The Killing Recap: Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone, Only Darkness Every Day

The Killing Recap Season 4This week’s episode of The Killing allowed several supporting players to take center stage — emotionally, if not in terms of actual screen time.

Kallie’s mom Danette came to a horrifying realization. Seward’s prison buddy Alton made a heartbreaking confession. Bullet’s walls came down, if only for a moment. And Holder’s girlfriend found she’d made the list of nominees for Worst Valentine’s Day of 2013. (Sarah Linden: Messing Up People’s Personal Lives Since 2007. Badum-bum.)

In other news, if it wasn’t raining this week, it was unrelentingly overcast. Everybody got their hopes up for Kallie — but that hope is looking more and more like an unwanted interloper. And honestly, I don’t know how exactly the show’s writers are going to extract themselves from the end-of-episode cliffhanger with more than half the 12-episode season left to go. But let’s cut to the action, shall we?

THE CASE | The episode (“Scared and Running”) kicks off in harrowing fashion: A driver on a dark, rainy road collides with a terrified, battered girl who promptly sprints away. When he turns back to his car, he can make out the figure of a man (?) against his headlights — and Holder and Linden spend the hour trying to A) track down the victim (presumably Kallie?) before she’s apprehended and killed, and B) catch the shadowy figure and determine if he’s the Pied Piper.

Along the way, our protagonists interview Mama Dips and discover she’s Joe Mills’ mother; realize Mama Dips has attempted to reach her son at the home of Kallie’s mother; score a warrant to search Danette’s place (where Linden hisses “People like you shouldn’t have kids” to the defiant wretch); and discover one of those red medical bags the serial killer uses to dispose of his victims only yards from the site where the driver collided with the girl. (Side note: Isn’t it remarkable how vividly the show paints characters like Mama Dips, Danette and even the runaways — people on the fringes of society who are hanging on by a claw?)

Running mostly on instinct (and close to three days with no sleep) Linden drives around alleys near the crash site to look for Kallie, and lo and behold, she and Holder discover a severed finger in an alley right behind the Beacon shelter — home to the kindly/still very suspicious preacher who provides beds for homeless youth. (I’m not the only one who still finds him a little creepy, right? Although maybe I’ve just been trained by too many years of Law & Order reruns to be suspicious of any character who gets interviewed not once, but twice in the course of an investigation.)

Holder and Linden run into Bullet, who feels like she’s fallen into an episode of “CSI: Seattle” and pretty much demands that she get to ride along and take her detective pals to all the places where Kallie might hide out. (Smart girl doles out directions one line at a time — the better to not get ditched by Linden.) From there, Holder’s zen interlude with a meth addict’s sad pit bull leads to a bloodied drainage pipe — and Linden suspects it was Kallie’s last stop before the killer rediscovered her and dragged her away. Bullet, though, throws a punch into Holder’s gut and calls him a “quittin-ass punk” when he tries to tell her to prep for the worst. (Anyone else find that choice of insult to sound slightly…inauthentic?)

Bullet, though, remains undeterred, and doing her own detective work reports back on the sighting of a grown man carrying a bleeding girl down a dark alley. Linden and Holder bust in (never turning on the lights) and find what appears to be a vet tech performing some kind of patch job on a deeply terrified girl with slashed arms, a missing finger and severe lacerations to her neck. “She’s seen him,” Linden later reveals, which means that next week we might get even closer the truth. The girl, though, is not Kallie, and the vet tech (I’m 99.7% sure) is not the killer.

THE KIDS | No Lyric, no Twitch…but a lot of time with Danette, who early in the episode discovers she’s had a missed call from (!) her daughter Kallie. What she eventually learns from Linden, though, is that Mills, the man who’s occasionally sharing her bed and her apartment, is The Voice from the child-porn tape starring her daughter. She doesn’t believe it, or refuses to believe it, or believes it and chooses to ignore it, because after a drive through Seattle’s red-light district, she’s back home and asking Mills if he’s “coming to bed.” He’s got to shower, though, so she takes the opportunity to call Kallie one more time, and — YIKES! — Kallie’s phone rings. It’s there in Mills’ bag. And as she reads the display — “Incoming Call: Mom” — the bathroom door opens and Mills sees her. THIS DOES NOT BODE WELL.

Bullet, meanwhile, having been on the scene outside the vet clinic, begins to realize Kallie’s extended absence just might mean the worst. “She’s probably dead, isn’t she?” Bullet asks Holder. “Yeah,” he says. And then Bullet allows the detective to pull her head onto his shoulder for a brief moment of comfort. Quietly heartbreaking stuff.

THE CONVICT | The jail gives us three distinct tales. Alton decides to try to earn forgiveness from his victim(s)’ family — noting eight examples of death-row prisoners who’d gotten their death sentences reduced to life imprisonment after reaching out in similar fashion. A new prisoner, Dale — who believes he’s found God’s forgiveness — is excitedly anticipating a meeting with his new “intended” wife. (Seward, unimpressed by the idea of divine forgiveness, tells Dale that God “can shove it up his holy rectum.”) And bald prison guard Becker announces he’ll need seven volunteers for Seward’s hanging. (“You’re all a bunch of damn psychos, so I doubt we’ll have to outsource any of this,” he notes, making me wonder if either he or Henderson could be the “psycho” in question.)

What Seward isn’t prepared for is a visit from his son Adrian’s foster mother — who after some skittish small talk, reveals, “Adrian wants to see you. He’s forgiven you.” Seward laughs, hangs up the prison phone, and calls for the guard to take him away as the woman’s pleas fall on deaf ears. Later, though, he seems uncomfortably moved when Alton quietly confesses how he’d murdered his own father and mother in a safe heist gone wrong, and that somehow, he’d gotten forgiveness from his brother and sister.

THE DETECTIVES | A few details worth noting…

* Holder “casually” mentions to Linden that he’s been chatting with Jack (living happily in Chicago) and does everything but say, “Call your damn son, you lousy excuse for a parent!”

* Linden accidentally meets Skinner’s daughter at the precinct, and subsequently receives serious shank-eye from Skinner’s wife. (Can’t blame the wronged party on this one.)

* Linden misses the ferry and decides to take up Holder’s offer to drop by his place, where he’s having a pasta dinner and getting ready to watch Catfish Kings on the DVR with his lovely ADA girlfriend Carolyn. It’s a little stilted, but OK, until Carolyn brings out a glute-free, vegan, heart-shaped red-velvet cupcake. Yep, it’s that V-Day catastrophe that Holder’s old partner predicted! He tries to squirm out of it saying he celebrates on the 15th, the better to ignore the commercialism of the holiday, but soon he’s taking a call from the precinct and he and Linden head to the crime scene. It’s hard out here for a homicide detective homicide detective’s girlfriend!

What did you think of The Killing’s latest hour? What burning questions will keep you up tonight? Sound off below!

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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18 Comments
  1. The_Dragon says:

    I know from very good sources (they told me that the aunt killed Rosie Larsen last year) who the serial killer is. I can’t say, but I think it’s going to surprise everyone (although it’s a bit too cookie-cutter For me).

  2. Alichat says:

    Gaaaahhhh……please tell me Holder isn’t going downhill. I was worried that this might happen. He puts on the hoodie, and then never gets out of it again. He completely forgets Valentine’s Day, and then invites Linden to invade said holiday. I did love how he easily interacted with the punks by the river, and the moment with Bullet was perfect. But I really don’t want to see his life eroding as this case goes on. And why in the blazes isn’t Linden talking to her kid? Also, I’m wondering if there is some significance to Holder’s partner being MIA. Didn’t Skinner ask Holder where he was and wonder why he wasn’t around?

  3. JeffDJ says:

    I really hope the prison stuff with Seward ends up being connected to the case somehow. It’s nicely performed, but right now I don’t really care and it keeps pulling me away from Linden & Holder investigating the case.
    .
    I did really like the scenes with Holder & Bullet.

  4. Arnell says:

    I hope the ratings are good!! Great show!

  5. Kim R says:

    When the prison guard had the other guy over to his house, he left the room & his wife was commenting on how the double shifts made it difficult on a marriage. A look crossed over the visitors face, like “what double shifts?” I keep wondering what kind of connection the bald guard has with this thing. And is the new prisoner a plant? And isn’t the youth pastor too predictable. I would be disappointed if it turned out to be him. Why was it so funny to Seward that his son forgave him? He seemed to have a “oh that’s ironic” kind of reaction to it. I have many questions. :) Excellent season so far.

    • Scangela T. Foxx says:

      I was starting to wonder if I was the only one who caught his look of surprise when the wife mentioned the double shifts. It’s probably a red herring, but you never know. Bald guard seems too angry. I agree, excellent season!

  6. Chicago Dan says:

    Another solid episode – especially with Kallie’s mom, Bullet and Skinner’s wife (eyes can be more penetrating than words). Nice twist that the old hag is Mill’s mama – makes sense why she would let him use the room with no questions. A few things: 1) we actually did see sunlight (!)- when Linden/Holder arrived at the road where the young guy hit the girl. 2) unlike the recap – they DID turn ON the lights at the Vet clinic as soon as they heard noises; and 3) Kallie’s mom did NOT return home, she went to Mill’s hotel room.

  7. In order of importance

    The interview with “Mamason” at the beginning was worth the rest of the hour. I watch the show for Holder and Linden, the rest is just dressing. When the interaction between is right, it is some of the best wrriting on television…period.

    Holder recognizes the inate ability of Linden to put things together, from just this season…the bodies(found from the picture), the hidden room buzzer behind the desk, and in this scene, the fact that the person they are looking for is not the woman’s lover, but her son. It is why Holder smiled so wryly when Linden dressed down Holder’s new partner last week.

    Didn’t like the “Holder Apartment Scene” either, especially since I loved the interaction between Carolyn and Holder last week. C’mon Holder, she’s a keeper…wake up. You seemed to have been more attention Linden’s son during the past week than to your new girlfriend.

    Of course it has been said, the problem with getting clean is having to deal with the person you were before you started taking drugs.

    • The Beach says:

      Agree about Holder’s girlfriend. She comes off as very level-headed, cool and understanding of how important his work is to him. Don’t mess this up, Holder.

  8. Robin says:

    Thanks for the recap. Really like this season better than S1 & S2. Though I liked both due to Holder & Linden. I find myself muting the sections in prison. I have no interest in that part of the story. The guy who runs the shelter, seems creepy to me too. Waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    • Marilyn says:

      The prison scenes are tough to watch, but I do think they are going to have a bearing on the outcome. Try to listen, if you can. It might make a difference.

  9. Jenn says:

    Who is the actress that plays Holder’s girlfriend. She is so familiar, it is driving me bonkers.

  10. Heather says:

    I see something brewing between Holder & Linden. The writers have been dropping little hints since episode one when we met Linden’s boy toy AND found out about the affair she had with her former partner.
    The prison scenes are bleak but im sure will tie in with the investigation.

    • The prison scenes are likely akin to the political campaign scenes from S1&2. They will heavily dovetail with the main narrative. I’m finding them riveting regardless.

  11. BigDave says:

    Great recap and episode! I really like how the finger led to another girl and was tied back to the shelter. Lots of shady people this season. The son and the preacher are too obvious but they are both connected for sure. I hope it is who I think it is, that would be great! Didn’t mean to tease anybody with that last bit…I really like the prison story as all of the characters there are great and provide a nice balance to our favorite detectives. Also I liked the cliffhanger but they kind of killed it with the preview. Can’t wait for this coming week!

  12. Marilyn says:

    Bullet is a great character. So feisty and tough, but there’s something heartbreaking about her. Hope she doesn’t come to a bad end. The preacher is sort of skin crawling, but too obvious to be the culprit. Still haven’t figured out how Seward fits in, but he’s getting too much screen time to be a red herring. Love this show-keeps you guessing till the end.

  13. carol. mollo says:

    Love the entire series..question. what is the significance of removing the ring finger?’?

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