The near-kidnapping of Bennet resolves itself pretty quickly, with Stan leaving the teacher on the side of the road. I suppose that’s to be expected and the character motivations were genuine. I must give The Killing credit for such detailed characterization; the characters on this show are always incredibly true to themselves. Stan’s explanation of how he didn’t have to try and change after Rosie’s birth was a nice moment on the show.
We’re also introduced to Mitch’s parents. Though we don’t see much of her father, Mitch’s mother is already annoying and adding unnecessary tension to the family. She’s not positioned as a very likable character, though I’m hoping we see more about her motivations and history with Mitch and her sister.
Sarah’s personal life is given much stronger emphasis in “Vengeance,” especially after she misses the red eye flight; who didn’t see that coming? I was actually surprised that she tried so hard to make the flight. There’s a lot of tension in her life, and we know that Sarah has a history of getting too involved in murder cases. We learn in “Vengeance” that her obsessive tendencies almost made her lose custody of Jack.
We’re also given a bit more insight into Sarah’s relationship with her son, Jack. I loved the paintball scene and its effective set-up. We’re led to believe that Sarah’s going to be all protective and yell at the kid who shot Jack and tell him to play fair. Instead, she takes her son aside and teaches him how to aim and fire effectively. It’s a nice little moment that really highlights her role as a mother. Sarah can be protective when she needs to, but she’d rather teach her son to be independent.
Darren Richmond’s story-arc continues with the fallout of supporting Bennet and his after-school program. There were great moments all around - from Darren addressing his wife’s tragic death (revealed to be a drunk-driving victim) to his speech in front of the council meeting. In the end, the council votes against Richmond in a scene that makes the mayor come across as a crooked villain.
On a side note, it’s a testament to The Killing’s writing that my least favorite part of the show - Darren Richmond and the political campaign - has now captured my interest so strongly. I often find politics dull but The Killing makes it work with dynamic characters. Gwen and Jamie’s banter doesn’t hurt, either.
As noted, this is another strong episode of The Killing. The show is dark and atmospheric (gotta love the constant rain), though I fear the Rosie Larsen mystery losing steam by the season’s end. We’re a little more than halfway through, so let’s hope this FBI-twist adds a new layer to The Killing.