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The Killing Recap: In the Closet

Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) - The Killing

At this point, I’m thinking that even the most diehard of fans have to admit that this is one weird show. Not because of the misty atmospherics but because no matter how important a clue that turns up is, the investigation doesn’t seem to progress. Did you ever see that 30 Rock episode where Liz’s brother, Mitch, thinks he’s permanently 17 years old and living in 1985? And everyone else helps him to believe it because they’re afraid of his suddenly finding out that he is 40? Linden is beginning to remind me a bit of that. Like maybe three years ago she failed her detective test and it sent her to the madhouse and so now everyone she knows just helps keep the fantasy alive of her being this awesome cop.

This week she and Holder discovered two living witnesses to the crimes they are investigating. One was also the victim, the girl, Angie, we saw get hit by the car last week. The timeline is hazy but apparently her throat was partially slashed by the killer, but then instead of his finishing the job, he (or some secret vigilante who dumped her off at the vet’s office to be stitched back up). I would say she’s in surprisingly good shape, but I’ve been watching this show long enough to know that Seattle’s hospitals cannot be beat when it comes to speedy recoveries. The girl asks Hoodie Holder, who really is the dreamiest Holder of all, whether boys are still going to want to marry her since her left ring finger is missing now. He tells her not to worry, which she likes. Plus, she’s a lock to play Nearly Headless Nick in the street kid version of Harry Potter. Linden thrusts a mug shot of Joe Mills in the girl’s face, trying to get her to I.D. him, but the girl is basically like, “Um, have you seen the lighting in this town? I obviously didn’t get a look at his face.” She saw his eyes, though. “Oh, really, what color were they?” Linden and Holder don’t ask. Question: If we were to check the crime itself into that same hospital, might that expedite things? I really wouldn’t mind if the show were going at this pace because of a series of intriguing pieces of evidence that Linden and Holder were slowly gathering. It’s much harder to accept the fact that these two have come across a break in the case that’s the next best thing to catching the killer in the act and they still have nothing to show for it.

The other witness is Adrian, the little boy who drew the warehouse and trees overlooking the dead body swamp that kicked off this entire investigation. It turns out that his foster parents found Linden’s appearance at his elementary school exactly as creepy as they should have, and now they don’t want her anywhere near him. Skinner looks so tired during this scene that I’m thinking that bald spot on the top of his head might have been a self-induced casualty from working with Linden for two long. The foster parents say Adrian’s sleeping in the closet again, just like when they first got him and also like he used to do in his old apartment. Linden definitely finds that interesting, so much so that she leaves the meeting before it’s even over. Linden had always been thinking that Adrian ran into the closet after his mom was murdered, but now she realizes that he was sleeping in there before it happened. A lead like this is too hot to sit on. It took three years to find out where her key witness was positioned during the crime that she sacrificed her own sanity and son to solve; she doesn’t have a minute more to spare.

She and Holder break into the Sewards’ old apartment. Holder busts out some wisdom about Galileo and Copernicus  that I could’ve easily listened to for the duration of the episode. The longer he wears that hoodie, the more we’re getting the old Holder back. Let’s just hope he takes it off before he’s doing crack with a prostitute in his squad car again. The gist of his theory is that they’re going at it all wrong. It’s not about what the girls saw; it’s about what the killer saw in the girls. I love Holder, but I think it should also be about what at least the one girl who is still alive saw. Linden’s all sure, maybe, I guess so but wait, Holder, come inside the apartment so I can lay down in this closet and show you that it’s actually about what Adrian saw. Which is the killer. Oh man, Holder’s nifty little analogy got messy quick!

It doesn’t matter that Linden figured out, finally, the truth about Adrian. She can’t ask him about the murder or the incredibly helpful crayon drawings he made either or where’s the best place to get glow in the dark stars in bulk. Maybe if she had finished up that meeting with his foster parents instead of doing her little coat-on scurry out of the room, they would’ve warmed up to her. She now has no choice but to try to enlist Seward’s help himself. She goes to visit him in jail, where he’s chilled out a bit after watching his friend, the formerly upbeat (by comparison) turned remorseful Alton hang himself the night before. I don’t even know what to say about that. Linden tells Seward that she thinks he’s innocent and he reacts to this news exactly like I do whenever she reveals something that is supposed to be shocking but instead feels quite obvious, “It took you this long to figure this out?” Then the two of them have a long, in-depth conversation about strategy and next steps. Just kidding! He hangs up on her. She has twelve days to prove his innocence before he dies.

Callie’s mom finally believes that her daughter is really missing. She somehow escaped from the motel room after Joe caught her discovering Callie’s phone in his bag (that’s what Kathy Bates would have called cheating in Misery), and now she’s trying to get Linden’s attention about it. Linden is oddly bored with this information, or rather her self-righteous/self-loathing attitude when it comes to neglectful moms trumps all else. Callie’s mom takes to the streets to look for her daughter herself, eventually joining forces with Bullet. Even though it makes no sense, I’m guessing Callie is actually alive somewhere. Angie gets up from her bed and just walks out of the hospital, causing steam to practically start billowing from Skinner’s ears, so desperate is his desire for someone to act like a real cop. The immensely catchable Joe Mills remains on the loose. Holder and Linden stare and stare and stare at the photos of the missing girls pinned to the bulletin board. Holder switches from astronomical to biblical so that the killer is likened to a shepherd protecting his flock, and then he and Linden head to the church to see if Angie went there. Pastor Mark isn’t in his office but there’s a bunch of photos of living street kids who sleep there pinned to his wall. “A shepherd and his flock,” says Holder. Cue the ominous music. Um, what? Making up a metaphor and then applying it to someone who you suddenly decide seems guilty based on nothing he has done is not the same as proving that he is.

The one bright spot in both the episode and just the dark world in which these characters live takes place between Bullet and Lyric. Lyric’s lying in her bed, all sad about fickle Twitch, and she calls Bullet over and the two of them kiss. She tells Bullet that she sees her, even though it might feel like she doesn’t. It’s sweet and innocent, a sign of hope like that little plant that sprouts at the end of Wall-e. Love is love, y’all.

Photo: Carole Segal/AMC