Tuesday, 14 June 2011

THE KILLING, 1.12 - "Beau Soleil"

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Did anyone else get the feeling this hour could have been moved forward to, say, episode 5 and worked almost as well? It would have meant a few shortcuts and a surprisingly efficient investigation, but it would have been possible. While I understand the need to flesh out a story and investigate dead-ends and red herrings (that's par for the course in this genre), I think The Killing's made a meal out of it. It would have helped if dead-ends still managed to throw up a vital clue, or if there were parallel lines of inquiry going on, but the writing just seems to dive headfirst into one prime suspect, shake them around for multiple episodes, then drop them and move onto the next suspicious character. Still, at least the last batch of episodes have been more purposeful, and in "Beau Soleil" we finally discovered who killed Rosie Larsen. Or did we...?


  • Mayor Adams's (Tom Butler) waterfront development was abandoned after workers found a human skull on the site. The discovery of a Native Indian burial ground put an end to his scheme and, in the process, the basis of his re-election campaign.
  • Linden (Mireille Enos) met with her son's father Greg (Tahmoh Penikett), angry that he's back in their lives.
  • Holder (Joel Kinnaman) briefed Linden that Rosie has been seen on the casino ATM footage depositing large amounts of money over a period of six months into an unknown account.
  • Mitch (Michelle Forbes) overheard a message on her husband's answering machine from mobster Janek Kovarsky and asked Belko if Stan's (Brent Sexton) working for him again. Belko avoided the question and was fired.
  • Adams officially threw in the towel, but out of affection for Gwen (Kristen Lehman)—whom he watched her grow up as a friend of her father's—he gave her an envelope of incriminating evidence on Richmond.
  • Jamie went to Tom Drexler's (Patrick Gilmore) apartment under the orders of Richmond (Billy Campbell), who no longer needs to pander to his financier in person because Adams has dropped out of the election. Jamie noted the young women swimming in a pool above the ceiling, and Drexler identified them as Beau Soleil girls.
  • Stan was visited in jail by his wife, who questioned him over their family's missing savings and gave that as the reason she hasn't posted his bail.
  • Rosie's laptop was re-examined and a police tech discovered a secret redirection page to the Beau Soleil website, which was accessed multiple times around the time Rosie disappeared. Linden recognized one of the girl's profile photos as Rosie's aunt Terry (Jamie Anne Allman). Terry was interviewed and admitted to being an escort for the site, and the owner of the account Rosie was depositing money into. She also recounted a story about a girl called Celine who warned them about a weirdo known as "Orpheus" who took her to the waterfront and discussed drowning—an echo of what happened to Rosie.
  • Linden and Holder visited the storefront that secretly houses Beau Soleil's servers and got access from the webmaster to Orpheus's account—which was closed the night Rosie was killed. However, there's still an active webmail address, and Linden e-mails Orpheus with the message "I KNOW WHAT YOU DID".
  • Holder met with Celine, real name Aleena (Alona Tal), by posing as a Beau Soleil client in a hotel and pressures her to reveal more about Orpheus. Aleena leaves, frightened, but calls back moments later and tells Holder to meet her at the corner of Fifth and Jackson if he wants to know who Orpheus is.
  • Stan was released from jail after Terry posted bail, having learned that her sister wouldn't do so.
  • Linden had the police tech monitor her computer's e-mail as she went to visit Richmond and tell him to distance himself from Drexler—who's their new prime suspect, given his association with Beau Soleil escorts. At Richmond's apartment, Linden heard a computer chiming in another room, and realized it was occurring whenever her e-mail was resent. Investigating a small room containing a computer, Linden discovers a PC with four "I KNOW WHAT YOU DID" e-mails. At that moment, Richmond appears at the door in silhouette, asking what she's doing.
  • Holder arrived at the rendezvous but Aleena isn't there. Instead, he notices the area is plastered with Darren Richmond campaign posters.
  • Gwen opened Mayor Adams's enveloped and found photos of Richmond meeting a variety of women, presumably escorts.


Is this a moot point now? It's Darren Richmond, right? The likeable councilman who wasn't ever much of a suspect because (a) he was a main character and (b) he appeared to have been professionally affected by Rosie's murder in such a way that he was painted as a victim. But the evidence is damning: he owns the computer that's receiving Orpheus' mail, "Orpheus" itself is a character in Greek mythology that lost his wife (as did Richmond), Aleena has pointed the finger at him as the man who scared her talking about drowning, and Gwen's got photographic proof he solicits prostitutes.

Is there any possible way Richmond's not to blame? I can't quite see how he can wriggle off the hook, but maybe he didn't actually kill Rosie in person? Was he in cahoots with fellow Beau Soleil client Drexler—a man who seemingly has a fascination with teenage girls and water? There must be something else yet to be revealed, as we still have a whole episode left to watch. Will the finale focus on Richmond as a fugitive trying to flee the city? Will he somehow prove he's innocent to Linden, or only partly involved in what happened? Or will the finale be an extensive flashback? The latter feels like a great way to end the season, if you ask me...

In summation:

"Beau Soleil" can't be faulted in terms of advancing the plot and delivering a big development, but that's to be expected at this late stage of a whodunnit. I just think it's unfortunate so much of this season has, in retrospect been a total waste of time. I'm again astonished the Danish version was twice the length of AMC's remake, and talked about as the superior show, as it's hard to imagine this story warranting more than a half-dozen episodes. And why introduce Linden's ex-husband in the penultimate episode? I think the writers have severely overestimated how much we care about Linden and her family. In fact, a big problem with The Killing is that none of the characters are actually very compelling in their own right—they're just chess pieces the plot's using to play its game.

The finale airs this Sunday. As I said, I'm hoping for a flashback-heavy hour that reveals Rosie's final days, visualizing Richmond's confession. If he's indeed the culprit. The Killing yanked us around so much with Ahmed that I'm still not 100% certain the councilman killed Rosie. Maybe Jamie used his home computer to log-on as Orpheus, or something? Then again, Linden's first e-mail was definitely read and Jamie's as Drexler's home. Any final thoughts as we march towards the finish-line? The floor's yours...


  • Just a quick question: the date given here for Rosie's murder was 5 October. So why was her school having a Halloween party almost a month before Halloween on 31 October? Is that common practice in the US, or did they mess up the dates in this episode?
written by Jeremy Doner & Soo Hugh / directed by Keith Gordon / 12 June 2011 / AMC