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With their prime suspect beaten to a pulp, not to mention cleared of all connection to Rosie's murder, Holder and Linden are back to the drawing board in this episode. While the Richmond campaign sees a surge and the Larsens are dealing with the consequences of Stan beating Bennet half to death, the detectives actually make a little progress in the case, even while one deals with heavy personal issues and they both deal with another mislead.
After Stan all but kills Bennet, he almost immediately turns himself in. The shots of him being booked were poignant, though they would have been more so if he'd actually killed Bennet. It also would have been nice to know that the series is willing to greatly alter the lives of their characters, as the writers haven't done much of that since Rosie's body was found. Little focus was put on how Stan's incarceration is affecting the family, besides Terry having to explain it to the kids in a scene that once again made the viewer question if Mitch isn't the worst mother in the world. Seriously, at this point Stan could be the killer (he genuinely could be given the latest developments in the case) and he would still be a better parent, especially since it was Mitch blaming Stan that led to his imprisonment. It can be assumed that the lasting impact Stan's arrest has will be focused on soon, as will Mitch discovering their savings account being emptied. It just won't be easy to keep feeling sympathetic for the grieving mother when we do see those events play out.
Though the show was screaming at the audience to take notice of Rosie's keychain, specifically the image of a bird on it (that matches one from Rosie's short film), the detectives first had to figure out where Rosie went the night of her death. Discovering she took a cab home, the detectives are able to recover a video of Rosie arriving there the night of her death. In a rare moment of competency, Holder spies a light in the window realizing someone was waiting inside for her. It was surprising that the production was able to give us scenes that were so convincingly disturbing and built-up a true sense of dread as Rosie exited the cab. While the audience didn't learn anything else about who Rosie was, seeing her happy and relaxed just hours before her death renewed the want and need to bring her killer to justice for more than just satisfying our curiosity, as it clearly did for Linden, who was another high point in the episode.
While not all of Linden's scenes impressed, a number of them did (if only for her performances) and helped clear up a standing issue. Blaming herself both for Bennet's beating and the fact that the investigation was back at square one, Linden is unhinged. Adding to her distress was her son doing what any child does when they don't get attention let alone supervision. Jack's acting out leads Linden to make the drastic change of moving them to a motel, effectively taking away Jack's sole source of supervision in Reggie. Though the character's actions are questionable, Enos' portrayal of Linden's breakdown was excellent and a nice change of pace from her usual quiet, composed, and downright boring demeanor, which is the perfect way for Rick to find her and make his final ultimatum: leave now or not at all. Hopefully this brings an end to any more scenes dealing with the Sonoma debate. The resolution it brought to that storyline isn't the only reason the scene was enjoyable and Mireille Enos' acting again deserves recognition, as does the peek into Linden's past with Rick's line about not wanting to find her in a hospital staring at a blank wall again. We knew that some previous case had greatly affected her, but finding out that it was to such a degree, and perhaps happening again, gave us more of a reason to care about Linden, which is something all the characters could benefit from.
After laying into a rock at the end of the last episode, it seemed Belko was our new primary suspect. That wasn't changing either as we got to know more about him. Of course, if you believed he was anything other than a misdirection, then you haven't been watching the show for long. As the detectives look into him after they figured out someone was at the Larsen's when Rosie arrived there, it becomes clear that while he may not have been the killer, the man has some serious issues. Belko's mother, Bev, was a truly disturbing, if also completely over-the-top character. She couldn't compare, however, to the creepiness of Belko's room and the picture collage of the Larsens above his bed. In a more down to earth scene, Linden and Holder interrogate Belko about their bizarre discovery. Most notable was Linden's acting and her character for once being the bad cop, not that Holder ever actually took on the good cop role or add anything to the scene; in fact yelling over Belko as he tried to tell them what happened was the one annoyance the scene possessed. The residual anger at Jack and herself helped Linden push Belko to his cracking point when it's revealed he wasn't involved in her murder, in what was the best scene from the episode. Though Belko wasn't really our guy, it was a red herring that thankfully didn't last long, and finally put up a scene with writing and acting done well enough (at least for Linden's character) to justify the time wasted on a false path.
Richmond's campaign continued to disappoint, however, and beyond it being tied back to Rosie, it wasn't worth the screen time. It was predictable that Richmond would become vocal after Bennet's innocence was proven, but attacking his fellow city council members for using one heinous crime for political advantage, even as he uses Bennet's beating to do the same, is the kind of hypocrisy he would have been called on immediately. The reopening of his after school program and gain in the polls is put on the backburner, however, when an intern discovers video of Richmond shaking hands with Rosie at a public event. The two definitely seem to already be acquainted by the familiarity they display, which is exactly what the viewer and Gwen are left brooding over as she studies the footage at the end of the episode.
To close out what was the best episode since the pilot, the audience is finally given the answer as to what significance Rosie's keychain holds, as well as who the hell Adela is in a reveal that summoned a Twin Peaks vibe – not the first time in the series. Turns out Adela is a ferry, not a person, and after hopping aboard, Linden is brought to an Indian casino whose logo matches the keychain. That does make one wonder what these detectives do all day – no one thinks to Google “Adela+Seattle?” From Belko's confession it's clear Rosie was headed to the ferry after she left the Larsen home, and from the keychain we know that she had been to the casino before. Cautious enthusiasm is called for when dealing with The Killing, but this late in the game, it's difficult not to be excited for a chance to learn more about who Rosie was and what happened to her, especially after the writers made us feel for her again. While we still have more questions than answers – for instance, “Who was Rosie meeting at the casino?” and “What was an underage girl doing there?” (which might explain Rosie's expensive shoes) – at least they finally seem like the right questions to be asking.