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

Linden's cell phone buzzed, and she stepped out to get the file from a drunken, dismal Holder. As she headed back inside, he headed outside for a smoke -- even offered Adrian a ciggy when the kid stepped outside. Long story short, Adrian was not amused by Holder's hoodrat banter. He said accusingly, "You're acting drunk." Holder countered, "I'm not acting drunk, I am drunk." Somewhere around the time Holder defined himself as a "serial chiller," Adrian's interest was piqued. Holder, seeing he'd gotten to the kid a little, tossed his half-smoked cigarette into the ashtray and headed back inside to play hard to get.

Back inside, Seward's stress was slightly abated seeing a photo Linden had uncovered of Trisha wearing the ring. She said she'd send it to the Attorney General for consideration. Per an earlier statement by Holder, this plan hadn't a snowball's chance in Hell of saving Seward's life, but Linden didn't share that, of course. Linden returned to the topic of Adrian, and Seward churlishly recalled how he'd told Trisha to get an abortion, noted he'd hated the boy when he was born. Linden saw through his emotional evasion; in fact, it seemed she found it almost playful. With a rare smile on her face, she stepped away to send the photo to the A.G.

And then the plot thickened. Out in the waiting room, Linden's world was seemingly turning around when Adrian let slip something shocking. After saying he was worried he was put in this prison purgatory for lying to her, he said he'd only lied so his dad wouldn't get in trouble again. Turns out, he had seen Seward at Trisha's apartment on the night of her murder.

And so Linden went back to the meeting room, the smile no longer on her face. Seward was shout-to-the-rafters joyful about the chance he might not be executed, ordering absolutely no one to send back his Salisbury steak and vanilla ice cream final meal scheduled for an hour from then. Linden didn't let the relief sit long before lobbing Adrian's revelation at him. She felt played. They both felt betrayed. He reflexively back-shifted to his oblique mind games, in essence telling her, "You've already convicted me, so I'll confess. But am I telling the truth? Did I actually murder my wife while my son watched? Maybe. Maybe not. In any case, none of this matters."

Linden had no time for his wallowing and self-distancing. She ordered him to tell her once and for all why he was there that night. He started to open his mouth, a thousand prevarications sitting on the tip of his tongue, playing themselves out in his gleaming eyes. She didn't have the patience for it any more. She flung the phone at the divider and took a lap around the room. Instead of giving her any answers, he only affirmed that he was a terrible father who abandoned his son. He added that saving him wasn't a noble act. And, with that, Linden was done.

Holder intercepted her outside. (He'd gone to get more beer, which he didn't drink so much as hurl at the unclaimed gravestones in some sort of exorcism of his still unprocessed feelings about Bullet.) Linden brought him up to speed. He sensibly pointed out there could have been lots of reasons for Seward to be in the apartment that night, none of which actually proved his guilt. He also used the occasion to dispense some drunken wisdom: Linden was a runner, once again cutting loose in order not to get hurt. She said meanly that they both were. He agreed, adding, "We never stay, and in the end, we lose everyone." Just as the tension reached its peak, he diffused it, leaning to the closed window and telling her, "I'm not gonna try and kiss you again, Linden. You missed your chance." She couldn't help but chuckle.

Just as they were about to head back in, Linden got the call. Seward would be getting that Salisbury steak in an hour after all.

NEXT: Ray Seward, this is the beginning of the end of your life...

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