What They Say:
El Diablo – Sarah and Holder track down a potential witness to the murder and are led to a new suspect.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After a strong and very engaging first episode which had two parts to it, I was really curious to see if The Killing could sustain that with the third one, entitled “El Diablo.” When it comes to shows like this, part of the draw is that everyone is a suspect, even when there’s absolutely no reason to suspect someone because sometimes that’s just the right ruse to throw the viewer. The Killing offered us a lot of potential suspects in the first two hours that we’ve seen so far and has put Holder and Linden on a couple of trails to investigate, but trails that you can’t help but feel will lead to disappointment when it comes to the real truth of the matter.
It’s very easy to suspect Jasper because of what we’ve seen of him so far and his past with Rosie, and it becomes even more so when another student named Kris gets thrown into the mix. The discovery of the apparent murder room in the school basement area called The Cage has the investigation looking at more things related to the school than before since they thought it took place off campus. With the bloody walls and then the peephole discovery, that pushes them to check out the janitor who has now disappeared. This turns into a very strange situation where when they find him in his third floor apartment, he panics so much over the situation that he attacks the detectives before he throws himself out the window. The panic is certainly understandable, since they found a lot of teen-fantasy style porn magazines in his home, but it goes too far in a way that doesn’t work well.
The investigation has two areas of luck though, but they feel like they’re just a feint of sorts at the moment. When they do get to talk to the janitor since he did somehow survive, he talks about “El Diablo” and points to one of the kids in the yearbook, marking Kris for greater scrutiny. In addition to that, one of the teachers in the school confiscated a phone from a group of kids that, when he checks it upon it buzzing, he discovers there’s a sex video taking place in which Jasper and Kris have Rosie in the basement with her witch costume on and are both taking turns having their way with her. She’s struggling a bit, but it’s hard to tell whether she’s really struggling or just playing it up because she enjoys it. It adds more of an idea as to what happened in that place, but it doesn’t explain away the blood stains or how Rosie ended up tossed in a car and sent into the water.
The investigation side of the show is quite good and it’s intriguing to see the evidence that comes out, but it doesn’t go all the way to make it iron clad. Everyone continues to feel like they’re hiding secrets of varying degrees that to get to watch them move about and look over their shoulders is fascinating. Linden for her part continues to really be the lead and seeing her getting stuck on this case a bit longer is amusing, but not for her. Her fiance is getting frustrated by it since he sees it as her trying to stay away from him for a bit longer, potentially dealing with lingering doubts about them, and that just drains on her in a different way. Her son isn’t in the picture all that much in this episode, since he’s back in school for another week, so there’s no real issues there but there is a nice emotional moment between him and Linden.
The Larsen’s figure well into things by continuing to cope with the loss of their daughter and it can be painful to watch because of how it can resonate. Mitch withdraws into herself, and you can see how Tom is worried about her but isn’t pushing her at this point. The kids are aware of things but they’re expressing themeslves in their own way. The little things are getting to both of them and the emptiness in their lives is pretty raw. Forbes does a really great job here as Mitch as she has a rollercoaster of an emotional ride to go through and she really draws you in with it. The performances across the board are very good and I’ve enjoyed everyone with no real exceptions.
If there’s an awkward part of the show, if only because it’s an area that still feels somewhat disconnected from everything, it’s the political campaign angle. The campaign takes up some decent time in this episode as the fallout from the revelation about the car hits, but it also works heavily into the political maneuvering since there are only a few weeks left in it and news like this can change it dramatically. Support has to be shored up, deals made and so forth which will put Richmond in some positions he hasn’t been in before. It also reveals some surprises about who is doing what in the campaign under the noses of everyone that casts some new suspicions out there.
The Killing has some very strong material here as the expansive cast goes through a lot of information and revelations that may or may not be related to the investigation at hand. You can do a lot of guessing at this point as to just who all is really involved and what happened, but there’s still a lot of information missing and some curveballs ahead. At this stage of the series, everything is still unfolding before us and we’re seeing many possibilities even though we’re being nudged down a particular path. Just about every character has an engaging story to be told here and seeing them all weave together so well and effectively has me on the edge of my seat for the whole thing. Few shows really draw me in like this, but The Killing has expertly managed it.