The Killing: Nothing Beats Dead Indians

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!


  1. I thought Richmond’s wife died in a hit and run – isn’t there a scene with him and her accidental killer early on?

    If it is Richmond, that’s kinda lame. The only reason not to suspect him in the first place is that he’s too obvious – the girl was drowned in a Richmond campaign car.

    I have no logical suspects. I can see it being Gwen from a writer’s perspective – they do love the IT WAS A WOMAN LOL curveball. For the same reason I hope it isn’t.

    The whole thing just sort of suggests a single case doesn’t work as a season – if you want the ending to be a twist, you have to have the heroes get absolutely nowhere for 12 episodes.

    Veronica Mars did a good job of sustaining season-long mysteries, but only by working in mysteries-of-the-week really neatly.

    • Christopher says:

      Yeah, I think you’re right, it was a hit-and-run, actually. But maybe she was hit by a BOAT and she DROWNED! Or something.

      I think you may also be right that a season-long mystery doesn’t work, at least not like this. The Wire had season-long cases but the only mystery was how they’d put the case together, while knowing exactly who the culprits were.

      I could see a mystery maybe working for a season if the killer is caught (or killed) midway through, but the motive for the killing was murky and unknown until the end, but then cops and lawyers in the real world aren’t as concerned with motive as cops and lawyers on TV and movies are, so that might not work either.

      My biggest fear is that it will somehow turn out to he Holder as the killer, simply for the sake of a twist that doesn’t really make sense. That would suck even more than Richmond being the killer.

      • Christopher says:

        Also, I really need to get line breaks working properly in these comments. Annoying.

      • LOL – Holder being the killer – that’s probably the most ridiculous yet plausible theory yet. I could totally see them doing that and ruining the show forever.

        (I’m at the last episode now. Yes I know you already saw it and know who really is the killer. Still, I found this funny.)