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The Killing, Ep. 3.06: “Eminent Domain” rounds off the first half of the season perfectly

The Killing, Ep. 3.06: “Eminent Domain” rounds off the first half of the season perfectly



The Killing, Season 3: Episode 6 – “Eminent Domain”
Directed by Keith Gordon
Written by David Wiener
Airs Sunday nights at 9 on AMC

As much as I found the first two seasons of The Killing interesting if just for how they tweaked with the first season of Forbrydelsen, I probably wouldn’t have found it a crime to humanity if – as was originally the case – the show had been cancelled. That pretty much describes what my feelings had been regarding the first few episodes of the third season as well. But “Eminent Domain” managed to either bring a lot of stuff together in ways that sets up payoffs for later or actually did bring some payoffs within the episode itself. It’s not until two thirds in do we actually see Bullet and remember that her point of view is a big part of the season. The other two viewpoints – Seward’s and Linden/Holder’s – hit great beats as the episode moves along so much so that it’s almost disappointing when Bullet comes back into the picture. And yet as we get to see more of her (first with Kallie’s mom, then with Lyric), her presence in this season becomes much more important. For narrative purposes, her scene with Kallie’s mom allows the latter to reflect about the kind of mother she used to be and the kind of mother she’s been since then. Bullet is much more the grown up in that pair, or she at least tries to be. Then, with Lyric, Bullet is told that she doesn’t need to try to be the tough one all the time. We’ve seen Bullet try to go toe-to-toe with Holder, which is generally funny. But when Lyric kisses Bullet, those defenses break, and it’s a shame we didn’t get to linger a little longer in that scene to see what it’s like for Bullet to be totally vulnerable with the girl she has feelings for.

Those who have always been frustrated with the twisty nature of this series and haven’t made peace with the fact that that’s simply the identity of the show will continue to be annoyed with how the episode ends, pointing towards another potential suspect. That, however, isn’t what should be taken away from the detective stuff going on. The core of that for “Eminent Domain” is Linden and Holder’s visit to Seward’s old place, where Linden tries to recreate the son’s experience of sleeping in the closet and seeing the person who murdered his mother walk in. From a directorial standpoint, it’s a great scene. More than that, it leads to a visit with Seward after Seward has already seen his only “friend” in prison kill himself and after he visited his father who is also incarcerated. When Linden admits to Seward that she got the wrong guy, his explosion – while a little over the top – reminds us of the stakes here: we’re following Seward on death row, and he hasn’t got much time left. And, of course, Linden’s personal stakes are integrity and worth as a detective. Her boss is less willing, understandably, to reopen the Seward case and accept that he might have been wrongfully convicted. For a person like Linden, though, protocol and reputation come after doing what she thinks is the right thing. Maybe it makes her a less good cop, but it makes her a more interesting TV character.