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TV Review: The Killing – “What You Have Left”

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AMC’s The Killing is now six hours into the investigation of the murder of Rosie Larson (Katie Findlay). In the sixth episode, “What You Have Left.” which chronicles the sixth day after the police opened the case, much time is spent gathering evidence for a theory found in day five, as well as dealing with the ramifications of said theory. It also appears that Detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) will be missing her nonrefundable flight to California, as she races towards a new development with scant time left before the plane takes off. Which means she is out a significant sum of money because of a bet made with her son, Jack (Liam James), but considering the unrealistic amount, it is not likely Jack will see a penny.

Currently, the prime suspect in the murder of Rosie is Amber Ahmed (Ashley Johnson, Growing Pains, Ben 10), the young, very pregnant wife of Bennett Ahmed (Brandon Jay McLaren, Being Erica, Harper’s Island). See, Bennett is Rosie’s teacher, and evidence leads the police to believe he may have been romantically and / or sexually involved with her. Amber, who is a former student of Bennett’s, is now thought to have been home when Rosie stopped by the Ahmed residence late the night of her disappearance, and Amber and Bennett may have carried her body out later that night.

Notice, I only say may in the last paragraph. That’s because this investigation is far from over, and as such, it is improbable that the Ahmeds are responsible. The focus on them when the season has not even reached its midpoint virtually clears them of suspicion, even though the true story of what they were doing that night has not yet been revealed. While they were obviously up to no good, that does not necessarily mean either one is guilty of murder.

Unfortunately, Rosie’s father, Stan (Brent Sexton), knows only that Bennett is the primary suspect. His information is old, as he hasn’t been told about the spotlight shifting from Bennett to Amber. So Stan convinces Bennett to get into a car at Rosie’s funeral and drives him away, into the dark and stormy night. As Stan has now been revealed to be an ex-mobster who likely killed some men, his intentions towards Bennett are likely dastardly, and Bennett had better hope that Sarah gets to him in time to save his life. She’s on her way!

Will Bennett die? That’s hard to predict. After all, The Killing is hardly the typical American drama, not at all like what usually graces our air waves. Adapted from a foreign series, the murder investigation is slow paced, and will unfold over an entire season, rather than just the single episode most shows devote to a singular crime.

Sarah

Bennett is merely one of many suspects. Despite his ties to a number of the main characters, and the circumstances surrounding Rosie’s death, the series can go on just fine without him. Or with him. Perhaps there are more twists that Bennett will bring to the table. It’s hard to tell. As such, there is some real tension and suspense building, which raises The Killing far above the vast majority of its ilk.

Also factoring into the story is a political race for mayor, with Councilman Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell), whose campaign car Rosie’s body is found in, running against the incumbent. Richmond is getting lots of screen time devoted to his race, and the two subordinates working behind the scenes. Besides the vehicle, Richmond also has a connection to Bennett, who is an important part of a charity program that Richmond runs. This week, Richmond decides to continue backing Bennett, rather than distance himself as he is advised to do. Does Richmond have some special emotional connection to the teacher, or is just stiking to his principles?

The political bend is reminiscent of 24, which always had politicians and their staff sharing the story with whichever terrorists the Counter Terrorist Unit heroes were trying to take down. While Richmond’s full involvement is still a mystery, not helped by Campbell’s hard-to-read, played-close-to-the-vest, highly nuanced performance, surely he is tied more tightly to Rosie than has been let on. The Killing doesn’t seem to waste time on tangents, so something else has to be there. Hopefully, it will come out soon.

A number of characters, including Richmond and Stan, are being portrayed as mostly good guys, but with some dark history, and sometimes hidden motivations. It’s also hard to tell if they will stick with the squeaky clean image currently being projected, or if they are covering up something bad they recently did. At this point, not one character, save perhaps Linden, can be ruled out as a suspect. And if you’ve seen the original, The Killing‘s writers have vowed to switch the killer up to keep you guessing through to the end.

Don’t miss The Killing, airing Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on AMC. If you’ve missed any episodes, catch up with Amazon.com’s Instant Video, from which all episodes, including this week’s, are now available.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com