After first canceling it and then deciding to give it another shot, AMC brought back “The Killing” Sunday night (June 2). But even with a new case and several new characters, it felt like much the same show that has frustrated more than a few viewers the past two years.
One area where it’s immediately clear Season 3 could be an upgrade is the presence of Peter Sarsgaard as a death row inmate who’s both a story engine — he’s the reason Linden (Mireille Enos), who has left her old job behind, will be rejoining Holder (Joel Kinnaman) on a case — and a tremendously creepy presence regardless of who’s on screen with him. His understated acting also fits well with the show’s slow-burn style.
But as with the first two seasons, things in Sunday’s two-hour premiere move ever so slowly. The show has to spend a lot of time introducing all the new players, from Holder’s cantankerous new partner (the ever reliable Gregg Henry) to a group of street kids whose world intersects with a case Holder catches.
It’s more exposition than is usually needed for a show that’s three years in, and even where it’s handled well (as with the homeless teens), the setup slows things to a crawl.
Also — spoiler alert — it still rains just about all the time in “The Killing’s” Seattle, lending a somber grayness to almost every frame of the show.
At the end of the season premiere, Linden is pulled back in — were you as well? Are you ready to give “The Killing” another chance, or do you still see the flaws from the show’s first two seasons?