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Super 8: Flock of Butterflies on The Killing

"The girl who made that wasn't the pink-bedroom type." - Sarah Linden

How well do we know anyone? Can we ever truly know our spouses, our children? The Rosie Larsen that we seen illuminated in her bedroom--the pink walls, that butterfly motif--is dramatically at odds with the Rosie who shot the Super 8 video that Bennet Ahmed shares with Linden and Holder: it's a much darker Rosie, a truer Rosie. This isn't a little girl capturing the easiness of carefree youth. She sees the skull beneath the skin, even as we see a flock of butterflies connect with Rosie as one of their own.

In this week's episode of The Killing ("Super 8"), written by Jeremy Doner and directed by Phil Abraham, we begin to see that Rosie may not have been as innocent and wholesome as her parents believe her to be. While her teacher Bennet maintains that their relationship wasn't sexual, that the letters were an "intellectual discourse," the possibility that Rosie may have been involved with him skews our image of the victim.

And then there's Bennet. He maintains his own innocence in Rosie's death and in their relationship, which he says was purely professional. But he also doesn't have an alibi for the night of Rosie's death: he tells the cops that he returned home after the dance and his pregnant wife was staying with her sister as their floors were being refinished. (He claims that the company canceled the installation at the last minute.) Bennet is being very helpful--he gives them the Super 8 film Rosie shot--but is he being a little too helpful? Is he trying to distance himself from the frame? After all, he did have access to the Richmond campaign cars...

And then there's the final act reveal that links Rosie to Bennet once more, courtesy of the ammonium hydroxide found in her system. Rosie's toxology came back without signs of drugs or alcohol in her system but did show the presence of ammonium hydroxide, which could account for the lack of evidence of sexual assault and lack of any fibers, tissue, or blood under her nails if she fought her attacker.

And who just happens to have a stash of ammonium hydroxide laying around? Bennet Ahmed, as the substance is used in flooring installation. So is Bennet a pro, as Linden suggests? Or is it an unhappy coincidence? Did he use the stuff to cover up his crime? Or was Rosie there at the apartment, helping him install the floor? And why did Bennet cancel the appointment for the following day? Curious...

And then there's Bennet's wife Amber, pregnant with his child. Intriguingly, Amber was once one of Bennet's students and she has a strange and slight similarity, in terms of appearance, to Rosie. Amber says that Bennet often wrote her letters, encouraging her to achieve her dreams. But while that's innocent enough--she claims nothing untoward occurred between them--there's something odd about history repeating itself. He married one of his former students, so why couldn't he have designs on Rosie as well?

This week's episode also continued to show the effect that Rosie's death has had on her family. While we don't have Rosie narrating the plot from beyond the grave, a la The Lovely Bones, her presence--or lack thereof--is keenly felt in everything the family does from Denny's pyjama-clad trip to the store t get some milk to Tommy's bed-wetting incident, as he conceals his urine-soaked pyjamas and sheets in the trash. (I loved the scene where Belko found proof of Tommy's incident and, rather than take it to Stan, furtively bed Tommy's bed with fresh sheets and revealed that he had a bed-wetting problem well into his teens.)

Stan had a breakdown in a garage bathroom, leaving Mitch alone in the car as he let his emotions overwhelm him for a brief moment. He's trying so hard to be strong and unyielding that it was only a matter of time before his true feelings bubbled up to the surface and exploded. Between Rosie's death and Belko's offer to take care of Rosie's killer, he can't escape the truth of his altered existence, post-Rosie. Not surprising that he takes Belko up on his offer to talk to his friend at Rosie's school and find out what the police are investigating over there. (Nothing good can come from this.)

Mitch, meanwhile, experiences a terrible sense of frisson when she sees Denny in the bath, his hair dripping onto the floor. It's a reminder of not only Rosie's horrific end but also that scene in the morgue where she and Stan had to identify their daughter's corpse, her hair streaming out underneath her, rivulets of water dripping into a puddle on the floor. Mitch's freak-out is indicative of psychic damage of the highest order, an inability to separate Rosie's death from their quotidian lives: everything has new meaning, new symbolism now.

What is up with Holder? While he claims he won at gambling, there's something shady about that envelope of cash he receives on the street... and which he places in the mailbox of a house. Are those his wife and kids inside? And why won't he go in or say anything to them? Is our copper sidekick a junkie who is supporting his family from afar? Hmmm...

The various storyline threads also came together a bit this week as Darren Richmond and Mitch Larsen crossed paths in the grocery store. While Darren makes it seem as though this was a chance encounter, it's anything but that, an engineered effort to contain the Rosie Larsen story, which is damaging Darren's campaign chances. But Richmond refuses to use Mitch for his own political ends. He understands the depths of grief and despair, from his own experiences with his wife's death. When a cereal box reminds Mitch acutely of her daughter's passing, Darren assures her that it gets better.

Elsewhere in the political sphere, we learn that Yitanes herself had engineered the leak within the campaign, planting a spy within the organization, and had used Darren's communications director, Nathan, to leak details from the campaign from within... and likely sow discontent among Darren's aides. It's Jamie who learns of this from Lesley Adams, whom he believed to be the one pulling the strings. (Interestingly, I thought Jamie may have been an alcoholic from his choice of bottled water at the bar, but here Jamie pukes his guts up after drinking too much with Adams and Abani, claiming that he's not used to drinking.) And Gwen seems to have a few secrets of her own: she slept with the commercial director whom she wants to use for Richmond's latest television ad... and she used to work for Yitanes. Plus, there's her powerful Senator father who has an agenda of his own.

Who to trust? No one it seems. The closer Linden and Holder to unmasking Rosie's killer, the more secrets they kick up... and these two have skeletons of their own to contend with, making The Killing even more twisty and revealing as the episodes go on.

Next week on The Killing ("What You Have Left"), Sarah questions a suspect's family; tensions mount between Richmond and Gwen, his campaign advisor.

Comments

HellBible said…
is it some kind of guy movie?

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