The Killing Season Finale Recap: The Murder of Rosie Larson solved
**MAJOR SPOILER ALERT: Watch the Killing season finale before you read this, unless you tuned out awhile back and simply want closure on this whodunit.
At long last, Rosie Larson’s murderer was revealed on The Killing on its season finale.
On the previous episode, Linden and Holder finally gained access to all the Native American Casino surveillance footage the night of Rosie Larson’s death, which put 3 possible suspects into the mix: Casino manager Nicole Jackson, real estate developer Michael Ames and Darren Richmond’s political strategist Jamie Wright.
The finale starts with Jamie and Richmond being called to a mysterious man’s home, who it turns out is Jamie’s Grandfather, the man Richmond has cited in his campaign for overcoming adversity after being mangled in a plant accident, which he used to bolster his flagging campaign after his recent paralysis. Jamie’s Grandfather reveals that Jamie made up all that stuff, and has suspicions that Jamie was involved with Rosie’s murder.
Confronted by Richmond, Jamie admits he was at the casino that night, making a shady deal with Jackson and Ames. He’d help them out in exchange for political muscle to get Richmond elected. He went into maniacal villain mode, telling Darren he lacked the strength to win because he was too idealistic and wouldn’t get his hands dirty. When Richmond needles him on Rosie’s murder, he cops to his involvement. She overhead the shady dealings, and Jamie felt he had to take action. He knocked her out. When Richmond keeps pressing him, he’s interrupted by Holder and Linden. Jamie pulls a gun, but Holder puts a bullet in him first. Case closed?
Well not so fast; Linden thinks that Ames was also involved in the final act. But Ames proves legally elusive, and perhaps untouchable.
But, deciding they have enough info to give the Larson family closure on their daughter’s death, the detective duo drive to the Larson’s home. Terry greets them, and says this was a bad day for them to come by as the Larson’s are currently moving into a new home, ready for a fresh start at life. But they can wait until they return.
But then, the final twist; Linden gets a hunch on Terry, who was romantically linked to Ames. It was Terry who killed Rosie. While Rosie lay semiconscious in Jamie’s car trunk, Jamie and Ames were arguing on how to solve their problem.
Terry, believing Ames would leave his wife for her, and desperate to get out of her grim financial and personal situation as an escort, puts the car in drive, sending it and Rosie to the bottom of the lake.
But Terry didn’t know it was Rosie; she thought it was simply a loose end that if fixed would free her to join Ames, although he never had any intention of leaving his wife.
In a powerful scene, Stan and Mitch Larson arrive back at the house, and although Linden and Holder asks them to leave, they stay for the grisly truth. Stan walks out in anger, but Terry runs into Mitch’s arms crying repeatedly that she didn’t know it was Rosie. The range of emotions between the actresses Jamie Ann Allman and Michelle Forbes was riveting. It was a devastating scene.
Terry’s decision to murder someone she never knew is almost as disturbing as if she did. This seemed a tad incongruous, particularly for a character so nurturing to her nephews. But perhaps that was simply due to deep-seated guilt.
After this scene, we get some other footnotes to the storyline. We see Richmond setting up for his first meeting after winning the election. Gwen seems thrilled that he’s re-focused and channelling past the suffocating amount of grief and tragedy he’s had to process. But it seems that comes at the cost of his soul. He shuts her out while taking a meeting with Jackson and Ames, apparently taking Jamie’s criticisms to heart and embracing corruption.
I found this incredulous. First off, after being involved tangentially in the murder, at the very least he’d have a PR nightmare that would sideline him for weeks, if not ending his political career altogether. And for him to make a deal with people involved in the murder is just not credible.
This of course, has been one of the fundamental flaws of ‘The Killing’. This is a show that has flirted with greatness, but marred by periods of cop show clichés and/or complete lapses in logic. It promised to be a new type of cop show. Of this it only partially succeeded.
One of the problems has been the blank slate of the murder victim, Rosie. But in the finale she was finally acknowledged via flashback and a discovered roll of film, where she makes a goodbye letter of sorts to her family. It was touching, even if a tad contrived.
In the end, ‘The Killing’ had great moments of tension, superb production and despite its flaws, bears the AMC stamp of quality. I don’t feel I wasted my time for 2 seasons, and the whodunit was satisfactory enough not to have felt cheated. The show is one of the few to truly deal with the grief of losing a loved one, often devastatingly so. And the acting was top-notch; Mirielle Enos and Joel Kinnamon were a truly unique pairing and made the show very watchable even at it’s most tedious moments.
It’s future remains up in the air, but at least the murder has been solved.
What’s your take on the finale? Did it meet up to your expectations? Sound off below.
Season 1 on Bluray and DVD:
[amazon_image id=”B004X1VZYW” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Killing: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray][/amazon_image][amazon_image id=”B004X1VUNI” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Killing: Season One[/amazon_image]