‘This Is Where the Real Halloween Party Went Down.’ The Killing’s Got Us!

Sarah Linden ponders some kids with fishing poles, walking in the direction of a lake. Sarah envisions the crime scene as on the other side of the park. Stanley Larsen enters a cordoned off road in his moving and storage truck, just as a vehicle is pulled from the drink. The soundtrack is brooding, the rain relentless, crime photographer flashbulbs gyrate against a trotting rhythm track. Camera zooms in on butterfly jewelry on the victim’s neck.

The moment that the Rosie Larsen’s body is discovered, in the AMC pilot of The Killing, is in slow motion, sustained and painful, just as it would be in real life. The next scene where the parents identify Rosie’s body at the morgue is even more painful. And film composer Frans Bak’s music is perfect for the not so pretty moment. In the next clip it’s discovered that a Darren Richmond campaign car was used in the crime.

The Killing

It’s dark, the rain continues to pound, then Day Two starts, so we must be on episode 2, The Cage. Nothing is summarized, events in real time, as the grief of their daughter’s death sinks in, Mitch Larsen enters her daughters room, staring at some art work on the wall. Wind chimes slightly tinker as the reality of what has just happened slowly possesses her psychology. The audience shares equally in the shock.

My specialty is True Crime, so I haven’t read any of the Scandinavian crime novelists, such as Henning Mankell or Stieg Larsson. I sure will make a point to now that I know what they’ve been creating. Yesterday I found out that four more bodies were discovered in Long Island, probably the work of the serial killer I’ve been calling the ‘Seaside Sicko.’ This makes little sense, but as I watch my taping of The Killing I’m projecting this news into the plot of Veena Sud’s new series.

This mixing of metaphors, between real life and a fictional television series, may be testament to the realism of The Killing. The investigation of these Seattle detectives is natural and organic, as they follow Rosie’s actions; specifically they are focusing on the timeline surrounding her high school dance costume party. We see the police drudging through dumpsters, searching for clues. They do come up with a pink wig Rosie was wearing when dressed as a witch for the party in question.

Love the subtle references in details; a light comes on and I remember that Meredith Kercher, the British student who was murdered in Perugia, Italy in 2007 (remember Amanda Knox is taking the rap), was wearing a witch costume on Halloween night. She was brutally murdered the very next day. It may be only a coincidence, but a very clever one indeed (parallel witch costumes). Like I said, my thing is True Crime, but I’m adapting nicely to crime fiction.

And what’s that about, when Stephen Holder is smoking pot, and lures significant information out of two teenage girls about the secret party spot in the basement of the school? This is outrageous! Sleazy entrapment, but it works. Holder discovers the Cage, a torture lair used on poor Rosie Larsen. The bloody handprint is as noir as noir can get!

The Killing pilot and The Cage raise the bar for episode 3. I can’t wait until next Sunday to see what develops. The lineup of suspects is tantalizing. My initial impression is that Darren Richmond is the most obvious culprit, so therefore I’m eliminating him. Back to the Cage with a black witch hat plopped on a concrete floor, puddles of blood, and an ominous soundtrack against Holder’s comment: “This is where the real Halloween party went down.”