The Killing US Series Two: Episode Three reviewed – Michelle Forbes shines again

by Matt D

So after two weeks of mentioning how her absence has affected her family we see the return of Michelle Forbes’ Mitch Larsen in tonight’s instalment of The Killing however at first I wasn’t aware it was her listening to the grunge music in the speeding car. Mitch spent the majority of the episode seeing visions of her departed daughter Rosie firstly trying to hitch-hike in the opening scene and later by the pool at the seedy motel to which she checks herself in.

As I’ve said before in these reviews there’s not be quite enough of Michelle Forbes in this episode, however the actress makes the most of what she has, which is mainly casual looks including seductive glances towards a book salesman who she takes up to her room. As they are about to begin their liaison she is hesitant in kissing him but when he gets up to leave she utters her only line of the episode, ‘no stay’ as the pair then get down to have some adult time. Though there’s not a lot of Mitch, her brief infidelity at least mirrors that of her Danish counterpart Pernille who also had it off with a random stranger in the original version of The Killing. Mitch’s shadow still looms large over the Larsen clan as the two sons go back to school Denny wants to partake in the ritual he usually conducts with his mother which his aunt Terry clumsily tries to re-enact.

It’s a good thing Terry is still around as Mitch continues to be obsessed with finding his daughter’s killer and despite Linden reappearing on the case he hurries her out as he now has the mob working on it. Though these mobsters may have a bit more to do with Rosie’s murder than we thought, as the shoe shop which houses the Beau Soleil servers is torched it seems that the Russians were running this escort website themselves. With Mitch’s sons also being hounded by the mob this episode now places them as the most likely suspects in Rosie’s murder with the motive being Stan’s decision to stop being their heavy. There is also the case of the tattoo on the arm of the person in the footage with Rosie, as it transpires that the man driving one of Larsen’s vans does indeed have this piece of artwork on his body. As Sarah’s son explains it is of a Manga character called Ogi-Jun who avenges his father by warring with his former sensei the conversation between Jack and his mother sees their relationship improve as does the scene where he finishes off the meal that she begins cooking for him.

When she’s not trying to solve arson cases or unravel the meanings behind tattoos, Sarah is trying to find Holder who has disappeared after almost knocking her door down last week. It seems that Belko’s suicide and the revelation that he was promoted because he was dodgy has lead Stephen down a dangerous path as we see him almost relieving his past and the mistakes that he made. He lingers outside a Narcotics Anonymous meeting before tracking down his estranged son who has followed his mother’s instructions not to spend any time with him. Then he contacts his old drug dealer Logic who tries to tempt him back into the lifestyle but, in probably the episode’s stupidest scene, he gets into a fight with Logic before knocking down his mother. This downward spiral ends with him having a bit of dirty car park sex before standing in the middle of a freeway and finally being rescued by Linden. The brilliant Linden quickly figures out that Holder has switched the rucksacks and is finally reunited with Rosie’s bag which is a piece of evidence that will obviously be used to spur the investigation on in the upcoming episodes.

Finally we have Richmond who unfortunately is completely out of his coma so we have to put up with Billy Campbell’s subpar performance as the mayoral candidate. As we learnt last week Richmond has completely lost the use of his legs following his shooting although he is seems adamant that he still has some feeling there. We also see him using his winning smile to try and flirt with pretty nurse Katie but this ends when she changes his catheter without him feeling a thing meaning he slumps into a depression once again. Though I feel the Richmond scenes do drag things down slightly the final scene where he stabs himself in the leg with one of his campaign pins and feels nothing is fairly poignant. We also see Richmond’s campaign adviser/lover Gwen wanting to move so she enlists her father to help her find a new political position and he does this quickly getting her a place on a campaign with Washington DC Senator Faraday meaning she has to exit the series straight away. Gwen’s father is played by Alan Dale an always reassuring presence in an American drama here he is again playing a slightly manipulative rich old man.

Overall this was a fairly incidental episode of The Killing which had to move the plot on from the two slow opening episodes so the investigation is moved on once again with the help of both the tattoo and the backpack. Though I’m not really a fan of Joel Kinnaman’s Stephen Holder he was able to at least explain the character’s motives a little more and his mini breakdown here definitely makes me sympathise more with the character. I feel now though he’s got all the drug taking and backseat rumpy pumpy out of his system, so will be able to get back to his job as a police detective. To stop this being a completely unmemorable episode we have the return of Mitch which proves the worth of Michelle Forbes who, in her small handful of scenes, is able to portray woman who is still unable to move on from the death of her daughter.

Are you a fan of The Killing? What did you think of this episode? Leave your comments below.