Holder and Seward focus on Pastor Mike, Bullet and Lyrics' honeymoon doesn't last long, and Seward is shaken by his impending death
The Killing
Credit: Carole Segal/AMC
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We returned to Beacon House, where a suspicious Holder could barely stifle his disgusted smirk at Pastor Mike’s sanctimonious lecturing about the failed system. A less amused Linden noted that Pastor Mike had a lot of pictures of teen girls on his wall but not so many guys. PM did himself no favors by noting that the “girls like getting their picture taken… they’re more vulnerable than the boys,” displaying an all-too-easy access to three-year-old pictures of street girls, and noting in a husky voice, “Nobody misses them. Or goes looking for them. They’re the throwaways of the world.” Said the pervert killer. Okay, yeah, I know he probably isn’t the one, but still… you’re being questioned by police about a serial killer with a hard-on for lost young girls, man! At least try not to sound like one.

Back at the SPD, Holder and Linden weighed the possibility that that “coward” Pastor Mike was the killer. Holder had fully shifted over to the “He did it!” camp, citing that 80 percent of the vics had shuttled through Beacon House at some point. Linden remained skeptical and suggested they rest for a few hours. But when she returned to Vachon, her ex Cody ambushed her. He was suddenly all kinds of menacing — free-and-loose with the nasty remarks and far too ready to manhandle Linden when she told him the plain truth: she’d been pretending to be someone else their entire relationship. She just didn’t have the happy person gene in her. What she did have? Plenty of moxy! She stood her ground, talking in a “I’m so serious I am whispering tone” as she told him to back the eff off. Meanwhile, Cody just stepped onto the suspect list, no? It feels so inorganic that everyone who arrives on the scene — especially such a minor, seemingly dismissed character — has to be considered but c’est la Killing.

While Linden gave Cody a verbal beatdown, Holder hit the beat. He ran into Bullet and some other ragamuffins out in The Jungle, and they volleyed trash talk back and forth. (Holder definitely won with swaggering statements that his suit was “getting pressed by Versace, seeing as he’s the one who fabricated it,” and saying the whiff of “pork” the hooligans mocked was actually the aroma of “salary and purpose.”) Though the kids started clearing out on account of Holder, Bullet didn’t mind sticking around as she told Lyric “it’s just Bugs.” Lyric insisted they leave, and Holder immediately picked up Bullet had gotten a girlfriend. He teased, “What’s her name? Delilah? Jezebellll?” Between chest-puffing about their respective skills as lovers and Holder’s reminiscences over his “stable” of ladies when he was younger, Bullet told Holder there was no way Pastor Mike was the perp: “He’s, like, the one guy in Seattle who’s not a pedophile.” As Holder left, he advised Bullet to keep Lyric safe because “[the streets] ain’t no type of crib.” Love. Those. Two.

Meanwhile, Becker returned to the prison. Seward immediately started in, accusing him of negligence and being cuckolded by his wife. (We learned later the latter was true. Point, Seward.) Becker struck right back, noting that the hammering and buzzing in the background was the sound of the construction on Seward’s gallows. He spoke threateningly of all the variables that could go wrong to lead to a slow, painful death… “but either way, you s— yourself. … Ain’t that a hell of a way to check out?” Real charmers, those two…. As Becker walked off, Seward’s cellmate whispered beguilingly, “Ray, Ray! It’s still up to you how you exit this world. You get to decide how you go out.” Given the on-the-nose-ness of it all and Hill’s very recent death, I’m beginning to wonder if that guy is actually there or just some spooky manifestation of Seward’s psyche.

NEXT: A lead and a slice

Beacon House. Seriously, Ms. Leeds? You’re here now?! I just can’t anymore with that woman. In a nutshell, Pastor Mike explained what a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad life Kallie had — though he tried to smooth it over by talking about how the teen like to take cosmetology lessons and insisting, “She’s still out there. Kallie is a tough girl. A survivor.” Because she’s deluded, Ms. Leeds was comforted by these words. That is, until she went out to her car to find a menu with the words “HE’S LYING” written on it stuck under her windshield wiper.

Ms. Leeds immediately took the flyer/tip to Linden, who followed up on the pizzeria where the menu came from because Linden felt that whoever had sent that note wanted to be found. And indeed, she was right. Soon after Holder ordered his Hawaiian pizza with extra pineapple (making me fall a little bit out of love with him, I’m sad to report), Linden spotted the femme-y urchin boy we’ve seen pop up a few times — most recently when he eavesdropped on the detectives’ chat with Pastor Mike at the top of the hour. He joined the partners for a smoke and told them he’d seen Angie from the roof of Beacon House at 4 a.m. a few nights before. He said he called Pastor Mike, who was mysteriously out for a drive. When the good pastor arrived, Angie screamed and ran. Pastor Mike pursued her in his car, only to return an hour later — alone and covered in blood.

Palate cleanser: Bullet and Lyric shared a sweet moment (albeit after they were kicked out of the abandoned motel by an exceptionally cruel Twitch). Bullet gazed lovingly at Lyric, who shared her dreams of public housing with a view of the water. Bullet couldn’t stop herself from telling Lyric, “I am totally in love with you.” Lyric, who’d probably never been adored by anyone, liked that feeling. She noted it was going to rain that night. Bullet promised she’d find them shelter, and Lyric stroked her DIY tattoo and assured, “I know you will. I have faith in you.”

Alas, that sweet moment was slightly undermined when Bullet approached Pastor Mike for a place to stay and obliviously let it slip that the cops had suspicions that PM was up to more than the Lord’s work. D’oh!

SPD. Linden and Holder updated Skinner about their findings. Instead of being intrigued by the fact that they’d made any progress at all, he acted put off. He discouraged Holder’s suggestion they get a search warrant for the minister’s car and barely granted Linden’s suggest to vet Pastor Mike more thoroughly. He turned even the most proactive order into a dig: “Get eyes on his car. I don’t want him disappearing like Joe Mills.” Most uncool of all, he actively insulted Holder’s dressed-down look. And still no one has noticed that Linden has been wearing the same Fair Isle sweater for three years.

So Holden and Linden went to keep an eye on Pastor Mike. What started as a teasing conversation about Linden’s indiscreet smoking (“You’re not exactly Houdini with those things”) turned to Cody and the lie Linden had been living. Holder said, with buckets of meaning, “Sometimes what you get is not what you want.” Right now Linden both wanted and needed cigarette. Especially after Holder got a call that the Pastor’s supposedly clean record was a fraud and that the real Pastor Mike had died four years ago.

Holder made a beeline to check out Pastor Mike’s car but instead found a rental in the driveway. PM came out to ask what they were up to, and Holder grilled aggressively about the rental car. Then he turned to the Ephesians 1:7 tattoo, asking, “What kind of forgiveness you looking for, Pastor?” Mike answered, “Same kind you are, all of us are.” He noted that grace and hope are also part of the verse. (At this point I feel it’s incumbent upon me to note that the title of this episode is “Hope Kills.”) Just as Holder was getting really surly — saying, “Maybe instead of looking for grace to guide you, you should own up to the truth” — Linden cut off the conversation in fear that Pastor Mike might flee. As they got into the car, Holder called in for one of his colleagues to search police records for PM’s tattoo.

Inside the house, Lyric thanked Pastor Mike for letting them stay there that night and noted that Bullet would be gone for a while because she had to meet with her parole officer.

NEXT: Seward’s façade shows cracks

Amid all the Pastor Mike stuff, we saw a grim set of scenes involving Seward. First, an incredibly grueling interaction as Henderson tried to coax, then ultimately forced Seward to weigh in to determine the counterweight for his execution. As the reality of Seward’s death began to sink in, he shook like a child atop the scale. Later, the inmate had a full-on rockstar-in-a-hotel-room freakout when Becker (joyfully goading Seward to pick his last meal) informed the prisoner it was too late to contact his lawyer to change his execution method. As Seward crumbled to the floor in a panting panic, Becker said callously, “Salisbury steak it is!”

Back at the SPD, Skinner reported the results of Holder’s inquiry: Pastor Mike’s real name was Mark Elwood, and he’d been arrested six years prior for kidnapping a 16-year-old girl in Tempe, Ariz. He was never convicted because the girl OD’d before she could testify.

Though Skinner ordered the detectives to pick up PM, the travel time offered up plenty of opportunity for the minister to have an overtly sinister conversation with Lyric, complete with lines like “People only see what they want to see” delivered in classic sociopathic whisper register. He might as well have come straight and said, “I am bad news, little girl!” Lyric got the picture, clutching the spoon she’d been using to eat ice cream and feebly lied, like so many clichéd horror heroines, that Bullet would be home any minute now.

Night had fallen by the time Holder and Linden arrived to an empty house — save for the spoon and melted carton of ice cream on the kitchen table. Holder was predictably ticked-off, throwing an underling into a wall and muttering about how Pastor Mike was “a coward, preying on the weakest.” For her part, Linden was kind of hilariously unsympathetic. She curtly told her partner, “Yeah, what are you gonna do about it? Hold it together!” Holder noted that that was easier said than done — she should know. She basically told him, “You’re right, my life sucks. So why don’t you learn something from your screw-ups so you don’t end up like me?”

SPD. Ms. Leeds met a woman whose daughter had been missing for seven years. The other mother had mostly made peace that she’d never see her daughter again and had come to see if she’d be able to ID the teen among the newly discovered bodies. Ms. Leeds, ever allergic to reality, insisted Kallie was still alive. To be fair, it’s only been a few days, so it’s natural she wouldn’t have developed the sort of resigned tranquility of someone with seven years of acceptance under her belt, but it’s all so disingenuous. Like, does she think she’ll suddenly be Mother of the Year when Kallie returns? The other mother said of missing-persons cases: “Maybes are the hardest thing.” But there’s no maybe about this: You, Ms. Leeds, are a bad person and an even worse mother. (End rant.)

Back at the prison, I guess my “I see dead inmates” theory was indeed too fantastical because Seward’s fellow inmate return in the custody of several guards. Seward had taken his advice about choosing his exit too literally, it turned out. The guy had been talking about forgiveness and salvation (not gas versus gallows); he urged Ray to choose to seek those. Speaking of choice, Becker walked around nearby, showing his son Seward’s gallows and regaling the kid with all the macabre details. Even as he admitted he was breaking the rules for this little show-and-tell, he told th teen, “Right and wrong, Frankie: It’s a choice.”

NEXT: The underside of the tracks

SPD. Linden checked in with Skinner, who preemptively told her that Pastor Mike’s apprehension wouldn’t mean a thing for Seward since they still hadn’t made any connections between the two cases. He added that all the Piper’s victims were killed between June and November of 2009 — a full month before Trisha Seward’s murder. Linden suggested that perhaps the difference was intentional, that it meant something. Skinner asked what it might mean, and Linden had no answers. She fell into an emotional tailspin, speaking about their obligation to stop Seward’s execution if they had any reasonable doubts about his guilt. Skinner rightly pointed out that, judicially speaking, they didn’t. He did, however, admit that he believed her. As she nuzzled him (stop it, Linden!), they were interrupted by news that Pastor Mike’s car had been located.

The car sat just below a set of train tracks, its backseat soaked in blood. Linden suggested requisitioning security cam footage, but Holder was still stewing on their fumble a few hours back: “We had him, Linden. We had him.” He walked away, disgusted. Putting aside the fact that Holder was essentially responsible for the minister’s fight-or-flight instinct, let’s focus on the fact that the partners appear to be at a breaking point.

And they weren’t alone in their fragility. Bullet returned to Pastor Mike’s house and ineffectually tried to break through the police lines to get Lyric. Of course Bullet’s girl wasn’t there, and Bullet had failed as a protector once more.

Elsewhere, Ms. Leeds stopped pacing around the precinct when her eyes caught on the vic board — all teen girls, all so much like her daughter.

But it was Linden who would close out the night as she climbed into her car. She was so dispirited, she failed to notice Pastor Mike in the backseat. He popped up, stuck a knife to her throat, and whispered coldly, “Drive.” Gotta give the guy credit. He sure knows how to work a low-talk– and ruin a late-night ice cream snack.

Thoughts, Killing fans? Was that ending a little over-the-top? Did you the reappearance of Cody get your Spidey sense a-tinglin’? I know you were all worrying for Bullet, but did you see Lyric’s apparent abduction coming? With Holder proudly talking about his sobriety, then encountering this major failure, do you fear he’ll be taking another stroll down the highway soon? And then there’s Seward… I don’t exactly see that one walking off into the sunset either. Discuss.

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The Killing
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