Thursday, April 06, 2017
Slightly slow but mesmerizing
THE KILLING – THE COMPLETE SERIES –
This series ran over four seasons. The first two had one
main central story and the last two also had one central story. At times some
episodes had some side stories and each year, hence half a two-year cycle, may
have some unifying side stories. This is modern in the field of mysteries and
thrillers, but some writers do it in this field, at times profusely. This
series is just slightly more extreme because it is rare when one episode has some
kind of self-contained plot, and when it is so it is also an illusion because
that side closed plot plays a role in the wider story.
The second element is that this series is taking place in
Seattle, Washington, and as such concentrates on problems that are typical of
this city sustaining the suspense of stories that are more general, and the
first originality is the rain and it is hammered from time to time onto us: “I
hate the rain.” The whole series is concentrating on the killing of girls with
an important secondary plot in the fourth seasons concentrating on a boys’ military
academy. Another trait is the hardly ever possible and happy relations between
parents and children. The two main cops, Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder, are
such abandoned kids, abandoned to foster homes, to drugs, and even to street
life. In fact, the third and fourth seasons are centered on the mass serial
killing of teenage street girls, underage girls who live in the street and
survive by all types of little businesses like prostitution, drugs and petty
thefts. Killing in such a “fauna” is common, so the disappearance of more than
thirty girls over ten or fifteen years can go literally unseen.
The first two seasons concentrate on two subjects that are
connected: the election of a new mayor who gets mixed up in a complete
imbroglio around the killing of teenage girl who had just decided to leave her
family in unclear conditions, on one hand, and on the other hand the Indians of
the reservation on some island and their casino. The Indian problem and the
corruption that goes around the mayor, the City Council, the casino, the
reservation, etc. is incredible. That’s the political and social dimension of
the first two seasons.
The last two seasons are centered on the corruption of the
police in Seattle and the impossibility for anyone who believes in justice, in
the fourteenth amendment, fair and equal treatment and protection for all by
all public services, including of course the police and justice, to remain in
the police force without being little by little ruined, rotten, soiled, etc.
The practice of military academies for male teenagers is also a way some
wealthy families have to either get rid of the pain these teenagers may be or
plainly submit them to some painful, ruthless, punishing education that will turn
them into canon flesh and it will curb their desire to kill into killing on
order within the legal frame of some kind of authority, including civilians in
military operations in foreign countries. Just read my lips.
This gives the series a rather slow rhythm but it seems one
more time to be common in the standard and common literature in this genre
nowadays, like Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling, for one example. In Mr.
Mercedes’ trilogy Stephen King tried to deal with such a thriller but he avoids
that slow rhythm by using an electronic gadget (a game console) for a “master
mind” who is able to more or less interface himself onto the consoles via the
Internet and a computer to manipulate the users who have been selected by him to
be led to suicide. That’s only the plot of the third volume. You need to read
the first two to see the at times hectic rhythm of the story.
So we have the slow social-oriented plot à la J.K Rowling,
aka Robert Galbraith, but we do not have the sinister fast-running magic of
Stephen King, though we have multiple bodies that are cut up into pieces or
severely maimed by the killer à la Dexter.
The last five minutes of the very last episode links up the
first two seasons to the last two seasons. It is slightly artificial, a little
bit sentimental and the last brick you needed to build the Golden Calf of
corruption or the first stone you need to stone that same Golden Calf to death.
You can then have a slice of that beef and drown it under red ketchup.