Social media killed The Killing. Then social media saved The Killing.
Series lead Mireille Enos, who plays Det. Sarah Linden, must have a real love-hate relationship with the public, wouldn’t you think?
“What’s most helpful to me is to take the pieces that are positive and then turn a blind eye to everything else,” Enos said with a laugh. “So mostly I’m just grateful we had an audience base and we were doing the kind of work that would warrant people wanting to keep watching.”
Besides, be it positive or negative, fan passion for The Killing was at the root of it all. The series returns for its fourth and final season, Friday, Aug. 1 on Netflix.
To summarize, The Killing was a phenomenon in its first season. But marketing by original channel AMC led some viewers to believe the murder case that was driving the plot - a.k.a., “Who killed Rosie Larsen?” - would be solved at season’s end. When that didn’t occur, fans turned angry, feeling as if they had been cheated or tricked.
Ratings dropped in season two, and AMC cancelled The Killing. But this time social media convinced AMC to partner with Netflix in the production of a third season. Following the third season – at the end of which Sarah made an irreversible decision that will affect her forever – social media urged closure, and thus we have this six-episode final season airing exclusively on Netflix.
“When (social media) was not working in our favour, the thing that was confusing was, in the first season it was such a love-fest, everyone was so adoring and saying they loved the characters so much,” Enos recalled. “And then the turn was so swift and it was baffling to me, because I just thought, ‘If you actually love these people, we’re offering to give you another season of these same characters, they’re not going to disappear.’ So I was confused by it.
“And trying not to villainize anybody, but critics have always been kind of a tricky … it’s a tricky position to be in, somebody with that kind of power. Now we’ve basically said to the entire population, ‘You are allowed to have an influence.’ For every opinion there are, like, six million other opinions. So I try to disconnect from all of them and just stay focused on what I actually can affect, which is my work.
“But then when (social media) turned it around, when the fans got us a season three, and got us a season four, I only can be filled with gratitude. But it also is largely due to (executive producer) Veena Sud and her passion for the show and her connection to the fans. She has worked tirelessly to keep the show going.”
As season four begins - and consider this a SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t seen the end of season three - Sarah has set herself up for some role reversal after killing James Skinner (Elias Koteas) right in front of her partner, Det. Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman).
“What’s so interesting is, as cops, what we bank on every time is that people make mistakes - that’s how we catch them,” Enos said. “Now we’re on the other side of that, trying to make sure, trying to be smarter than the criminals we’ve put away, trying not to let out secrets, and it’s almost impossible to do.
“I think there are people out in the world who have committed murders and live with them and somehow manage to not be bothered by them. But Sarah is not capable. She has a tough exterior but she’s so raw. And it wasn’t just a murder, it was the murder of the person she was most in love with on the planet. So it’s a much too complicated and emotional world for her to get out the other side without actually dealing with it. It’s too big.”
Right from the beginning, The Killing always went big. Social media embraced it, then discarded it, then embraced it again. For Mireille Enos and the rest of the cast, maybe that’s what love is all about.
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i will hate every tv critic who bitched like a whiny cunt about the rosie case not being solved by the end of s1 fucking forever. they are the reason why there’s only one season left and it’s only viewable on netflix. utter utter turds.