The Killing ends by destroying everything you ever loved about the series. There’s really no other way to put it.
It’s difficult to express how hard it was to keep this
diatribe post under 5,000 words. I already went into this final episode with my expectations low, but The Killing said, “That’s still too high!” and bashed my expectations over the head with a blunt rock.
Rather than attempting to write a cohesive summary of the last episode, let’s just bulletpoint this mother and be done with it:
- Holder’s bloodstained jacket from the first episode never came back into play. Way to violate the whole Chekhov’s gun thing.
- Linden tears her house apart looking for that second missing shell casing that she accused Holder of keeping as leverage against her. At the end of the episode, she just happens to spot it sitting over a floor vent after all of her furniture has been moved out of the house because she’s leaving Seattle.
- Kyle did it! He remembers shooting his entire family, including his little sister who was supposedly the only person he ever loved. He took Jerkface McUntuckedShirt and Crazy Eyes Aryan with him to slaughter his family because he finally snapped. Eventually, he’s arrested.
- Linden confesses to Reddick, but it doesn’t end the way you’d think – or to put it more appropriately, the way it should have ended.
- There was a cliche time jump at the end of the episode.
- To no one’s surprise, Holder and Jewel Staite did not last as a couple. Consolation prize: Holder now has an adorable little girl, who he is crazy about. Holder’s also a drug counselor now, so, I guess that’s supposed to make the audience happy?
- After leaving Seattle, Linden became a transient. No discussion about what jobs she had while traveling around, she just states that she’s been moving around for a few years.
Is that possible?
Linden takes Kyle into her home after she picks him up from his romp in the woods (romp here meaning “successfully evade being shot”). Even after she finds out that Kyle is the real killer, Linden is so hellbent on protecting Kyle that she pulls a gun on Holder when he says Kyle has to be arrested. The writers try to explain that Linden is attempting to save Kyle from being arrested because she feels like she’s saving herself by paralleling Kyle killing his family to her killing Skinner. I guess University of Phoenix screenwriting degrees don’t mention referencing source material, such a character’s established behavior, before jumping off the Cliffs of Insanity into a new season of a show. More on that later.
That seems unlikely…
After telling Linden how his classmates tried to murder him, Linden and Holder go to the military academy with a small army of Seattle PD officers. The headmistress is already upstairs arguing with Jerkface McUntuckedShirt and Crazy Eyes Aryan while they all argue about their involvement and being caught by the cops. The two boys suggest they should kill the headmistress because the cops are going to figure out their involvement while she assures them they should stick to the plan. After it cuts to Linden and Holder entering the building downstairs, two gunshots are heard. The cops burst through the headmistress’s office doors to find Jerkface and Crazy Eyes dead on the floor with blood around their heads. If you get motion sickness, apply your anti-nausea patches now because this crazy train is going into overdrive:
Turns out that the headmistress is Kyle’s real mom! Dun dun duuuuun! Kyle’s dad knocked her up, she decided she wasn’t the mothering-kind, and gave up her parental rights. It’s never explained why Kyle’s dad decided to put Kyle in his birth mother’s school, but I’m assuming it’s because Kyle’s dad knew season 4 of The Killing needed a plot so he did what he had to. The headmistress helped cover up Kyle murdering his family because she felt guilty about giving him up and inadvertently subjecting him to the life he had with his dad and stepmom. The writers of season 4 of The Killing must have had soap operas blaring in the background the entire time they wrote this episode.