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Killing Star Mireille Enos Defends Controversial Finale: 'It Was Really Smart Storytelling'

Not everyone’s grumbling about the lack of closure in the season finale of The Killing. Leading lady Mireille Enos (Sarah) brushed off the backlash to Sunday’s Season 1 send-off, which concluded without Rosie Larsen’s real killer being identified.

“I thought it was awesome,” Enos told TVLine at Monday’s inaugural Critics Choice Awards, where she was a nominee for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama. “I know there’s lots of controversy about it, but I think a cliffhanger is really smart storytelling. It means audiences will come back [for Season 2].

Killing Spoiler Alert: Exclusive Season 2 Clues!

“I think there was too much story to wrap up,” she added. “To solve [the murder] in one episode, it would have felt rushed. If there’s anything that’s been true about this season, [it’s that] we’ve taken our time. That continued to be true through the finale. I think the payoff next season is going to be really worth it.”

Enos’ Killing co-star Michelle Forbes, a supporting actress nominee at Monday’s Critics Choice Awards, was more sympathetic to viewers’ frustration level. “I think we have very savvy audiences,” she conceded. “They know their TV well. If you’re going to make a risky move, you have to on some level accept criticisms that are out there.”

Is There An Emmy In Mireille Enos’ Future?

And what if viewers choose to retaliate next season with their remotes? “Television is a democracy,” she shrugged. “You can watch if you want. If it’s appealing to you, you can watch it. And if it’s not, you don’t have to.”

Meanwhile, the woman at the center of the firestorm, showrunner Veena Sud, maintains that she never promised the whodunit would be wrapped up in Season 1. “We asked the question, ‘Who killed Rosie Larsen?’ But we never said, ‘Tune in and by the end of 13 episodes you’ll find out who did it.'”

However, Sud is making such a promise about Season 2. “I want to assure [the fans],” she says, “that they will find out who killed Rosie Larsen in Season 2.” (Reporting by Vlada Gelman)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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112 Comments
  1. Crimebill says:

    Let’s put aside for now the issues of implied promises (to give us a resolution after 13 weeks), gratuitous twists and egotistical and insulting showrunners: the key question AMC should be concerned about is, A year from now, will anybody give a frak who killed Rosie Larsen?

  2. TigerNightmare says:

    Whiners. I just watched this episode, having heard all this stupid internet buzz about a big “controversial” twist and it was just blown completely out of proportion. It’s not a perfect show, but I was entertained and I don’t really care who killed Rosie Larsen. All I care about is that they give us some good TV leading up to that. Have fun reading who the killer is in a meaningless spoiler payoff.

  3. Shy says:

    Sorry Mireille, but cliffhanger was not a really smart storytelling. And it not means that audiences will come back. I bet that’s exactly what those stupid producers thought. They were like: “Oh, we are so smart. It’s such a smart cliffhanger that now everyone will come back next season to find out who killed her”….

    No they will not. Everyone were ready to close this case and return next season for new cases with our detectives. Show was too long. And around 6-7 episode everyone were tired of all that boring grieving family and boring politician story.

    And just like with Episode 3 of Star Wars – no one really cared about movie, we all just wanted to finish it just to get over it. Same here. With all that fake clues they gave us every week we don’t even care who killed Rosie anymore. We wanted to find out about it in last episode just to get over with it and move on to another cases. But after that “cheating” many-many people will not return next season. Why watch another 3 months some stories only to be “cheated” again.

  4. Patty says:

    Such BS. Bad characterization? It’s by far one of the best shows from that point of view. I don’t care about the whining, the unbelievable arguments ppl use to support their frustration, i do care about the propaganda built in such concept.
    Ppl nowadays want everything like they’re fast food, as immediate as possible, there’s no patience, they rather build another storming audience for NCISs and such, then to give a break to real shows.
    There’s actually no place for good tv, only reality shows and poor soap operas.
    I’ll be thanking you ppl in advance for the most probable early cancelation of “The Killing” next season.

    • Holly says:

      You’re welcome, in advance.

      For the record, your comment that there is “actually no place for good tv” is just dumb. As evidence, see the following television shows that are still on the air after at least one season that are not crud procedurals like NCIS, nor are they reality shows or “poor soap operas”:

      1. Breaking Bad
      2. Mad Men
      3. The Good Wife
      4. Game of Thrones
      5. Glee (I’m not in love with this show, but it’s different and it doesn’t fit any of your “bad tv” requirements)
      6. Community
      7. 30 Rock
      8. Parks and Recreation
      9. Family Guy
      10.American Dad
      11. Doctor Who
      12. Justified
      13. Weeds
      14. Nurse Jackie
      15. Dexter
      16. Sons of Anarchy
      17. Leverage
      18. Men of a Certain Age
      19. Psych
      20. Royal Pains
      21. In Plain Sight
      22. Burn Notice
      23. Friday Night Lights
      24. Californication
      25. Walking Dead
      26. Boardwalk Empire
      27. Pretty Little Liars
      28. Treme
      29. True Blood
      30. Rescue Me
      31. The Big C
      32. Being Human

      I’m sure others could add more, but I’ll leave it there.

      Do you see how your argument makes no sense? Two points: The first is that not being a reality show, CSI ripoff, or “soap opera” doesn’t make a show special. See list above. Second, the fact that a show is not a reality show, CSI ripoff or soap opera does not, in fact, mean that the show is good. Logic fail.

    • Dallas says:

      You think it’s a good characterization to have a mother leave her two little boys when their daddy is going to jail for a long time? That it is good characterization for detectives to be totally incompetent and not to do basic detective job (like checking car route, Rosie’s phone) and violate basic rules (like Linden going to scream at her suspect for few minutes?)
      It was shittily done show that fooled you with its pretentiousness obviously into believing it’s a good show. You know like people who go to watch “artsy” movies, then oooh and aaah over them without understanding a thing they saw, just because they want to feel intellectual. Watch MadMen for good characterization.

  5. Patty says:

    Crimebill,

    Well that’s a question most shows, kept from viewers for such long periods, have to deal whith. I believe AMC has grounds to create a striking second season, they’ll just have to tease about it and be appealing.
    I for once will be tunning in for sure.

  6. jo slattery says:

    Whatever the failings of the finale were I was thrown for a loop when Holder gave up the set-up on the Councilman. There was an incredible false note to that since there was no hint of duplicity on his part until that moment.
    The much stronger scene was when Linden was on the plane and heard the news about the toll booth cameras. That should have been sufficient to get the idea across and not make Holder look like such an Iago.

  7. Crimebill says:

    True, Patty, but most shows aren’t centered around a single, specific storyline (“Who Killed Rosie Larsen”). It’s one thing to care for 13 weeks about who killed her: we were never sufficiently invested in the character to really care much a year from now.

    There are certain conventions to every type of fiction. If you’re going to break the most important one in crime fiction (“resolve the mystery at the end”), then you need to do it in an enormously skillful way. That’s not what happened here.

    The idea that the writer’s vision is more important than satisfying the audience is bull — and I say this as a working writer. If you want to write for your own entertainment, stick to fanfic.

  8. Teri Moulton says:

    I applaud the writers of the Killing for such great writing that kept us all the edge of the couch for 13 weeks. Great Great Acting by the lead characters. GOOD JOB! Looking forward to season 2!!!

  9. Perry says:

    Call me a dunce, but I thought the ending was enough: The councilman aka Orpheus killed the girl, and we learn that police sometimes are forced to fake evidence to put away such villains. It is nice not having a typical CSI ending, with that red-haired freak walking gloomily away into the Florida sunshine.