The Killing – Beau Soleil
Well it appears that we may have some sort of resolution at hand.Though if Richmond’s not THE killer then there is really no-one left to reveal besides his aide because it has to all tie into the political storyline for the narrative to make any sense – although that is assuming that Veena understands what a proper narrative is, which may be a risky assumption at this stage given how things have turned out.
The show is purportedly a mystery but there is yet to be a single moment of ambiguity; mystery is not fog so thick that you cannot see past your hands, it is fog that clouds the details leaving you only able to see the silhouette of the slasher before he makes a mysterious escape. While it is an understandable urge to try and play along with such a show at home, this show simply isn’t compatible with that kind of thinking. Yes you can try and guess who the killer is but that’s all you’ll be doing, guessing, and if you are right then you have proved only that you have a capacity for such things akin to that of an empty coke bottle spun on a cold concrete floor.
Sure there has been evidence collected along the way but there have never been any clues – clues require analysis and interpretation – instead we have been given irrefutable evidence each week that one person did it and then more irrefutable evidence the next week that proves they did not; it’s a null-journey. Family story aside there was only one scene this week that required knowledge of the majority of the seasons episodes and that scene was of course the revelation that Linden is irrefutably a toaster-lover, perhaps even a sleeper; in the sense that she has slept with a lot of Cylons. I said this last week but it is just as true now, this could have been the third or fourth episode and the show would have made perfect sense; we have not been taken on a journey, we have been dancing in circles.
There is certainly merit in approaching an investigation in this way but not when you are placing the viewer in the police perspective. If we can’t pretend to be an imaginary third partner then we need our eyes focused elsewhere, preferably either on the family or up in the omniscient clouds. At the very least we needed to know the Killer and see what they were up to throughout, there would be a dynamism in that juxtaposition at least, there would be some drama there.
If this revelation is the final revelation – and it could go either way at this stage, still spinning the bottle – then you could argue that we have been seeing the killer’s actions the whole time, the camera has gone out of its way to show us what he was up to but if that’s the case then they more than mangled the execution. Richmond has done nothing of interest, nothing that is imbued with a new meaning now that we know he is – possibly – the killer; regardless of light he has still just been sitting in his office planning a campaign. That said there is potential for him to be an interesting killer now, that idea of not looking back lest you lose your love again is certainly one very relevant to where the show has wound up; this plus the penchant for water ( His wife was killed in a car accident, but I wonder if she wasn’t simply knocked off a cliff into the ocean) adds a lot of thematic depth and creepiness to chew on. Some active example of this would have been a nice way to excite things though, rather than just hearing about it second hand.
Passive investigation is not a good narrative model, but then I don’t know whether it was ever Veena’s intended model though I can’t say what that may have been: psychological grief study, sociological ripple observation, phenomenological thriller? There are at least clues given, hinting at these as the culprit but I cannot tell you what the shows intention was, I can’t even guess.