The Killing recap: 'Dream baby dream'

Linden and Holder's luck appears to run out in the wake of an episode centered on parental failings and fears.
Ep. 04 | Aired Aug 1, 2014

I, SPIDER A children's song takes on a sinister brutality in the hands of the boys of St. George's Academy.

Carole Segal/Netflix

Things continue to get worse for Linden, who—after being rebuffed from searching Knopf's dorm room by Rayne—finds that Reggie has made dinner for Jack despite their plans for a mother-son dinner. The rub: Everyone assumed Linden would flake like she has so many times before. Feeling out of control in basically every area of her life, Linden lashes out and accuses Reggie of being judgy and disappointed, but insisting, "You don't know me. You've never known me." Reggie replies tersely, "That's the problem. No one does."

Over at St. George's, Kyle sits in on an incredibly ill-timed lecture about SEAL Team 6's takedown of bin Laden, which the teacher describes as "essentially a home invasion." Adding to Kyle's anxiety, he finds a hand-drawn floor plan of his own home in his book, with red X-es and the names of his slain family members. Add in the barking of his teacher, and 3...2...1, commence panic attack.

Elsewhere, it's a new day for sobered-up Holder. He apologizes to Linden and asks for her guidance on how to "not f--- up" his kid. Though the last episode saw Linden happily discussing parenthood with Holder and predicting he'd be a good dad, it's safe to say she no longer trusts her internal compass on this topic. She looks to her most recent learning moment and says, "You're here, that's what matters. It's kind of the only thing that matters—that you show up." She adds, "You'll be all right." Holder admits, "Everybody thinks I'm some piece of s--- tweakhead, but you seem to think I'm something better." Linden smiles maternally, "You're 1-900-ROCK-STAR." Point, Linden. As much as the sassy banter between Linden and Holder provides relief from the show's grittier milestones, it's these emotionally nuanced exchanges that showcase not only the surprisingly rich relationship these two share despite their short partnership, but also the range that Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman bring to the table.

The understated revelations continue as the partners search a gas-station bathroom. Holder explains that the  monastery he jumped out of the car to visit yesterday was one he'd frequently after getting clean. In turn, she talks about her own, much less hopeful, beliefs: "God and angels and heaven and all that? Nah. But Hell? We're in it." She adds wryly: "Only 49 more bathrooms to go." Outside one of those bathrooms the detectives run across a homeless man wearing a discarded St. George pendant. Bingo.

Further investigation by the CSI reveals a tooth shard, but Linden is pulled away by a phone call from Jack, who called Linden's biological mother in hopes of some sort of reunion. Linden isn't prepared to release 30 years of abandonment and bitterness, though. A tense, terse back-and-forth reveals that Linden was "a happy little girl" who loved parades. The more you know....

Linden returns to the car to find Jack smoking a cigarette (chip off the old block), but she doesn't notice because she's too infuriated by his ambush. Jack says he wanted to give Linden "back a piece of [her] life that was missing," but his motives go deeper. He admits that his stepmother has effectively kicked him out of the house, and he'll have no one if something happens to Linden. She promises nothing will happen. Two things: 1.) Impossible promise and 2.) Does anyone really have anybody on this show? It's not exactly Full House; besides Reggie, who's contended with her own issues, there hasn't been a single example of a family unit that could be described as anything other than FUBAR. In the world of The Killing, families tend to be more of a liability than a boon. If the show had been given another season or two, I wouldn't have been surprised if the Killer du Jour's gaze turned to Jack at some point. But I digress...

Linden and Holder head to the hospital to follow up on an injury Linda suffered. The doctor makes it clear that Kyle was at fault, even though charges were never pressed. The head over to St. George's to follow up, and Kyle unexpectedly reveals that his mother pushed him to be sexual with her... until he broke her wrist. Before Holder can goad him into confessing more, Rayne arrives and kicks them out. On the way, they spot a Burgundy Corolla matching one that was frequently parked outside the Stansburys' house and that was seen at a gas station between St. George's and the Stansburys' on the night of the murders.

NEXT: Two guns, one smoking


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