THE KILLING 2.10 ’72 Hours’

 Linden is institutionalized, forcing Holder to break the case all by himself in a frustratingly pointless filler episode.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Episode Title: ’72 Hours’

Directed by: Nicole Kassell

Written by: Eliza Clark

Previously on “The Killing:”

The Killing 2.09 'Sayonara, Hiawatha'

Story:

After last week’s cliffhanger ending, which found Detective Linden (Mireille Enos) on the receiving end of a bludgeoning, she wakes up in a mental hospital on suicide watch. Detective Holder tries to get her out, but is stonewalled by Lt. Carlson (Mark Moses), who chews them both out for pursuing the case after she’s been fired and Holder’s been taken off the case. Holder fires back with the news that the evidence in the Rosie Larsen case went missing en route to County, which apparently Carlson didn’t know.

With Linden institutionalized for 72 hours – keeping her off of the case through election day – Holder talks to Regi (Annie Corley) to try to pull some strings to get her released, or at least get the number of her psychiatrist, who could also get her out. Regi seems to think Linden might belong in the hospital, and refuses to share her psychiatrist’s contact information.

While at the waterfront, Holder sees on a billboard that Michael Ames (Barclay Hope) is in league with Mayor Adams (Tom Butler), and makes some calls, learning that there was a break-in at the waterfront the night Rosie Larsen was killed, but Ames got the charges dropped. Eventually, he interviews a security guard and learns that the culprit was working for mob boss Janek Kovarsky (Don Thompson). He tracks down the goon who admits that he was hired to plant Native American bones at the waterfront construction site.

Detective Linden, stuck in the hospital, ends up in therapy and begins to explore the case that institutionalized her in the first place, and the connection it has to the Rosie Larsen killing. The first case was a killing in which the victim’s son was trapped with the body for a week, and her partner singled out the husband. Linden disagreed with the call, but was unable to prove otherwise.

Meanwhile, Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) tries to drum up votes, and a video of him playing basketball goes viral, helping his campaign. Jamie (Eric Laden) finds evidence that the Mayor was in campaign headquarters, and discovers that Gwen (Kristin Lehman) was the last one present the previous night. Richmond confronts Gwen about her secret, and she hints at her ugly past with Mayor Adams. Later, she pays off the man who leaked the video online.

Stan Larsen spends the episode trying to make up for past wrongs, apologizing to Terry (Jamie Anne Allman), fixing Bennet Ahmed’s (Brandon Jay McLaren) front porch light and buying his kids a new dog. The episode ends with Stan calling Rosie’s cell phone and leaving a message saying he loves her, and goodbye.

Holder eventually ties the case together, confronting Carlson with the theory that Rosie overheard the tribe talking about the cover-up at the waterfront, leading to her murder. Carlson finally relents and gives Holder the name of Linden’s psychiatrist, who turns out to be Rick Felder (Callum Keith Rennie), Linden’s former fiancé. He returns to get her out of the hospital, right before it seemed like she was about to have a breakthrough with her therapist, but leaves before she can thank him.

The episode ends with Nicole Jackson (Claudia Ferri) telling someone over the phone that the room where Linden found the City Hall key card is being “taken care of,” not realizing that the key card is still beneath the floorboards.

Breakdown:

While thoroughly watchable and technically moving the story forward, “72 Hours” nevertheless feels like a complete waste of time. If Linden had simply picked up the keycard and left the casino at the end of the last episode, we could have skipped right to the end of this one, which is clearly leading to a proper investigation into the scene of the crime.

The suspense that Linden could be institutionalized through the end of the series never feels tangible, since that could never be dramatically satisfying, and while her therapy sessions are a good acting showcase for Mireille Enos, they end before any conclusions could be drawn. So this whole episode is just an arbitrary roadblock, stretching the series out an extra episode with little to offer that couldn’t have been dovetailed into the events of another episode. It’s a neat idea, but it simply doesn’t pay off.

As for the rest of “72 Hours,” there isn’t much to report. We always knew Holder was a good detective without Linden’s help, so it comes as little surprise that he catches a break in the case on his own. His theory seems half-formed, but there seems to be a nugget of truth in there. The most frustrating aspect of his arc this week is that Lt. Carlson is woefully underestablished. At times he sees to be a willing player in the massive conspiracy, but at others he’s legitimately invested in the Rosie Larsen investigation and coming to the aid of his subordinates.

It’s almost as shame that we spent an entire episode focusing on Linden’s past and learning almost nothing, while a character whose backstory is clearly more relevant to the A-plot is languishing on the sidelines with hardly a line of dialogue to explain where he’s coming from, and how he’s connected to the story at large.

Gwen’s confession to Darren amounts to little. She admits that Mayor Adams kissed her when she was 14, and while that’s sleazy as hell it’s also small potatoes compared to the implications she made to Adams last week. She may have been holding back, but giving the character an opportunity to bare her soul and then copping out just doesn’t make for compelling television. And the revelation that she was behind the viral video aiding her employer’s campaign does not qualify as earth shattering, even if she did lie to him about it. That’s her job, after all. You can’t show a character doing their job and call it a cliffhanger, no matter how ominously you play it.

As for Stan, there’s not much to report this week. He tries to make amends for all the stupid crap he’s been doing, and maybe it’ll work out for him. The time-honored tradition of replacing a lost loved one with a new pet seems to be working out already. It’s cynical, but screw it, it’s technically the nicest thing he’s done for anyone in weeks.

There’s just not much to report on for this week’s episode of “The Killing.” It’s a filler episode, disguised as something more. It could have worked out, but besides the revelation that Linden was engaged to her old psychiatrist, which raises a few questions that have nothing to do with the main storyline, it gives us nothing new besides a connection between several of the key suspects, which could have been integrated into just about any episode of the series. With next week’s teaser showing Linden investigating the casino properly, it all comes across as a bit pointless. I really wish “The Killing” had flown right over the cuckoo’s nest and straight into the good stuff.

 

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Photo Credit: Carole Segal/AMC