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The Killing – Beau Soleil

A dozen days in and with only one left to go, this episode saw things moving quickly while still allowing time for side plots and backstory. “Beau Soleil” may not have been as good as the two previous episodes “Missing” especially but it was still at a higher level than the majority of the series. While it was enjoyable as an individual episode, as a part of the whole, it served to point out many of the faults that lie within the series.

The strained bonds keeping the Larsens together came closer than ever to snapping in this episode. As Stan sits in jail, Mitch showcases the only other emotion we've seen from her besides grief: anger. Furious at Stan for emptying their account and then more so when she hears a message left from Stan's old mob boss, Janek, she fires Belko when she feels he's not being honest with her. Though Forbes has proven she is a gifted actress, the writing hasn't lived up to her talent, never coming up with more for her to do other than weep, and now apparently sobbingly yell at people. While she did have two good scenes in this episode, they were more notable for the actors she shared them with. Mitch's confrontation with Stan at the prison was one of the better moments, but that might just be because it felt so good to see Stan lay out to Mitch how much she is to blame for their current predicament. Another highpoint also came from Stan when he tells the psychiatrist about his dream of another man sitting at the head of his table. Sexton, while not brilliant, has been very consistent in his role and he has lately delivered a convincing portrayal of Stan's struggle to accept what he's done. Mitch was again put in her place when Terry questioned her about Stan's bail. Terry telling Mitch she didn't even know her daughter was the kind of thing that would normally make you hate someone, but Terry was completely justified in it. Not only for everything she's been doing for the family, but because she's absolutely right, though Mitch is hardly the only mother to be disconnected from her teenage daughter. Still, seeing her knocked down a peg was gratifying, which speaks to the writers' talent, or lack thereof, given their inability to make even a grieving mother sympathetic. Not that after this episode Terry is going to be seen in a much more favorable light either.

After discovering Rosie was making regular cash deposits at the casino's ATM, and suspecting she was working as a prostitute to earn the money, Holder and Linden find out there was in fact an elite escort service working out of the casino. Giving the episode its title (which is French for “Beautiful Sun”) and finally revealing more about Rosie, this new addition to the story served as the driving force, linking characters and storylines that had drifted apart. Terry was not only responsible for Rosie getting the account by giving her niece her ID, but it's also revealed Terry was working for Beau Soleil. Linden is distracted from these new leads, however, when Jack's father turns up at the police station trying to talk to her about seeing their son. Linden must have a thing for Battlestar Galactica as her ex is another alum: Tahmoh Penikett. Though it didn't add much to the story, the scene did give the audience more of Linden's history, while also reiterating the growth between the two detectives that came about in the last episode as Holder seemed to know just how to treat Greg, which was very rudely. The case quickly drew them back in, though, and for once the plot was advancing quickly. But it was only the plot itself that was compelling, as the acting and dialogue were not noteworthy. After discovering a Beau Soleil client using the name Orpheus had taken an escort down to the water and talked to her about drowning, Linden tries to make contact with him via email while Holder meets with the escort. The scenes helped build tension going into the final moments but again it needs to be said that beyond that, they weren't very entertaining.

Richmond's campaign storyline was also seeing rapid development. After Mayor Adams' waterfront project is shutdown, at least temporarily, it looked like the tide was turning in Richmond's favor. Unaware to Richmond, however, the evidence was starting to pile up against him, or at least someone close to him. Finding out the councilman's benefactor, Tom Drexler, was a partaker of the Beau Soleil girls was an interesting reveal, though not as much as Jamie clearly being familiar with them as well. There was a definite rushed feeling to most of the storyline as if the production had realized they waited too long to start heading down the path to the real killer. Leaving only this episode and the finale to not only solve Rosie's murder, but to also in any way connect the killer to her, was a big mistake on their part. So all this evidence against Richmond coming to light now makes it obvious that they not only didn't know who the killer was going to be when they started the series, but that the writers also aren't talented enough to properly pace a murder mystery.

The final moments held more tension than any thus far in the series. As Holder and Linden are simultaneously, though separately, confirming that Richmond is Orpheus, Gwen is also learning of Darren's penchant for call girls through photos given to her by Mayor Adams. Despite there never being any real fear for Linden's safety she is armed after all seeing her emails arrive on Richmond's computer as she is alone in the apartment with him still provided a convincing feeling of unease. But with only one episode left, suspense isn't going to cut it, and the production is going to have to do some serious plate spinning to make the ending both believable and entertaining. It's unlikely, though, that the audience will be left feeling satisfied no matter who the killer will be, as what this episode is most notable for is making it clear the writers waited too long in leading us to the killer.



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