The final season of 'The Killing' premiered on Netflix - is it an acceptable end to the series?
Maybe it shouldn't have ended so soon, but at least it got the ending it deserved. After being canceled twice by its network AMC, cult-detective thriller 'The Killing' has ended its run with its fourth and final season premiering exclusively on Netflix.
Joel Kinnaman plays Stephen Holder in ‘The Killing’
'The Killing' may have dug its own grave early back in season one when it failed to wrap up the murder storyline in its finale. It arguably never recovered, and it was one of the reasons the show never reached expectations when it came to ratings. However, even though it took a second season to find out who killed Rosie Larsen, the show continued to improve on what it does best - even if the ratings said otherwise. Season three took the show to a different level, expanding on its story with an emphasis on character development. It was unpredictable in the best ways possible, and it ended with a cliffhanger that, for a while, was looking like it would never be resolved.
However, 'The Killing' was picked up by Netflix for a final season last year, and the series had a lot to live up to when it came to delivering the last six episodes. With the season length as short as it is, it's easy to think that certain areas of the season would be rushed, and maybe some things wouldn't be touched upon as well as they should be. For the most part, 'The Killing' exceeds wonderfully in pace, and they manage to wrap up a number of plot points in the short time they have. This is due to each episode clocking in at around 60 minutes as opposed to the previous 42, and it really lets the show flesh out aspects of each character - like Stephen Holder's struggle with addiction, and Sarah Linden's battle with mental illness.
As far as content goes, 'The Killing' should be commended for not taking advantage of no longer being on network television. Netflix could have allowed the show to have as much guts and gore in murder scenes as they wanted, but the violence present is no worse than prior seasons. Instead, ‘The Killing’ only ups the ante on its gloomy setting of Seattle and the dark, gritty, atmosphere that its always had. What Netflix did allow for is 'The Killing' to finally speak the way it should have spoken all along. It's hardly a season full of expletives, but when the F-bombs do drop, they feel natural like it should have been in the show's dialog from the start. 'The Killing's strong points always relied on the acting from its two leads, and once again they've nailed it effortlessly. Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman are still one of the best one-two punches in television, while the addition of Joan Allen as commander of a military school offers one of the best supporting roles that the show has seen.
Next page: Where is ‘The Killing’ flawed?