As if to make up for weeks of lost time, The Killing ratcheted up its pace in the penultimate episode. The show began with the current Evil Mayor’s campaign apparently coming to an end, because the waterfront restoration project he’s been touting has been stalled because some Native American remains were found on the construction site, which means he can’t keep building, which means suddenly no one in Seattle will vote for him. That’s how elections work, right? Voters will all suddenly abandon their candidate because his construction project hits a snag, and they’ll all vote for the other guy instead automatically. Buh.
We also see Mitch being mad at the imprisoned Stan. You know, I’ve read on some forums about how much people hate Mitch’s character, but I’ve remained pretty sympathetic to her this whole time. After all, she just lost her daughter to a horrific murder 12 days ago; it’s understandable that she would be a mess, that she’d make mistakes, that she’d lash out inappropriately. But last night, she had a go at Stan, whom she bullied into beating the innocent Bennet into a pulp, which landed him in prison, and here she was giving him shit because she thinks he lost all their money gambling (he’d really bought them a house in secret).
Mitch thinks he’s been involved with the mob again, which angers her because he’d promised her he’d change his underworld ways, even though she TOLD HIM TO GO MURDER A TEACHER just a couple days ago. She is just plain not making any sense at all anymore, and I’m done sympathizing with her. Buh.
As far as the detectives, they do some detecting, discovering that Rosie had been making big cash deposits into a secret bank account, discovering that she’d been visiting an escort website, discovering that Terry had been working as an escort from the same site, and discovering that some guy with the handle “Orpheus” had been dating brunettes from the escort site, and had scared one of them badly enough to cause her to warn the other call hookers about him. Linden has a cop send a message to the Orpheus e-mail account while she’s visiting Richmond’s apartment, and ‘You’ve Got Mail’ goes the dynamite: the e-mail arrives on Richmond’s computer, and Richmond is Orpheus.
Prior to its last few moments, the show threw new revelations about old suspects at us seemingly every few minutes, which was kinda nice, actually. Among them:
Tom: The annoying caricature of a billionaire, shown partying with (apparently) underage girls, and is tied to the call girls, and stated that he gave money to Richmond so the mayor-to-be would clean up his messes. Because mayors are all-powerful and can clean up murders whenever they want. Implied: Tom can kill all the girls he wants because he is so gosh darn rich, thus, he is the murderer.
Gwen: She tries to redirect a question about Richmond’s dead wife during an interview, and seems less than thrilled when Richmond talks about how much his dead wife meant to him. Implied: She’s jealous of Richmond’s dead wife, and wants to be her replacement, to the point of killing anyone he is interested in, thus, she is the murderer.
Jamie: He’s around, again, for some reason. Implied: He’s around again, and they can give him a motive if need be, thus, he is the murderer.
Terry: Is secretly a call girl (explains, I guess, how she knows Jasper’s dad), was seen on a website wearing the same shoes as Rosie, let Rosie borrow her I.D. Implied: Had a secret call girl life, and didn’t want that secret known, but maybe Rosie knew, thus, she is the murderer.
Stan: When questioned by a psychologist in prison, reveals a dream he has about his family, where another man was sitting at his dinner table, and he didn’t care. Implied: He spoke coldly of his family, thus, he is the murderer.
Richmond: We see photos of his dead wife (a brunette), we learn that he contacts call girls by e-mail, and he drove one of them (a brunette) down to the water and asked her if she ever thought about drowning (presumably that’s how his wife died). We also see some photos the Evil Mayor has of Richmond having dinner with a brunette. Implied: Richmond hired call girls who looked like his dead wife and drove them to places where they could be drowned, and talked to them about drowning, and thus, he is the murderer.
By the end of the episode, all signs point to Richmond, which, again, unfortunately, probably means he didn’t do it. Yes, he was seeing call girls, but we know from other movies and TV shows that sometimes when a guy with a dead wife employs a hooker that looks like his dead wife, he’s not doing it for sex or murder but because he wants to briefly imagine his dead wife alive again
Sure, sometimes these things can go sour or get a little intense: like, the hooker doesn’t brush her hair in the same way as the dead wife did, and the john gets all upset and maybe caves in her head with a pipe wrench or something, but I’m thinking Richmond just misses his wife and was trying to reawaken her spirit with a series of expensive prostitutes. And who among us hasn’t done something similar? When my dog Sandy died I spent months paying hookers to chase tennis balls and chew up my Star Wars action figures. It’s a harmless coping mechanism.
I’m still banking on Gwen being the killer, because it makes the most sense to me. As far as what makes sense to the show’s writers, we’ll find out in a week!