“The Killing” recap (3.9): Reckoning


Wow. As I write this recap, I am still reeling from this week’s episode of The Killing. So much angst, so much tragedy, yet so totally captivating.  Academy Award winner Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia) directed the episode and manages to make every moment a tense thriller.

The opening scene focuses on an exhausted Danette Leeds. It’s nearly dawn, and she’s lugging around a stack of flyers with Kallie’s face, placing them on every car, truck and stray cat that crosses her path. By the look on her face, she’s been doing this all night. When she arrives at her trailer, the door is ajar. Hoping it’s Kallie, she runs in. The place is ransacked. At the end of the trailer, her hope runs out. It’s Joe Mills, and he isn’t pleased to see her.

Holder and Linden are at Adrian’s school, waiting to get the go ahead from the child psychologist to question him about the night of his mother’s murder. Linden’s phone rings and they are off to the trailer park, where a bloody and bruised Danette waits for them. Joe Mills took all of her money, and is off again in the wind. The detectives find out Mills is good with maps and decide to check out his storage locker for more clues.

Seward is now less than 48 hours from his execution and is attempting to contact Linden. He’s feeling over confident and decides to spar a bit with Becker.  He tells him that once he’s a free man, perhaps he will have a go at Becker’s wife.  Becker beats the bars with his nightstick, while Seward looks on, amused.

The detectives make it to the storage facility, and Holder shoots down Linden’s attempt to bum a cigarette. Even someone as spiritual and together as Holder needs to draw the line somewhere. Inside Mills’ locker, they find a sleeping bag and a freshly stubbed out cigarette. Linden and Holder take off like bats out of hell, trying to cut Mills off at the pass. Linden finds him first and Mills brutally punches her in the face several times. She loses her gun in the shuffle, and screams for Holder.


Holder, practically flying down the hall, tackles Mills. Linden pulls herself together and gets in a few vicious kicks of her own. The Seattle PD descends upon the scene, and discovers a box of women’s rings. As Linden picks through the evidence, she makes a very unsettling discovery. Bullet’s necklace.

Bullet necklace

Holder is investigating Mills’ taxi in another part of the building’s garage and Linden runs as fast as she can, yelling to Holder not to open the trunk.  When she finally reaches him, she tries to protect him, knowing what he will find when he opens that trunk. He does so anyway, and our collective worst nightmare comes true. Bullet is dead, her body covered with defensive wounds.


I didn’t expect Bullet to fall at the hands of The Pied Piper. When we last saw her she was very much alive, and her death is jarring. She was the kind of person you expect can get herself out of most anything. What’s is most difficult for me as a viewer, is knowing that Bullet did nothing but try to protect her friends, and that she was the one who ultimately met her demise at a madman’s brutal hand. Characters like Bullet don’t come around very often. A tough yet tender queer butch. I’m very sad to see her go.

Back at the station, Joe Mills is cuffed to the interrogation table. From behind the two way mirror, Holder’s icy stare could cut through the glass. Riddick walks in, offering to look the other way if Holder wants to take a few extra shots. Holder simply walks away, wearing his pain like a dull, grey overcoat. Linden says that no blue ring was found in the box, meaning they are no further to finding Kallie, dead or alive.

Meanwhile, Mills tells police, he wants to speak with Danette, and only Danette. Holder pushes he way through the news reporters gathered outside and hides out in his car. His girlfriend follows him, and while her intentions are good, her words only seem to fuel Holder’s misery. He screams at her that he was an addict, and in a way, not much different then these kids on the streets of Seattle. She doesn’t get him, and because of that, she needs to get out.

Twitch, looking twitchier than usual, finds Lyric waiting for him at his squat. He’s been cleared by his parole officer, and now he can follow his dream and go to LA.  Lyric’s social worker has gotten her a spot in those subsidized apartments she’s been dreaming of, so once she’s got the deposit, she’ll be ok. Twitch, shaken by the terrible news, breaks it to her about Bullet’s death.

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