Why I Hated "The Killing" Series Finale (Spoiler Alert)

Why I Hated "The Killing" Series Finale (Spoiler Alert)

 

I'm a fan of "The Killing." I never saw the original Danish show but got caught up in the well written, smartly cast American version. After three seasons on AMC "The Killing" was canceled only to be picked up by Netfix for six final episodes.

What's great about "The Killing?"

1) The flawed main characters. "The Killing" is a dark, disturbing show with disturbed lead characters. Detective Sarah Linden (played by Mireille Enos) has more baggage than a royal vacation, abandoned by her mother before abandoning her son.  Detective Stephen Holder (played by Joel Kinnaman), who speaks in hip hop (picture Eminem with a badge), is an addict and the perfect yin to Linden's yang.

2) The dramatic music at the end of each episode. Plots on "The Killing" involve one murder per season. Because each episode is a continuation "The Killing" isn't meant for channel surfers. The final scenes are a warning, underscored by music, that the episode is ending with a tantalizing, multi-tiered cliffhanger.

3) The dreary nature of the show and plot lines. "The Killing" is set in Seattle but its no chamber of commerce ad. Yes it rains in Seattle (I've been) but to watch "The Killing" you would think every day is dark, damp and foreboding. It sets the tone.

I watched the first five episodes of the final season and loved where it was going, as Linden and Holder set out to solve a new murder case and wrestle with their demons, including Linden murdering her ex-lover who turned out to be a serial killer (the one she had been tracking in the prior season).  The finale itself was chilling for about 45 minutes as we witness the dramatic resolution of the case and Linden's subsequent murder  confession and resignation from the force.

Then we entered bizzaro land as the writers abandoned the tone, writing style, thematic elements and character of the show.

Inexplicably we flash forward five years or so and watch Holder kiss his school age daughter goodbye before Linden reappears at his workplace. It's sunny!?! She's wearing make up!?! She longs for him and confesses that she never knew what she had, is done "chasing bad guys" and embraces Holder. I expected to see roses fall from the sky, Linden and Holder hold hands and exchange sappy looks while prancing through a meadow.

 

"The Killing" resorted to a hokey American ending because Americans forever seek closure. Hooey. If I want neat and clean I'll watch "Law and Order." Are we that unsophisticated as to only accept neatly threaded endings? What's wrong with not knowing what happens to Holder, his fiancee' and unborn child? Why can't we be left to wonder where Linden ended up after leaving her badge in the interrogation room?

 

The idea that two troubled people would end up together is not far fetched (I could speculate that Holder went on a few dates with the Narcotics Anonymous crowd already). But it just felt cheap and contrived.

 

Or setting the stage for a sequel? To paraphrase Holder , "I wouldn't watch that one, mamasita."

 

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