The Killing – “Pilot”

I just watched the first episode of a new show on AMC, The Killing. My brother told me about it, saying it’s “Twin Peaks, without the supernatural mumbo-jumbo.” He was right. In the first episode, a young girl named Rosie is killed, it’s revealed that she has a jerk of a boyfriend, a wall-flower best friend, a possible drug problem, and she’s killed out in the woods and dumped into the water. Even the method of telling the parents about the death (talking to the father in person, the mother hearing about it through a phone line) is the same.

Of course, this one has a whole political angle to it, seemingly revolving around a candidate for the Mayor of Seattle. And there doesn’t seem to be anyone who’s possessed by an inhabiting spirit. And it takes place, not in a small town, but, as I mentioned, in Seattle. Though this is the most dreary, rainy, gray Seattle you can imagine.

A few notes about the cast:

  • Mireille Enos plays the main detective. She’s a little like Marge Gunderson from Fargo, but without the crazy accent and the baby belly. She’s unglamorous and brilliant. (We know she’s brilliant, because she’s often seen looking across a field, brow furrowed, squinting hard.)
  • Joel Kinnaman plays her partner, possibly the creepiest cop in television history. But what I like about him (at least so far) is that the creepiness seems to be calculated to achieve an effect. (Rattling a witness, for example.)
  • Brent Sexton is the father of the dead girl, and he plays him like a bulldog. The scene where he grabs Rosie’s douche of a boyfriend by the throat was kind of awesome.
  • Michelle Forbes is Rosie’s mother, playing up the irritability of grief, maybe a smidge too much. Hopefully as the series progresses, we’ll get a fuller portrait of her.
  • Bill Campbell is the mayoral candidate whose campaign may be connected to the killing. I like this actor, so I kind of hope he’s not the murderer.

I know nothing about the Danish show upon which this is based, so I don’t know if this is designed to be a one-off series, or a murder of the season set up, or if the mystery is supposed to (in Twin Peaks fashion) continue on past the first year. But I hope it stays as good as the pilot.

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