First off, this episode works because the Rosie Larsen case is barely present; there are no factual twists in the case - just character revelations, and most feel organic and realistic. Mitch’s character arc is the most resonant, and seeing her attempt to find solace with a runaway girl is especially compelling. There’s something profoundly sad about the whole encounter, from Mitch’s laughter, to her contentment when lying in bed with the runaway.
The end is especially effective, as the girl steals from Mitch (again, realistic and genuine), while Mitch is forced to come to terms with her shoebox of memories. In the box is a letter detailing that Stan is not Rosie’s father. As Mitch re-reads the letter, she realizes that her daughter knew this before her death. It was a culmination of twists that we’ve seen throughout Season 2, and it was great to see Mitch learn what we already knew.
Meanwhile, the political campaign resurrects, as Richmond takes on a greater push for mayor. Though I admittedly liked Gwen out of the picture for a while, it was still nice to see her return to Seattle and ask to be back on Richmond’s campaign. It was also a wise move to have Richmond reject her at first, which revealed his conflicted thoughts about her. After all, Gwen did leave when he needed her most.
As noted, the procedural aspect of “Openings” is cut to a minimum, yet Mireille Enos shines in this episode. Linden is slowly unraveling, and those around her continually mention a previous case, in which she became too invested. To Linden, this is frustrating, and we really feel her conflict throughout the episode.
As always, her relationship with Jack is especially interesting, and I loved the conclusion of “Openings.” First, her hanging his test on the hotel refrigerator with a BandAid was just perfect. And the reveal of that creepy drawing from a former case was appropriately jarring. I like how, when the chips are down, Linden confides in Holder. Her decision to stay with him for the night is a nice moment that reveals where her trust really lies.
As noted, “Openings” is a strong, quiet episode of The Killing that patches up some of the odd plot twists with genuine character moments.
What did you think?