When The Killing debuted last April, it was met with widespread acclaim, with critics praising both Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman and the compelling story line. When The Killing wrapped up its first season, it was met with widespread vitriol, with critics lashing out at creator/showrunner Veena Cabreros Sud for not answering the season's fundamental question: Who killed Rosie Larsen? Well... they did answer that question... until it was discovered that answer was a lie, with a few crazy last-minute twists. I don't know if I've ever seen such a vile reaction towards an episode of TV since the series finale of The Sopranos, which I still to this day don't quite understand. I personally loved it, and didn't feel 'robbed' like so many did by The Killing finale. As far as I know, there was never any guarantee that we would know who killed Rosie Larsen by the end of Season 1, and people reacted like it was the end of the god damn world that we didn't get that answer. As we start Season 2 with the two-parter Episode 2.01: Reflections and Episode 2.02: My Lucky Day, the answer we all want doesn't seem to be any closer, but the other questions it raises are just as compelling as ever.
The premiere begins literally just after the Season 1 finale, with Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) in the airport with her son Jack (Liam James), after, apparently, leaving her flight right before it took off. We also see our favorite hoodie-loving cop Holder (Joel Kinnaman), and who exactly is driving that mysterious car which picked him up at the end of last year's Season 1 finale. Belko Royce (Brendan Sexton III) is in custody after shooting Darren Richmond (Bill Campbell), and we also learn that Belko killed his mother too! Let's just say that things don't get any better for Belko as the episode progresses...
Throughout the first season, AMC had a "Suspect Tracker" on the network's official website, where viewers would vote on who they thought killed Rosie Larsen from episode to episode. After every episode last year, I would check this site to see who the viewers thought was the killer, and, many times, the top suspect would change every week. This is one of the things I love about this show, they're constantly planting subtle little seeds of suspicion within practically every character on the show, little nuances that make you think any number of people may have killed, or may have been involved in the killing of Rosie Larsen. Apparently, these constant "red herrings," for lack of a better term, even though I don't think it's a fitting one, are a reason many colleagues were turned off by the show, as if they should know right away who killed Rosie, and have that notion validated at the end of the season. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I like the constant guessing and surprises, which I think is the reason I kept tuning in during Season 1, and while I'll keep tuning in for Season 2. There are plenty of new suspects who surface in this premiere, along with a fantastic new twist on Richmond's alibi, and even a new face at the precinct.
In Season 1, Linden didn't seem to trust anyone except her fellow cops. This season, without giving too much away, Linden is wary of everyone, cops and non-cops alike. There two brief scenes which seem rather arbitrary, and I wouldn't have thought of it if it only came up once... but two times we see a patrol car drive by Linden, with a cop giving Linden particularly menacing looks. If this mystery cop will keep showing up throughout the season, who's to know, but it's something to think about. Holder goes through quite an arc in this episode, from the shady guy we all thought he was at the end of Season 1, to a much different guy who is in a worse place at the end of this episode, which even seems to suggest that he may not be sober anymore.
I know there are many who practically swore off the show after last season's finale, and that's a shame, because I think this season will be just as compelling, if not more so, than the first season. Who killed Rosie Larsen? We will find out in due time, but the most important question is why Rosie Larsen was killed? To that end, they seem to be setting up some fascinating possibilities that could have much bigger implications than last season, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out.