Shockingly’, the mayor has been sleeping with a young female campaign intern, paying $1500 a month to put her up in an apartment. Maybe I’m just completely jaded, but is this really the kind of ‘secret’ that can ruin a guy these days? Politicians are sexting male pages, indulging in gay bathroom trysts, practicing witchcraft – extramarital affairs with cute young women seem kind of ‘been there done that’ in comparison. In any event, it still causes a stir. The Richmond campaign sits down to watch the story break on the news. The reporters have laid siege to the frightened intern’s apartment and Darren looks on, stone-faced as she cries and begs them to leave her alone.

The Larsens
It’s been eight days since Rosie’s body was discovered and the Larsens have to grasp their new reality. But as they struggle, Mitch and Stan begin clashing over ‘moving on’. Stan plays the frantic father, preparing lunches for his sons and arranging childcare. He’s overwhelmed by all the little things, like realizing he’s just spread hot horseradish sauce on sandwiches instead of mayo. Mitch is still drifting around in a daze. She leaves the house for hours at a time to sit and brood over Bennet’s freedom. Stan is afraid to rely on her at all for fear of pushing her over the edge. When she volunteers to drive her own kids to school, Stan is hesitant. He looks at his wife like she’s a broken doll.

It doesn’t help that she leaves sitting them in the car with the engine running … while exhaust fumes fill the garage. She ran back inside to find something and was distracted by the horrifying photos of Rosie’s crime scene being broadcast over the news. It was her sister Terry who found the boys and averted near disaster. They were arguing over a portable video game in the backseat, completely oblivious. Terry is hesitant to tell Stan what happened because she doesn’t want him be angry with her sister who just ‘hasn’t been herself lately’.

Stan takes drastic measures to try to shake some sense into his spacey wife. She returns home from a visit to the park and finds that he’s packed up Rosie’s room. The walls are bare and all of her possessions are in boxes. The sight completely horrifies Mitch, but Stan is insistent: “We’ve gotta focus on the future, Mitch.” She spits out, “The Future? It’s been a week!” Stan feels they have responsibilities. He doesn’t say it, but he wants her to focus on the children they have left. When they start to challenge each other’s positions, it gets ugly. Mitch starts playing the blame game and accuses Stan of being the one who let Rosie stay home the weekend she was killed. Stan comes at Mitch with the fact that her strict rules were the reason Rosie kept things from them. Ugh! It’s just awful to see two grieving parents tearing each other apart. I love these two and I just want to see them lean on one another, but it’s realistic that it would turn nasty instead.

The battle lines have been drawn. Mitch sets Rosie’s entire room back up – carefully putting her knick knacks up on the shelves and pinning up her giant butterfly collage. Stan looks on helplessly from the doorway before walking away.

The Final Twist
Holder was inspired by the FBI and put a tap on Bennet’s phone. If he says anything incriminating they can finally arrest him. Fortune must be smiling down upon them because Bennet calls Mohammed and assures him, “The passports will be arriving tomorrow and it will all be over. Don’t worry about the police, they don’t know anything.” Dun-Dun-Dun.

Photo Courtesy of AMC

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