Film and TV

The Killing: "Beau Soleil"

Oh for crying out loud.

This is what it's come to? After three months of red herrings and glacial plotting punctuated by occasional flashes of brilliance (last week's episode, for example) the identity of Rosie Larsen's killer is apparently revealed, and it turns out to be the guy everybody wrote off because making him the killer would be just about the laziest thing imaginable?

Absent some new revelation, Councilman Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) would seem to be man who killed Rosie Larsen. I'm still not convinced, partially because I will stick to my Aunt Terry prediction until blue in the face, but mostly because it'd just be deflating if The Killing spent an entire season doling out false leads only to settle on the one suspect we'd already written off. With good reason.

Richmond has cause to celebrate early on, however, when a skull found on the site of Mayor Adams' waterfront project would appear to torpedo the cornerstone of his re-election campaign. Richmond's people are ecstatic, as the unions and politicians start coming out of the woodwork to offer their support. The event also yields the funniest line of the TV season so far: "Nothing beats dead Indians, didn't you see Poltergeist?"

Linden and Holder discover Rosie was making deposits into a bank account in Aunt Terry's name. Aha! Her feigned indignation at Linden and Holder's insinuations - which I'm not very clear on, to be honest - doesn't ring very true, but as Ann Elk once said, I have a theory about her, even if she's frankly turning into more of a distant prospect.

A former undercover partner of Holder's says Rosie looks like she belongs to a website called Beau Soleil, an online escort service. Millionaire Tom also drops the name when Jamie shows up to a "party," where young ladies are swimming in some weird ceiling pool (an amenity that has now supplanted "hyperbaric chamber" on my list of immediate purchases once I win the Powerball). Unsurprisingly, LindenHolder also think he's tied in with Rosie.

At this point, everyone in Seattle is tied in with Rosie. Oh, and Terry was a Beau Soleil escort as well.

Adams looks like he's all but bowing out, but in a tasteful parting shot gives Gwen some surveillance photos of Richmond canoodling (do people still use that word?) with a number of young ladies.

Mitch is unhappy with Stan for reconnecting with his mob past, and he pleasantly reminds her she's the one who egged him into beating Ahmed almost to death. I'm sure the impending news of Rosie's extracurricular activities will go over well.

We also meet Linden's ex, who wants back into Jack's life (something divorced fathers prefer to do after the child is finally potty trained). On a side note, he's played by the same guy who played Helo in Battlestar: Galactica, while Linden is engaged to the guy who played Leoben from the same show. Hopefully Apollo is still happily married.

After much computer hacking that makes them thirsty, Linden and Holder determine the identity of the last person Rosie met from the site. Sort of. He/she goes by the handle "Orpheus" and though they suspiciously deleted their Beau Soleil account the night of Rosie's murder, there's still a contact email. Linden takes a page out of the '90s horror handbook and sends Orpheus an email with the subject line I KNOW WHAT YOU DID. Subtle.

And great detective work, because of course a guy who had the sense to close his website account the night of Rosie's murder wouldn't have run away from his free webmail account as fast as possible. Or so I'd have thought. She also visits Richmond and, while instructing the police IT guy to resend the emails (he determines Orpheus read the message) she discovers the emails on Richmond's computer. Dun dun DAAAAH.

Holder arranges a date with the Beau Soleil girl who met Orpheus before Rosie, and was his likely practice run for the murder. He creeped her out by talking about what it feels like to drown, a subject that's a sure hit with the ladies. She refuses to name him, but later calls Holder from a pay phone to direct him to a nearby street corner, where he sees a Richmond campaign poster. This has to be the most anticlimactic shit ever.

Seriously. The whole point of the show was that we all fell over ourselves trying to pick out other likely suspects because Richmond was SO FUCKING OBVIOUS. As of right now, I'm not buying it. If he really was hiring dark-haired escorts because they reminded him of his dead wife, I'm saying Gwen did the deed. Watch her face when he talks about his wife early in the episode.

Next week: the shocking(?) conclusion.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar