Who Was the Unseen Bad Guy in The Killing Season Finale?


One of the "twists" of last night's almost universally reviled Killing finale was that Detective Stephen Holder, far and away the most likable cast member, was "revealed" to be a bad guy. While it remains to be seen if Holder was acting out of malice or a sense of justice, he certainly fabricated photographic evidence leading directly to Darren Richmond's arrest, and then hopped in an automobile with some unidentified figure and said, "The photos worked." Because we have not gotten worked up enough about The Killing today (ha, yes we have!), and cannot yet bring ourselves to stop obsessing about this show that does not deserve our obsession (that day, it will come... right?), we've been thinking about the identity of the unseen criminal. Who could it have been? We've come up with a list of Holder's potential partners in crime. Given what we know about the show, we are certain they are all real possibilities.

1. Gwen Eaton
Before the ending that wasn't an ending, Gwen already seemed suspicious, both jealous and protective enough of Richmond to do some misdeeds on his behalf. (Also, we've had a bad feeling about her since she tried to steal Ben from Felicity.) After the ending that wasn't an ending, she seems even more suspicious: she's the one who blew up Richmond's alibi, and as the publicly-wronged girlfriend, she's got motive. Plus she has the government connections it would have taken to set Holder up in homicide. (And while we're on other slightly sensible, not totally infuriating possibilities, there's also Jamie and the Mayor, who could both want to see Richmond fail for political reasons.)

2. Lt. Michael Oakes
Why would a police professional, Linden and Holder's boss, put his career on the line by orchestrating the arrest of a high-level government official? The answer is almost too obvious: Someone has to teach Linden how to be a better detective. Look, we've had enough of Linden's ill-manners and shoddy police work and we've only been dealing with her for 13 weeks! Worst case for Oakes, Linden learns to be a better detective; best case, she gets thrown off the force and Lt. Oakes retires knowing that Seattle's streets are safer.

3. Bennet Ahmed
Why did Holder agree to look the other way on that whole female circumcision/illegal passport/harboring-a-12-year-old runaway plot? Well, what if he and Ahmed were working together? We imagine a black market passport and sex trade ring, financed by incumbent Mayor Adams to supplement his waterfront income. Ahmed killed Rosie and framed Richmond, Holder transferred to homicide to cover tracks/plant false leads, and everything was going perfectly until Stan beat the crap out of Bennett. But a three-day coma is nothing to a determined sex-smuggler ... and neck traction makes for decent camouflage, when you think about it. The guy could probably drive the getaway car for weeks without being recognized in that gear. (Someone who would inspire a similar level of aggravation if revealed to be working with Holder: Mitch. She's not gone! Having learned nothing from Stan's attempt to take justice into his own hands, she's trying to take justice into her own hands!)

4. Lily Richmond, Zombie
Here’s what Richmond didn’t tell you about the myth of Orpheus. After the poet looks back and his wife Eurydice is returned to Hades, she actually turned into a zombie who roams the Earth attacking all the Greek call-girls her ex-husband has hired. It is therefore totally possible that Lily Richmond followed a similar path. Also, zombies are basically the only television trend The Killing has not yet appropriated. (Slightly less outlandish but still infuriating possibility: Lily Richmond is alive.)

5. Leland Palmer
What was good enough for Twin Peaks is more than good enough for The Killing. And BOB has already shown an affinity for the climate of the Pacific Northwest.