I have to admit that the shine wore off of The Killing once the killer of Rosie Larsen was revealed. Season 3 provided some thrills, and then Netflix decided to release the final, concluding season, in an abbreviated run of episodes that would bring the show to a close. As incredible as the first couple of years were, something was lost along the way, to the point where the fourth season of the show sat in my Netflix queue for a very long time.
The basic gist of Season 4 is that there is a new killing, this one of an entire family of a kid who attends the local military academy. Our two intrepid detectives, Linden and Holder, are on the case, determined to crash through the walls created by the school, and the crusty colonel in charge, played very well by Joan Allen.
As far as the murder goes, it was pretty interesting. In no way was it as all-encompassing as the Rosie Larsen killing and subsequent chase for the killer, but it is still pretty good as far as murder mysteries go. It never seemed as though it was able to keep us guessing like the first murder on the show did, but it was still entertaining, and stuck with the traditions of The Killing, in that it is quiet and violent, haunting and morbid.
The main issue that I had with the season was Detective Linden, who had been brilliantly portrayed on the screen over the course of the show by Mireille Enos. She became annoying. As her life is constantly unraveling, and she fails to deal with the issues in her real life, I felt that while she had always come across as a strong, determined woman, she degraded into a whiny nuisance. I felt far less sympathy for her, as we begin to see that all of the things that befall her life are her own poor choices and decisions. A secondary plot of Season 4 centers around the murder that Linden perpetrated on her boss at the end of Season 3, and the cover-up that she engages in with Holder to protect herself. Her new boss is on her tail, trying to uncover facts about the disappearance, and it was unfortunate the way she had fallen from grace from the way her character was initially written. Not that there was a massive difference in her character, just that we just stopped feeling bad for her.
While The Killing was still a great source of entertainment, it definitely was starting to show its cracks by the end of its run, in my opinion. I understand that many will disagree, and argue that Season 4 created a fitting ending for the series, but I didn’t see it. The very ending of the show, once the murder was wrapped up, was odd, and out of place for the way that the entire series had been created and run. It came across as cheesy, and something that was not fitting of either Linden, or Holder.
Perhaps I didn’t love the final year of the show. This does not mean that it is bad television, not by any stretch. The Killing is still a compelling drama that leads us through some interesting twists and turns. Perhaps it was a victim of its own success, not being able to live up to the first couple of years of the show. Still worth watching, as there are plenty of shows that were worse than this finale. It would still rank quite highly on my list of murder dramas that are out there. I just wanted more, and I didn’t want to start disliking a character that we had rooted for over the course of a few years.