The Killing continued its strong third season tonight with “Eminent Domain,” an episode that didn’t really capitalize on last week’s cliffhanger but offered up a lot of other great material instead. Rather than placing more focus on Joe Mills, the show’s main suspect actually never appears in the episode, and The Killing uses its time to advance the plot with Seward’s son, Adrian, and continue to flesh out the show’s supporting characters, like Bullet, Lyric, and Kallie’s mom, Dannette.
My favorite part of tonight’s episode was seeing the continued determination and hardheadedness of Linden payoff with the discovery that since Adrian was sleeping in the closet on the night of his mother’s murder, he must have seen her killer. If Adrian really did see who murdered his mother, then Linden will be able to see if there truly is a connection between Seward’s case and the new one she is working on now and, possibly, set Seward free from prison if he’s innocent. Even though a lot of people complain about Linden never smiling or her lacking a sense of humor, that doesn’t matter to me as long as The Killing continues to show how hard-working and strong she is. Linden’s someone who can sometimes get too caught up in her job, becoming obsessive and broken; however, it’s this crazy amount of dedication that makes her such a great detective, and it’s nice to see that The Killing‘s writers are showing us that.
I also really enjoyed the scenes between Bullet and Dannette tonight. Even though neither of them really knows or cares for the other (Dannette initially thought Bullet’s name was Trigger), they were able to find a connection and bond over their love for Kallie. My two favorite moments from this storyline were when the two of them sat out by the lake, sharing how they both knew why this spot was so important to Kallie, and, later in the episode, when Dannette left her door unlocked, hoping against hope that Kallie would walk back into her home later that night. While I’m still not sure how I feel about the scene between Lyric and Bullet (I really enjoyed seeing Bullet drop the “everything is okay” facade and be vulnerable but am not so sure I bought Lyric asking her to keep her warm and then kissing her. It all just seemed very random), The Killing definitely did a really great job at developing Dannette as a character and helped make the audience empathize with what she is going through as Kallie’s mother.
Additionally, we also learned more about Ray Seward tonight, as we got to see him interacting with his dad (a fellow prison inmate) and also watch him encourage Alton to commit suicide, which he does by hanging himself in his prison cell. I’m still not sure what to think of Seward as a character yet, but I am glad that we are getting more pieces of the puzzle, helping to fill in the gaps about how he became such a damaged individual. My favorite scene with him tonight was his talk with Linden; during their discussion about Adrian, we got to see some great acting from Peter Sarsgaard, as he displayed Seward’s genuine love for his son, mixed with the raw regret he feels about not being there as a parent for him.
Overall, another solid episode of The Killing. This season is much stronger than the show’s first two, due to its clearer focus and well-written intimate scenes. Hopefully, Holder and Linden’s suspicion of the priest that runs the shelter will turn out to be more than just a red herring, and The Killing will be able to continue to show much it has matured this year and how much it still has to offer.