'The Killing' review: Why is this grim thriller so exhilarating? Plus, a reading list

The second week of The Killingdeepened the mystery, deepened the performances of its actors, deepened the enjoyment of this new series.

"I have a wedding to plan," said Sarah, even though she’d say, a few minutes later, "The first 48 hours are the most important." These two lines define the parameters of Sarah Linden’s involvement with who-killed-Rosie-Larson. Mireille Enos has already nailed the way ambivalence can turn into obsessiveness so quickly, one doesn’t even realize it’s happened.

Rosie’s body, found in a Darren Richmond campaign car, is an awful, squalid sight in an episode filled with only slightly lesser ones. Identifying the body in the morgue, the grief endured by parents Mitch and Stanley Larson as they try to hold it together for their sons, Holder smoking pot with two high school girls; the janitor who jumped out a window rather than answer questions about "the cage": It was one marvelously bad-news scene after another. Add what my notes for this episode say on one page — "RAIN, RAIN, RAIN" — and I am thrilled that The Killing got very solid ratings last week, and I only hope more people will brave to rain to focus in on a murder mystery that I’d have figured most viewers would write off as too much of a downer. Read More...

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