The Killing: The Soundless Echo

In “The Soundless Echo”, aspects of Rosie Larsen’s secret life are revealed as we’re slowly getting the know the people affected by her death.

The Case:
The detectives separate Kris and Jasper and play them off each other – trying to get them to cave and admit they hurt Rosie. But when they use the sex video to spook the boys it has the opposite effect. It turns out that the pink haired vixen in the video wasn’t Rosie Larsen at all. It was Rosie’s best friend Sterling, whose jealousy and resentment of Rosie drove her to prove she could be desirable too. Even it if it meant throwing on Rosie’s wig and giving it up for a pair of drunken sleaze-balls.

Sterling is racked with guilt because of her complicated feelings toward her deceased best friend. But she claims that Rosie hadn’t been herself lately. She was lying and skipping school and probably seeing someone she was trying to keep secret. Sterling points the detectives in the direction of a bus she saw Rosie boarding a few times and Stephen spends the day riding the route until he finds a driver who recognizes Rosie’s picture and informs him she always rode to the end of the line.

Sarah questions Rosie’s parents about potential love interests but they are adamant that there was no one in her life. Knowing young girls keep their secrets well hidden, Sarah turns to Rosie’s bedroom, hoping it still has some stories to tell. She finally discovers a globe lamp with letters stashed inside the bulb.

At the last bus stop, Stephen’s instincts compel him to follow some African-American teenagers into the lower level of a school or a community centre (it’s a little unclear at this point). He asks some of the kids if they’ve ever seen Rosie with anyone and one of them points to a photo on the wall … of a basketball coach who bears more than a passing resemblance to Rosie’s teacher Bennet!

Sarah begins to read Rosie’s carefully hidden letters and discovers the deep romantic sentiments of an admirer. All of the letters are signed by Bennet.

The Detectives:
Stephen Holder takes some punches in this episode, from murder suspect Kris who quips that he got stuck interrogating the junkie because the other cops know he has the “itch”, and from his own captain who tells him, “That junkie in there looks better than you do. You should clean yourself up and put on a suit.” Stephen barely flinched at either insult, but it had to cut a little. The way he went at Kris during the questioning, refusing to back down even after Sarah interrupted him, was very antagonistic; self-hatred in disguise perhaps? He could be a former addict who became a cop or a current addict who’s trying to fight his demons. It’s interesting how he identifies with high school delinquents, street kids and punks. He has an aptitude for getting inside their head and thinking the way they do.

Stephen is also struggling with some jealously and authority issues after being pushed aside while Sarah Linden lingers in Seattle to solve the case. He’s none too happy that she orders him around and doesn’t bother to keep him in the loop. I’m guessing spending an entire day riding an inner city bus did nothing to improve his mood.

Sarah’s fiance surprises her on the houseboat – flying back from LA bringing wedding cake and some afternoon delight. He’s worried that she’s obsessing about the Larsen case and reveals a glimpse into her past by asking “It’s not happening again is it? Chasing after a dead girl?” He tells Sarah that he’s not willing to compete with a ghost. Not a lot of info, but enough to keep us on the hook! There might be a case in her past that’s haunting her … one she was never able to solve. But I’m leaning towards a family tragedy that involved a young girl.

The Richmond Campaign:
Darren Richmond’s campaign is sinking quickly and he really needs an influx of cash to stage a media blitz. But as desperate as Darren is, he’s not willing to appear that way. He seems like the kind of guy who’s addicted to the high road. He’s built his career around a strong moral image and he can’t stand the idea of taking handouts from the shady characters his advisors are suggesting.

But he eventually swallows his pride and shows up at a party thrown by the “big game” in town. Tom Drexler is a stereotypical young, rich, playboy with a smart mouth and a gaggle of groupies hanging on his every word. Tom knows everybody wants his money and that power is a huge source of entertainment to him. Darren hates him because he treats politicians like puppets. He’s at the party, but he’s not sure what to do with himself. He’s damn sure not going to play along … but he can’t bring himself to walk out empty handed either.

Predictably, it’s Darren’s reluctance that makes Drexler want to fund him. The rich guys always give their money to the ones who don’t beg! Drexler corners him on the balcony and presents him with a cheque for $50,000 – even after Darren makes it clear he’s not for sale. Drexler doesn’t care – he’ll settle for screwing with the major for now!

We learn little bit more about Darren’s past as well. He is a rich kid from Connecticut who somehow ended up a champion for the downtrodden and the underprivileged in Seattle. He says he “got on a bus and never looked back”. So what was he running from and why was he so determined to leave it behind?

In other interesting news, Darren’s campaign sweetie Gwen is the daughter of a Senator played by Alan Dale – so naturally he will turn out to be evil. It’s Alan freakin’ Dale – when is he ever NOT evil?! And Jamie the ousted campaign guy? He’s working for the competition. But not really. Darren never believed he was the mole and sent him to spy on the other side to get to the bottom of the mysterious leaks. It doesn’t look like he’s letting Gwen in on his master plan, so perhaps he doesn’t trust his honey completely.

The Larsens:
The next stage in the Larsens’ nightmare involves shopping for a coffin; nodding with blank expressions as a funeral director prattles on about wood and finishes. Mitch is drawn to a white coffin with a soft pink interior and the director actually says, “That’s a beautiful choice for a young girl.” The whole scene gave me the creeps. They’re not buying her a dollhouse or decorating her bedroom. It’s her final resting place. So stop acting like they’re browsing in a gift shop!

As if that wasn’t traumatic enough, they return to the police station to answer some questions and accidentally get an eyeful of their daughter’s murder board. It’s filled with gruesome photos of her bound and lacerated wrists, vacant eyes and naked drowned body. And with those horrifying images the Larsen’s last remaining comfort is wrenched away. Sarah’s assurances that Rosie never suffered were revealed as nothing but white lies to spare them the pain of their daughter’s last terrifying moments.

Mitch is struggling to understand WHY the tragedy happened. An awful question … to which of course there is no real answer. While having a consultation with a priest about the funeral service, she’s haunted by the crucifix on the wall. She’s stares transfixed at the nails in his wrists and the blood dripping down his forehead … haunted by images of her daughter’s torture. As she gets up to leave, the priest offers a few words of solace: “Your daughter is with God now Mrs. Larsen. He’s watching over her, over all of you. He always is.” She merely turns and walks slowly the aisle. But halfway there she changes her mind and turns to confront the priest. “What good is that to me? She’s not supposed to be with God, she’s supposed to be with me. My daughter, she was out there alone. She was scared and she was hurt and she was alone. Tell me, tell me where was God then?”

It was a powerfully written scene, probably my favourite of the season so far. I always enjoy moments that play with the intricacies and complexities of religion and faith, especially in the wake of a traumatic event. Some people find immediate comfort in their faith, some are angry that it couldn’t protect them and others are shaken and unsure of what to believe.

Stan reveals to a co-worker that he recently purchased a house before Rosie’s death. It was supposed to be a surprise for his family, but he’ll have to sell it now. Stan might not have always been the upstanding citizen he is now. When his co-worker suggests he could ‘take care’ of Richmond for him, “just like old times”, Stan barks, “I don’t do that anymore.” But the burden of paying a mortgage and rent simultaneously forces him to turn to Yanni, an old friend who gives him a hard time before parting with a large wad of bills. “Family always comes first.” I smell a mob connection. Did Stan used to be ‘the muscle’ for organized crime? In any event, he hadn’t spoken to Yanni in 17 years and he seems disgusted with himself for reaching out now.

In the closing moments of the show, Mitch sits with Rosie’s teacher Bennet, eagerly absorbing his stories of what a great student Rosie was … how smart and special. She’s desperate to learn new information about her daughter’s life, as if hearing it could somehow bring her from the past into the present. I wonder how she’ll feel when realizes this kind and sensitive teacher was probably sleeping with her 17 year old?

Photo Courtesy of AMC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *