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The Killing season finale recap: 'The Killing' season 3 finale recap

Another body turns up, unlocking the key to the Piper’s identity and forcing Linden to make a life-changing decision

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The Killing 312 Finale
Carole Segal/AMC

The Killing

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Peter Sarsgaard

It was evening in Seattle, and Linden was quite literally running from her grief over Seward’s death when Skinner came to check in on her. Or to fall back on her companionship since his wife had told him to take a hike. He saw that Linden was still poring over Seward’s case file, and they commiserated over their secretive, haunted existences. With nothing stopping them (not dignity or self-control or a sense of appropriateness) and a desperate loneliness engulfing them, they came together for a kiss that would lead to more and would most certainly put the nail in the coffin on Skinner’s marriage.

The next morning, Linden clung to an utterly misplaced sense of hope that she and Skinner could “be different” as Bullet’s funeral got underway. Holder, Ms. Leeds, and Lyric were the only attendees other than Bullet’s parents, who’d chosen a girlish picture of their daughter — one that, Holder bitterly laughed, Bullet herself would have hated. Holder and Ms. Leeds commiserated over how Bullet tried to protect Kallie but, in the end, couldn’t even protect herself.

Holder remained stoic, but the emotional upheaval of the past day sent him to Caroline to make it right and apologize for how he’d lashed out at her after Bullet’s murder. She gave him a genuine hug, an embrace of sympathy, reconnection, and acceptance; he leaned in and looked like he was going to shatter any second. Then his phone rang. Ignoring it, he admitted he should have come clean to Caroline about his past. He called him a step down for her and acknowledged that he’d been afraid to show her all of him and not just “the good stuff.” She assured him it was all the good stuff. His phone rang again, and she pragmatically told him to answer it. He was called away, but she told him she’d see him later. Holder was adorable yet heartbreaking in his shock that she’d give him another chance. She was magnanimous about his freakout, calling it their first fight. She added sweetly, “For what it’s worth, you’re a half step up for me.” That’s when the Holder swag came back. He smiled mischievously, smirking, “You must have been hanging out with some real losers before me.” She deadpanned, “Lawyers.” Holder leaned in for a kiss before he left, and he was so excited Caroline practically had to push him off. After last week’s bleak hour, this scene was like a narrative sigh of relief — a very necessary, truly spirit-lifting moment.

NEXT: What becomes of the B-team