by Lauren Allison (@ResIpsa422)
Before I formally begin, a few in our wonderful fandom for “The Killing” have inquired about my opinion on some pressing matters for Season 4, and although I admittedly have no idea how Veena Sud and her talented cast and crew will surely surprise us, here are a few things I think (I think):
- I don’t know if I really believe in happy endings on “The Killing.” In three seasons, we certainly have not experienced that. If Sarah Linden is smiling or preparing for a run, gird your loins for the coming disaster. Please understand I am not proclaiming a heartbreaking ending for our characters. I do not believe it will be a cliffhanger. Given the nature of the recent endings, if Sarah Linden demonstrated some personal growth and made the commitment to stop running and fight bad guys in a place “where the clock never stops” with a partner who knows precisely “what she is good at,” it would be a twist of an ending for “The Killing,” but I would hardly bet on it.
- I do think Holder will elect to cover for her without her having to ask him to do so. I think the argument can be made that Skinner was clearly capable of extreme violence, failing to follow her lawful commands, and moving as she attempted to place him under arrest, justifying the use of deadly force as she reasonably believed her life, the life of her partner, and the lives of any other potentially abducted children he might have stashed around his lake property might be at risk if she failed to take immediate action. Police officers are not instructed to shoot to maim. Her shots to his midsection are appropriate as are the shots to continue to subdue him when he continued to fail to follow lawful orders. Given he is the serial killer they have desperately been seeking, that he manipulated the authorities and IAB specifically to detain Holder long enough for Skinner to abduct Linden, I think this is one the Seattle Police Department will be happy to simply have go away.
- Despite that argument, I think Linden will know in her heart that the shooting was not entirely justified. Secrets manifest. I am not suggesting this secret will destroy the partnership, but I do think it will be a powerful influence for Linden in Season 4. Guilt and redemption will be themes for her. I think we see Jennifer Skinner (Jenn MacLean-Angus, an actress and human being we adore here at The Killing Fan Group) and Bethany Skinner (the beautiful and talented, Katherine Evans), perhaps at Skinner’s funeral. Although I think that is one event Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder should completely skip, I’m quite confident if both of the Skinner women appear, they will have an encounter with Linden simply to salt the wound as Veena seems to savor letting the fans watch Sarah Linden suffer beyond anything we really thought she could endure. Although I expect their appearances to be brief, keep those actresses in your mind. We are impressed!
- I do not think Mireille Enos’s pregnancy will be written into Season 4 at all. Period. Believe me, I appreciate the juicy scandal of Linden carrying the spawn of a serial killer, but that has never been “The Killing.” Think Season 2 of “The X-Files” when Gillian Anderson and her husband were expecting a child on the eve of filming. They’ll hide it as long as they possibly can and disappear her for awhile when they can no longer do so. The short season will help her exponentially. Having viewed paparazzi pictures unintentionally that we, by rule, do not share here, of the actress arriving in Vancouver, she looks pregnant. I suspect her condition and the need for her to be entirely available for filming may have influenced the decision to make Season 4 only six episodes.
- At this point, yes, I do think it is the final season of “The Killing,” and no, I don’t want to talk about it. I will say this: We have thought this twice before, and our fans are the most resilient, determined bunch in the business. Anything goes. Regardless, I do not think there is anything to be gained by showing anything other than absolute gratitude to Netflix for saving our show (twice). Stomping our feet and demanding Season 5 at this juncture, in particular, seems rather ignoble. If you want appreciate “The Killing,” watch it on Netflix now, rank it highly on Netflix and IMDB.com, tell everyone that will listen about the show, tweet with us regularly at @TheKillingonAMC and mention #TheKilling by name, participate in our Twitter activities, and support the work of the cast and crew of “The Killing” on other projects. When it gets closer to our release date, we will advise you how you may be able to do more to support “The Killing,” but right now, raise awareness by talking, tweeting, watching, and getting others to watch. If you want to blog or share your art right here on this website, let us know by tweeting us at @TheKillingonAMC or emailing us at: TheKillingonAMC@gmail.com. Like I said many times before when I thought the end of “The Killing” was certainly upon us, thankfulness is a condition I have never come to regret in this life. This fandom, the wonderful friendships we have forged while we have watched this stellar program, will continue. You make it real for us!
- I do not think Sarah Linden will go to trial for murder or anything else. “The Killing” has always been about the “Law” part and not really about the “Order” part. Forgive the Dick Wolf reference. Yes, the sound effect just played in my head too. “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups….” OH MY! I digress.
- Will they or won’t they? This is probably the most asked fan question we ever get….Will Stephen Holder and Sarah Linden get together? My first reaction to this question was: “Hell, if I know.” Still, I promised Melissa Maxey I would be more than my usual lawyer vague, so how about if I hedge my bets and say……probably. Like that, Melissa? Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos have undeniable chemistry. It was part of the reason we saw what we did in “Reckoning,” and yes, it was awkward, but Holder was swimming in alcohol and grief. The fact that Linden did not allow it to proceed under those terms shows her respect for him and for their relationship…and affords them the opportunity to get it right. They have six episodes, so if it is going to happen, it will happen fast. Yes, I think he’ll kiss her. How’s that? It would have to be done completely in character (Again, think Mulder and Scully. No frills, flowers, or chocolates. Just an acknowledgement of consummation in some small way, a few kisses, and co-residing ), so for those of you lovely nuts wanting him to take her against the wall, might I recommend an old favorite show of mine called “True Blood” or my newest guilty pleasure (with non-HBO steaminess), “Scandal,” and perhaps a glass of wine? Maybe a cold shower? What would Linden do? I know! You could go for a run.
So, you watched the end of Season 3. Where does that leave Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder? What did we learn about their relationship and what do I think it all means as we look forward to Season 4?
Whether you want to see them writhing in bed together, there is no denying that Linden and Holder serve as a perfect tether to one another, functioning as ideal counterbalances to one another on “The Killing.” To borrow from Shonda Rhimes, they are unequivocally each other’s “person,” making any storyline involving an allegedly earnest attempt by one of them to have a relationship with someone else relatively pointless and instructional only in so far as it helps the audience learn something about the characters themselves.
Since I have already detailed the many loves of Sarah Linden and what they potentially say about her in a previous blog post, let me detail what I think we learned about mainly Stephen Holder from the Caroline Swift character in Season 3. Her character allowed the audience to understand a measure of growth in Stephen Holder, reminding us that he has come a long way from the gritty, narco proclaiming celibacy in Season 1 and the hopeless man-boy under a bridge grinding senselessly against some other lost soul from NA in Season 2. This Stephen Holder, even though he bears the markings of another man’s past on his flesh, keeps a toothbrush at the home of the Assistant District Attorney. He eats noodles with her in sweatpants while watching National Geographic fodder on his DVR. Very well, Veena Sud, we acknowledge that Stephen Holder may be more relationship-ready than Sarah Linden, but frankly, this never came as any surprise to me as I have always viewed his character as far more emotionally available, if reckless, throughout the entirety of the show. Still, “Relationship Holder” is also palpably uncomfortable with her gift of the toothbrush, even though she dismisses it as some gift for which she does not have any use (and all together women of the world, “Yeaaaaaahhhh, right”). “Relationship Holder” invites his lovely redheaded partner back to his apartment for dinner, and when she surprises him, missing the ferry and ending up on his doorstep, Caroline Swift is with him. Perhaps “Relationship Holder” invited her after Linden initially declined his invitation, but the fact remains that she was, at best, an afterthought. Oh, do I need to mention that it is also Valentine’s Day that he forgot while she made him an, albeit disgusting, red velvet muffin? Or that he promptly ran off and left her to go crime-fight with Sarah Linden? Forgive me-I simply proceeded under the assumption that we, as an audience, all felt collectively a little awkward for Caroline Swift in those moments. Whether you believe that “Relationship Holder” harbors romantic feelings for Sarah Linden, these oversights wherein he seemingly chooses Linden by default, without thought, by instinct, demonstrate this relationship is, for whatever reason, more important to him than the relationship he shared with Caroline Swift. When you consider his equally, uh, “swift” dismissals of the partner that undoubtedly helped advance his career in some small manner after Linden left him and the sister and nephew that loved him through his addiction in favor of following Linden on her current mission for justice, I think we know Sarah Linden is his primary and his priority relationship. Perhaps we can all agree the name on your lips the moment you regain consciousness after being savagely beaten and abandoned for certain death in the remote woods of a Native American reservation is probably the name of your “person.”
I studied the scene between “Relationship Holder” and Caroline Swift in his car in the rain following Bullet’s death where he barked at her about being a junkie before dismissing her, and I think the audience understands the Linden-Holder dynamic more sharply when contrasted with this exchange. I think every fan studied the most impactful “almost kiss” in television history as this “Relationship Holder” tried to kiss a woman who was distinctly not his girlfriend in “Reckoning.” I certainly believe that alcohol, grief, exhaustion contributed to his behavior, but I could not help but consider how Sarah Linden might have reacted if Holder addressed her in the same manner he used with Caroline that rainy day. Would she have seemingly cowered and exited the car as Caroline did? I contend that we already know precisely how Sarah Linden would respond: Are you envisioning the scene outside of the prison in “Six Minutes?” Our Linden would give him hell right back, tell him he was drunk, perhaps even throw his past difficulties with addiction in his face (“Is that one of your addict sayings?”), before hopefully, resigning herself and apologizing for her words the moment she saw the look of pain in his eyes. He might tease her, clear the air of any lingering hostility, and then, the two would be off together to interview the next witness. This exchange is gritty, nasty at times, but it is real, balanced, evenly-yoked. The respect these two share for one another, whether professional, personal, or both, keeps them tethered to one another in mutual need. Despite this, “Relationship Holder” proclaims the pair the same, in that, they are always running, never choosing to stay, and in the end, according to him, losing everything. Although I appreciate Holder’s objective to capture Linden’s attention before she left the prison without ever being permitted to visit Ray Seward again before his execution and I think this assessment is quite astute about Sarah Linden, I do not believe this is true of “Relationship Holder.” Despite her frequent flights from him, Stephen Holder does not run from Sarah Linden, even when he is racked with anguish over the loss of Bullet, half in the bottle, and likely more than a little embarrassed about trying to kiss her the evening before. Moreover, even though I really do not expect to see more of Caroline Swift in Season 4 of “The Killing,” we still observe “Relationship Holder” apologizing, if in his own way, and settling the conflict with her in an adult manner. Whether Caroline is his forever match, the woman undoubtedly deserved an apology for his childish behavior, his dismissal without proper explanation, and for the future, professional, personal, or both, for our Linden and Holder, I am pleased she received it.
Side Note: As a lawyer formerly with the District Attorney’s Office, I viewed this relationship between Detective Stephen Holder and Assistant District Attorney Caroline Swift as relatively doomed from its inception, with or without the presence of Detective Sarah Linden. In general conversation, I share this opinion somewhat reluctantly, but I view the collective audience of “The Killing” as smart, sensitive, insightful, probably very perceptive about this distinction already. Although it is accurate to assert that law enforcement and the prosecuting attorneys both fight for justice, I would contend, in many real life instances, they do not always fight as a cohesive unit, a united front, and those lapses typically create lasting conflict, even bitterness, between the professions. If you have never worked in this field, how many times have you seen an exchange between a detective and the prosecuting attorney on your favorite police procedural drama look something like this:
Police Officer: He’s our man. He did it. Convince the jury!
Prosecuting Attorney: It isn’t enough. Bring me something I can use.
Both of those viewpoints essentially function as one professional telling the other professional to do his or her damn job. In these competitive fields where competence and, frankly, ego are very real components of success, these messages are rarely well-received by either side. When a defendant believed to be guilty is allowed a reduced sentence because of a procedural oversight, both sides frequently point the finger at one another, whether reasonable. Police grumble about the measure of administrative and constitutional protections and procedures afforded individuals they view as certain criminals, implying that perhaps all lawyers do is live to make the pursuit of justice more difficult for those who deserve it the very most. Lawyers complain about the measure of litigation we must undertake to make certain the rights of all, guilty or innocent, are protected, implying that perhaps all law enforcement would otherwise immediately be inclined to overstep them without our intervention. Both viewpoints are biased and belittle equally valuable contributions to the pursuit of justice from both professions. Both professions typically attract fiery, stubborn personalities. Both professions yield workaholics not always heralded for our fidelity, a reality I would attribute to exhaustion, proximity, and the absence of partners understanding of the nature of the work (which, in my experience, often means another partner in the same field, i.e. police detective with police detective….or something like that). Both groups are inherently loyal to those within their respective professions. As such, temporary attraction is a very earnest possibility between these two professions. Still, in my real world experience, most law enforcement officers believe that most lawyers do not really understand the difficulties of their daily work. As a lawyer, I can say with absolute confidence most law enforcement officers do not have a clue what it takes to be able to properly stand before a group of peers and utter the words, “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury.” And it does not matter how many cases you might win together as a unit, both law enforcement officer and lawyer, if equally dedicated, never truly forget the one case that slipped away, even that one defendant that will be out of prison in ten years when he or she should be there for life. It is not merely about being competitive, although that is certainly a component, but, in my experience, the bitterness is more deeply rooted in the knowledge that every day for the rest of their mutual lives, the lives of their families within the community, they will bear the knowledge that a defendant eluded them to offend again, a defendant will be out of prison to offend again in 4 years, 13 hours, and 27 minutes. That anxiety coupled with the belief that that cop or that lawyer screwed up and saddled you with it for life only widens the gap between these two professions, rendering long-term, lasting romantic relationships between lawyer and cop almost impossible in real life. Give such a blended relationship a try and then introduce a perfect co-worker and friend in the same field who compliments your significant other in every foreseeable way and happens to also be incredibly attractive. Even though I will concede I do not have any idea how the story ends on “The Killing,” you better believe I know how that story ends in real life every single time.
Think about it in the context of “The Killing”: If Caroline Swift returns, do you think for one moment that she would completely refrain from sniffing around the police shooting involving her “Relationship Holder” and that pesky redhead that showed up to interrupt Valentine’s Day? If her “Relationship Holder” holds true to character and sticks by his “person” in Sarah Linden, keeping the actual details under wraps by omission or deception, how can he hope to keep her under wraps? I would think he would have to keep her close, leaving him unable to dump her and focus on police work for the six painfully short episodes of Season 4. If “Relationship Holder” keeps his nosey ADA girlfriend close to prevent her from uncovering the truth about what happened between Linden and Skinner that night, how will Sarah Linden know with certainty he will keep from cracking and selling her out to the attorney sleeping next to him that could prosecute her for murder? She would have to keep him close, painfully close, or come completely clean to the authorities about what happened when she shot Skinner, and frankly, both options have devastatingly bad implications on the future of these two characters, and the entire triangle is absolutely contrary to what we have come to know as “The Killing.” Now, I did mention Shonda Rhimes earlier, and the beloved Gregg Henry is on both shows….Are you following me? Right? This storyline is something entirely out of “Scandal,” so while I know how fundamentally wrong it is, a part of my cold, black heart is crying out in ecstasy for it. Shonda, are you listening?! No, “The Killing,” like “The Wire” before it, is a show about the gritty realism involved in the pursuit of justice, so if this lawyer had to dispel with the Caroline Swift character in a realistic, believable way, how would I do it? Well, I’d write her out immediately and have “Relationship Holder” mention she left him for another lawyer. If he had the heart of Holder, the looks of Joel Kinnaman, AND he happened to also be a “Gladiator in a Suit,” Caroline Swift could not hope to resist him.
How did Sarah Linden adapt to “Relationship Holder” in Season 3? Will she need his newfound stability more than ever in Season 4? I have enjoyed some spirited discussions with fans about the look on Linden’s face as she watched “Relationship Holder,” dressed in a suit that no longer makes him look like he sells plasma for a living, saunter out of the squad room, Caroline’s hand brushing his back in a familiar way. I find it interesting that Linden also observed James Skinner kissing his wife and daughter in parting at that very same spot, magnifying her feelings of isolation as both men with whom she shares the closest affinity seem equipped with barriers to any further intimacy with her. Please understand I am not necessarily speaking only about sexual intimacy, but rather, I mean, in those very moments, Sarah Linden could safely assume that she was completely and utterly without a “person,” so to speak, in her world. Both of her former partners have totally moved on, personally and professionally. Her son lives in Chicago with his father. She has cast aside her plaything in “Boatman Cody.” Regi is engaged/married and presumably sailing the open ocean with her new bride. Even though she likes pretending she is a carefree young woman happily living a quiet life on an island, we know how she really feels in those two moments: Alone. Do I see a flicker of jealousy in her expression or even perhaps in her choice to ask Holder almost too nonchalantly if anything was going on between him and that ADA? What about when she arrived at Holder’s apartment after missing the ferry only to find him with his girlfriend, forcing her to choke down some noodles while making small talk? Did I see jealousy there? After careful contemplation, my answer is maybe. I know, that is entirely unsatisfying, isn’t it? I just do not think that Sarah Linden is emotionally evolved enough to always know completely what she is feeling, what she needs, what she wants, and I would further argue that if she does know, she is even more inclined to introvert, to keep that secret close the vest, to go for a run and hide from her emotions, to sleep with emotionally unavailable people with little to no expectations of her to quell her sexual desire, and to channel every introverted emotion into chasing the bad guy until she captures the perpetrator, ends up in a psychiatric facility, or both. As tragic and heroic as that sounds, that is so very much the Sarah Linden I have come to know and love at this point in the story.
Do I think Stephen Holder and Sarah Linden are jealous by nature? Will they come to resent the presence of any serious contender or threat to their primary partnership? My answer to both questions is resoundingly yes, but I am a firm believer most bright, passionate people are, by default, jealous, of the things they find in life that meet their respective needs with fervor. I suspect both Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder feel jealousy, but I suspect Sarah Linden might perceive it as a weakness or something she needed to hide. For example, when Carl Reddick told Holder about Linden and Skinner’s affair, the look on his face was far more demonstrative than anything we ever get from Sarah Linden. He looked, in my estimation, devastated, and I almost winced as Reddick’s callused revelation. Conversely, Linden’s expression, even when she observed Skinner, a man she seemingly wanted so badly that she fell back into bed with him almost immediately upon his proclamation about leaving his wife, seems rooted in confusion and contemplation. Is this how Linden shows jealousy whereas Holder would not even bother to conceal his disappointment? I think the answer is likely yes. Frankly, the precarious emotional balance between these two partners was embodied from the very beginning in how they go about questioning a suspect: Holder asks direct questions while Linden almost always exercises extreme restraint. Holder is quick to accuse almost everyone, and his first ten guesses are always wrong (Yes, I said it, and it’s true): It was Bennett Ahmed. It was Richmond. It was Donnie. It was Marie. It was Jasper. It was Alexi. It was Joe Mills. It was Pastor Mike/Mark. It was Goldie. It was Reddick. Linden, however, is slow to admit she has drawn any conclusions, keeping her thought process so close to the vest that she literally overlooked the serial killer lying in bed next to her. How many times did we have to hear Holder say some version of “We got him, Linden” only to have Linden say something like, “Rosie/Trisha Seward’s killer is still out there?” In almost every case, it is Sarah Linden in the leading role, cerebrally putting the pieces together, destroying her psyche in the process, and it is Stephen Holder, armed with extroverted emotions, putting her back together with his subtle devotion.
So, fast forward to the final moment of Season 3, how do I think Sarah Linden felt in that moment, and what do I think Stephen Holder should do? My answer is simple: I think she felt more alone than she had ever felt in her entire life, and I think Holder must act definitively to assure her she is not alone. After learning of his monstrous crimes, I do not really believe that there is any audience member that did not understand her action on some level, even if it appalled them. I have always agreed with Mireille Enos’s brilliant assessment about her character that the revelation really left Sarah Linden with little literary option but to slay the monster. Several fans have clamored they will loathe her if she forces Holder to cover for her and compromise his morality, and my response is: Are we watching the same show? I appreciate his sense of humor, his heart as much as the next fan, but frankly, he was a dirty cop from the beginning. AMC even promoted him in the “Who Killed Rosie Larsen?” Suspect Tracker. He was an addict who planted evidence, stole evidence, made lewd comments to witnesses, roughed up witnesses, make promises he could not keep, broke into residences, stole drugs, beat up drug-dealers. Shall I continue to list his felonies because I am barely out of one season? It is a testament to the brilliance of Joel Kinnaman and Holder’s creator, Veena Sud, that audiences have apparent amnesia about what he used to be because of the growth we have seen him experience in three seasons. So, for Joel Kinnaman, for those fans, like me, that marvel at his work, and mostly, for Sarah Linden, and the equally gifted Mireille Enos, I want a more profound ending for Stephen Holder. I want him to fully emerge from the shadow of Sarah Linden, and to do so, he must abandon the storyline of the scruffy sidekick and be a hero. He is already an antihero. We are already rooting for the drug addict dirty cop to step up and save the emotionally crippled dirty cop. It sounds like such a romantic story, no?
So, listen up, Stephen Holder, here is my advice to you: If you care about Sarah Linden, if she is indeed your “person,” as I so suspect, hell, if you love her, be a man of action, because nobody ever remembers the sidekick and the sidekick most assuredly never gets the girl. Sarah Linden chooses men with obstacles to giving her the type of devotion she truly needs to stop running, and every single one of them took her bait. When things got difficult, none of them chose her over everything else. Do not hesitate and allow her to wallow in self-depreciation, turning herself in for the trial she does not deserve. Do not hesitate and make her ask for your help, your protection, because that will bury her in guilt she will never overcome. Hesitation will tell her you, like Sonoma, like Greg Linden, like Skinner, do not chose her over everything else. So whatever you do, Stephen Holder, do not hesitate. Take the lead. If it looked like self defense, if he was baiting her, not following her lawful instruction and moving towards her, then tell Internal Affairs this shooting was self defense and do so convincingly. Let her know, without any doubt, that she is your “person,” because every fan will understand and forgive you for it. If you forgive her, we will forgive her for putting you in the position to have to take such drastic action to prove the devotion we see but she does not. Then get back to solving cases with the best partner you will ever have, and by being a man of action, give her a reason to stop running and do so without ever making her wonder if you regret the choice you made that ensured she would be at your side fighting monsters for another day. Oh, and Holder, man, one last thing while I’ve got you here, if you really wanted to kiss her, and between you and me, I know you did, take this last piece of advice from me. After you save her, the very next moment the opportunity presents itself when you are not filled with liquid courage, whatever you do, Stephen Holder, do not hesitate.
Lauren Allison is a restless attorney, writer, general creative, and co-administrator of The Killing Fan Group. She earned her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in History from The University of Tulsa in 2003. She earned her Jurisdoctorate from The University of Tulsa College of Law in 2006. She also holds her certification in Revenue Management from Cornell University.
This week, we are proud to show this piece by Davide Fasolo from Italy. Titled: “Sarah Linden displays her love for a good cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee”. It is a digital painting, and from 2011 Davide has been working on a “head gallery” on fictional characters called “Serial Portrait”. [http://www.nulliversi.com/filter/digital/Serial-Portrait]
His art can be found on @Flickr,@SeeMe, @Vimeo, @Behance and Davidfasoloart.Tumblr. Davide Fosolo also works in different mediums, traditional, digital, experimental painting, documentary, live, and experimental video.
When I look at this painting, I see Sarah Linden’s sterile expression. It is one that I have seen on her
before, and is an expression of resignation.
In the episode “The Road to Hamelin” in season three, Sarah Linden realizes that her former partner and lover, James Skinner, is not the man she thought he once was; He confessed to being the serial killer. The end of the episode Linden has him on his knees, begging her to end his life. When Linden pulls the trigger, killing him, her mind is made up.
Her expression, in this painting, is one that I recognize as quintessential Sarah Linden. A sterile expression she displays when she is resigned to her decision.
By Lauren Oppe
Hello “The Killing” Family,
It’s been TOO long! I’ve missed you. I hope you’ve all been well. First and foremost, I’d like to personally say THANK YOU for everything you all did to get us a fourth season. The Twitter campaigns, the letters, the emails, the texts, etc. We couldn’t have done without your time and effort. Sooooo, let’s talk about season 4 shall we?!
We all know the one thing that has been on our minds since the end of season 3… WHAT THE HELL IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO LINDEN? Will Linden just simply admit to killing Skinner? Will Holder cover for Linden? Will Linden let Holder cover for her? Will Linden go to jail? Would she be put back into the psych ward?! So many questions… but what answers do we have? Oh right, none… All we can do is speculate.
I have compiled a few outcomes which I believe are most likely to occur, but what we have all come to know is never expect anything because you’ll be shocked in the end no matter what.
- In outcome number one, Linden could turn herself in and Seattle PD could simply let her off easy. Skinner makes the police department look absurd; now that he is gone, Linden can be seen as doing Seattle PD a favor, the heroine who killed the villain and saved Seattle. This scenario is what I hope for most in the coming months before the season 4 release. Linden, of course, would have her psychological issues with everything that has taken place, but, at least, she would be free.
- Then there’s alternative number two, the alternative we’re all hoping doesn’t happen, the alternative that could drastically change everything in not only Linden’s world but Holder’s as well. In this scenario, we would see Linden being charged with murder. Which brings me to alternative one of this scenario, Holder at this point could lie for Linden to try to save her, I’m sure most of us could agree this would probably happen. Linden means the world to him. Could he honestly stand by and let her go to prison? DOUBT IT. But, what would lying for Linden do to him? Would he turn to drugs, cling harder to Linden, turn away from her completely, or would the lie destroy his moral code to the core which would ultimately end his career? Would saving Linden ultimately end in Holder’s demise? Making a sacrifice that big for someone ruins a person’s psyche, so it’s something to anticipate in the event that Holder lies for Linden. Or scenario number two, Holder ultimately does not lie for Linden and we see her go to prison/ a mental institution. Unlikely, uncertain, and slightly preposterous I agree… However, this may just happen for a little while to throw us off. Linden could be arrested and sent to prison awaiting trial where she is then found innocent.
Allow me to throw a little side note in here as well. Because our beautiful Mireille Enos is expecting we could potentially see that written into the plot for season 4 as well. Could it be Skinner’s child? My bet is yes, if they choose to work the pregnancy into the story line. However, it could also be a random man’s child, a new boyfriend’s, or dare I say… Holder’s?! The possibilities are endless.
Regardless of what happens with Linden’s future come season 4, we all want to know what will come of the Linden/ Holder relationship. Linden and Holder are dependent on one another. When one is broken, hurt, struggling, etc., the other is there to encourage, support, and love the other. Even if the love is shown in an unconventional way by lighting the other’s cigarette, being the other’s ride, or showing up with some dinner, the love is there. Romantic love? Personally, my answer is no. But, in this fandom, I am highly outnumbered in that belief, so again we will just have to wait and see what Netflix decides to do for season 4 of The Killing. Whatever twists and turns are ahead for this dynamic duo I am more than sure that they will overcome them together, even if they try to push the other away. They are magnates that are constantly attracted to the other, even if separated for a short period of time in the end they will always come back together.
All I know for certain is that I hope season 4 is one amazing, mysterious, thrilling, overpowering, emotional, tormenting, comical, and blissful ride. I cannot wait to share every moment with all of you.
“Trust me Linden, I got this.” – Holder
This is a guest post by Natalia Lauren Fiore.
Part 1 in a two-part series about “Lionhearted Heroines”
Bullet is the tough yet faithful boarding school dropout turned scrappy Seattle street-kid who unexpectedly resurrected the third season of AMC’s The Killing. She shows her “faith” wrist tattoo to lead homicide detective Sarah Linden, whom she calls “the north star” for fighting the crime brutally visited upon the wayward youths that inhabit her “block.” As a lesbian tomboy on her own in a big city, Bullet learns to rely on her inner strength to survive even when her overriding empathy and selflessness make her vulnerable to the horrific dangers that her desire to protect others prevents her from foreseeing. When her best friend, Kallie, a teenage prostitute neglected and discarded by her mother, disappears, Bullet tirelessly searches the streets and, without flinching, confronts a rough pimp named Goldie, who threatens her with a firearm. Later that evening, Goldie apprehends Bullet in his apartment and, at knife point, rapes her in retaliation for the confrontation.
What is so remarkable about Bullet in the aftermath of this attack is that she bravely continues her quest to recover Kallie, never once giving into fear or despair, nor losing the “faith” she wears on her wrist and professes to Sarah Linden. Instead, her scars make her all the more willing and determined to connect with others–chiefly Detective Linden and her streetwise partner, Detective Stephen Holder–in a deep and profound way. Her great humanity in the face of overwhelming evil and her sacrificial actions towards those she cares about, including a prostitute named Lyric who coldly spurns her, transcends perceptions about her sexuality and render her a universal character that people from all walks of life, backgrounds, faiths, religions, ethnicities, etc. can strongly relate to and identify with.
Bex Taylor-Klaus, the 19-year-old actress who won the role, was herself so moved by her character that she was inspired to reflect in writing about Bullet’s strength and beauty which carries a universal truth for us all:
Yes, I am a straight girl who plays a gay character on TV. No, I am not ashamed. The point of Bullet is not that she is gay. There is so much to her and I look up to the strength and determination this girl has. I get the beautiful opportunity to play a character I can admire and learn from on a daily basis. Bullet knows who she is and can accept herself for it all, even if others can’t or won’t….Not everybody is that strong. My biggest worry is that people will look at her and just see a gay kid, when that’s truly only a tiny piece of Bullet’s puzzle. Look at the big picture. People are a medley of different things and that is what makes us so interesting. Don’t lose sight of the beauty just because you see one thing you may find ugly.
To adapt Bex’s opening line: yes, I am a straight girl who has been besotted with Bullet (and the brilliant girl who plays her) from the moment she pulls her best friend, Kallie, from the ledge of a Seattle Bridge following the opening credits of the first episode.
Like Bex herself, I am not ashamed to adore Bullet. As Detective Stephen Holder (played by the endearing Joel Kinnaman) remarks when he first meets her, she’s “pretty unforgettable”–a description that captures her lasting impact on him and on all those she seeks to protect. Indeed, Holder and Bullet get past their initial mistrust of each other–aided by Bullet’s mistrust of men in general–to form one of the most beautiful friendships, fraught with angst and tenderness, ever portrayed onscreen. The two are, in many ways, twin souls who struggle to appear tough even when they are broken. Together, they embody Aristotle’s quote about true friendship: “A friend is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” Their unlikely affection and mutual admiration, although tested many times, is steadfast and powerful, so much so that when Holder loses Bullet, he is more devastated than we have ever seen him–as if he has lost part of himself. In his moment of intense grief over her death, Holder becomes the conduit for the audience’s overwhelming sadness as we share in his mourning of her.
In the end, with identical stubbornness, the two betray each other–Bullet, desperate, telling a lie that inadvertently compromises the investigation and Holder, enraged, turning an icy cold shoulder to the girl he once sought to help–obstinately refusing to answer the phone when she urgently calls him later that night. This, of course, turns out to be a fatal mistake, which ensures Holder’s imminent down spiral once he discovers Bullet’s body butchered in the trunk of the killer’s car.
But Bullet would not have been as “unforgettable” had it not been for the incomparable Bex Taylor-Klaus, who blazes in each scene–truthfully portraying Bullet’s fierce yet compassionate courage and faith. We’ll be hard-pressed to find another TV performance by a young breakout actress that quite matches what Bex accomplishes as Bullet. Bex so completely embodies Bullet that when she is found dead, it is as though a real-life person–a best friend, a sister, a daughter–has been lost. Through her performance, Bex makes the audience, even those who initially find her bravado somewhat off-putting, come to care deeply and passionately about a lesbian street girl (she suffers a heartbreaking unrequited love for a young prostitute named Lyric) whose apparent impenetrable toughness hides a selfless, vulnerable spirit.
In a recently published ARTS-ATL article entitled “30 Under 30: Bex Taylor-Klaus bites the bullet and lands dream role on AMC’s ‘The Killing,’” Bex articulates her profound understanding of Bullet: “As an actor, you’re given a character as a kind of shell and it’s your job to breathe life into it. Bullet’s the one who breathed life into me…I knew everything she wanted to do when she grew up. I knew who she was, who she wanted to be, and then I watched it all get taken away.”
One of the greatest demonstrations of Bex’s astounding ability to translate her understanding of Bullet for the audience occurs in Episode 3 during a beautifully shot two-scene sequence that captures the aftermath of Bullet’s rape. In a heart-wrenching moment, Bullet’s full inner beauty emerges even as she is at her lowest point, when she stares at her reflection in a bathroom mirror, examining the fresh, bloody wounds the rape has inflicted. Bex brilliantly captures Bullet’s fractured self in that moment, revealing fear, devastation, disgust, humiliation, and rage through her eyes and facial expressions. These emotions that she has never before felt so acutely ignite her burning resolve to save her best friend, so when Holder chases after her on the bridge later that day, she buries her fear and mistrust and tells him about that “nobody, nothing pimp” named Goldie. Later on in the episode, when Holder fails to apprehend Goldie, Bullet bravely and forcefully tells him off, and when he confronts her about whether Goldie has “done something to” her, she answers only with an instruction to “do your job” and “find her (Kallie).” Once again, Bex is superb–naturally conveying Bullet’s selfless devotion to her friend, even in the midst of the biggest crisis she has ever experienced.
Bullet never does get the chance to tell Holder, or anyone else, about what Goldie did to her–nor does she get the chance to tell Holder what she found out from the girl at the train station about the identity of the killer. Her life is ended so suddenly and cruelly that she leaves behind her a bitter trail of unanswered questions that could never be resolved satisfactorily in the wake of her death. It is these answered questions, combined with the magnitude of Bullet’s–and by extension Bex’s–potential epitomized by her intelligence, her kindness and compassion, her acceptance, her longing, and her grace–that we mourn mightily as the case stalls toward a resolution. For a fleeting period, it seems these virtues which she demonstrates so freely even towards those who don’t deserve them, are blissfully rewarded when Lyric, the previously unattainable object of her affection, appears to “see” Bullet’s heart for the first time and reciprocates its longing with a tender kiss.
For a day, Bullet experiences what it is like to be loved in return and we are afforded a rare and precious glimpse into the blissful life she should have been granted. But the next day, Lyric is reunited with Twitch, the hustler she thought had abandoned her, and in a heartbeat, she turns her back on Bullet, cruelly claiming, “I don’t belong to you…I’m not gay, you know” (Season 2, Episode 8 “Try”). Already reeling from the mercilessly unjust suffering she endures during her brief life of which Lyric’s cutting rejection is the tipping point, the viewers’ reaction to Bullet’s death, and the absence of Bex in the role, was swift, heartfelt, and defined by a large volume of online fan art that was created to pay tribute to the murdered “Lionhearted Heroine,” as they began calling her.
Even though I do not possess the artistic talent or ability to paint a portrait, as many other talented fans did to remember and honor Bullet, I shed more tears for Bullet than I have since my father’s death when I was 8 years old. She became like a sister to me, as Bex did in the role. I loved her. I miss her. Like Holder, I will never forget her. And, by her own eloquent admission, neither will Bex, who encapsulates our collective sorrow, but pays tribute to Bullet’s faith:
“I saw a woman with a similar haircut—an older woman with the haircut and similar style and it made me smile at first like ‘Oh look – Bullet when she grows up.’ And then all of a sudden I was standing in the street and it hit me…the realization that that’s not ever going to be what Bullet gets to do. Some people are saying how much she’s meant to them, they’re sad she’s gone and I’m saying she’s not. If she really meant that much to you, keep her alive inside of you. She’ll always be there. Keep her in your heart, whatever poeticness you’d like to put on it, whatever poetic words you want to put to it—keep her alive inside of you. She’s always be there. She always has. She’s a really strong character and strong, strong person. Even though she’s dead on the show or in the ‘real world,’ she doesn’t have to be dead inside. If she did really have an effect on you, she will always be with you.”
Still…In Season 4, Episode 5 of PBS’s beloved series Downton Abbey, a male valet says to his wife, a maid who is attacked in the same way that Bullet is attacked by Goldie in Episode 3 of The Killing: ”You are not spoiled. You are made higher to me and holier because of the suffering you have been put through.” If she had to die, brave Bullet deserved a death worthy of the “higher, holier” human being she was–a girl who did not dwell in her suffering nor let it define her, but rose above it and used her pain to compassionately protect her street-family from suffering what she did. Ideally, though, with all she silently suffered through, she deserved to live and to fulfill, as Bex articulated, “all she wanted to be.” By extension, Bex, who, to use a phrase from Miley Cyrus’s song, “came in like a wrecking ball” and all but stole the entire season with her nuanced and engaging portrayal, deserved the opportunity to develop her performance of Bullet’s character beyond Season 3, as affirmed by AMC’s recent decision to cancel the series for a second time which many attribute to the irrevocable loss of Bex’s Lionhearted Heroine.
Natalia Lauren Fiore received a B.A. in Honors English and Creative Writing from Bryn Mawr College and an M.F.A in Creative and Professional Writing from Western Connecticut State University, where she wrote a feature-length screenplay entitled Sonata under the direction of novelist and screenwriter, Don J. Snyder, and playwright, Jack Dennis. Currently, she holds a full-time tenure track teaching post at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida, where she teaches English and Writing. Her writing interests include film criticism, screenwriting, literary journalism, fiction, the novel, and memoir. Her literature interests include the English novel, American Literature, and Drama – particularly Shakespeare. She blogs at Outside Windows and tweets
Please visit http://www.btchflcks.com/ for more outstanding articles. Special thanks to Leah Kolb (@leighkolb) as this spectacular submission was crossposted with Bitch Flick’s permission. Follow them on Twitter at @BitchFlicks.
This week we are featuring a fan video by Seehuna. It was created in September 2013 after AMC announced it was cancelling the The Killing. This video is very moving and the poignant scenes between Linden and Holder give you a really good feeling about how their partnershiphas grown over the years. We are very happy that Netflix decided to take a chance and bring The Killing back and Seehuna wrote the following about the video:
“WE COULD HAVE HAD IT ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! To all The Killing fans, season 3 was some of the best television I’ve seen in years, and they decide to cancel it, cause the ratings were low..sad. Now we will never know what could have happened between this amazing partnership. The build up was so incredible, especially in season 3, and it could have lead to something incredible, I’m sure of it! This video is for the amazing Hannah (Hanneybean7). She’s my girl when it comes to this show, cause she loves it just as much (if not more) than me.” Lucky for Seehuna, Netflix picked up
Song: Angus & Julia Stone- Say It Right
The Killing Fan Group is pleased to announce the first t-shirt available for all fans. This t-shirt, with the fan art on the back with our Twitter handle and website address, is available in sizes S-2XL and is preshrunk cotton. It is black and short-sleeved. If you want a t-shirt, we NEED to know this week. The more orders we get, the cheaper the price for all of us, but depending on the number of orders, the shirts should run $15-$25 a piece at the most. So, order a shirt, wear it to a con, and proudly show your fandom for The Killing!
If you want to order a shirt, tweet us at @TheKillingonAMC or email us at email@example.com
We will need your mailing address and full name. We will also give you the information to make your payment by credit card or Paypal.
THE LAST DAY TO ORDER T-SHIRTS IS FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2014, SO ACT NOW!
Melissa’s Take: This week, we are proud to share this piece, simply titled “Holder,” by Irina in Russia. Composed digitally, this piece immediately impressed me as it was one of the first pieces of Holder where I could really feel him. The far away glowin his eyes reminded me of the lost Stephen Holder is standing on the bridge at the end of “My Lucky Day” in Season 2 of The Killing. He doesn’t know what to do-Completely betrayed by Gil, his sponsor and mentor from the Sheriff’s department, he finds himself entirely alone, his “North Star,” Sarah Linden refusing to open her hotel room to allow him to explain. Do you remember Stephen Holder crying out for Linden to open the door, eventually crumbling in the hallway and leaving the badge he now feels he did not really earn on the floor for Linden to find later? The sheer anguish of that very moment seems to really resonate within this piece. We are so pleased to feature this piece, “Holder,” as the cover of the fan book we prepared to send to Joel Kinnaman. We are so very proud of all of the artists out there that love The Killing as much as we do and express themselves through art. We cannot get enough of the outpouring of support for the show and the talented actresses and actors who portray the characters we love. Creative people, keep creating and share your work! We would love to show off the many, many talents of our fan group! If you have a piece you would like to share, tweet us at @TheKillingonAMC, email us at TheKillingonAMC@gmail.com, or post your work to Instagram and tag us @thekillingfangroup.
Check out Irina’s art at bendiwise.deviantart.com