The Killing recap: The Ring Cycle

Linden races to save Seward's life; Adrian says goodbye to the father he never knew
Ep. 09 | Aired Jul 28, 2013

ON THE FENCE Holder urges Linden to see through her quest to vindicate Seward, even as her feelings about the convict oscillate wildly in his final hours.

Carole Segal/AMC

This week's episode opened on a lighthearted musical number with plenty of bawdy wordplay and a spectacular soft-shoe routine. Wait, no, strike that... it was actually a bleak test run of Seward's execution. T-minus 12 hours, kids.

Actually, make that 11 hours. As Linden paid Seward a visit, he was now officially under the gun (or the noose, as it were) and even surlier than usual. His opener: "What happened to your face? Boyfriend finally had enough?" The anxiety-fueled nastiness continued when Linden showed him the baggie full of rings found in Mills' storage unit. He confirmed that one of them had belonged to Trisha, whom he referred to as "used goods" in the midst of a seething recollection about their shotgun engagement. The silver lining: Now that he'd ID'd the ring, Linden would be able to present Mills' possession of it as tangible evidence that Seward most likely didn't murder Trisha. She continued to hold Mills' out-of-town alibi in Trisha's murder close to the chest, of course. And I'm sure that definitely won't come back to bite her in the ass somewhere down the road.

While Linden left a voicemail for Holder to bring Trisha's file, Becker stopped by Seward's cell to ruin the inmate's breakfast with a not-so-thinly veiled FYI about the cemetery full of unclaimed executees next to the prison, basically saying, "You're going to die alone and unwanted, you bag of almost-dead bones. And, by the way, enjoy your meat lover's breakfast burrito!"

Becker made his way to the visitors holding area to find Linden shortly after Adrian and his adopted mother arrived for their visit. Back in the meeting room with Seward, Linden said she needed more evidence that the ring was Trisha's and told him she'd called Holder to bring photos from Trisha's apartment that might show her wearing the ring. They spoke about Adrian and Jack briefly, though Seward was all mentally scattered, asking Linden if she'd noticed the larch trees on the way in or the buzzing of the fluorescent lights above them. She chalked it up to the terror-producing adrenaline rush he was experiencing. Still, they were seemingly forging a bond as Becker and his goons abruptly came to sweep Seward away.

After an hour, Linden won a pissing contest over D.O.C. mandates with Becker and was allowed back into the meeting room. She found Seward in a full-on frenzy. He said they'd taken him for a second weigh-in, and he launched into hysterics that they were going to mess up the counterweight, his neck wouldn't snap, and he'd be left dangling for the six minutes it would take to suffocate. He began a bitter tangent about his final meal (Salisbury steak and vanilla ice cream, if you'll recall). Linden tried to rein him back in. Was there anything else he could tell her about Trisha's ring? Alas, he couldn't.

Though he had no information, he asked Linden not to leave -- it would mean he'd have to go back to his cell. She offered to stay and tried to calm his nerves about Adrian being in the building -- and, more to the point, Seward's inherent badness being in Adrian's blood. Linden insisted Adrian didn't have to end up like Seward, but it didn't so much comfort him as rile him up. He jolted out of his preoccupation, turning at her and hissing, "Is it me you're trying to save... or yourself?" He asked about Jack and told Linden, "I hope he likes hot dogs," a.k.a. the lunch Seward just mentioned eating. As Linden absorbed that surge of panic-anger, she told him, "You're breaking my heart, Ray." She sat back, not leaving and relegating him to his cell, but no longer indulging his histrionics.

Seward took only a few seconds to sheepishly signal her to pick up the phone. She told him plainly, "I'm not here for you." He smiled bitterly, "Because I'm trash? ... A monster." He admitted a few of the horrible things he'd done, including beating Trisha in front of Adrian. She said she didn't harbor any illusions about the men in this prison, including him. He asked, "Then why are you here?" Linden: "Because I made a mistake." And so she had taken his confession. And so he was taking hers.

NEXT: Holder's here, and he's buzzin'...

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