This is part two of the review of the fourth, and final (?), season of The Killing. There will be spoilers! The second episode doesn’t miss a beat after the strong premiere. The Killing has always been about what happens to the living when someone is murdered. The final season turns this on its head a bit by examining what happens when the living are perpetrators and victims. The episode, aptly titled “Unraveling,” opens with Sarah and Holder in the crime lab. The discovery that Kyle was shot execution style, on his knees, just like Skinner, combined with the gun shots in the background proves to be too much for Linden. Throughout the first two seasons Linden did a laudable job of remaining strong in the face of disturbing evidence and her own personal demons, particularly in light of her mental health history. However, as the third season drew to a close, we saw the breaking of Linden. The Pied Piper case, which brought Linden out of pseudo-retirement, was the ghost of a case she considered solved. The realization that her former lover was the perpetrator in both cases was a fatal blow to her confidence. Now, as she cringes with every gunshot she hears, the stoic facade that Linden has developed quickly falls away, leaving a shell of her former self. What is left is a detective who is timid where she used to be bold, distracted instead of focused, and who can’t separate her own concerns from the case to which she’s been assigned. This episode begins to flesh out the roster of suspects quite a bit. Kyle is still the primary suspect, but the list is growing. Here’s who we have as our top suspects currently, in no particular order. Kyle Stansbury – So far he’s only guilty of not getting killed with the rest of his family. Lincoln Knopf – A classic screw-up and a bully. Has serious emotional issues which seem to manifest as a fascination with tormenting Kyle. AJ Fielding – Kyle’s superior who has recently decided that he should be Kyle’s protector. Colonel Margaret Rayne – School superintendent and just all-around sketchy individual. Also, apparently the only woman in a school full of boys. Katrina “Kat” Nelson – Kyle’s girlfriend, potentially a prostitute? She has a significant police record, including a physical altercation with Mr. Stansbury. Emmett Deschler – A total creeper with a thing for under-aged girls, particularly Phoebe Stansbury. Kyle remains suspect number one, but that seems less and less likely the more we learn about his family. The Stansbury’s gave the outwardly appearance of normalcy, but, as Linden notes, “No one talks about family secrets […] they just stay screwed up.” It might seem counter-intuitive, given that Kyle seems the most obvious choice, but the fact that the entire family was a train-wreck makes it unlikely. It seems more likely that Kyle was just more collateral damage in a family of secrets. Healthy young girls don’t become exhibitionist models for peeping toms, and they certainly don’t destroy expensive musical instruments in retaliation against their brother. Phoebe’s behavior and Kyle’s relative state of exile speak volumes about the lack of healthy parenting and role models in their lives. Unfortunately, Kyle’s new family doesn’t appear to be an improvement. Colonel Rayne informs the students that Kyle has returned and, without a hint of irony, refers to the student body as family. However, if her penchant for corporal punishment is any indicator, it seems that her definition of family has more in common with Kim Jong Un than it does June Cleaver. Neither AJ nor Kat fair much better on the positive-influence scale. The aforementioned punishment was a direct result of AJ’s intervention and Kat’s attempt at consoling Kyle was to tell him that his parents “got what they deserved.” Kyle is a powder-keg in search of an excuse to explode. Unfortunately for him, AJ and Kat both seem to be completely aware of this and seem all too willing to leverage it under the auspices of “friendship.” If Kyle is involved with his family’s murder, he wasn’t the instigator. Kyle is a follower; he does what he’s told. At this point the question is, if he was involved, who was he following? Her interaction with Colonel Raynes provides one of the few opportunities to catch a glimpse of stone-faced Linden. Neither is willing to concede ground to the other and the tension is palpable. The Linden that investigated the Rosie Larsen case could have stood a chance against the iron-will of Raynes. Unfortunately, that Linden isn’t investigating this case; advantage Rayne. Linden has historically succeeded by being independent. Rayne, and the school, represents the height of conformity. So long as Linden stays focused on Skinner, she’s always going to be reacting and lacking the wherewithal to formulate a proper response. There’s an important distinction to be made between the two, reacting and responding, and it could mean the difference in Linden’s abilities to see this case through to the end. Whatever echo of her past self that she was able to muster in front of Rayne completely falls away where Bethany is involved. Her insistence that Reddick “stay the f— out of [her] face” felt much more difficult than it should have for Linden. She’s not a stranger to being harassed, particularly by folks like Reddick, but she is very visibly shaken when he confronts her regarding Skinner’s whereabouts. She might have had the strength for a loud bark, but Reddick seems to know that there’s no bite. What Linden denies says more than any amount of bravado she can muster. As the episode draws to the close Linden is sitting outside Skinner’s house staring down Bethany. This seems to be the perfect visual metaphor for just how lost Linden has become. She’s huddled in secret wondering how to hide the sins of her past, both distant and recent. At this point, I find myself wondering if Holder’s suspicion of Kyle isn’t just displaced confusion from Skinner’s murder. Is it possible that Kyle is simply a proxy for what Holder couldn’t bring himself to do with regards to Linden? If Linden could be both victim and killer, why not Kyle?? The Killing 4.02 "Unraveling"4.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.