The Killing recap: 'Eminent Domain' recap (season 3, episode 6)
Linden and Holder look to the stars, Bullet and Lyric get closer, Ms. Leeds holds out hope, and Seward has a helluva day
I was really hoping for a proper, tense showdown between Mills and Kallie’s mom after last week’s cliffhanger. Alas, we cut straight to the SPD, where Ms. Leeds marched in soaking wet and started babbling like some methed-out crazyface. Needless to say, the world-weary front desk officer was not picking up what she was putting down. Her frustration over not getting someone to immediately find her daughter (you know, since she’s cared about Kallie for a whole five minutes now) led to a full-on tantrum — and her arrest.
Elsewhere, Holder and Linden were interviewing Angie, the Pied Piper’s only target to make it out alive. One particular detail struck a chord when she mentioned that the killer instructed her to move to the back of the car before he attacked her. Was this a legitimate clue meant to remind us of Twitch’s parole officer? He’d certainly have the access to these street kids, and it might even set up a connection to the Seward murder since Trisha was a hooker. But it could also be a herring as red as the plastic on which he made Angie sit.
Whoever the guy was, he wasn’t Mills. Angie looked at a lineup that included Mills’ photo, and didn’t pick anyone out. Even after Linden’s badgering, she insisted she would recognize her attacker’s eyes after he stared at her in the rear-view. Then she asked naively, “He got the left [ring finger]. What if somebody wants to marry me? Do you think it matters?” Even Holder, always quick with a quip, was barely able to whisper out a brokenhearted “No.” (Man, Joel Kinnaman nailed it on every level in this scene.)
Holder was back to fighting form when he went outside to criticize Linden for her pushy tactics, which could make any findings from Angie’s questioning inadmissible. In fact, he was beginning to question Mills’ viability as the perp at all. As they talked, Reddick arrived to continued his war of emotional attrition with Linden. It was interrupted when she got a call about Ms. Leeds’ arrest and left. Reddick proved once more he was as intent as ever to phone in the case. He also got in a jab likening Holder’s undercover clothes to a Snuggie and then called the newly maimed Angie “four-fifths of a hand job.” Classy, Reddick. Real classy.
Linden joined Ms. Leeds in an interrogation room at the SPD. She was particularly unsympathetic to the deadbeat mom’s jittery “leads” on Mills and “concerns” for Kallie given that she’d straight-up obstructed the investigation for several days. Linden did have one bone to throw: Ms. Leeds wouldn’t be charged. But while they waited, she could make herself useful by telling Linden where Mills might have fled. The key word in that sentence being could since Ms. Leeds instead began a stream-of-consciousness narration about Kallie’s childhood. True to life? Sure. But Sherlock Holmes (Elementary or Sherlock version) would have shut that blubbering down. You don’t get to tell stories, lady. You should have told stories about Joe Mills three days ago.
NEXT: Over the Hill
At the prison, Seward awoke from sleep to the sounds of Hill, who’d noticed the guards had missed the last three checks and begun ripping up sheets to fashion a noose. Seward told Hill he wasn’t thinking clearly, but the Kid was so shattered from meeting with his family that he said he’d woken up and not known where he was for the first time in years. Seeing that Hill was inconsolable, Seward allowed him to finish what he started — he even whispered encouraging words to Hill as the Kid choked out his last breaths. But was he a friend and angel of mercy… or an angel of death? Discuss.
Of course it had to be Henderson who, arriving late from taking care of his baby, stumbled upon this grisly scene at 6 a.m. As he walked along the row to wake up the inmates, he found Seward standing stiff as a board and staring at Hill’s cell. Henderson looked over, sounded the alarm, then eyed Seward suspiciously. Seward finally turned and casually walked deeper into his cell.
SPD. The s— parade marched on as Linden updated Skinner on the case’s lack of progress then went into his office to face the music from Adrian’s very unhappy foster parents about her unexpected visit to the boy at school. Adrian’s parents told her he’d begun sleeping in his closet again — just as he had been when he was living with Trisha. Zoning in on this clue, Linden issued the most insincere apology ever before abruptly leaving. To follow up the lead, she had to reveal to Holder that she’d purloined Seward’s old file. She got impatient while he was leafing through the paperwork and tried to grab it back. He jumped and hilariously warned, “Don’t get handsy, I’ve got a girlfriend!”
The partners made their way to Trisha’s old apartment (in a nod to seasons 1 and 2, it hadn’t been inhabited since Mayor Richmond claimed eminent domain to seize it for his waterfront project). While Linden jimmied the lock, Holder performed a one-man riff on that Silence of the Lambs scene where Clarice and Ardelia went into the mind of Buffalo Bill. By Holder’s reckoning, they’d been approaching the case wrong — they were looking at it through the eyes of the girls when they really needed to think from the perspective of the killer. Or, in short: “See, we’ve been going all Copernicus when we need to go all Galileo up on this bitch, ya feel me?”
One inside the apartment, Linden stepped inside Adrian’s sleeping closet and quite literally went Galileo on that bitch as she looked up at the glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. More importantly, she looked down and noticed a grate on the bottom of the door through which Adrian would have seen all the horrific details of his mother’s murder.
Skinner, already in a foul mood from the lack of progress on the case, shot down the notion that Adrian had seen anything since they’d questioned the boy for five or six hours during the initial investigation. Since Linden wouldn’t be going near Adrian any time soon, she suggested revisiting Seward. Their face-off over the idea reached a fever pitch as Skinner correctly pointed out that Linden had failed to find any connection between Seward and the Pied Piper’s murders. And then Linden basically went nuclear. Skinner took a pause to diffuse the tension before woefully state the thesis of this entire show: “This job is not for human beings. If you do it right, it eats your life. Sometimes you need to take a step back and ask yourself: Am I too close?” Linden insisted she was fine, then she convinced her her ex-lover to indulge her a little longer by moving in very close and employing her feminine wiles (or whatever equivalent someone like Linden has).
NEXT: Meet Pa Seward (then immediately forget him)
Prison. Seward pointedly asked Henderson if Becker’s absence was part of a suspension to investigate Hill’s suicide. Henderson didn’t answer that question but wondered why Seward didn’t help his friend. Seward said tersely, “I did.”
Hill’s death also inspired Seward to request a sit-down with his baseball bat-wielding father. Seward Sr. very quickly (and pretty obviously) started talking about the razor he’d smuggled through to Seward. Seward the Younger noted that Seward the Elder was looking older, but his father glossed over that observation. He preferred to reminisce about how Seward nearly died after he was born: “But I knew you’d fight because you’re my son.” Seward sat wearily across the table while his father dismissed Seward’s beef that dear old dad had left the family to starve when Seward was young, then insisted that he’d “taught [him] to be a man.” Seward muttered to himself that this reunion had been a mistake, prompting his father to sputter out that he was proud of his son. Speaking for all of us, Seward asked, “For what?” Seward Sr. commended his son for dying like a man. Seward responded bluntly, “Dying in a jumpsuit doesn’t make you a man.”
Elsewhere, “Trigger” showed Ms. Leeds places Kallie liked to go. At one waterfront spot, they both recalled how young Kallie had been unable to grasp the concept of Hide and Seek. As they mentally unpacked that loaded memory, Bullet said, “She’ll be all right.” Ms. Leeds agreed even though they both knew it probably wasn’t true. Still, Ms. Leeds went home that night and left the door unlatched… just in case.
Linden arrived at for her visit with Seward. After showing him a picture of Mills, she dropped a bunch of bombs on him from the possibility of Adrian seeing the murder to her own certainty of Seward’s innocence. The real takeaway from this scene, though, was Peter Sarsgaard’s performance. Emmy voters, take note: Seward ping-ponged the emotional spectrum in the space of a minute. At first cynically playful as he tried to weasel a perk or plea out of ID-ing Mills, he became atypically vulnerable as he admitted he’d put the stars in the closet for Adrian, then once more closed-off as he realized he’d been shown his true self. In the scene’s emotional climax, he grew incensed thinking about the last three years — and perhaps the final 12 days of his life — he had lost over Linden and the SPD’s screw-up. Finally, he was equal parts hurt and fatalistic as he hissed at Linden, “You don’t come back here.”
They both took long walks in separate directions — Linden to her car to chain smoke and try not to cry over the life-and-death stakes of her past actions, Seward to his cell to stare at Hill’s empty bed.
Back in The Jungle, Lyric was dejected about Twitch’s cheating and invited Bullet into bed to keep her warm. Bullet laid down, but she was clearly brooding over her afternoon with Kallie’s mom. Seeing Bullet’s faltering stoic front, Lyric told her, “You don’t have to be tough all the time.” Bullet sat up abruptly to try to keep it together. Lyric sat up too, moving in slowly, looking into her eyes, and saying, “You don’t think I see you, but I do.” She leaned in, and they shared a few gentle kisses.
SPD. Linden found Holder surveying the victims’ photos in frustrated resignation, and he admitted they might never find the killer. Holder said he’d done some thinking about the Piper’s motivation and realized that the killer considered himself a shepherd to Seattle’s lost girls. Holder continued that the Piper positioned the teens in the backseat so they could only see his eyes — “like a confession.” (There goes my parole officer theory.) Linden asked if the confession was “Theirs or his?”
Their meditation was interrupted when Skinner came out screaming at Reddick, whose laziness had given Angie the opportunity to flee the hospital. Skinner ordered the detectives to find the girl by the end of the night, so Linden and Holder returned to Beacon House. Holder surveyed another set of photos — the ones in Pastor Mike’s office — and thought aloud, “Shepherd and his flock…” When the pastor entered the room, the detectives eyed him suspiciously.
All due respect to Mireille Enos, but Kinnaman and Sarsgaard owned this episode. Which was your favorite moment? Are you happy the partners’ eyes have finally turned to the creepy Pastor Mike? Or do you think that, with six episodes to go, that dismisses him as a legitimate suspect? Were you happy Bullet finally got one break in her life? What do you hope to see next week? Go forth and discuss, Killing fans.