‘The Killing’ Recap: El Diablo

The Killing Linden and HolderS1E3: Last night, The Killing proved one thing: it is not fucking around.

After a slow (but still fun, don’t get me wrong) start to the series last week, we returned this week for some more creepy suspects, more investigation, and of course, more Seattle rain. But something felt a little different about this episode; and honestly, I’m not quite sure if I can put my finger on what exactly it was. In “El Diablo,” the show continued to push the possibility that nearly every person on screen at any moment could be the killer or, at least, be connected to the killer. Combine that with the sinister footage at the end of the episode, and suddenly, we’re operating inside of a world where we’re not only uncertain of who is who or what is what, but also a world where terrible, terrible things happen. This, I think, is a smart strategy because an hour-long drama that focuses on only ONE murder is bound to feel slow and dragged out at times, so providing an environment that feels almost surreal, a hazy, dreamlike place where everyone’s a suspect keeps the audience involved.

“We’re still getting married, right?” -Rick

Linden and Holder are still investigating the murder, but it’s taking much longer than Linden originally expected. She’s been “forced” to stay to help investigate the crime. I used forced with quotations because it appears that inside of Linden’s head, there’s quite a bit of insecurity and doubt happening. I’m not really quite sure what to make of it, because we really don’t know much about her relationship with Rick, and I don’t want to say that she’s using the murder as a reason to not commit to her new relationship, but at the same time, it’s apparent that on some level she’s using the murder as a reason to not commit to her new relationship. Undoubtedly, Linden cares tremendously for the Larsen killing and what happened to the family, and she very much wants to solve the crime for them. I don’t want to doubt her motives. But with the amount of time the show continues to invest in her and Rick’s relationship strife, I can’t help but assume that there’s some part of her that wants to stay in Seattle just so she doesn’t need to deal with those problems.

“You told them we were at the dance!” -Kris Echols

Once the detectives discover that Kris was somehow involved with getting Rosie into the cage, they try to talk to him. He denies everything, and we think we’ve once again hit a wall in the case. Echols has something to do with it, for sure, but the detectives don’t have any hard evidence to question him with — that is, until one of the school teachers reveals a cell phone video he found. It’s graphic, but it depicts Rosie Larsen being raped by both Kris and his best friend Jasper, who’s wearing a devil mask as he does it.

The build-up to this moment was extremely well-done and proved that, if the audience is willing to be patient, the show will pay off. Sure, it may get tedious spending so much time focusing on only one murder, especially when we’re used to shows like Law and Order or Bones where each case is wrapped in an episode. Regardless, this form of storytelling gives The Killing the opportunity to breathe a little bit. People and critics are comparing the show to Twin Peaks, and although that rings true, right now it feels more along the lines of The Wire. I know we’re not tapping wires, looking for drugs and dealing with the world of Baltimore, but the show is taking its time flushing out all aspects of the murder: the cops, the family, the politics, the school, everything. Through an unfiltered eye, we’re seeing each side of the story as it progresses toward its end goal of whodunit. And you know what? It’s working. It’s working really, really well.