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The Killing Recap: Shepherd and Flock

The Killing

It’s episodes like this one that make me wish the Killing weren't a show about trying to solve a single case. Or that it at least better understood that a detour doesn’t have to involve chasing dead-end leads. Both Holder and Linden are potentially such complicated, interesting characters. One of the best episodes of last season mainly featured the two of them sitting in their car, getting to know each other. Last night we got nice glimpses of that dynamic again but only interspersed between their pursuing another probable red herring. Because even though I too saw the blood in the pastor’s backseat and the ending where he holds a knife to Linden’s throat, we are, after all, only on episode seven. Which means unless the show has made like the computer in War Games and learned how to learn, that dude is not our killer. I’m hoping that I’m wrong about this.

Holder has become very attached to his shepherd and flock theory, seemingly because he has tied it to his bad experience with his former NA sponsor. His obsession with the pastor came about as abruptly as Linden’s did with Adrian, three years ago, and so in that way it tracks. If Pastor Mike breaks out the crayons, though, I’m going to send a letter to a newspaper or something.  I’m incredibly fuzzy on how Pastor Mark managed to get away after Skinner said that they needed to keep eyes on him so that they didn’t end up with another Joe Mills scenario on their hands. He doesn’t add, “Also missing again girl Angie” but I do. I know that Holder and Linden were those eyes originally, but after they tipped the pastor off by briefly speaking with him (known as their trademark “gotta go” interrogation technique), you would think the station could’ve hustled up a couple of other cops to replace them.

Pastor Mike is actually Pastor Mark, who ran a youth ministry in Arizona before he was accused of kidnapping a 16-year-old girl. I can only imagine his credit card bill the month that he moved from the desert to Seattle. That kind of intense climate wardrobe change isn’t cheap. There are a couple of possible options for what happened back then. Either Pastor Mark kidnapped that girl because she sought his help from another abuser but for some reason they couldn’t go to the cops about it. Or he kidnapped her in the traditional, rotten guy sense but it was still unrelated to our current case. If the second one is true, Angie freaked out when she saw him because he had done unsavory things to her but still wasn’t the man who slit her throat. If the first one is true, that Pastor Mark is all about helping the children and that’s it, Angie screamed her head off because, well, her head was almost off and that is the sort of thing that people tend to scream about. He chased her down, put her in his car, dropped her off at the vet, and lied to the cops because he was afraid of his past being discovered. A perfectly tidy, somewhat irrational explanation that I can’t help believing is true. Because the alternative — that he’s actually the killer — is even crazier.  

Seward’s plotline worked much better this week because he was finally allowed to be a sympathetic character. It didn’t take much. It’s a lot easier to feel terrible for a guy who's about to be put to death when he’s not acting like a jerk. Although I will say that his attitude up until now did make more sense in light of how he acted in this one. I thought those scenes were pretty chilling, especially the one where he’s afraid to get up on the scale. It was also generous of Becker to step up and relieve Callie’s mom of the “bad parent of the month award” by giving his son a tour of the gallows.

Bullet’s in love with Lyric and so far it seems the feelings are requited. I detected some jealousy or left out feelings from that new kid, Rayna, who left Callie’s mom the note that will probably figure in later. Poor Bullet was just trying to listen to her fashion icon, Hoodie Holder, and find her girl a safe place to stay. In the Killing’s universe, though, the streets aren’t nearly as mean as the places with roofs and walls. Constant downpours of rain seem pretty manageable when compared to a steady barrage of child pornographers, rapist pimps, and shady men of the cloth.

Linden’s scene with her ex was a bit intense. I get what they’re trying to do, but they might want to dial it down a notch. If Linden were to have an OkCupid profile (which would be impossible unless there’s a version that doesn’t involve computers. Maybe one you can access from a coffee cup lid?) I feel like she would just stay up all night entering “red flag” into the search engine in order to find her type. She still has the hots for Skinner, or at least she started to again once he started cooing to her about the topics that always make her melt: death row, murdered women, Seward’s innocence. The clock is ticking on that last one. I suggest that the whole squad make an appointment to get glasses. It wouldn’t be a worse use of their time, and at this rate, it’s clearly going to take more than two eyes to save a wrongfully convicted man’s life.

Photo: Carole Segal/AMC