The Killing recap: 'The good soldier'

Daddy issues abound as Linden forces Kyle to relive the night of the crime, Holder becomes overwhelmed by the prospect of fatherhood, and Bethany Skinner receives an unexpected communication.
Ep. 03 | Aired Aug 1, 2014

SUB-REDDICK Holder finds himself evading his former partner as Reddick gets too close to the the truth.

Carole Segal/Netflix

One of the most effective parts of the Linden-Holder relationship is how they check each other. On the face of it, they are both incredibly selfish people with personal moral codes at cross-purposes. But, as "The Good Soldier" showed, there's a complementary facet to their partnership. Just as one is about to fall into the abyss—as they each have been in more situations than really should be acceptable for law enforcement officers—the other regains composure and finds the strength to reel in his or her partner. Linden begins the episode at a breaking point, but she's forced to pull it together by the end when Holder plummets toward rock bottom. In a strange way, Linden and Holder are one of the most functional dysfunctional partnerships on TV right now. All that and they have their own 1-900 numbers.

The episode begins with Linden quite nearly losing her mind—and everything along with it—when she is still staking out (or, let's be honest, stalking) Bethany Skinner the next morning. In a haunting mirror of how Skinner himself followed Adrian in last season's finale, Linden tails Bethany on her bike. Only Linden is gunning it, seemingly ready to plow down the teen and double her body count. Through sheer fortune or stupidity, Linden nearly gets T-boned in an intersection when she runs a stop sign. Bethany rides off with her earbuds plugged in, none the wiser. Linden is not a multiple murderer. Everybody wins?

When she meets with Holder a bit later, Linden is starting to get a handle on how far she's sunk, and it's scaring the hell out of her. Each potential slip-up (the missing shell casing, forgetting to check Skinner's LoJack, knowing Kallie's ring is still out there) is like a weight around her ankles, and Linden admits she's "drowning." For pathetic fallacy emphasis, it's a delightfully torrential Seattle day outside. When Linden suggests they turn themselves in, Holder realizes he needs to take a step beyond playing it cool. He reveals Caroline's pregnancy as a means of how much he has to lose. It's a compelling argument, and so Linden heeds Holder's command to "move on... and eat [her] f---in' muffin."

They attend the Stansburys' funeral service, hoping in vain that Kat might be there. She's not, but they manage to shake up Kyle enough so that he gives a fumbling, three-sentence eulogy that's primarily about Nadine before it abruptly ends, "I guess some people think I did it." He immediately regrets it, but Rayne comforts him because, as ever, she is way more invested than is appropriate.

After learning about Kat's visit from Knopf, Rayne decides to call on Linden so she'll do the dirty work of getting rid of the little street harlot. After Rayne insults the state of Linden's office, the ladies have a conversation in which Rayne basically says women are the worst, and Linden's like, "I wouldn't know; I don't do small talk... you're not gone yet?"

NEXT: Linda Stansbury gets a Lifetime movie-worthy backstory

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