But it’s not just laziness that’s prompted me to write one review - it actually works much better to see and review The Killing as one two-hour episode. Put simply, there’s isn’t enough time in the “Pilot” to properly set up all the characters. The Killing is an intentionally slow-moving show that is filled with really dark moments.
But before going any further, let me just get this out of the way now. The Killing will always be compared to Twin Peaks - it’s inevitable when the two show’s central conceit is virtually identical. That being said, The Killing does an admirable job of distancing itself from the 90’s cult classic. The tone, dialogue, and atmosphere (though still the Pacific Northwest) are strikingly different... with one exception.
I don’t understand why Rosie’s parents had to be notified of their daughter’s death in the exact same way Laura Palmer’s parents were on Twin Peaks. The writers surely knew of Twin Peaks, and they easily could have done something dramatically different. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, head over to my Twin Peaks review and watch the video on the page. It should seem familiar if you’ve watched tonight’s episode of The Killing.
That was my one problem with The Killing. Other than that, the “Pilot” and “The Cage” did a nice job of setting up the show. The characters are all genuine and varied; I especially like Sarah Linden. Actress Mireille Enos does a great job, providing a very human quality to her role. Her facial expressions are equally powerful, and she has a way of bringing depth to even the most basic scenes. Her new partner is a very different character - he came off as intentionally creepy in a few scenes, but I have a feeling he’ll grow on audiences in the weeks ahead.
I was happy to see Billy Campbell’s return to television as politician, Darren Richmond. It’s nice to see him play another power-hungry, ambiguous character, much like his fantastic Jordan Collier on The 4400. Rosie’s parents round out the cast as two other relatable characters with a lot on their plates.
The Killing was filled with dark and heart-wrenching scenes in this two-hour premiere. The Larsens informing their sons about Rosie’s murder was especially hard to watch, and the chilling ending (the reveal of “the cage”) added another layer of bleakness to an already chilling murder.
At the end of the two hours, it’s ultimately hard to judge this one. The Killing is a slow, calculated show, and it didn’t take things too far emotionally. The show has set itself up for success but only if things build quickly from this point forward. On one hand, I’m thrilled with the setup, but on the other hand, I can see this show going the same way as the late Rubicon. For The Killing to succeed, it can’t be afraid to move more quickly and throw in a few plot twists here and there. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.
Also, on a quick side note, I loved the Breaking Bad: Season 4 spot with Bryan Cranston; I can’t wait for that show to return... and the promo was followed by a new Scream 4 spot! I’m usually not this excited by tv commercials, I swear.
But anyway, as I mentioned, The Killing did a nice job setting up a mystery that can go in any direction. I look forward to finding out where this one’s headed. What did you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.