The investigation into Rosie Larsen's murder will not be seen tonight, so that we can bring you "Search for Sarah Linden's Punk-Ass Kid."
Apparently, it's time to get to know our lead investigators better. That is, it's time we got to see them interact on a more personal level. Up to this point, the relationship between Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder has been a terse one at best, and outright acrimonious at worst. Apparently, somebody on the production team wanted to do something about that, so this week, we get to see the two detectives bond.
Writer Veena Sud gives us an in-story reason as to why the detectives are able to take a day off to go look for Linden's missing son. Granted, any mother would do that, but it's convenient that the kid decided to run off to who knows where on the day when Linden and Holder have to wait around for almost twenty-four hours for a warrant application to get approved. Although it'll take a week for a warrant on the casino from the end of last week to go through, they only need a day to get the warrant on the ATM's (and their cameras). So, with nothing else to do all day, they can go ahead and look for "Little Man" Jack without actually being derelict in their duties. How tidy.
The search for Jack takes on elements of the early days of the Rosie Larsen investigation. There are seemingly promising leads that go nowhere, and some of the things Linden learns about her kid are unnerving (not so different from the kids that were being investigated back in those heady days). But "Missing" is more about the relationship between Linden and Holder than anything else. It's time the two of them started to understand each other better. While Linden remains as elusive as ever, she does let on that she grew up in foster homes and the Regi was her social worker all those years ago. Still, she wants nothing to do with letting Holder in. She immediately gets sick of his "twenty questions" when he tries to learn more about her situation, which leaves him to loudly make assumptions about her. It doesn't go over well, but then there's a lot Holder is keeping from Linden. Sure, he talks a bit about what his life was like when he was Jack's age ("Sometimes you run away just to see if someone comes looking for you"), but he never lets on that he's supposed to go see his sister and nephew with whom he's trying to make amends, telling her the obvious lie that a "Get Well Soon" balloon is for a date. The biggest secret he lets on is the story of how he got hooked on meth while he was working undercover as a narcotics officer, which leads to an amusing exchange about his oddball worldview ("Perception is circumstantial"). Still, it seems like talking to each other isn't really helping for a while, since Linden spends most of this episode seething at something (usually Holder). Just being there for each other is the greatest gesture the investigators can make.
Watching the partnership between the two cops develop over the course of the hour was pretty effective, and very much needed, but the timing seems odd. We're two hours away from the season finale, and only now are we getting this episode. Why couldn't this have happened several weeks ago? Certainly, we could have spent less time with Bennet Ahmed. Though the episode itself was one of the better ones, it shows just how easily they could have solved Rosie Larsen's murder. They only got to the casino because of evidence they should have followed immediately, rather than basically ignoring in favor of chasing junkie kids and religious English teachers. The fact that this episode, eleventh out of thirteen, had virtually no forward progress in the investigation plot, makes it feel even more like the Bennet Ahmed stuff was there just to pad out the season. But hey, on the bright side, we didn't have to deal with anything from the Darren Richmond storyline. What a breath of fresh air that was.
A quick note about the investigation, though: we find out at the end of "Missing" that yes, Rosie Larsen was at the casino, and that she used an ATM. Last week, we found out that the Larsen's bank accounts were almost completely empty. In the pilot, Stan Larsen's ATM card was found in the field near where Rosie's body was found.
Oh, so where was Jack all day? He just decided to run off to visit his father. "Kick his ass," suggests Holder when he and Linden find him safe and sound and rocking obliviously to his iPod. It was nice to see the two of them finally on the same page, even if Linden didn't heed Holder's advice, choosing instead to lend a tender hug and an understanding ear. Being there for each other: it's not just cops who need that stuff. Particularly in the world of The Killing.
Written or Contributed by: Royal Nonesuch