When AMC’s The Killing, a dark and dreary crime series that follows a troubled Seattle detective, first aired in 2011 it received rave reviews from critics and viewers alike.
But a fateful decision to drag its first murder-mystery into the second season caused a firestorm, fueled by fans who quickly went from staunch supporters of the new crime drama to the show’s most vociferous critics. They felt hoodwinked. And they took exception with the producers’ epic miscue.
Their indignation became so widespread that, sadly, their fiery reaction defined The Killing. It never recovered despite some heart-wrenching but beautifully produced moments, such as the portrayal of a murdered girls’ family—drenched in deep, unimaginable anguish and sorrow. They also never recovered.
But the story of The Killing gets a little more complicated. AMC cancelled the show prior to the second season—which featured a conclusion to the meandering Rosie Larsen murder investigation—but later amended its decision, and brought it back to life.
Alas, The Killing was cancelled for a second time. It became the butt of jokes once again. But a newcomer to original programming, Netflix, came calling.
The streaming TV/movie service picked it up for a fourth and final season, which debuts Friday. All six episodes have been released in bulk—allowing viewers to binge-watch the show or get it in small doses, whichever they prefer.
The show apparently picks up after season three’s cliffhanger finale, when detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) kills her one-time lover (he’s also a cop), who turned out to be just another psychopathic murderer. Linden, already burdened by her troubled past, now has something else hanging over her head.
Maybe we’ll get some answers. Maybe Linden will finally face her demons head on. We won’t know until we watch.
What we do know, however, is that The Killing had enormous potential.
It was a departure from the other crime dramas that currently saturate television. It was a breath of fresh air, despite the heavy cloud of darkness that engulfed it, sometimes wrapping the characters and viewers along with it.
Now that it’s coming to a close, we’re wondering if anyone is going to care. The show never felt the same after its self-inflicted wound.
What loyal viewers get to watch now is the slow, painful demise of a show which once possessed enormous promise. Twice-killed, and now twice-resurrected, The Killing gets a re-do.
Still, it shouldn’t have gone out this way.