The Killing Recap: 'People Only See What They Want to See Anyway'

The Killing Recap Hope KillsThe something that rhymes with Brit (as well as mitt, fit spit and wit) hit the fan on this week’s episode of The Killing:

Ray Seward’s carefully hardened facade began to crack as the sounds of gallows construction filled his cell block; Holder began to be at one with his hoodie; and most importantly, a suspect in the murder investigation was found to have a fake identity, bloody car upholstery and a major infestation of the creepy-crawlies. So how come I’m suddenly feeling like Linden and Holder — 2013’s answer to Mulder and Scully, I’m more and more convinced each week — are suddenly on the wrong track?

“Sometimes what you get isn’t really what you want,” says Holder, in one of his darkest hours. It ain’t exactly the Rolling Stones — but let’s use it as our jumping-off point to discuss this week’s major plot points.

THE CASE | The episode picks up where we left off last week — with Pastor Mike (whose whispery voice sounds oddly like Ray Seward) telling Linden and Holder about “the throwaways” he tends to at the Beacon shelter. Holder, transfixed by Pastor Mike’s wall of teenage runaway photos (so disconcertingly similar to his wall of victims’ photos), is convinced he’s found the Pied Piper, but Linden offers a different and intriguing perspective: “That’s a lot of work for access to kids who aren’t hard to get access to.”

Holder, though, seeks a second opinion from new BFF Bullet, who confirms Linden’s theory: Pastor Mike is “the only guy in Seattle who’s not a pedophile.” Later, she innocently tells the good reverend, “I told the cops to lay off,” thereby tipping him off that he’s a suspect.

Kallie’s mom Danette also shows up at the Beacon — unannounced and unwelcome — and while Pastor Mike reassures her that her daughter is a survivor who took cosmetology classes (just like Mommie Dearest), another teen slips a pizza menu under the woman’s windshield wipers: “He’s lying.” Say WHAT now?

Danette makes a special delivery to Linden, and it doesn’t take long to track down the girl (or the boy who’s dressed like/beginning to identify as a girl?) who reveals she saw nine-fingered Angie at 4 a.m. in an alleyway near the Beacon the night the girl was seemingly on the run from the Pied Piper. Strangely enough, Pastor Mike was already in his car when our skittish witness called to inform him of Angie’s whereabouts. And even stranger, Angie ran screaming from Pastor Mike’s car when he pulled up to tend to her. (Granted, the bloodied victim had the same response when Linden found her patched up in the vet clinic.) (Also, cigarette-smoking teen might want to consider a future in law enforcement, since no detail seems to escape her.)

It’s enough circumstantial evidence to get Linden and Holder an OK to dig deeper into Pastor Mike’s background, and it doesn’t take long to cook up this whopper of a clue: Mike Sheehan died four years ago. A visit to the suspect’s home prompts Holder to notice dude’s Biblical tattoo — Ephesians: Chapter 1, Verse 7, to be specific — and a subsequent hit that “Pastor Mike” is actually Mark Ellwood, who was arrested for kidnapping a teen in Arizon a few years back, but who escaped imprisonment when the girl died before her case went to trial.

Wouldn’t you know it’s the same day Bullet and new girlfriend Lyric score a spot sleeping in Pastor Mike’s spare room? When Lyric is left alone with the dude, he starts waxing philosophical (and deeply uncomofortable): “I know what it’s like to be alone. I’ve had nowhere to go before. Nowhere to turn. That’s no way to live.” (Does he think it’s a way TO DIE???) Then he talks about how some days he doesn’t recognize himself, wonders if anyone else does, adding, “you realize people only see what they want to see anyway.” Lyric (no dummy) is all, “I just talked to Bullet: She’ll be right back from a meeting with her parole officer,” but when the SWAT team busts in to Pastor Mike’s house, all that’s left is Lyric’s empty ice cream container and a spoon.

The cops trace Pastor Mike’s car to the train station — and find some shockingly deep blood stains in his back seat. Me? I’m wondering why no one raised this question: Could Mike have delivered Angie for down-low surgery with the vet tech, gotten blood all over his car, and have had no further link to the string of teen murders? Is it possible Mike’s on the run now because — with that Arizona case flapping in the breeze behind him — he’s got limited options of where and how to live now?

But As Linden walks away from the scene and back to her car, she receives a shock of her own: There’s someone hiding in the back seat, putting a knofe to her throat, and making a one-word demand: “Drive.” It sure sounds like Pastor Mike, and methinks the cops’ pursuit of an innocent man has driven him to the brink.

THE KIDS | Looks like Lyric and Twitch are finito, now that the latter finally showed up at his squat and found Lyric cozied up in bed with Bullett. Not a moment too soon, I add, after enduing Twitch’s boastful tales of bedding an older woman for steak dinners and cash.

Danette, meanwhile, runs into her worst nightmare/best reality-check in the waiting room at the police department: The mother of a long-time missing girl who travels with medical files and dental records on the off chance that her hosts from a multitude of jurisdictions will have a missing-persons case that fits her daughter’s bill. “The maybes are the hardest thing,” adds the woman, matter-of-factly, knowing she’ll probably not get herself a happy ending.

THE CONVICT | My latest Killing theory: The murderer is either bald badass Becker or babyfaced Henderson. Why spend so much time on these troubled dudes otherwise? Right? Righhhht.

Becker begins the hour taunting Seward about how a hanging requires perfect weights and measurement to avoid catastrophic results. Seward punches back wondering if “problems with the old lady” are the root cause of his racnor. And it turns out he’s right, as Becker later reveals to Henderson that when his son called and said mom hadn’t come home, he’d found her “at a bar with some guy — not the first time.” So that’s why he wasn’t on duty the night Alton died?

Henderson, meanwhile, performs a weigh-in with Seward, and on the cold scale, our convice begins to tremble with fear like a Chihuahua at a Doberman convention. Henderson is calm yet forceful, noting that if the measurements are taken carefully, “Your neck will break like it’s supposed to. You won’t feel any pain.” WHAT IS THIS ABOUT NECKS AND DEATHS AND THE ABSENCE OF PAIN? Okay, maybe I’m trying too hard to figure out whodunnit.

Then again, Becker brings his son to work to examine the gallows because opportunities this macabre like this “don’t come around that often.” Um, okay? Poor son has to ask, “Do you pull the lever, dad?” before Becker reveals that, as the nooseman, he’ll be the one fastening the rope around Seward’s neck.
nooseman

THE DETECTIVES | Holder kicks off the episode looking down his nose at 12-step programs in “stank-ass basements” — seemingly losing touch with himself as a promising young detective on the way to making sergeant. Linden is dubious about her partner’s comments: “I’m gonna get some sleep: You should, too,” she says, world weary and ready for some shut-eye.

When Linden gets home, though. she has to deal with her own demons. Ferry-boat boy toy Cody is waiting in his car, wondering where Linden’s been for three days, why she’s not talking to him or answering his calls. And here, we see the person Linden becomes when she’s fully immersed in a case: “I was pretending to be something I wasn’t with you, and now it’s over. Let go of me. Because you really don’t want me to tell you a third time how things are.” O to the U to the C to the H.

When the SWAT team arrives too late to catch Pastor Mike, Holder freaks out, throws a patrolman into a wall. “You go down this road, you lose things: That’s how this works,” Linden hisses, and there’s so much loss and regret in her voice you’ve got to hope Holder runs home, burns his hoodie and calls that sweet ADA for a nighttime love chat. (Yeah, yeah, I know…he’s probably too far gone for this kind of happy ending.)

Skinner, meanwhile, finally admits he believes Linden that Seward is innocent, but he’s detached enough to know there’s not enough evidence to clear the death-row inmate. The task-force chief, though, drops an interesting detail: The girls in the red medical bags were killed between June and November 2009; Seward’s wife was killed Dec. 26. Linden leans into his shoulder. Their faces touch. They both pull away, knowing a bad impulse when they feel it. Will a post-abduction Linden be so strong? I leave it for you to discuss…

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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25 Comments
  1. Alichat says:

    I had the same thought about Pastor Mike, that perhaps the blood was just from him picking up Angie and taking her to the vet tech to be stitched up. But then Lyric looked like she was drugged from the ice cream, and Mike later pulls a knife on Linden, and I tossed that theory. Because why not take her to the hospital instead of a back door vet tech? If he’s trying to be on the up-and-up and look out for these kids, then taking her to the hospital would be the best bet. Where is Lyric?

    I’m not liking the path Holder is heading down. I don’t want him losing it over the case as Linden did in the past. And I found myself yelling “don’t do it, don’t do it!” when Linden leaned into Skinner.

  2. Matthew Swanson says:

    The ending confused me. I know they found pastor mike’s car in the lot but that was his actual car not the rental car they knew he had as a mode of transportation earlier that day. Knowing that he had a rental car why would they assume he took a train because his actual car was in the lot?

    • johnhelvete says:

      Really was confused about the car thing as well for the exact same reason. Guess it doesn’t matter with the guy having a knife to Linden’s throat at the end of the episode, unless they switch cars lol.

    • Alichat says:

      That is a good question. They know he has a rental. Why didn’t they put out a BOLO on that car, or get the rental agency to turn on the GPS tracker….if it has one?

  3. sarah says:

    The killer is skinner. He’s strange. They will release ray. Then he will kill a pro. Then linden will feel guilty

    • CR says:

      I don’t think Ray will just be released from prison. He did assault that priest/preacher in the season premiere. The cynic in me believes had he just hurt other inmates he may go free, but you don’t mess with the clergy. They might not kill him, but if nothing else prison has turned him into a criminal.

  4. Angie_Overrated says:

    I 100% agree the killer is either Becker or Hernandez, and I agree for the same exact reason presented in this recap… that there’d be no other reason to focus so much screentime on them otherwise. There’s more story there left to discover, but I do think this blogger got it right.

    • Lisa G says:

      I don’t think so. I don’t think that both Becker and Hernandez will make it alive through the season, but I don’t think they are the killer. Since the “real” Pastor Mike has been dead for four years it wouldn’t surprise me if he was the killer in 2009. Not sure how the Seward case ties in yet.

      Seward might “accidentally” let the noose be off a bit so that it causes death to take longer which will actually allow Seward to live when Holder busts in after the last second. ;)

      Maybe Hernandez is an IA type investigating Becker?

  5. DavidSask says:

    I am ready to quit this show its far to dark to be entertainment and just same crap different cast from first 2 years. I am not even caring about the side plot of guy on death row. The only praise show deserves and may get is lesbian storyline! Will see how it ends and FF thru as see fit but time to put this show to pasture AMC

    • Ruby says:

      You…really don’t sound like the demographic for this show.

    • FrankO says:

      You should stop watching the show if it’s not to your liking. This show is so rich with character development that it has spoiled me for network TV anymore. Ray Seward is a fascinating psychological study. Linden has so many demons that she can’t break free from. Holder was in a dark place, got himself out of it, now is sinking into an even darker place (not coincidentally since Linden came back into his life). Bullet is puzzling since she came from a well to do life style, how did she end up here? What makes Danette so explosive, and why was she so cold to a daughter that she really does care about? The pastor, Becker and Henderson–they all have secrets. It’s so compelling to try to figure out these characters that I can forgive any plot holes which usually get resolved in the next episode anyway. The storylines are filled with red herrings. That’s what’s fun about it. When you think you have the story figured out they will resolve that lead and develop a new lead. The entertainment value of the show is taking the journey, not the final outcome.

  6. Magically Suspicious says:

    I almost think Becker is too obvious, but Hernandez would be a nice twist. With Becker’s arrogant ass being the victim he finally loses his cool with. And who didn’t see Becker’s wife coming from a mile away? She threw herself at Hernandez with her son and husband just feet away in her living room.

  7. Chicago Dan says:

    Yes, the car thing was confusing unless you paid close attn – it was FauxRev’s car, not the rental. Great scene with Linden/Cody. FauxRev clearly took Angie to Vet. Really not interested in Seward because he never professed innocence until Linden confronted him last week. He just seemed resigned to die. Kallie’s mom has turned out to be an interesting character – realizing how she threw away her daughter, the scene with the other mom (who had photos, dental records, everything – while Kallie’s mom barely had a picture, etc.).

  8. Skitty says:

    A creepy good episode. The weighing scene could be used a training clip for actors and directors. Saarsgard was fantastically good. Boy-toy Cody turned stalker was unexpected and the way he pulled up to Linden sporting crazy eyes made me shiver. Loved Linden’s strength here in shutting him down.
    My guess is that Pastor Mike will force Linden to drive to her house because he knows his places are being watched.Stalker Cody will still be hanging out there and will save the day.

  9. Ruby says:

    The relationship between Holder & Bullet is giving me life. The actress playing Bullet is doing a marvelous job and she’s really been the heart of this season. Also, am I the only one who thinks that Linden totally showed up to Holder’s apartment hoping for a booty call on Valentine’s day a couple of weeks ago?

    • Rae says:

      I don’t think holder and linden will hook up…….BUT it’s possible………i knew there was something SNEAKY about pastor mike……using a dead person’s name?
      That’s dead give away right there and WHAT THE HELL DID HE DO WITH LYRIC?!!!!!!!!!

      • Ruby says:

        I don’t think Holder & Linden will “hook up” in the traditional sense, happily ever after and all of that, but I could totally see them doing a “partners with benefits” kind of scenario, especially since neither of them seem to really want to have a real relationship outside of their work, and the show has been playing with their sexual tension.

  10. Tim says:

    Isn’t it Henderson and not Hernandez? Just going by IMDB which could be wrong. It makes sense if it’s him and not Backer since he got there recently (I remember him being introduced as a new guard). They give him a lot of screen time despite him not actually doing anything. Becker is the typical character in which it looks like it could be him but he draws the line earlier.

    If it is Henderson/Hernandez it’s great that he’s spending so much time with Seward. Really sets up an amazing scene.

    Holder’s situation is awkward. He looks like he could lose it at some point. Since the Pastor’s storyline has already been activated I don’t think he’s the end story but simply a criminal who’s likely doing some pretty disgusting things, but not killing them.

    The Mom (Lutz) is becoming a great character. She’s making her own investigation and it’s pretty interesting.

  11. Mary says:

    Lets not forget about Seward’s son. How did he know where the bodies were ? I think that’s the reason he(Seward) didn’t mind dying at first, to protect his son. He knows something. I thought about Becker or Henderson being the killer, but too obvious. What about Becker’s kid ? He obviously has a messed up home life and he would be able to fit right in on the streets. Or Cody ? Didn’t he live alone on the island in close proximity to the body dump?

  12. Tina says:

    POSSIBLE SPOILER: Has anyone else noticed on IMDB that Peter Sarsgaard is playing two characters? Peter & Tom Seward. I saw this after the first episode aired. It kind of ticked me off, because that would mean IMDB is spilling information not yet released to viewers. I immediately thought that Peter was taking the rap for something his twin brother did or something. Then, last week, during his visit with his father, Peter’s dad praised him for “keeping his mouth shut,” and this made me think my first impression was right. I guess we’ll see. They still haven’t introduced Tom Seward, but I’m sure it’s coming…

    Also, Pastor Mike is SO not the guy. He’s definitely the one who delivered her to the vet, but the girl herself told L & H that, when she got into the backseat of the guy’s car, she wondered why it was covered in plastic. If Mike was the guy, there wouldn’t be any blood in the back seat. They are just setting him up to throw us off. I do agree that he is creepy, and it’s really odd that he was nearby in his car @ 4:00 am.

  13. Lrankin says:

    I am not sure that the Pastor is who pulled the knife on Linden; I made hubby rewind and the eyes in the rear view mirror didn’t seem to have on glasses.

  14. Do we actually know it was the pastor in the back seat? Because after the creepy encounter with her ex-boy toy, it seems more likely he’d do something like that..since he clearly cannot get the upper hand face-to-face.

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