The Killing Season 3 – Final episode Thoughts

If you want to help The Killing’s chances of renewal for a new season you should watch the Finale Episodes on your DVR.  The next replay of the episode will be at 1:00am Tuesday morning ET or at midnight tonight CT.

Plot, Characters Thoughts Theories and Observations

This recap will SPOIL EVERYTHING for The Killing Season 3.


Turns out that something Seward said to Linden will be key to solving the case.  The Seward’s lived in the city and Seward wanted his son to enjoy nature.  So they would walk a mile or so to the forest nearby.  It was at that forest that young Adrian, perched in his tree house, saw the murderer years ago.  The murderer tracked him to his house and killed Adrian’s mom and was able to blame it on Seward (since he had a criminal past and beat up his wife).


For a while now, Linden has realized that Seward did not kill his wife.  She figured it out once she connected the runaway’s murders to her old case.  She repeatedly tried to get her boss Skinner to help her reopen the old case.  He would not reopen it, because it might jeopardize their previous success in solving that case.  So with Holder’s help she followed all the leads which in this episode led them to Holder’s cop partner, Reddick.  I thought this might be murderer in my prediction blog post.  But The Killing had one more trick up its sleeve.

Holder is now detained by Internal Affairs for attacking Reddick at his home a few nights ago when he learned that Reddick got a call from Holder’s informant, and murdered friend, Bullet.  Unfortunately Bullet knew who the murderer was but was afraid to tell anyone.  She got the information from Angie Gower who escaped from police custody and was on the run.  Unfortunately she was found by the killer and her body (possibly) was burned to cover up her identity.  Then Bullet was killed and her body placed at Joe Mill’s storage unit so that Mill’s would be blamed.  But the coroner proved that the murder of Angie happened while Mills was in jail.  So if Mill’s wasn’t the killer.  It must be a cop.  Someone who could manipulate the evidence.  Holder thinks it’s Reddick but Internal Affairs says the assault complaint was directed by Skinner.

Holder now realizes that Linden is in jeopardy.  He finds out that she was last seen with Skinner and surmises that they are going to the Lake House, a place that Skinner was taking her for a romantic rekindling of their previous relationship.  Holder gets to the house but finds no one there.  He hears a shot and finds Linden standing a few feet from Skinner who is shot in chest.  Holder tries to get her to stop.  They have their man and he even tells her that Adrian is safe, but upon hearing that, she shots Skinner in the head killing him.  The end of Season 3.


Seward – Was a lifelong criminal who had been disappointed in the criminal justice system for so long that he did not have the faith to believe Linden when she said she wanted to clear his name for wrongly accusing him of murder.  He did not want to die, and finally found the courage to talk to his son (he could never admit to Adrian that he beat his wife).  Once the time for execution came he found some courage when he saw Adrian wave to him from outside the prison window.  When he was hung however his worse fear was realized when he did not die instantly but slowly suffocated.

Reddick – Was a pretty terrible cop with a bad temper.  He knew the first victim and lived next door to her.  This turned out to lead the investigators to think he was involved in the crimes.  (I mean I thought so, since he brought out the rings evidence from the storage unit that were used to frame Joe Mills).  However he was not involved and using all the skills he could muster, figured out that Adrian wanted to be with his mom.  Which meant that he had hidden himself by her graveside because he was being followed.  Sure enough he was there safe and sound and Reddick found him.

Kallie’s mom (Danette) – This part of the show was very sad.  Danette used to play hide and seek with Kallie years ago.  But when Danette counted to five Kallie wouldn’t hide she would be right there in front of her.  Danette has been looking for Kallie for a long time and in sadness and desperation returns to Kallie’s favorite spot on the bridge.  Danette closes her eyes and with resignation counts to five, and then open her eyes, but no Kallie.

Holder – Realized his friendship with Linden was very strong.  In season one they mocked each others beliefs and personal ticks, but now he sees how they can really help and encourage each other.  Linden convinces him to go and talk to his girlfriend and they make up.  He realizes he is not a drug addict anymore.

Linden – Oh Linden.  She is seemingly stuck and can’t remove herself from her past.  Each time she grasps for happiness it always lets her down.  She falls for a married man and when his marriage is finally over and she is free to be with him again, she realizes that she never knew him at all.  She has a severe blind spot.  Which is not a good thing for a detective.  But she is good at police work.  She will not stop until her lingering doubts are assuaged.  She is brave under pressure.  I don’t think we ever saw her use her gun until now.  She does what Skinner wanted her to do.  She ends his life and probably her own as well.  She will most likely go back to into the criminal justice system from where she escaped years ago.


The atmosphere and cinematography were superb in these final few episodes.  The two-hour finale was a good stand alone episode unto itself in my opinion.  It started with Linden’s running alone in the woods and ended with a lonely man in the woods.  In between we got great character moments from all the characters but especially between Linden and Holder in some of their happiest moments and saddest.


I guess the only complaint I have is with some of the season’s overall story.  How could Skinner kill so many people without his family realizing it?  Skinner seemed very kind to his own daughter but didn’t really care for the lost kids.  Was he so psychologically wounded by finding his young protege doing drugs that all the young girls he meets thereafter had to die too.  And what is up with his ring collection?  Why would he give a key piece of evidence for his daughter to wear?  He seemed a bit too well-adjusted to be a killer and brilliantly covered up all his crimes without Linden suspecting a thing until it was too late.  Where is Kallie?  I still hope she turns up alive or at least that Lyric might take her place for Danette’s sake.

Stand by – We should know if the show will continue in a few days.

The Killing Season 3 Finale

4 Responses

  1. I was ultimately dissatisfied with the concluding episode if not the last five. Too many false perps: Goldy, Pastor Mike, even Reddick. There was no hint of a possibility of it being Skinner. Going in I thought it would be Reddick.

    But we got played..

    Didn’t Skinner’s confession to Linden seem like you’ve heard it before. The bit about seeing the last flickering bit of hope leave the victim’s eyes.

    I know we had heard this before. And that was disappointing . Where did we see and her this. In The Girl With Dragon Tattoo – the killer said the same thing

    • Good catch. I knew that ending seemed familiar but I couldn’t place it until I saw your comment.

      What did you think of the show overall?

      I would like to see more of Holder and Linden and preferably better cases. Maybe they could even work on more than one case per season.

      I forget to mention in the post that I really liked the character of Bullet. Too bad she’s gone, she would have made a great continuing character.

  2. I’d watch it again if renewed – but yeah – a different case would be an improvement. I liked the moody and expressive face of Linden – not for her looks but for her powerful acting and emotions.

    I was less impressed with the character of Holder. He just seemed a bit too off beat for me.

    Bullet was wonderfully portrayed – but seeing so many youngsters in such dire straits, which end badly for them, is a difficult task for viewers regardless of the length of the series.

    15 episodes like Smash and Nashville (which come to mind), is far too long, 5 is too short (The Fall),. Another mid-length series was Top of the Lake which I think was 7 episodes. Magic City and Graceland are other series I’ve been watching.

    So yes I would watch The Killing in a 4th season.despite not being enamored of Holder. And there’s this season, which ended so abruptly to be resolved. Callie? Department inquiry about Linden? Case against Joe Mills.


  3. Disappointed is not really a good enough word. There was such a “Holy S**T”!!!!! ending for season 2 I couldn’t wait to see what the writers dreamed up, but it was more like there has to be something more after the commerical.

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