The Killing concluded its series run on Netflix this summer. The fourth and final season became available for streaming on the media service on August 1, 2014. The series presented its swan song of six episodes, thanks to the streaming media giant that has saved the drama from cancellation twice. How does the series end for Detectives Sarah Linden, who is played by versatile actress Mireille Enos (World War Z), and Stephen Holder, who is portrayed by up and coming actor Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop)? How do the partners deal with the shocking events that culminated in the Season 3 finale? The answers will surprise viewers and are available to all Netflix subscribers at the touch of a few buttons.
The Killing has been resurrected twice by Netflix since it premiered on AMC in 2011. The series was an instant cult hit for the cable network with much critical acclaim and a rapid fan base. However, it suffered enormous backlash after The Killing‘s producers reneged on their promise to reveal the killer of the central victim, Rosie Larsen, at the end of Season 1. This promise was made to fans early on in the first season. However, the network persuaded producers to ride the wave of the show’s success and convinced them to draw out the reveal of the killer. When the creative forces reneged on their promise to the fans, viewers and critics revolted. As a result, ratings nosedived in the second season and the show was cancelled by AMC after Season 2. Although Rosie Larsen’s killer was finally revealed and captured in the second season, the fans remained unmoved and many abandoned the series in protest. Following the show’s initial cancellation by AMC, Netflix joined forces with the cable network to help finance the show and provided the streaming media giant with streaming rights. However, a low-rated third season prompted the cable network to cancel the show once again after the conclusion of the third season. Again, Netflix stepped in and offered The Killing a shortened, six-episode final run to be offered exclusively on the streaming media service.
Series creator and showrunner, Veena Sud, praised the show’s stalwart viewers and Netflix for their support and dedication to keeping the show alive. Sud remarked, “To come back twice from the dead is pretty extraordinary, and is such a testament to our fans and to all the support that the studio and Netflix has given the show.” The cast delighted in working with Netflix and found the experience had other advantages as well. Content that is produced for streaming media versus a traditional broadcast model is not bound by traditional regulations or network censors. which allowed the characters and actors more liberties and freedoms. For instance, the show was no longer censored in terms of language, suggestive material, or violence, so the characters could talk and behave in a fashion that truly reflected their nature. Another benefit of Netflix is that the shows are presented commercial-free with extended run times, as opposed to 42 minutes per episode with commercials on broadcast TV.
The fourth and final season of The Killing featured another round of impressive guest stars including Joan Allen (The Contender and Face/Off), who portrayed Colonel Margaret Rayne. Allen’s character was the headmaster of an all-boys military academy where much of the action for the season transpired. The final season also centered on Linden and Holder’s attempts to deal with the shocking events that occurred in the Season 3 finale, during which Linden shot and killed her married former partner and lover, Lt. James Skinner (played by Elias Koteas of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame). Skinner, who was also the head of the crime task force and the detectives’ superior, was revealed to be the serial killer they were chasing during Season 3. Holder, who was present for Linden’s actions and privy to the same realization, does his best to assist Linden in concealing the crime as they are assigned a new case. However, their efforts to cover up the crime are half-hearted at best and they are far more distracted with other personal matters. The central crime involves the murder of a prominent and wealthy family, the only survivor of which is a son, who was gravely wounded during the crime and attended the military school run by Allen’s Col. Rayne.
The final season of The Killing also involved more personal storylines for both Linden and Holder, as Linden’s backstory is further developed with the introduction of her mother, played by veteran actress Frances Fisher (Rectify). While Holder faced impending fatherhood as his girlfriend, Caroline (Jewel Staite), is revealed to be pregnant.
The Killing has been resurrected for a six-episode fourth and final season on Netflix. The concluding run of the series became available for streaming on August 1. In addition to exclusively offering the series’ swan song, the streaming media service also mounted a campaign this summer for viewers to binge watch The Killing’s first three seasons, which have been available for streaming on Netflix for some time. Now, viewers, who might have missed the show’s original run on AMC, can acquaint themselves with the series. It is also great for those who just want to relive the twists and turns taken by the dynamic duo detective team from the beginning. Viewers can relive the series in small increments or binge watch The Killing season by season from beginning to end. How does the series end for Detectives Linden and Holder, and how do the partners deal with the shocking events that culminated in the Season 3 finale? Will Linden pay the ultimate price for her actions? Will justice prevail? Will Linden and Holden end up together? The loose ends are tied up nicely and answers are provided in the final six episodes of The Killing, which concluded its run this August after two resurrections and four drama-filled seasons. The entire series (Seasons 1-4) is now available for streaming, only on Netflix.
Opinion and Review by Leigh Haugh