The Killing returned Sunday night, taking the two more steps toward finally finding out who killed Rosie Larsen. (That's official, too: The murderer will be revealed in the Season 2 finale.) So what have we learned since last year's open-ended, infuriating-to-some season-ender?
When we last left off, Councilman Richmond (Billy Campbell) had been revealed as Orpheus, a frequent Beau Soleil client, and a man without an alibi. Before he could be formally arrested, Belko (Brendan Sexton III), friend of the Larsens and unstable would-be Larsen, shot the councilman. Meanwhile, Detective Linden (Mireille Enos) who was almost en route to her fiancé learned that the most damning evidence against Richmond, a photo filed by Detective Holder (Joel Kinnaman), was a fake.
Moments later, when Season 2 picks up, a royally ticked off Linden has exited the plane with Holder in her crosshairs. Here's what we learned in the course of our own investigation of The Killing's two-hour premiere:
1. Darren Richmond is kinda sorta probably totally probably innocent. Gwen (Kristin Lehman) tattled on him, Holder (and friends) framed him, Belko shot him — of course his name was cleared just hours later! Turns out on the night of Rosie's murder the councilman had been grieving for his dead wife at Tacoma bridge — and attempting suicide — because it happened to also be the day of their anniversary.
2. But he chose to live! And he still wants to win that election. After confirming Linden's sob story, that he was mourning his wife not murdering Rosie, Richmond told her that if she breathed a word about his having swan dived off the bridge, he'd end her. And still, no mention of Orpheus from Linden? Guess it's not illegal for windowers to indulge in a little Beau Soileil.
3. The kid with the Japanese cartoon tattoo did not do it. Just rule out Rosie's mysterious bicycle friend now. There are 11 hours to go, which equals 11 days worth of investigation. It's too soon! Consider him this season's Mr. Ahmed.
4. Also innocent? Holder. He's still a liar, but it doesn't look like he killed Rosie. He did go to the trouble of swapping Rosie's bloodied backpack with a fake to catch his boss, the now retired Lt. Oakes, lying about the results. And the dressing-down he got from his photo-doctoring cohort, Lt. Sloane, made it apparent he wasn't the brains behind the operation. The question is why Holder agreed to lie in the first place? His promotion is only part of the story.
5. Potatoes aren't junk food. A poem for Linden's son Jack: Chips grown from potatoes / waiting in vending machine / also Funyuns
6. Seattle is full of dirty cops and politicians. As Sud confirmed at the end of last season, The Killing is weaving a tale of city-wide corruption. Linden all but spelled it out in the first few minutes of this season's premiere: the body in the campaign car, the doctored photo of Richmond... "What if Rosie was just part of something bigger?"
7. Mayor Adams is still hiding something. There was the partial skull found at his waterfront revitalization project, evidence of desecrating Indian burial grounds. But is that really it? Keep your eye on his campaign director, Benjamin; e knows what's up. When the mayor threatens to fire him, he's unfazed: "You could, but I wouldn't recommend it."
8. Jamie (Eric Ladin) appears to love Richmond more than Gwen. There's loyalty, and then there's Jamie, Richmond's campaign manager who was forcibly pushed out of the councilman's ambulance by a cop. (Pushed onto the street! Where he landed on his butt!) Jamie yelled at Gwen to get out of the hospital after she confessed that she had told the police that she could not provide Richmond with an alibi. Then he jumped the mayor's campaign director in the city hall gym when he dared to bring up the race.
9. Where in the world is Mitch (Michelle Forbes)? Not a clue. She disappeared, consumed with grief, at the end of the Season 2, and while she was absent for the two-hour premiere, Forbes has did sign on to continue as a series regular.
10. Belko was not well. And now he's gone. One less suspect! Stan (Brent Sexton) is also not well. One of his kids has lost his faith in dad's ability to protect them, and the police aren't getting the job done (clearly), so at the end of the episode Stan reaches out to his old pals in the Polish mob to see if they can find and kill Rosie's murderer.
So, what did you think of the premiere? Feel any closer to figuring out whodunit yet? (We suggest using AMC's suspect tracker to help keep the names straight.) We still need to get to know Linden and Holder's new boss Lt. Carlson and meet Holder's sister. Leave your theories below.