Post Mortems

The Killing Post Mortem: EP Veena Sud Talks That Last Scene, the Lost Kiss, an Offscreen Wedding and... a Season 5?

The Killing Season 4 Spoilers

By now, you have probably Netflix-binged The Killing‘s final season — and you no doubt have questions of the burning and nagging variety. (If you’re still making your way through the six-episode swan song, bookmark this story and return when you are finished.)

Well, we had questions too — loads of them. About that final scene. About the rumored Holder-Linden kiss. About the surprise cameo. About a possible fifth season. And, after talking to The Killing‘s puppet master Veena Sud, we now have answers.

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TVLINE | Was it always your intention for Linden and Holder to pair up romantically in the end?
There were many different possibilities for how the story of Linden and Holder would end. That was one of them that we started to discuss at the beginning of this season, and that felt right. From the very beginning, I knew that her journey would have to end in a place of uneasy peace, where there were no good guys, there were no bad guys. There was a truce that she had to make with the world as it is versus the way she wanted the world to be. I always knew that finding that peace would be an inner journey at the very end for her. Holder says, “It’s not ghosts in front of you, it’s not the dead.” And that revelation of who is standing in front of her and who’s in her life was something that I instinctually knew [I wanted to get to] from the very beginning. I didn’t know it necessarily would be Holder. But seeing what’s in front of her and being present of that — the beauty of the world — was the place I wanted Sarah to get to at the end of her story. That’s one reason that visual of her standing in front of that beautiful cityscape in the main titles has been a recurring image over and over. It transforms over the course of the series. It’s a city of the dead that she’s looking at. And, in the end, it’s a city — ultimately — of the living. And that’s where she belongs.

TVLINE | Finding this peace allowed her to be open to a romantic relationship with Holder?
Finding the truth of what is in her life, and not running away… Linden is a runner. She runs away from everything in search of a better life. And she says that to Holder. “Home is here. And you are home. You are my best friend.”

TVLINE | Was the five-year time jump always in your plans as well?
I always knew that we would end the present-day story at the end of the season and come back five years later with Linden and Holder. The story would never end simply around the case, with Linden running away again. That would just feel like more of the same. There would always be a final reckoning between Holder and Linden. That final moment where she comes back, we viewed as the final movement of an opera. If there was anyplace where we could’ve possibly ended the story it would’ve been with her leaving Holder and permanently leaving Seattle forever. That would have been a very different end for the character. And she never would’ve found peace that way.

The Killing Final SeasonTVLINE | Were you on set when those two final scenes with Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman were shot?
Yes. The final shot [pictured, right] was the very last thing we shot. We organized it so that would be how everything would end. And it was tear-filled for Mireille, for myself, for Joel, for the crew… It was very bittersweet for all of us. We became a family and we loved these characters.

TVLINE | Was there much discussion or debate between the two actors about how it would go down?
There was no debate. At the beginning of the season, I sat down with Mireille and told her how her story would end, and she said not one word. Tears were just flowing from her eyes. And she looked at me and said, “It’s perfect. This is the end that she deserves.” I told Joel separately as well, and he got teary. And he said, “Let’s not talk any more about it. Let’s save it for the moment.” So, on the day, both of the actors felt like [they were conveying] the truth of these characters. And they did it so beautifully. Everyone was nervous about that last scene, of course. We were all really quiet during rehearsal and during lighting. And then when we were all done, that’s when everyone cried and hugged.

TVLINE | There’s a rumor that a kiss was filmed and not used. True?
It was not filmed. I knew I never wanted to film a kiss. That would have felt a little too pat. But, at one point, Jonathan Demme — who directed the finale — did a lovely crane shot that I decided not to use in the end. But it was a crane shot that tracked Holder approaching Linden, and then — discreetly before they came together — [the camera panned] away.  So the crane shot dollies away and looks over this beautiful river and we’re looking at the skyline, but Joel and Mireille continued their action, which was him walking towards her, looking at each other and then… they didn’t really know what to do next. [Laughs] So they kissed! The funniest thing is, everyone was clustered around the monitors looking at the shot and the script supervisor and my producer, Kristen Campo, were the only people looking on the ground at Mireille and Joel, and Campos kept nudging me, “Look! Look!” And I was like, “I am! I’m looking at the shot!” So I never saw the kiss, but they did.

TVLINE | So Linden and Holder finally kissed and it wasn’t caught on tape?
No, it wasn’t. [Laughs]

TVLINE | That’s pretty funny. OK, moving on to other hot topics. Billy Campbell’s return as Richmond was a nice surprise. How did that come about?
It felt very natural that the final person who would pull the rug out from under Linden would be a man who had become her nemesis. They started out in a similar kind of world of attempting good and wanting good. But he went to the dark side. And rather than having an anonymous sergeant or lieutenant giving her the news ahead of the police commissioner, it [made sense that it] would be the mayor. And he would relish giving her the news. So we called Billy and said we’d love for you to come back, and he said, “Just tell me when.”

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TVLINE | Why would someone as smart as Linden return to the scene of the crime to dispose of crucial evidence? I’m referring to her getting rid of the cell phone at the lake house.
We do stupid things when we commit crimes. The fallacy is that any of us are Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie. When we’re emotional, as clearly she was during and after this very unexpected event, people do really dumb things. And going back to the lake, for her, was, “Let me close this up emotionally. Let me say goodbye.” She loved this man. She loved him deeply — for a long time. And she killed him. And she hated him. And she was repulsed by him. So in the miasma of all of these emotions, she made a bad move.

TVLINE | Similarly, Holder — who had a lot to lose if the truth about Skinner’s murder got out, as he made very clear to Linden — pretty much confessed to the crime at his AA meeting. That also seemed a little sloppy. 
The reality, and a lot of cops will tell you this, is that people want to talk. We’re not sociopaths by nature. For the most part, we’re human beings who do bad things, feel bad about them, want to confess, want to explain ourselves, want to have a reason for why we did what we did.  I think that they reacted in a way that bad guys do all the time. So, yes, both of them should have known better.

TVLINE | The scene where Linden was closely tailing Skinner’s daughter in her car as the girl rode her bicycle – what would have happened had that other car not swerved in front of her?
My feeling is, Linden — at the last possible moment — would’ve stopped herself anyway [from running her over]. Throughout this season, we see both Linden and Holder going to the edge and coming back. And letting these darker emotions rule them in a way that, in this very unique circumstance in life, they’ve never had to confront. So I believe in her heart she would never kill a child; that’s not who she is. But the agony of watching this child — this hanging chad — that keeps coming back over and over to make things worse and worse for her, certainly tempted her.

The Killing Final Season SpoilersTVLINE | Did Holder and Caroline end up getting married? 
They did. And then they quickly divorced. [Laughs] They were different animals. He and Linden are the same.

TVLINE | Did Kyle end up going to jail for the murders or did Col. Rayne take the fall for him?
No, Kyle did.

TVLINE | You previously told me that Season 4 was definitely the end of the road for the show, but Holder and Linden are still alive. And, as one of my readers suggested, a big murder — like, say, Holder’s daughter — would be just the thing to pull both of them back into their old jobs…
[Laughs] We brought her to the end of her journey. She found the thing that she was looking for all along. It’s the end of the story.

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  1. sinisteravenger says:

    I don’t see why the show couldn’t continue with new detectives the way they’re doing True Detective.

    • B. says:

      Because then it wouldn’t be The Killing because The Killing was about Linden and Holder.

      • Regina Anavy says:

        Linden and Holder did love each other and support each other. So it made sense to me that they would eventually “find” each other romantically. But I thought Holder said “I” killed someone at the NA meeting, not “we” so he could have been talking about Jamie. Did anyone else hear it the way I did?

      • franklin says:

        You’re forgetting: The Killing originally began as an ensemble series in its first two seasons. I think it could work bringing it back for a fifth season if they returned to the ensemble format (and where each episodes represents a day). But Linden and Holder shouldn’t return (and I love them) — we should let them go; their story ended together happily.

      • Faria says:

        I started watching this series because I had run out of other stuff to watch. I never expected it to be good, the first episode I watched seemed dark and gloomy. .. I’m glad I stuck to it because I have watched all 4 seasons in the last week! I loved it. I loved holder and linden, they were so real. For me the ending was complete, it was fitting that linden left then came back. It had to be on her own terms.

        • Lisa says:

          Faria, we must have started watching at about the same time – I, too, was SO glad to have found it.. Smart, touching television is hard to find these days. I LOVED it and even though I know it ended like it should have, I also wish it could have gone on forever. What great actors and writers. LOVED IT!

    • Tomas Negron says:

      I say bring it back with Carl Reddick as the lead character.

  2. bella says:

    Was Holder the father of “his” daughter? If I am not mistaken I could have sworn that he said he was not the father of child in the final moments with Holder when he was trying to get Linden to stay there with him.

    • B. says:

      Yes he was. What part of the dialogue would imply that he wasn’t? He actually literally says the words “I’m a daddy now.” Or something very close to it.

    • Kast says:

      Holder says “It ain’t ghosts Linden, it ain’t the DEAD”. The way Joel says dead sounds like DAD. Holder is indeed Kalia’s father ;)

  3. Autumn says:

    I really loved the ending. I’m glad they didn’t kiss, I think it would have been too over the top for their characters, Linden especially. When Holder hugged her I thought my heart was going to break into a million pieces. Man, I’m gonna miss this show.

  4. Such an excellently written, produced and performed series. Too short. Will miss these characters but understand where the writer is coming from here when she says “We brought her to the end of her journey. She found the thing that she was looking for all along. It’s the end of the story.” Staying true to the vision and the characters that she had all along with this story. Looking forward to her next project.

  5. B. says:

    Veena is a genius. This show was spectacular. The ending was perfect. I love that Mireille and Joel went for it anyway while still in character because that’s just about the most adorable thing ever. Sad that it’s not on film but maybe we’ll get that crane shot eventually. So glad this show exists, period. Thank you Veena Sud!

  6. asm says:

    The main story about the kid who killed their family is sooo f-ed up, I can’t even explain. I mean, did they go that way just because they want it to be so unpredictable? I mean, c’mon!! Good storyline doesn’t have to be unpredictable. I’m so disappointed with them last season when out of the blue the killer was the detective all along. For shock reason, nothing else. And now this. I’m glad that I don’t have to wait for another season with stupid plots.

    • feees says:

      You sound like a moron. You like predictably good storylines (whatever the f**k that contradiction means)? OK, watch Transformers and go f**k yourself.

      • Sonny Moon says:

        The ending of season 3 was unpredictable in the sense that it was unbelievable (i.e., both the identity of murderer and Linden’s violent reaction strained credulity). It doesn’t make someone a “moron” to find fault in the scripting, or warrant cursing at them because you disagree with their analysis.

    • Annie says:

      Actually, it was the opposite of unpredictable. It was what it looked like from the very beginning. I found it particularly riveting for that very reason.

      • Cat snedeker says:

        I think the family murder plot went on just a little too long and went a little astray with all of the machinations at the military school.

  7. side3 says:

    I loved season 1, but they lost me in season 2. I’m really glad I gave seasons 3 and 4 a chance. They were both excellent.

  8. James says:

    Thank you Veena Sud (and cast, and Netflix) – you must know that your characters have seized our hearts, and we are the better for it.

  9. Brandi says:

    I really enjoyed the series which I didn’t catch until it was on Netflix. Season 1 was by far the best and so amazing. But I’m glad it has come to a satisfying end. I was beginning to hate Linden, she was so selfish and turned into a terrible person. I couldn’t stand to watch her keep going on the way she was. I honestly thought she was going to take the fall for killing Skinner the way she did, but I did not see the ending where they let it go. I thought for sure she’d confess and end up back in the hospital, and that was where it would end.

  10. Barbara Raymond says:

    Best acting on television in “The Killing”. Loved to plot and twists! Agreed with the ending.

  11. John says:

    Just a brilliant show!!

    • I agree the best show I have seen since the Sopranos was on way back when. Veena
      Sud you are a brilliant writer. The scenes were done magically also with that rain!!
      It told a story also .Just loved this story and the actors very talented.

  12. michelle says:

    It wasn’t a “surprise cameo” because they put his name in the opening credits and totally ruined the surprise.

    • franklin says:

      Thank goodness I skipped through the opening titles of the finale. So Billy Campbell’s appearance was a nice surprise for me. But, yeah, they should have stuck his credit at the end before the credits.

  13. sue says:

    Why did they have to end the show ? I waited to watch it every week ? Bummed Bring it back please

  14. Yunuem says:

    I loved the finale but I would have loved to see a kiss, and also about the posibility of another season, it would be too drastic to kill Holder’s daughter, I imagined that If there was another season, time passes by and Linden’s mom dies and she and Holder go back to investigate, it eould have been cooler and not as horrible as killing a kid -just sayin

  15. Anthony says:

    THE ENDING WAS PERFECT!!! I loved it. Holder and his daughter was just too cute. It was so good to see him happy and a Dad. Just from that little bit of time you saw them together you just knew that had the awesomest relationship. So happy for him. And once Linden said home is here. And you are home. You are my best friend. THE FEELS WERE REEEEEEAAAAAAAAL!!!! That was the best line ever. I was so awestruck. That was amazing. What a great way to end a phenomenal series.

  16. PSC says:

    When this show ended it felt more like the ending of a show. It felt like I lost two good friends. Superb, raw acting. Great writing.

    • Susan dunn says:

      Totally true. They should’ve kissed though. I would’ve loved sexy lovemaking too looking into each other’s eyes desperately & tragically.

  17. pamela says:

    I loved linden and holders storylines and liked the fact they got together in the end, but I hate to say I didn’t care much for the case as I did the previous two.

  18. Faye says:

    I’m glad they didn’t show them kiss…sometimes it is more satisfying to not have all your wishes played out on screen. I appreciated the restraint shown in dialogue too. It made feel and think more and actually focus on the scenes.
    I look forward to seeing these actors in other projects and whatever Veena Sud brings to the table in the future.

  19. This is not the final season . The production, cast and crew is like Linden and Holder……just can’t stay away. Your series has grown into a large almost cult like following. With the shows momentum and viewers who are obsessed it would almost be rude to drop out now. People would forget it in a few years because you killed of a show after its infancy. I hope this is just part of a marketing plan and plans for season 5 are in the works. If it’s money thats stopping this series I will personally help get it ….Please let me know if this is really the last season and if so why as well as what needs to be done to rectify the situation.
    Thank you in advance.
    Lisa Albertin

    • franklin says:

      If you read her words carefully, Veena Sud didn’t necessarily say the series was done — just that the story of Linden and Holder were. So I could see this series returning but going back to its original format (ensemble cast, each episode represents a day) but with a new cast.

  20. It was a fantastic ending. I will miss the characters but the story was so well written and I agree Linden’s story was told.

  21. Jazz says:

    I really want more of this show. Only 6 eposides and you ended it. I hope you can make it work out to bring this show back. It was a true deticitve piece. It had so many twist and turns and very hard to try and figure out who the real killer was. I was spell binded to this show. Could not wait to get up early and start my day with this series.

  22. junewl says:

    The ending for me was perfect. The last picture of Linden, the expression on her face was one of happiness and hope. It doesn’t get any better than that. I loved this show.

  23. Beverly says:

    PLEASE bring this show back….it’s soooo good. LOVE HOLDER!

    • Susan dunn says:

      Holder MAKES ithe duo so dense & wonderful. He’s awesome subtle & intelligent. HE loosens up Linden slowly & unforgettably. This magically occurring could ,with the sensitive shrink visits
      Assistance would make for a fantastic Season. 5.

  24. Thanks for a Great Ending. It was prefect and J Demme as director was true genius.

  25. Tammie says:

    What I want to know is…how did they get away with calling James Skinner’s death a suicide, when he was found in the lake? And his car was found in the lake? The same lake where all the murdered girls were found? No way they could cover up all that. Skinner’s family would want answers, the murdered girls families would want answers, etc.. The writers didn’t think that through, which is a real bummer. I loved the show up until that scene.

    • Christean Silver says:

      They came up with a fake autopsy report, and a number of people have to maintain the cover up. Not likely. Sigh.

  26. Sabrina Edwards says:

    When is season 5 coming out?

  27. franklin says:

    Regarding a fifth season:

    We’re forgetting that the series originally began as an ensemble. But it looks like after the first cancellation/revival, the format diverged and focused on Linden and Holder.

    I think a Season 5 would work best if it returned to the series’ original format — an ensemble and where each episode represents a day in a murder investigation.

    As much as I myself came to enjoy Linden and Holder (and Enos and Kinnaman), I think it would be best to let them go and assume they are happily ever after together. Instead, other characters from the previous seasons could return (such as Reddick). And we could have new detectives, maybe even a crime news reporter on the murder case, as well.

    The epilogue was perfect for Linden and Holder. But the series could go on as I describe above. And we could consider Seasons 3 and 4 side-story seasons that delved further into the lives of these two detectives from the first two seasons.

  28. franklin says:

    I really hope that Enos gets an Emmy nom next year for this season. It’s a shame The Killing didn’t get much critical attention when it originally aired on AMC. Enos’ performance as Linden really stood out in my memory in several episodes of this series. This show started as an ensemble drama but happened to whittle down to focus on a female lead character with a troubled past — it became the kind of show you still don’t see much of today, the kind with a female protagonist and one written so well. Linden ranks up there with Walter White, Rustin Cohle or Don Draper.

  29. fiona says:

    Noooo, it cant be the end, its an awesome programme, surely another season could comfortably be squeezed out of the characters??

  30. ChicagoDan says:

    Outstanding series. It’s interesting with each episode running 55-59 minutes, instead of 42, we basically got two extra episodes when you count time. Seasons 3 and 4 were outstanding. I hope this streams well because I’d love to see a S5 with a new ensemble (keep Reddick and they mayor) – Linden & Holder’s story has come to a logical conclusion. Plus I wouldn’t want to see them solve crimes as after hooking up as a couple. Great job overall.

  31. Pam Smith says:

    Found this show and got hooked right off. Linden is fantastic, great actress. Give us more

  32. Amy H says:

    The ending had just the right balance. Thought Enos and Kinnaman were great. . Hope we see more of them soon.

  33. sb says:

    I thought the acting got pretty bad in this season, the storyline didn’t grip me and I definitely would not put linden and holder together I didn’t feel the chemistry between them one bit.

  34. LaBete says:

    Thanks for the post-mortem! I’m going to miss Linden and Holder so much. I’m glad they found peace together in the end!

  35. Paula says:

    How could Kyle play the piano after he killed his parents and sister after Phoebe had already cut the wires to the piano? . The wires were still cut when Linden checked at the crime scene.

  36. Random says:

    I loved all the seasons. I don’t understand how a show this good gets cancelled while so much trash on TV keeps going. I am grateful to Netflix for giving the fans a closure and grateful to Veena Sud for the brilliant ending. I never imagined those two fitting in with anybody else but each other.

    • Mike Roberts says:

      I think it was just a struggle to watch, relative to the Kardashians Take…whatever…You had to pay attention to get everything. People sometimes like to just veg in front of their TV>

  37. June Delis says:

    Is there a new season 5 of The Killing on Netflex & if so, can it me streamed?

  38. DW says:

    Aw man! My husband and I just went on a 3 week marathon through all 4 seasons and watched the last one tonight. Best television I’ve EVER seen! Each episode was like watching a mini movie in the theatre. Superb! And now it’s over…I feel like I’ve lost a loved one. Dang it, I’ll miss Linden and Holder SOOOO much!! *sniff-sniff* What great characters and FANTASTIC acting!

  39. Lisa says:

    Please please please bring them back….I love Holder…love love love him….

  40. Gina Robinson says:

    I loved the entire show. I watched all 4 seasons in one setting. I believe the characters/actors were so intriguing and played their parts well, very well. I have now watched the show so many times, I feel as though I know Sarah, Holder, Bullet, Rettig, Skinner, Ray, Lyric, ,Switch, Kallie and her mom as my own personal friends, but it’s a show with actors I’d like to see more of.

  41. Catherine A says:

    Can I make a movie of the killing to give us a better insight into holder and lindens life together that would be amazing. Just like the movie for sexy and the city. Please!

  42. Mari says:

    I will miss this tv show very much and I’m very glad of the way it ended. Excellent writing and brilliant actors.

  43. Jon Deeny says:

    Holder asked Rayne if she had an affair with Stansbury. She said yes. At the time we thought she meant recently but with the revelation that she was Kyle’s mother was she referring to 17 years prior? Did they ever actually say that Stansbury was Kyle’s biological father?

    • Christean Silver says:

      I forget when, but yes, they said Rayne is Kyle’s mother. I think the affair may have continued on and off the entire time; I think she said on and off.

  44. Gelp says:

    This may sound dumb, but Holder and Linden got together in a romantic way, right? It certainly felt that way, but it also was left open that they could just be really good friends, too. I understand why there was no kiss, but I sort of wanted to see them walking, holding hands or something. I know they’re fictional characters, but I just want them to be happy together.

  45. kk says:

    This is series was absolutely brilliant……………one of the best l have seen in a very long while.
    I couldn’t get enough of it. Upset now that l don’t have anymore episodes to watch.
    Please, please give us some more! This doesn’t need to be the end!

  46. Madge says:

    Terrific tale. Thank you. Holder’s pain juxtaposed with quick wit and intelligence combined with Lindens honesty was sublime. Loved having a woman protagonist on screen who wasn’t reduced to tight jeans, stilettos and cheap lines. Thank you

  47. RebaC says:

    So happy I did not see any spoilers on the finale and especially final scene. I’ve loved this show from the beginning and the Linden/Holder relationship was always what made it for me. The pain that each character carried – the growth of their friendship and having each other’s back at all times – incredibel characters, superb actors. I thought the final scene was Sarah driving away from her house on the island. Then when they showed Holder with his little girl I couldn’t believe it! But the final scenes – I couldn’t keep the tears away. Perfect!! I will miss these characters so much.

  48. Emily says:

    Bring the show back! It’s an amazing show! I don’t watch many shows anymore. I have a few favorites and this one was at the top of my list. I believe there is much more that could be written for this television series. Let’s bring it back and do it big! Linden and Holder have amazing chemistry together. You rarely see that anymore. Although the show may have had its ups and downs to some people (not me, always thought the stories went and played out as they should have), the show really came to grow on many people. It started to gain a huge following. I say bring it back, write a season 5. I don’t think anyone would be disappointed!

  49. Kay says:

    The show is about Linden and Holder. Please bring them back.

  50. Maybe I missed something, but did the show or this article say anything about the possible fate of the man arrested for the serial killings? Are we to believe all the people in the cover-up conspiracy are okay with him possible being executed if convicted of all the murders?

    • MsNoose says:

      Joe Mills confessed to two different killings so they stuck all the other girls on to his charges just to satisfy the publlc.. He’s a career criminal & serving time in jail. He’s the one that made all the porn movies back at his mom’s hotel. The first batch of bodies they found floating in the water were not in the same time period as all the additional bodies up at the lake. Really stupid to dump them where you live though, in your private lake! But I wanted to make the point that no bodies were floating on the lake as they were back in town so they had to be weighed down and they used divers to find them & bring them out.
      But a big hole in the plot ( I understand why the city wanted a cover-up) would be committing suicide and then driving your car into the lake ????? How do you do that ?The second thing was all the different people working up at the lake; divers, ambulance & morgue personnel, loads of cops, crane operators, etc and all these various people are going to read that Skinner killed himself & drove into the lake & are supposed to believe it, keep it all a secret ?????
      Skinner did want to be killed by Linden as he kept telling her that Adrian was dead in the trunk & goading her to shoot him so I don’t really feel like she committed a crime in shooting such a killer; but it was ambiguous & morally wrong for her to shoot him, She does get away with murder but pays a heavy emotional price for it as does Holder.