‘The Killing’ Season Finale: What We Learned

The identity of Rosie Larsen's killer(s) wasn't the only revelation on the finale of AMC's critically maligned detective series.
By Josh Wigler

Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos in "The Killing"

On June 17, 2012, the unthinkable happened: After two seasons filled with enough whodunit headaches to scare away even the most patient of viewers, "The Killing" finally unmasked its killer — or killers, rather.

The AMC detective series' season-two finale finally resolved the mystery that plagued committed fans for 26 long episodes. I was not one of those fans. I, like many of you, bailed on "The Killing" very early on in season one. Also like many of you, I was stunned to learn that the season-one finale didn't answer the question of who killed Rosie Larsen; viewers would have to wait until the end of season two for that particular case to close, extending the longest episode of "Law & Order: SVU" by an additional marathon. Yikes.

A season and change since my last viewing of the series, I returned to "The Killing" for Sunday night's finale to see if the series would renege on its promise of answers. It did not: Answers were provided. Whether or not they were satisfactory to longtime fans is beyond me, though even having been gone since the show's earliest episodes, I can't say I was shocked by where things landed.

That's not to say there weren't some surprises. In fact, I learned 10 very interesting tidbits over the course of the "Killing" season finale, and here they are.

1. Billy Campbell was not the killer. This runs counter to everything I know about Billy Campbell. (See: "Enough.")

2. Billy Campbell's campaign adviser was the killer. Well, one of them, at least. Either way, of course it was one of the folks involved in the Richmond campaign who was ultimately (at least partially) responsible for Rosie's death. The only shocker to me is that it wasn't Kristin Lehman's Gwen who killed the girl; that actress exudes Lady Macbeth like whoa. (See: "The Way of the Gun.")

3. Joel Kinnaman will be a great RoboCop. His Detective Holder's stone-cold, shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later standoff against freshly revealed killer Jamie "It Was An Accident!" Wright was classic cyborg police justice.

4. There's no reason Duck Phillips shouldn't have been on season five of "Mad Men." Actor Mark Moses was apparently all over "The Killing" season two as Lieutenant Erik Carlson; seeing that he was still in AMC's very good graces makes me furious that Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce's very own Phantom Pooper didn't make a single appearance this year.

5. It's always rainy in Seattle. Seriously, I know that the Emerald City is not the sunniest place to live, but really, it hasn't stopped raining since the pilot.

6. Michelle Forbes is awesome in everything. From "24" to "Battlestar Galactica" to "True Blood" and beyond, there's nothing this Emmy-nominated actress can't master — including grieving her daughter's tragic murder for 26 uninterrupted episodes, apparently.

7. It's always the sister's fault. Rosie's real killer was in the family the whole time. Jamie did the legwork, but Terry delivered the killing blow. Forbes' Mitch, true to the actress' nature, took the news like a champ. But it just goes to show that when in doubt, blame the sibling. You never have to look too far from the tree to spot the spoiled apple.

8. Step aside, P'Zones — there's a new sheriff in town. Pizza Hut is now touting the P'Zolo, a new sandwich-like concoction that boasts the threatening "See ya, subs!" as its tagline. No, there was no mention of P'Zolos on "The Killing," but you'll forgive me for being more absorbed by the commercials than the two-year plight of sleepy Sarah Linden.

9. Speaking of which, Linden's had enough of this sh--. When word came in over the wire that a new body had been found, Linden left Holder alone to go deal with the crime scene. It would seem that she is as sick of the Seattle homicide scene as everyone else.

10. Sad goodbyes are sad. Even I was moved by Rosie Larsen's inadvertent goodbye video, fantastically convenient as it was. Not enough to go back and visit the previous 25 episodes, mind you, but enough to realize that "The Killing" must have meant something to someone, somewhere.

Did you enjoy the "Killing" finale? Tell us in the comments below!

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