Bennet’s apparent guilt has been front and center lately. I’ve commented before that it seemed unlikely for Bennet to be innocent at all. Well, “Undertow” pulls the carpet out from under us and exposes the truth about Bennet in an intriguing turn of events.
Before getting to that plot twist, I should first mention the successful setup in “Undertow.” This episode really tests our loyalties to Bennet with scenes that push our sympathies to new levels. One scene in particular (pictured below) is especially powerful. A frustrated Bennet returns to class, hoping to dismiss the suspicions against him and get on with his life. His class gets up and walks out on him; it was a really effective and well-performed moment on The Killing.
We also have some great plot advancement in the case, as Sarah and Holder use their phone-tap to obtain another suspect working with Bennet. The chase through the market was dramatic and well-shot, where it looks like Sarah looses her suspect, yet catches him anyway.
This leads to the dramatic reveal that Bennet was actually working to save a young girl from an abusive family (remember that other missing-girl at the Mosque a few episodes back?) It was a bit annoying that The Killing spoiled this by re-showing the clip at the “Previously on The Killing” intro. We therefore knew that the missing girl was crucial to “Undertow,” so the reveal was a bit predictable. But I love how Bennet’s innocence was slowly revealed, with Mitch finding Rosie’s shirt and Sarah finally realizing that she’s been chasing the wrong man all along.
No one could have foreseen Stan and his co-worker, Belko Royce (just had to look the name up... that’s his name? Belko?) kidnapping Bennet. They beat him to an inch of his life in a really dark scene (I mean that literally, as well - the characters are barely visible). In all honesty, Bennet could be dead... but I doubt it. The scene was incredibly primal - Belko punching that rock added a whole other layer to the uncontrollable rage.
Though we didn’t get much on Sarah’s personal life, let’s not forget that she caused a lot of the havoc in “Undertow.” She broke protocol by telling Mitch that they were going to arrest Bennet that night, before the warrant even went through. The consequences of this mistake unravels throughout “Undertow.” It should be interesting to see how Sarah deals with it next week.
Darren Richmond’s story was pretty interesting, too, as his dirty politics nearly cost him the election. I absolutely loved the scene in the bar with Gwen. He’s a complex character, and seeing Richmond vulnerable is always intriguing. I also enjoyed that cut before commercial break of him shooting the basketball... even better is the image of him proudly placing the ball on his desk. It was a perfect end.
As mentioned, “Undertow” is a fantastic episode of The Killing... one of the most exciting this season. My concern, of course, is that this resets the case and brings the show back to square-one. But that’s to be expected, as Rosie’s murder is the show’s central conceit, and it needs to be stretched-out. We’ll just have to see where the show goes from here. I’m looking forward to it.
What did you think? As always, let me know your thoughts on this episode, or on The Killing as a whole. Is it living up to AMC’s new gold-standards? I don’t know, but I think it comes close.