Netflix resurrects The Killing for one final six-episode season (its fourth) on Friday Aug. 1 (at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time). But to prep viewers who may have missed the show's run on AMC — or just need to bone up on the exploits of homicide detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) — the streaming video service is mounting a campaign this summer for viewers to binge the show's first three seasons.
TV Guide Magazine spoke with The Killing executive producer Veena Sud about the show's transition to Netflix, how it will change next season and whether this is truly the end for the drama. Sud and Netflix also unveil a new recap video, summarizing The Killing's first three seasons, below.
TV Guide Magazine: You survived yet another year! Why is Netflix a good fit for The Killing?
Veena Sud: The Killing is like a great novel that you can't put down. Netflix is the ideal platform because the viewer can binge watch. You can watch Season 1, episode 1 and go all the way through or watch as much as you want. The Killing in particular has so many details and so many nuances, and we really write towards our audience. By being able to watch episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 at once, audiences enjoy the pleasure of having a huge movie basically that they are sitting down to watch for the evening with friends.
TV Guide Magazine: Did you make the show with an eye toward binging?
Sud: I'm just so excited about being on Netflix. It's created this new national pastime for many of us, where you get to spend a weekend, an evening or many evenings on a journey with characters in a way that's very intense, and very participatory. You're not waiting for a week to find out what happens next. You can just click on "next" and you're immersed again in the world. For The Killing that's an ideal place for us to be.
TV Guide Magazine: Has being picked up by Netflix changed the way you write the show? Did you have to alter anything you had planned?
Sud: We haven't altered anything, but what we've been able to add is more time. Each episode of Season 4 is longer without commercial breaks — which, as a storyteller, is such a huge gift. We are able to tell more story. Instead of each episode running 43 minutes, now each episode in Season 4 can run anywhere from 55- 59 minutes. Season 4 is just jam-packed with so much story.
TV Guide Magazine: How else is The Killing different on Netflix?
Sud: We're allowed to curse, which is perfect for Stephen Holder. Joel Kinnaman was very happy to learn that he could say the "F" bomb. [Laughs]
TV Guide Magazine: What can you tell us about Season 4? What's your own personal trailer, a preview for fans?
Sud: Season 4 is really the end game for Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder. The way we left off in Season 3 was pretty heart stopping. Stakes were the highest they've ever been for both our detectives. So Season 4 is the dilemma as the clock ticks and they're dealing with another very critical murder investigation. They find themselves caught up in the fallout from the action that they took at the end of Season 3. I'm sorry to be so vague, but I don't want to spoil the end of Season 3 for those who haven't scene it.
TV Guide Magazine: What's been out there is that it has to do with the murder of a rich a family, an investigation at a military academy with a very strong female head mistress. Can you elaborate?
Sud: Season 4 of the investigation takes place in a wealthy part of Seattle, so we're changing up the world of the victims. We were in a working class family Seasons 1 and 2. We were on the streets in Season 3, and now, we're in the echelon of power and wealth in Seattle. There is a mass murder and the detectives are fish-out-of-water kind of navigating their way through the world of Seattle's rich. There is a link to a boy's military academy that's basically a holding cell for rich, wayward boys. The head of this all-boys military academy is played by the fabulous Joan Allen and we get to see two very strong, fierce women — Joan Allen and Mireille Enos — go head-to-head.
TV Guide Magazine: And is this the absolute finale this time, or is there a little opening for more?
Sud: This was the end I've wanted to tell from the very beginning. This is how I imagine the story of Sarah Linden would end. The way the season ends, I don't think that there will be another season. It's the way I've wanted to end the story from the beginning so I'm very grateful to come to this end instead of hanging like we were before.
Here's an exclusive first look at Netflix's Season 1-3 The Killing highlight video to prep viewers for Season 4.