Did The Killing Shoot Itself in the Foot?

The Killing on AMC
Her expression says she’s unhappy about the low ratings.
Season 2 of The Killing premiered with a two-hour episode on AMC April 1.

Did you know?

Did you care?

Did you watch?

To all of the above I say yes, but I felt lonely the whole time and I know why. 

TV by the Numbers reported that 1.8 million people in the United States watched the Season 2 premiere of The Killing. Respectable, unless you consider that 2.3 million watched the Season 1 finale in June 2011. That means more than 20 percent of viewers didn’t tune back in once they realized that “Who killed Rosie Larsen?” would remain a question without an answer (at least until the end of the second season, or so they say).

Last Sunday’s episode (April 8) did a trifle better than Week 1, although it was crushed—crushed!—by Game of Thrones and The Real Housewives of Atlanta. (I DVRed the latter so don’t tell me what happened.)

They’re still filming Season 2, and part of me—the part that’s forever scarred from watching five seasons of Lost—suspects the producers haven’t even decided whodunit yet. Shame on them if that’s true.

At any rate, I’m confident their insistence on wrapping up Season 1 with a cliffhanger (and not a convincing one) instead of a conviction (or the hope of one) backfired completely. Even an opening-night cameo by Sofie Gråbøl, star of the original Danish series Forbrydelsen, barely registered with American viewers. (She was the deputy attorney.)

If you missed the first two nights/three hours of The Killing and want to know where we are now, the short answer is: Day Sixteen just ended. Mayoral candidate Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) survived an attempt on his life (that’s not a spoiler, he’s been in the ads for weeks), a potential suspect in Rosie’s killing is dead, and someone dumped what looks like a piece of evidence on the Larsens’ doorstep. Linden and Holder (Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman) are having trust issues. Oh yeah, and it’s raining again.

Will you be coming back this week?

Leslie Gilbert Elman is the author of Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous, and Totally Off the Wall Facts. Follow her on Twitter @leslieelman.


  1. Regina Thorne

    I actually really liked season 1 of “The Killing” (cliffhanger notwithstanding, although I will say that I watched my TiVo’d version weeks afterwards, so I already knew about the non-resolution of Rosie’s murder before I watched a single episode.) My problem is that it’s on opposite “Game of Thrones” and for me, “The Killing” takes second place to the killings going on in Westeros.

    I didn’t realize they were still filming season 2, though. I thought the thirteen-episode AMC seasons were all filmed before they aired a single episode, as with HBO’s shows. I do hope they are going to resolve Rosie’s murder THIS season because otherwise it’s getting a bit ridiculous.

  2. Leslie Gilbert Elman

    Y’know Regina, I really liked it too. I didn’t mind that the case wasn’t resolved, the show’s pacing appeals to me, and I like Mireille Enos. But… we can’t keep running headlong down blind alleys and our detectives have to achieve some success soon or I’ll lose faith in them.

    As for the filming, it appears from what I’ve unearthed on the Interwebs that they will be shooting in Vancouver through next week. The “table read” for the finale was done Wednesday.

  3. Leslie Gilbert Elman

    Oh, and I should add that it’s also on opposite Masterpiece on PBS, which is problematic for me. Sherlock is coming back May 6 and Mireille is going to have to wait. 🙂

  4. Deborah Lacy

    Somehow this show missed my radar – even the first season. Maybe I’ll wait until we know if it will survive before I commit…

  5. Tatiana deCarillion

    I enjoyed season one, lack of convicted killer notwithstanding. I’m really enjoying season two, though–it’s not as plodding, though not as emotional, either. (Say what you will, but Michelle Forbes ripped my heart out last season, more than once!)

    I’m not really sure if I care anymore about who killed Rosie; I just want to know how all the threads tie together, in the end.

    I watched the first episode of Forbrydelsen, with subtitles (the series is available at Amazon UK, if you can play PAL format at home). It, too, is less emotional, and I’m not at all vested in the characters, as I was in episode one of the US version…

  6. Leslie Gilbert Elman

    @decarillion Agree. Agree. Agree! As the grieving parents, both Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton have been fantastic. In the early episodes particularly. I don’t care who committed the murder, but it will really disappoint and irritate me if the threads don’t tie together in the end. I do want to watch Forbrydelsen, and I will someday.

    @Deborah I think you do have to watch this one from the beginning, but maybe not? Let’s see if we can get some opinions on that.

  7. Tatiana deCarillion

    I think that if Deborah is reading this thread, then she may have been somewhat spoiled, already. If that doesn’t bother her, I would suggest that she does watch the first season. If nothing else, she’s missing out on some very good performances, as mentioned above, but I believe that one might be left scratching one’s head, without the background info.

    Another thing I liked about season one was how they peeled back layers and, even though they dead-ended on many things, I think that’s more indicative of what likely goes on during a real murder investigation, versus the sort-of cut-and-sew cases on TV and in films.

  8. Deborah Lacy

    @decarillion – True – but it is kind of hard to digest the comments when I haven’t seen the show, but if I start watching it might all come back.

  9. Tatiana deCarillion

    Go for it, Deborah!

    Also, for those of you with conflicting shows to watch–Masterpiece has been airing its offerings on the PBS website, for free, after it shows on TV, including Sherlock; The Killing has been repeating on Sunday mornings, on AMC–this past Sunday, they showed the first two episodes of season two, so you can check your show listings to see if they will continue that, and it will give you an alternate time to either watch or record the show.

    Game of Thrones, well, if you have HBO GO, I guess you can watch it whenever, but if not, that would be the show to record!

  10. Ruth King

    I LOVED the first season (with the exception of the season ending cliffhanger), but the first two episodes of Season 2 are sitting, unwatched, on my DVR right now. I haven’t felt compelled to watch them. I think, at this point, I’m more likely to wait for Season 2 to run its course and then catch up with it on Netflix — IF Rosie’s killer is revealed. Last year’s finale left a sour taste in my mouth and I don’t fancy being strung along again for another full season.

  11. Leslie Gilbert Elman

    Watch them Ruth. They’re good.

    Trying to avoid spoilers here, but it’s been reported all over the place that we will find out the identity of the killer sometime this season.

  12. Albert Tucher

    I wasn’t disappointed with the season one finale, and I’m enjoying the new season so far. It’s good to see that I’m not alone in the world.

  13. Carmen Pinzon

    I got bored with this show half-way through the first season. I stuck it out because I wanted to know who done it. When the finale ended in a cliffhanger, I washed my hands off it.

    The pacing of this show offers too much angst, too much artsy-fartsy meandering for it’s own sake for my taste. I’ve been burned too many times by shows that promise a payoff and never deliver, instead losing themselves in their own cleverness. I’m too old to delay gratification for years while waiting for my entertainment to deliver. Count me gone.

  14. Leslie Gilbert Elman

    @bungluna You have just summarized the conversations that take place in my living room on a nightly basis! I am sticking with The Killing though because I like the moodiness. And this week–no spoilers!–it did seem like we moved forward.

    @Al You’re not alone. I’m still here, and if this thread is anything to go by there are more of us out there. 🙂

  15. Sean

    I’ve watched every episode but it is getting just plain stupid as I figured it would. They better wrap it up already, I’m not gonna stick around for a 3rd season of this mess of a plot.

  16. Allison Brennan

    I haven’t finished the first season. I thought the show was good, I loved the setting, and I liked the idea of one investigation for the entire season. However, I had a hard time emotionally with the story because I have an 18 year old high school senior (who was 17 when the show started.) It was like being gut-punched every time the mother or her little brothers came on screen. Crime shows rarely, if ever, effect me in any emotional way, but this one hit way too close to home. But now that I know they didn’t resolve the crime at the end of season one, I don’t know if I want to watch the rest of it.

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