The Killing Season 3 Finale Recap: The Killer Is...

The Killing Season 3 Finale RecapWarning: If you have yet to watch the Season 3 finale of The Killing, hop on over to another TVLine URL. Everyone else, jump on in!

To me, The Killing has always been more about the journey (of Linden and Holder methodically working and charmingly vibing) than the destination (of solving the titular homicide).

RELATED | The Killing‘s Peter Sarsgaard on Ray’s ‘Cosmic’ Guilt, ‘Flawed’ Sense of Heroism — Plus: The Scene That Made Him ‘Black Out’

Oh sure, executive producer Veena Sud & Co. tested us — and how! — by dragging out the “Who killed Rosie Larsen?” storyline for all of Seasons 1 and 2 (and cooking up enough red herrings to feed the entire population of Seattle for a year). But Season 3’s meditative march toward taking down the Pied Piper — the brutal serial killer of teenage prostitutes (and perhaps the wife of wrongfully executed Ray Seward) — has been an altogether different animal. The implicit promise of a resolution at the end of 12 episodes has allowed us to bask in the sad, sombre, overcast mood (punctuated with bursts of Holder’s cheeky humor). Along the way, we’ve been treated to some of the most subtly powerful (or should we go with powerfully subtle?) acting work on the small screen all year.

And yet in tonight’s back-to-back finale installments — “From Up Here” and “The Road to Hamelin” — the time arrived to recount the evidence against a certain member of the Seattle Police Dept: Yep, Detective Carl Reddick, Holder’s former professional partner and Linden’s frequent verbal sparring partner. As Linden and Holder outlined to their boss, Lt. James Skinner, the proof was damning (albeit circumstantial).

* Reddick initially tried to dump the case on the hapless Jablonski
* He used to live next door to the Pied Piper’s first victim
* He took Bullet’s final calls to the precinct, before she turned up murdered
* He let the only survivor of the serial killer, Angie, slip out of the hospital before she’d met with a sketch artist

But — whoops! — maybe they shouldn’t have shared with Skinner and Skinner alone, a fact Linden learned when she stopped by her boss/lover’s home to discuss the case and the subsequent disappearance of little Adrian Seward, the boy whose mom had been presumably killed because he’d seen the murderer from his tree-house perch several years back. When Skinner’s family arrived home, Linden spotted his daughter sporting the gaudy turquoise ring once owned by missing teen Kallie — tying everything together in one bloody (convenient) (horrifying) (slightly contrived) knot.

The season ended with Linden holding Skinner at gunpoint as he took her on a verrrrry long drive to the secluded lakehouse where he was allegedly holding Adrian. But it turned out the boy was merely camped out at his dead mother’s gravesite. After a long night of head games, though, Linden gave Skinner the Old Yeller treatment, putting a bullet into him — much to the shock of her just-on-the-scene partner Holder. “No!” he cried. “No, no, no.” And just like that, we cut to black.

The ending was so abrupt, in fact, I half wondered if there’d be some kind of epilogue after the final ad break. But nope, this is how The Killing ended, not with crisp certainty, but with typical fuzziness. (Whether the ending is just for now or forever, we won’t know until AMC announces either a Season 4 pickup or an ill-advised cancellation.)

And yet as much as I hope we’re treated to the Further Adventures of Linden and Holder, I’ve got to be honest: The two hour finale was a letdown after an otherwise outstanding season of television. To that end, let me jump in and offer my picks for the three best and worst aspects of the finale — plus the resolutions of several key subplots:

Three Biggest Finale Complaints
* Haven’t we seen the “But the lady cop was sleeping with the killer the whole time?” plot development on at least a dozen throwaway Lifetime movies? And in this case, Linden is a fantastic detective with incredible instincts, which makes the math even harder to work through. On some level, it felt as though the show’s writers ended up pinning the murders on the least likely character (aside from Linden or Holder) for mere shock value, rather than having our fearless duo’s detective work from the last several months pay off in any significant way. The overall effect was like having your Mensa-member child score a 70 on his math test. “Kid, you could’ve done better!”

* OK, so let’s say that we’re buying Skinner as the killer. And let’s say that we’re also buying that Linden agreed to take the car ride on the off chance that Skinner was truly leading her to a kidnapped Adrian. If Linden’s sole motivation at that point was saving the boy she’d promised to protect, then why in the world did she respond to Skinner’s “you loved me, Sarah” nonsense by stumbling out of the car, turning her back to the killer, vomiting on the dusty shoulder of some almost-abandoned road and giving Skinner an opportunity to kill or incapacitate her? And speaking of which, how come Skinner didn’t at least bonk Linden over the head with a rock and run for the border, instead of inexplicably handing her a tissue? It would make more sense if McDonald’s tried to market the McGriddle as 100% organic.

* My other pet peeve from the finale was that final red herring of Linden and Holder finding a photo of Reddick with his arm around the first Pied Piper victim on her family’s living room wall — and then discovering Reddick used to be the dead girl’s neighbor. Combined with all the other coincidences above — plus that bandage on his hand during his fight with Holder and his discovery of the killer’s trophy collection — that photo felt like one detail too many for it to not end up being Reddick in the end. Who’s with me?

Three Best Moments of the Finale
* The Linden-Holder chemistry never fails to delight me, and this week found the duo at their absolute best. I loved Linden commenting on Holder switching from his tattered grey hoodie to a darker and more stylish counterpart: “You look nice. I see you changed your thingie and shaved, kinda.” But even better was Holder figuring out Linden’s affair with Skinner and teasing her with his serial-chiller charm: “Oh c’mon Linden, I don’t gotta be my sleuth par excellence to see the cat’s got a hand in the jelly jar — and it ain’t the first time, neither!” he giggled. “You’re a human being! I’m just as surprised as you!” Everyone honk your horn and yell “Oh snap!”

* It may have been a brief scene, but Bullet’s funeral — with Danette and Holder briefly connecting in a distant back pew, banished so as not to remind the dead girl’s family that she didn’t turn out to be the awkwardly normal kid in the memorial photograph — really moved me. “Bullet woulda hated that photo,” sniffed Holder, keepin’ it real. But as he later noted, pit-bull fierce as Bullet was, “She was just a little kid. They all were.”

* OK, so I didn’t love the twist of Skinner as the killer, but man, Mireille Enos said so much without a single word during Linden’s moment of realization. Her panicked, widening eyes, juxtaposed with the ice cream truck, the kid on a bicycle…I just dug how it all played out, before the music dissipated and all we were left with was the ominous sound of those lawn sprinklers. (Also really creepy, Skinner’s subsequent confession to Linden: “Their eyes — when they know it’s the end: They look at you like…like…like no one else. When you go past the pain and past the animal terror, there’s nothing else in the world like it.”)

Crucial Resolutions
* Our final shot of the prison found Becker cleaning out his locker and calling it quits, while warning Henderson not to get too comfortable on the job. Spend enough time in there, and “you’re just as much a prisoner as the rest of ’em,” the bald (former) badass grumbled.

* Lyric scored a job at a fast-food joint, but despite that nifty new apartment of hers, found herself wandering the rough streets again. As we left her, she leaned in toward a car window and exchanged shy smiles with an on-the-prowl john. Twitch, meanwhile, learned to cook eggs — and after finding an old baggie of drugs, took it to the roof and shook it into the wind. Who’d have thunk he’d be on the most promising road among our kids when it was all said and done? Danette, for her part, continued to wander aimlessly, still shellshocked that her little girl won’t ever be coming back, and offering free haircuts to Lyric in what was perhaps an attempt at cosmic restitution for her maternal shortcomings.

* Holder apologized to his ADA girlfriend for his outburst after Bullet’s death, and to his surprise, she hugged him and welcomed him back to her life. “We had a fight. It happens,” she smiled. And me, not being a Linden-Holder ‘shipper, smiled right along with her.

* We learned that both Kallie and Angie (the girl who’d initially got away) were murdered by Skinner. While Kallie’s body was never found, the sight of her ring on Skinner’s daughter’s finger was all the confirmation needed; Angie, meanwhile, wound up shot dead and burned in an abandoned vehicle after Skinner tried to tie up loose ends. But it was her corpse, of course, that started our crime-solving duo on the path that would ultimately lead to Skinner.

And with that, I turn it over to you: What did you think of The Killing‘s Season 3 finale? Do you buy who ultimately dunnit? What about Linden shooting her former lover instead of letting him rot in a jail cell? Take our poll below, then off in the comments!

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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  1. cece r-j says:

    The Killing: Seaon 3 finale-Season 3 has been difficult to watch and I am disturbed by the emotional rawness and even the ethics of subjecting veiwers to harrowing events such as Linden’s abduction by the minister, Seward’s execution, and Skinner’s disturbing description of his killings. What kept me hooked? Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, and Peter Sarsgaard.

    What really bothers me is the lack of respect the writers showed for their central charater, Sarah Linden. We’re in her corner, this gifted detective, who struggles mighilty to overcome her deamons.

    Yet the show’s creators leave us with a woman whose own brokeness forced her to relinquish custody of her son. In spite of the brutal self honesty it took for her to send her son to Chicago, we are asked to accept that she is blind in love to the extent that nothing felt amiss during her affair and partnership with a serial killer. The final slam is snatching away her precious desire to protect the people who stand on the margins of society, when she killed Skinner, knowing that only he could lead her to the other corpses.

    The show’s creators showed disdain for their fans at the end of Season 1 with their “gotchya for Season 2” ploy. In Season 3, the show brought viewers on a horrific journey with Sarah Linden, only to find the writers opted to take aim at Sarah’s core, a force of empathy, an advocatre for the murdered street girls. I guess they figured that by the time they stripped Sarah of her emotional resiliance and professional fiber, the viewers just wouldn’t care about the characters we’ve been tracking this season-completing thier stories.

    It wasn’t the writing that brought me back to The Killing. It was the acting and I look forward to the pleasure of seeing them in other roles that no doubt will come their way.

    I won’t be seeing them in The Killing again. That is for sure.

    • NedPepper says:

      Why are you copying and pasting this on every recap of this show? That’s…dedication.

    • ImSmarterThanYou says:

      I think it was way in line, especially in accordance with her empathy and emotional attachments she makes, to shoot Skinner. Her same empathetic nature is what made her feel what she did when she shot him. I think that act was the most empathetic thing she could have done for him all the while channeling the rage and disgust she felt towards herself into one emotional outburst. She knew he was a liar. She knew he would never tell where the rest of the girls were buried. She knew he didn’t want to live to see the consequences of what he did, and on some level her “love” for him caused her to give him his wish.

  2. CP says:

    Hey jerks — there’s a spoiler in the top page google results when you search “The Killing.” Went to see when it was available for purchase online and had the season finale spoiled. So… You guys are incompetent and the worst.

  3. Bobbie says:

    Linden will be lucky if she doesn’t end up in prison, much less be a police person. I hate that she killed a man in cold blood. Even if he should survive, she shouldn’t ever wear the badge again. And I like her.

  4. gail says:

    There was no mention of anything from the storyline of seasons 1 & 2 in this season, once the “crime” was solved. So I doubt that anything from this season would be mentioned if there is a season four (like what happened to Lyric, etc.) I think what bothered me the most of all the things other people mentioned is that the absolute beauty of this series in the first two seasons was how everything came together in such an amazing and surprising way, that you sat shocked on the couch after it was all over. This season, there were so many different story lines all going at the same time and in the end, they really had nothing to do with the actual crime that was being solved (like the prison guard’s relationships with his son and wife). So in the last episode, it was dissapointing that it didn’t all come together like it did in the first season’s storyline. The other big disappointment how Linden reacted to Skinner as a scorned lover rather than as the calm, seasoned detective that she was. There was no mention of her affair with him in the first two seasons (in fact those episodes began with her being engaged to her psychiatrist) so obviously her ending her affair with Skinner wasn’t all that tramatic to her that it was life altering. And yet, when she found out he was the killer, instead of reacting with her detective skills which over rode every other relationship in her life for three seasons, she instead reacted by throwing up and crying. Not at all how her character had been developed! Very disappointing!

  5. Grace says:

    I really want a season four, but I had a lot of the same problems Michael did with the story. Linden’s behavior felt out of character, and it was oh-so-convenient that she started sleeping with Skinner again about 45 minutes before it was revealed that he was the killer. The ring thing was beyond convenient–I don’t think serial killers give their trophies to their kids. All of that being said, Linden and Holder are awesome characters and that ending was really powerful. I really hope the ratings were great and that the show is renewed.

  6. Damian says:

    Weak plotting. First, from the time Adrian disappeared to the time Sarah was at Skinner’s house was so short that the long drive was too ridiculous for a detective to go along with. Second, Holder at Skinner’s house should have known Sarah had been there because her car should have still been out front.

    • Alichat says:

      Agree with you on the second point. I thought that was odd too. I kept expecting Holder to see the ring on Bethany’s hand when he asked about the lake house. Then we’d see police scouring Skinner’s house, with Reddick leading the investigation. The foster mom finds Adrian and let’s Holder know. That way, Skinner is accused and being investigated before he dies.

  7. A.G. Hill says:

    I like Holden and Linden, so I would like a season 4. But I have to disagree that the ending was “out of left field.” There were so many clues Skinner was the killer that I became frustrated that Linden couldn’t see it. Love? Whatever it was, she’s no Sherlock Holmes. After all, who else could have fixed the original case? Plus, for whatever reason, he acted guilty from the first episode. Go back and recall all the times he tried to derail the investgation or discourage Linden from pursuing it. I found myself shouting, “It’s Skinner,” all season long. Now that Linden executed Skinner, can she come back? Oh, sure, a Mike Hammer could, but Linden plays by the rules. Won’t this destroy her? It almost seems as if the whole three seasons are reallly about the falling apart of Detective Linden. If so, it’s done.

  8. what! says:

    Those are some great/legitimate “Three Biggest Finale Complaints”, I agree. The season started so well, only to have a subpar ending. It’s disappointing. All the red herrings ruined it. The Killing writers need to take note of Justified’s amazing: trying to solve a mystery season! They didn’t drag the “Big reveal” till the last episode. After the mystery was solved, it was still great drama (yes, Justified was snubbed!). I did enjoy Kinnaman, Enos and Sarsgaards work! Ooh, and the comparison to the Se7en ending, please stop. That was an iconic ending!

  9. Ro74 says:

    What if it’s Skinner’s daughter who killed the girls and he’s been covering for her the entire time and by him having Linden kill him means they won’t search for another killer. His last attempt at protecting his daughter. I can’t see a serial killer taking a ring from what he considered human garbage and giving it to his own daughter. Love the show though Linden and Holder are great. Holder is one of my favorite characters on tv today. I really hope they don’t try to cancel this show again.

    • Shel says:

      I dont think his daughter is old enough since these crimes have been occurring for a long time. Maybe the wife? I still think LInden should have split personalities and she should be the killer. Still could happen as Skinner said she knew on some level that he was bad and that’s why she was institutionalized.

      • Pete_NYC says:

        Did Skinner actually kill Kallie? I guess so because he gave her ring to his daughter, but when Linden mentions Kallie during the car ride, he gives her some sort of puzzled look like, “What are you talking about?”

    • Jen says:

      I think the daughter caught dad and if dad is really this psycho, he trained her on how to take over after he is gone. Possibly even mom. They were all in on it together. The daughter knew he was leaving for good which is why their goodbye was so tearful. Or he just fessed everything to the family and planned on confessing everything to Lindon on the way down and dying one way or another.

  10. melanie says:

    I believe the killer is Skinner but there’s still a lot of circumstantial evidence. For starters, the ring was never identified as Callie’s based on dna. The daughter and Callie may coincidentally have purchased the same ring. And by the way where is Callie? Is she even alive? Yet another loose end. Skinner is probably our guy but there are just enough loop holes that I wouldnt be surprised if next season we find linden rotting in jail serving time for offing her lieutenant while the murders continue. This finale pissed me off.

    • AshleyRae says:

      It could be possible that skinner’s daughter may got that ring from a store BUT……………Bullet GAVE KALLIE THAT ‘RING’ after changing her mind to give to lyric whom she had a crush on.

      • AshleyRae says:

        One more thing is it RIGHT to say that skinner had SET UP ray seward on killing his wife to get to adrian since HE WAS THE ONE he wanted to KILL but tricia end up getting in the way?

  11. rempod says:

    Did they explain why he was cutting of their fingers? I must have missed that. If there is a season 4 linden and holder dumps the body

  12. jim says:

    WHA Wha whaa.

  13. DanielleZ says:

    You’ve done great reviews of The Killing all season, Michael. A big thanks! I have to agree with you on this one as well. The finale was a bit of a letdown after a great season. Nonetheless it’s been entertaining and I wouldn’t complain if the show returned for Season 4. The finale reminded me somewhat of Top of the Lake, for what it’s worth.

  14. Shel says:

    When isnt the Killing finale a let down? Great show but much like Damages, the finale’s just suck, the twists are lame and boring and predictable. But at least they leave us bleak.

  15. Kent V says:

    I give the finale just an okay, but the dynamic between Linden and Holder really reached a charming peak with the repartee over her dalliance with Skinner. I do get bothered by all the small misdirections and red herrings that need some explanation. What’s with Reddick’s gray Crown Vic showing up in the security photos with Adrian on the street? And where are those security cameras– on satellites that can shoot perscope–style on ground level parallel to the ground? Don’t we need to know more about Trisha Seward’s killing– the only adult to die at the hands of the killer? What sort of dissing did Skinner get from her over and above what any of the girls would give him? Was he tied to Ray Seward (and Trisha) more than we’re shown? Ray’s unfortunate execution was too wrenching to not know more. And how about Danette? Is she counting to 5 on a regular basis to gird herself to jump or to bring herself down from the ledge? (That ambiguity is probably permissible.)

    • n8ball78 says:

      The photos came from street cameras at traffic lights. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere you should know that. The crown Vic was what most detectives and undercover cops drive. I assume it was skinners car in the photos he just wasn’t on linden and holders radar at that time.

    • Kaycee says:

      If you will recall Danette’s conversation with Holder in the church at Bullets wake, Danette told Holder the story of the game she played with her daughter all the time, she’d close her eyes and count to 5 and when she’d open her eyes her daughter would still be standing there instead of running to hide. On the bridge when Danette was counting to 5 with her eyes closed, I was assuming that when she got to 5 and opened them that she was “hoping” that the daughter would be standing there…..just like before. That is my perception of her counting….just reaching out for anything to bring her daughter back.

      I have NO sympathy or empathy for Danette. It seems like the writers are trying to go with that angle but she should have NEVER treated her daughter like she was trash. It’s her fault and her fault alone that her daughter was homeless and on the streets. They can make her out to now be so remorseful but it still does not change my mind about her worthlessness as a human and a mother/parent.

  16. A. Turner says:

    Why put a spoiler in the title?

  17. Arno says:

    I did not like the ending. It seemed very unlikely. Linden is always tough, rarely shows emotion and all of a sudden she becomes Miss Weak-In-the-Knees and then shoots Skinner and then kills him. That’s not her. She would have held it together.

  18. Warren says:

    Heh got to love the spoiler warning when the spoiler is RIGHT IN THE LINK itself.

    I’ve thought it was Skinner for a bit because generally it’s the most known actor in a lot of shows. Which led people to believe Gregg Henry. But to me Elias Koteas was the big name in this season (Casey Jones man!)

  19. NedPepper says:

    I love this show. But crafting a great murder mystery is one of the hardest stories to write. It’s the journey, not the destination. My biggest issue is that I did know who the killer was…the moment they cast Elias Koteas. He’s typecasted in this role. I honestly believe they should have just gone with Reddick. It made more sense, even if we would have been let down by “figuring it out.” The swerve just didn’t work, mainly because they didn’t leave any clues until the very last minute that he could be the killer. I think the problem is the format. The Killing has never succeeded at being a good mystery. Everything else is brilliant: the characters are some of the most fully realized on any TV show, period. The themes are powerful, subtle, and universal. This is riveting, powerful television.

    -So how do you fix it? You ditch the “who dunnit?” If we, as the audience, knew halfway through the season that it was Skinner, and were able to watch Holder and Linden try and figure it out, I think catching him would have felt much more satisfying. It would be like a Hitchcock film. The suspense comes from the audience having the information the main characters do not. Other than that, this is a brilliant show about very real characters tackling tough subjects. It’s just not very good at being a murder mystery.

  20. n8ball78 says:

    Loved it and I hope it gets picked up for a season 4. I’m shocked the poll numbers are favorable and most of the comments that I read were positive. I went on imdb and the killing thread there was pretty much negative. I knew going into the season some would love it and some would hate it. I just hope amc doesn’t leave us in the dark about renewal like last year. We always got Netflix if they pass on it. I’m sure Netflix will jump all over the rights.

    Lets hope we do get a season 4

  21. Maxwell says:

    SPOILER MUCH!? The bloody title reveals the killer!! Anyone even searching google for show information will have season 3 ruined for them..

  22. Rosey One says:

    I believe that the killing at the end of SE7EN was more acceptable/justifiable because of his wife’s head being in the box. I thought that Linden should have shown more restraint — she is supposed to be this hard boiled cop after all. I didn’t believe how she didn’t shoot the trunk open when Reddick said the child was in there. And I was surprised that Holder didn’t take her gun away when he told her to put it down. I would think both cops would have wanted him to hang like Ray did. It was an okay season with I thought outstanding acting from the characters who played the teenagers on the street. And Callie’s mother was excellent too. I hope that they can bring her some resolution to her grief next season. So where do Linden and Holder go next season? Will Holder keep his mouth shut about Linden killing Reddick and will they come up with a story about how Reddick died?

  23. Patricia says:

    That was a great finish to a great season! It better return!

  24. R says:

    I thought she shot Skinner twice. Now I’m not sure. Anyway, how about that! And Skinner as a seemingly upstanding lawman. Just goes to show how evil comes in many disguises. But for this season I give it all up for Peter Sarsgaard’s portrayal of Ray Seward. He should be nominated for and win an Emmy next year.

  25. Magically Suspicious says:

    Last week’s episode absolutely gutted me, so this week’s had a lot to live up to. I suspected Skinner all along, along with about 4 other characters. And you give Linden a lot of credit when it comes to her love life. She is a great detective, but her personal life reflects the fact that she pretty much sucks at everything else in her life.

  26. Erin says:

    I enjoyed the season over all, but one complaint I had is that someone who has gotten away with killing so many young women isn’t going to suddenly get sloppy & give his daughter a ring from a victim. It also goes against his established ritual of keeping a belonging for himself. I thought that was a bit far-fetched. I agree with the “Seven” comparisons too. I would have liked to have seen it play out differently in the end. I hope season four picks up right there. Well, I actually just hope there’s a season four!

  27. git says:

    he didn’t smack her on the head because he wanted her to kill him, that was his plan from the moment she found out. he could have killed her like five times during that drive but he didn’t.

    and it was obvious is was him the moment they kissed at the beginning, no one is going to be happy on this show, and Reddik was too obvious. it’s just too bad that they made the famous actor their killer… it’s so law and order.

  28. John says:

    If Twitch had gone to LA instead and thrown the drugs away it would have been an even better arc for him.

  29. xxjboundsxx says:

    As for the rest of the episode everything did come together somewhat quick, but so does every other show and movie. That’s how it works. But, yeah Linden shooting Skinner was sort of out of character. Maybe it was just all she could take of being betrayed. I don’t think there will be a season 4

  30. anitaC24 says:

    I love the complexity of these characters. You expect some “normal” response or action, and they just react so contrary because of some deep-rooted fear or guilt. Like Linden giving herself totally to Skinner – grinning like a school girl – and then having her world crash and burn. I can see her turning her back on him while throwing up — she’s human, not Robocop! Especially after his psycho-sick description of killing these young girls.

  31. moorea says:

    The Danish show ended the same way with the Linden character boarding a plane to skip to Greenland. Holder will not snitch on Linden (Reddick reminded him of unwritten rules regarding that sort of thing) but Linden’s own high standards would demand a confession or else she would not be Linden. Best of finale was Skinner telling Linden that she knew it was him years ago and that is why she ended up in hospital.Would love to see Reddick working vice , that really would be worth watching.

  32. BZNY says:

    Really? The Killing season 3 was brilliant, and the way they ended the season (and the series, btw), was with some half-ass knock off the ending of the movie “Se7en”? Seriously?
    Also, the Skinner character did not make a believable serial killer. Instead of giving some insight in to the mind of a serial killer, the entire conversation between Skinner and Linden during the car ride was:

    Skinner: “I did it, but I’m not such a bad guy…”
    Linden: “Yes you are.”
    Skinner: “No I’m not.”
    Linden: “Yes you are.”
    Skinner: “No I’m not”….

    *Just some points to make about why the season (series) finale sucked:
    How did they not figure it was a cop from the get go? I figured it out like four episodes earlier?
    *Why would Linden actually get in the car with Skinner? Just because he told her that she arrests him, he wouldn’t tell her where Adrian was? Why not just arrest him, press a gun up to his crotch and demand that he tell her? I’d have to think that the Linden character was a smarter cop than that?
    *What happened to Kallie? I thought we were supposed to assume Skinner killed her, but when Linden mentions her, he gives her a “What the hell are you talking about?” look?
    *If Skinner was getting rid of all of the witnesses who could implicate him, why not kill Adrian right off the bat?
    * Twitch and Lyric were just sideshows who had nothing to do with the plot. Lyric goes back to being a ho, while Twitch seemingly embraces sobriety – what a waste of a plot line.
    *Linden’s career is essentially over, and therefore, so is the series. Weird way to end it.

  33. Kim R says:

    I thought it was Reddick from episode 1. Apparently I’m a suspicious person. :) And so seeing the bandage flit by on the screen when Holder attacked him after Bullet died, just cemented it in my mind. Last night when it started pointing to him early off in the 2 hours, I knew I was wrong. Even when Holder saw the picture of Reddick and Angie. Too soon for it to be him.
    Then my vote went to Skinner. When Holder got taken in by IA for questioning..Skinner. The best scene was when Linden and Skinner were standing on the street outside his home. Not a word was spoken and that look that changed in Skinner’s eyes and he knew. She knew. Fantastic.
    It was obvious he didn’t have Adrian because he wouldn’t have had time to see the boy after school, see his daughter after dance class, drive the boy way up to the lake and get back in the daylight to be at his house packing. That long drive with Sarah was a little too long and her getting so emotional was not my favorite part.
    I’m a little disappointed that it was Skinner because there was no lead up at all to him. And the whole drama at the prison with Becker’s wife and son and Henderson, the other insane inmate, what did that have to do with anything?
    And I didn’t feel there was a period put at the end of Callie’s sentence.
    So my vote is Above Average but not Awesome. I do hope for another season though. :)

  34. Rick says:

    I don’t think Skinner is the the killer. Skinner revealed information to Linden she already knew. When Linden asked Skinner about Kallie Leeds he seemed confused, like he didn’t remember her. Earlier in the episode Skinner made it a point to say that his wife couldn’t trust him because he lied all the time. We see that he is desperate to keep his daughter’s love and trust. Maybe he couldn’t bear the dissolution of his marriage and family and saw no other way out. Knowing Linden as well as he does it would be easy to predict her actions if she thought he was the killer. Knowing Holder would interfere, he had him detained. He lied about abducting Adrian to make Linden drive him all the way out to his favorite place to die. He kept saying how beautiful it looked in the daylight.

    Then there’s Kallie Leed’s ring. Skinner’s daughter had Kallie’s ring. If Skinner was the killer, why go through all the trouble of burning the last body found and pulling out all the teeth to make identification even more difficult, if he were going to give his daughter a very recognizable piece of evidence that would be easily tied to him? How did she get the ring? Did he drop it, did she find it on the ground? Did the real killer give it to her? In my opinion he wanted out of his life, and knew exactly how to do it. But if that is true, suicide by cop, why leave Linden with such a heavy burden as killing an innocent man? He doesn’t fit as the killer, it doesn’t make sense. If he had made one disparaging remark about the one of the murders “oh she was only a prostitute” then you could make the connection. It makes as much sense as Holder being the killer!

    At least that’s what I’m telling myself now, because I really hate the ending.

  35. Well, BIG F**k you to you, guys for putting SPOILERS right in the title fot he article which shows after googling “the killing season 3 finale”….morons

  36. Alicia says:

    It’s kinda annoying how 10-11 episodes long we get NO CLUES whatsoever that the killer might be a cop, then BAM, season finale, and we rush trough it all.

  37. bamaboy says:

    Very disappointed in the finale. The abrupt ending – does Mills get off (no pun intended)? Does anyone ever tell Kallie’s mom they found her ring, probably won’t find the body, but they have the killer, for sure? It’s as if the producers/writers got to a point and realized, “we’ve got to end this thing in this show – better come up with a bad guy!”. Still think some of the problems with the first 2 seasons have not been smoothed out, but I’d like to see a 4th season. The way Linden and Holder wreck their personal lives for either the thrill or dedication of their job is fascinating.

  38. Dawn says:

    I knew that Skinner couldn’t possibly be leading Linden to Adrian because of how long they drove. They drove for HOURS to get to the lake. There’s no way that he took that kid, drove up there, drove back and was back his house in a minute. It just wasn’t plausible. And you’d think she would have figured that out the longer they drove.

  39. CarolO says:

    I just gave the ending an OK because it ended so abruptly and tended to leave one hanging as to what happened to Sarah after she shot Skinner. (Much like the severe beating the school teacher got in the first murder case.) I was somewhat puzzled as to her actions knowing he had murdered over 21 people. Very unprofessional as a cop and not at all like a real cop would have handled it.

  40. Wesley says:

    I liked the first hour a lot, but the second hour was not great. Instead of Linden pulling a gun on Skinner, she should have not been so impulsive and set some kind of trap for him to walk into, since she knows, and he doesn’t know that she knows, she has the advantage. by pulling the gun she immediately gives the advantage back to Skinner.

    Also, shooting at the end was so selfish, because he might have offered to tell where the all the bodies are in exchange for the death penalty being taken off the table. Now, all these parents with missing kids, like Danette, may have to live the rest of their lives never knowing with any certainty if their kid is dead, or alive, or still missing. To me that was Linden’s biggest crime. For those parents, the not knowing is a fate worse than death.

    • Rae says:

      The 2nd hour i got confused btw trisha seward/the 21 murders. I was really starting to think are there 2 KILLERS btw these 2 cases? and when it turns out to be skinner…………… the HELL did he pull that off?!!!!!!!!
      I can see why not alot of people don’t like cops………..THEY’RE THE CRIMINALS……a dirty cop will always be a DIRTY COP!

  41. Anna says:

    I liked this season quite a lot. Hope there’s a season 4!

  42. anne says:

    This show was loosely based on true events in that area. The Green River killer killed at least 50 girls over about 20 years. A pretty good movie was made about it. In it, the killer, Gary Ridgeway, remembered every truck he had ever owned, but couldn’t remember the individual girls he had killed. He referred to them as trash.

  43. Lynn says:

    I really loved this season of “The Killing.” I was hooked to this show the first season & I hated season 2, but this season was great. However, I have some questions… What do you guys think?
    1. When Lyric & her bf move into the apartment she looks up at the ceiling & has a look of shock on her face. Then they cut to commercial. What did she see?
    2. That apartment looked exactly like Ray’s apartment? I really thought they were going to tie that in and was disappointed they didn’t.
    3. When Kaylee’s mom is on the bridge counting, do you think she jumped? I felt it difficult to feel bad for her like they wanted us to because she was such a horrible person in the beginning of the season.
    I hope that we get to enjoy a season 4 of this show!

    • Me says:

      1. I think she was upset that she finally had a place to sleep and Bullet wasn’t there to share it with her. I don’t think she saw anything, she just couldn’t be happy knowing that Bullet was dead and wasn’t there with her to see what she finally had.

      2. I didn’t notice it being too similar, it just looked like another half-decent apartment to me.

      3. I don’t think she jumped, I think she was doing the same thing Callie was doing on the first episode, but I think they left it open-ended like that purposely.

  44. Glenn says:

    I mostly enjoyed the finale while feeling a tinge of disappointment at the pile-up of coincidences, but one thing that still nags me is what Seward’s father said to him when they met up in the prison. He told him he was proud of his son for how he was handling things. I’m not sure what he meant in light of his son being innocent of the murder.

  45. Tonda Moore says:

    While I realize The Killing is not Law and Order, it does move rather slow. Not sure I will invest my time on a probable 4th season. The finale was the first faster-paced (I won’t say fast) episode this season and more fun to watch. My husband says they can do with less what he calls “art shots” like Callie’s mom staring off into space on a bridge. I love the rapport between Holder and Linden and more of their banter and a little less angst would be welcome. One more thing: characters we don’t see for a couple episodes make it hard to pinpoint who they are and by the time you do, 3 paragraphs of dialogue has been spoken and you need to back it up to find out what you have missed. All in all, I wouldn’t have watched it for 3 seasons if it hadn’t held my interest.

  46. Nordicnoirlover says:

    This season borrowed a good deal from the original Danish series — not the overall plot line as did the first two seasons, but certain plot devices that worked somewhat less well here. I’m thinking of the conceit of the cop/criminal for whom the Linden character has come to care and who is therefore ideally positioned to devastate her meager trust, and of the need for vigilantism in a world of corrupt state power (corrupted here by the righteousness of state actors in relation to the “human garbage” they’re policing/guarding/executing, there by corporate interests). I’ve still found this season very engaging, but I highly recommend the original to anyone who enjoys this slow-drip format with fairly robust character development and a strong female detective. The Danish Lund is one of the best TV characters — and performances — ever.

  47. Bob H. says:

    I would have liked to have seen a resolution to the thread of Twitch and the cop who raped him, preferably having that cop get caught and thrown in jail.

  48. Pete says:

    When I saw how happy Linden was in the beginning I suspected Skinner. I thought no way they are going to let her be happy. Then when Skinner told her to give the case to someone else and later told Holden and Linden to keep their suspicions between the three I knew. Not pleased with the ending but I love the two leads and I would love to see them tackle the aftermath next season.

  49. joterri says:

    loved the season AMC best renew for a season 4~~~Also can’t help myself, but they gotta keep Holder “fresh” love his jokes. Does anyone know how much Joel ad libs for his character Holder?
    Both actors a great and the chemistry of friendship with those two could not be better…