This is part three of the review of the fourth, and final (?), season of The Killing. There will be spoilers! Throughout”Unraveling”we saw the rapid decline of Linden. She continues down a path of crazy that includes stalking Bethany Skinner and getting t-boned at an intersection. It wasn’t entirely clear if Linden simply intended on following via her car or planned something much worse. Linden was either doing the worst tail ever by following a bicycle in her car, or she intended to do some serious harm (one good murder deserves another?). Given Linden’s current mental state I’m not sure I can dismiss either option. It’s become very clear that the walls she has built up over the years, starting with her time in foster care, are crumbling around her. By the third episode we’re dealing with an even more lost, scared and unstable person. Linden seems to be strongest when she’s confronting other people’s problems. She prefers to run away from her own. However, she’s quickly running out of places to run, people to hide behind; she’s becoming very sloppy. I’m not sure the text message actually convinced Bethany, but even so, surely Reddick didn’t fall for it. I also understand the reason for disposing of the phone at Skinner’s lake house – it’s a good place to stage a disappearance – but it was also extremely careless. She was there in broad daylight and lingered for a while, completely unaware that Skinner’s wife was watching the entire time. At this point, Linden is at one of two extremes; she’s either too distracted by Skinner to work the Stansbury case or obsessing over the Stansburys as means to forget about Skinner. “The Good Soldier”is one of the times where Linden has chosen the obsessive route. At the risk of being crass, perhaps the car accident knocked some sense into her? Unfortunately, just as she seems to be gaining some modicum of composure, Holder begins his downward spiral. Linden’s suggestion that she turn herself in throws Holder into a rant about becoming a father and a husband and instructs Linden to eat her “f****n’ muffin.” One of the benefits of being on Netflix is the more relaxed regulations with regards to certain types of language. Initially, I didn’t even notice how frequently certain words were used, specifically “f**k.” It was used in such a natural, and expected, manner that it took subsequent viewings of the first couple episodes to notice its prevalence. Unlike the first two episodes, the stronger language is much more obvious here. It doesn’t feel as natural. It still feels intentional when Holder says it, but he says it so often that it becomes obvious that he simply doesn’t really care anymore. It seems like a very deliberate choice on the part of the writers to make the word stand out on purpose as a testament to Holder’s mental state. Holder has always been somewhat an anti-hero. He’s a guy who you would always want to have your back. But, he’s also a recovering addict who has a history of poor decision making. There were plenty of times in the past where you weren’t entirely sure if he was being clever or sleazy. Thankfully, he walked that thin line very well. That is, he did until now. It’s simply too much for him to handle; Reddick asking more and more pointed questions about Skinner, Linden’s unpredictable behavior and the pressure of fatherhood. Suddenly, it’s become much harder to say no to the Siren. He lashes out at his sister, frightens and alienates the mother of his child, uses abusive language in front of the nephew he used to protect and even berates a room full of addicts at a support meeting. Contrast this behavior with his statement that “[n]ot everyone screws up their kids, it’s a choice,” and it’s like looking at two different people. Sadly, his attempt to bridge the cognitive dissonance, the tension between where he is and where he wants to be, manifests as self-sabotage. Ironically, his choice makes him a wrecking ball. His misguided, narcissistic, faux-selflessness actually makes things worse for everyone. Every move he makes just buries him deeper in his own grave. Not the least of which being his pseudo-confession to the support group. I don’t imagine it will be long before Reddick hears all about how Holder has a “body on his grill” thanks to the “snitch” he acquired last episode. Most of this episode was focused on the tension between Holder and Linden, with emphasis on Holder’s descent. However, we did discover a few interesting things related to the Stansbury’s less than happy home. My wife noted that it was interesting that the Stansbury’s lived in a glass house that was full of secrets, almost as if they were flaunting their transparency and daring you to look inside. It’s still very easy to see why Kyle is the most likely suspect. Being the outcast, or black sheep, of the family, gives him plenty of motive. His mother’s trysts with Lincoln and his father’s misguided attempts at “rehabilitating” Kat only exacerbated the already strained relationships Kyle had with family and friends. Given that he was being pushed from all sides, that he wasn’t really given another choice, why wouldn’t he take matters into his own hands? However, I think that Linden’s “interrogation” (in the loosest possible sense of the word) makes a strong case that Kyle is not the killer. We also learned why the maids have so little work to do. After all, if you’re building a see-through house then you must make sure that everything looks good. According to Kat, Philip Stansbury was a something of a control freak. It was her belief that she was brought into the Stansbury household as something of an experiment for Mr. Stansbury, his own version of Pygmalion. Kyle told Rayne (during their oh-so-strange private dinner) about Nadine’s night terrors without any indication that his parents were aware of them. Given what we know about Phoebe, Kat and Kyle, I shudder to think at what might have been done to terrify a six-year-old so badly that she’s physically hurting her 17 year old brother during a fit. I’m also curious about Linda Stansbury. I’m not sure if her overbearing husband drove her to seek affection elsewhere or if she just has a thing for young boys. Or, honestly, is it a combination of both? I don’t know that a well-adjusted woman goes turbo-cougar overnight, nor does a happy, stable relationship weather affairs gracefully. Speaking of which, I have become increasingly convinced that Colonel Rayne had an affair, or was in the middle of having an affair, with Philip Stansbury. That would certainly explain her odd behavior and makes her dinner with Kyle slightly less creepy. With these new revelations in mind, let’s revisit the suspect list: Kyle Stansbury – He didn’t kill anyone. He might have wanted to kill a few folks, notably his fascist father and morally corrupt mother, but I don’t think he had it in him to do the deed. Emmett Deschler – Still a creeper. He could have murdered the family, and Phoebe, as a twisted form of “preserving” Phoebe while also intentionally denying himself happiness. It’s a long shot, but given his rant about happiness ruining the creative process, it’s not implausible. Katrina “Kat” Nelson – Kyle’s girlfriend, and no fan of the Stansburys. She seemed primarily interested in protecting Kyle from his overbearing parents. She might not be mourning their death, but I think it’s unlikely she pulled the trigger. Colonel Margaret Rayne – It’s still confusing as to why she would become the legal guardian, and it’s a role she took to rather quickly. Also, as noted above, I’m certain she was having an affair with Philip. I’ve also noted that it seemed odd that she was the only woman in a school for boys. Based on her consistent statements to Linden about “women in power,” I’m convinced this is deliberate. I’m just not entirely sure to what end. Hopefully it won’t cop out into a “I was lonely and a woman has NEEDS!!!” plot line. I expect better of this show and it’s representation of female characters. Lincoln Knopf – We now have a reason why Lincoln hates Kyle. It’s like The Graduate meets Lolita,but in hell. The only reason he would not be the killer is because it’s just too obvious. In my last review I questioned whether or not Holder’s suspicion of Kyle was displaced confusion lingering from his own role in Skinner’s murder. I think I might have been a bit short sighted. Now I’m thinking that, somehow, the decline of Holder and Linden is being shadowed in the Stansbury case. The case is one of the few things that seem to bring both Linden and Holder back to some semblance of sanity. It gives them a purpose, or meaning. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but somehow, the Stansbury murder is meant to be a reflection on what Linden and Holder are going through. Ironically, I feel like this might be the easiest murder to solve while being the hardest case these two have worked. The Killing 4.03 "The Good Soldier"3.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.