After the Rosie Larsen case was wrapped up in Season 2 of The Killing, naturally, AMC cancelled the series. Fortunately, for fans of this show, myself included, the cable network resurrected the show, striking a deal with Netflix to split production costs, in exchange for exclusive streaming rights. After all that, was bringing The Killing back really worth it? After watching the two-hour Season 3 premiere, "The Jungle" and "That You Fear The Most", my answer would have to be a resounding yes.
There is more than enough to keep you interested in the season ahead. First off, if you were one of the whiny nay-sayers who despised that the Rosie Larsen case took two whole seasons to solve, then fret not, because it's already been confirmed that this case will be closed over Season 3's 12-episode run.
This season is set one year after the Rosie Larsen case was closed, with both Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) on much different sides of the law. Holder has ditched that dingy hoody for a clean-cut look (although, unsurprisingly, his trench coat collar is popped...), and is rapidly rising through the ranks with his new partner Carl (Gregg Henry), a veteran who seems quite content with doing the bare minimum of work and then going home. On the flip side, Linden isn't even a cop anymore, working on a ferry with a young man named Cody (Andrew Jenkins), whom she is also dating. When Holder is assigned to the brutal murder of a young street girl, that has strange similarities to a case Linden closed a few years back, new mysteries begin to surface, literally and figuratively.
What I really enjoyed about this two-part premiere is they introduce a much different part of Seattle with this grisly murder case, while finding a rather intriguing way to connect this season to the last. I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say the strange drawing of trees that popped up in Season 2 plays a significant role in the mystery this year. While it seemed like a throwaway aspect of Season 2, I loved that they made this connection from Season 2 to Season 3 in a way that I didn't expect, but, looking back, seems totally obvious now.
A slew of new characters are introduced, most notably Peter Sarsgaard in a fantastically creepy turn as death row inmate Ray Seward, and Elias Koteas as Linden's former partner (and former "partner") Ed Skinner. We also meet a host of homeless teens such as Bullet (Bex Taylor-Klaus), a young lesbian with a hardcore attitude, who has a crush on Lyric (Julia Sarah Stone), Bullet's friend Kallie (Cate Sproule), who has probably the worst mother on the planet (Amy Seimetz), and Twitch (Max Fowler), a wannabe model who is squatting with Lyric.
Another aspect I enjoyed is this case is really being approached from two different angles, the cops and the street kids, who don't necessarily take the law into their own hands, but it's clear that they have their own way of doing things. Also, be on the lookout this season for a mysterious cab driver named Joe, who is mentioned only by name, very briefly.
Overall, there was not much I disliked about the first two episodes, aside from a few flat jokes and some shots that were held way, way too long. If you loved the first two seasons of The Killing, then you're in for a treat, with plenty of familiar and fresh elements to bring you back in. If you hated the first two seasons, this might feel like a fresh start, with Holder sporting a slick look, a ton of new characters, and a mystery that has many more layers to it than the Rosie Larsen case.
If you agree, disagree, love, or hate what I had to say, follow me on Twitter @GallagherMW. The Season 3 premiere of The Killing, "The Jungle" and "That You Fear The Most", debuts Sunday, June 2 at 8 PM ET on AMC.