deep breaths

Just Let Go: A Guide to Making Peace With The Killing’s Third Season

Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) - The Killing
Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) - The Killing Photo: Carole Segal/AMC

There is hate-watching, and then there is angry-yelling-at-the-television-“this stopped being fun five episodes ago!”-watching. For the better part of its two-season run, The Killing — an immensely frustrating show featuring bad cop work, loud chewing noises, Bockmail, and what turned out to be an unforgivable season-one fake-out — fell into the latter category. Most people stopped watching long before Rosie Larsen’s killer was revealed; the show was canceled soon thereafter. And then, strangely, it was uncanceled. We know what you’re thinking: That still doesn’t mean I have to watch it. But it’s a long summer, especially with respect to television, and it’s unhealthy to carry around that much anger. So, after watching season three’s two-hour premiere (which will air on Sunday at 8 p.m. on AMC; Matt Zoller Seitz’s official review will be posted later today), I came up with six reasons to put aside your Killing hate, in the interest of keeping your DVR filled. I’m not claiming The Killing has become Peabody material, and I make no guarantees for how the rest of the season will play out, but this post should allow you to calmly get started without freaking out at the first sign of rain.

Veena Sud swears that the mystery will be solved in single season.
Read this quote as many times as you need to: “In season 3, the story lends itself to one season. We’re going to solve it at the end.” We understand that Veena Sud could be lying to us; Veena Sud could have no idea where the story is going (see: seasons one and two). But we believe in trust and second chances. That’s what this exercise is all about.

Linden and Holder are still interesting.
Back before they were negligent cops with grating personal habits and an inability to make planes on time, Linden and Holder were compelling characters. Linden especially had a lot to work with — the case that haunts her, the single-mom stuff, her oral fixation — and Mirelle Enos gave her a tense, thoughtful presence right up until the end. Joel Kinnaman’s Holder was a charmer.They took a little too long to reveal themselves, and they wound up in some rather unflattering situations (motherhood and/or the fake toll photos come to mind), but that was on the writers. This season, they might get a chance to be appealing again, right?

No more politics.
Remember all the boring City Hall stuff about mayors and zoning and Caleb from the O.C.? No? It’s fine, you don’t have to, because none of that stuff will be on this season. It’s about gutter punks! Here is a proven mathematical fact: teens > politics.

The cell-phone technology has improved dramatically.
We can’t speak to Bockmail just yet, but we are happy to report that season three of the Killing has seriously improved with respect to mobile technology. They know what burners are! That is a big step.

Peter Sarsgaard!
Peter Sarsgaard is great, even when he is creeping you the fuck out. Which he will. (He’s cast as a Death Row inmate, and not the 100 percent innocent kind from the looks of things.) Also new this season: Amy Seimetz, whose strung-out single mom is as un-Mitch-like as they get.

No more chewing.
The lighting is still terrible, and it still rains all the time, but at least Linden has quit the gum. Thank you, The Killing.

How to Not Hate The Killing’s Third Season