"El Diablo" Review
I love the idea that each episode spans a day. We get to follow the procedural aspect throughout the day, while the tension mounts to a powerful conclusion at night. It’s a great formula that allows for a literal and figurative darkness to permeate the second-half of each episode.
There’s so many layers to The Killing so it’s hard to touch on each aspect in a review. However, the show essentially boils down to three story-arcs: Rosie’s family coping with their grief, Darren Richmond’s political campaign, and the police investigation. All three intertwine, but I’ll try to touch on the three in each review.
Picking up from last week, Stan and Mitch Larsen have a really rough road ahead as they continue to cope with the loss of their daughter. From the answering machine to accidentally setting Rosie’s place at the table, “El Diablo” is filled with dramatic moments. It never really falls into melodrama, and the moments are handled realistically. One thing that bothers me is Rosie’s brothers’ reaction to her death. I get that they’re young and trying to cope in their own ways, but I think most kids that age would understand what’s happened and cry more often.
Mitch’s moment in the bathtub was especially disheartening, as she struggles to come to grips with her daughter’s horrendous murder. It was a nice character moment to have Sarah lie and say that Rosie was unconscious when the car hit the water.
Meanwhile, Darren Richmond’s political career seems to be falling apart when his dubious involvement in the investigation goes public. He continues to toe the line between a fierce political figure and a likable guy. I really liked his line not to send flowers because they die. It was a quick and subtle line, but tremendously effective.
We also find out that Richmond’s campaign manager, Jamie, may have leaked the information about Rosie... though it is left intentionally ambiguous. Still, when the confrontation finally erupts in the second half of “El Diablo,” we see Jamie walk out of Richmond’s office. I have a feeling he’ll come back but we’ll just have to wait until next week to see the full implications.
The actual murder investigation was just as strong as the rest of “El Diablo.” Sarah and Stephen continue to investigate Rosie’s murder, picking right up where “The Cage” left off. As expected, there are a ton of red herrings, and we know it’s going to be a while to finally get a resolution on Rosie’s murder. That being said, things still move relatively fast, as multiple suspects are questioned throughout “El Diablo.”
Stephen definitely becomes more likable (and less creepy) than last week, while Mireille Enos continues to steal the show as Sarah. There’s something so genuine and true in her facial expressions that really captivates. Her character is juggling so much at the moment, and Enos does a great job bringing that emotion to the screen.
The final reveal - the rape of Rosie by both Jared and Kris - was shocking and frightening in its ramifications. It really ended “El Diablo” on a bleak tone, and I can only wonder where next week’s story will take us.