‘The Killing’: Murder From Multiple Points of View

Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos in The Killing (AMC)

Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos in The Killing (AMC)

AMC’s new serialized thriller “The Killing,” which debuts April 3rd, tells the story of the investigation of the murder of a teenage girl named Rosie Larsen. As the cast revealed at its Los Angeles premiere screening this week, there are three different, parallel storylines starring three sets of characters. Each episode focuses on a day in the life of all of them. Here’s an introduction to the characters you are going to be arguing about a month from now.

The Police

The Seattle P.D.’s homicide division is tasked with solving the murder of high school student Rosie Larsen. The investigation is led by Detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos), who finds herself in the familiar fictional cop predicament of being handed a complicated case as she is preparing to move away. However, Sarah is far from the typical TV female police officer. She wears snowflake cardigans instead of high heels and rarely kicks butt.

Sarah is partnered with the division’s newest officer, Stephen Holder, who transferred from narcotics. Joel Kinnaman, who plays the rookie, describes his character as, “A” street kid. He comes from a very humble background. He’s had a lot of troubles. When he applies to the academy, he gets pulled out of the academy in the first year and he was an undercover cop for his whole career.” His relationship with Sarah is initially strained. “He’s got a vision of taking everybody by storm. He’s got a lot to prove.  At first he’s disappointed that she doesn’t take off, because he’s a very intelligent, good cop. But as the investigation goes on, he’s really happy she’s around.”

Preview “The Killing”:

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The Politicians

The murder investigation has a major impact on the mayoral campaign of city councilman Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell). What could  the death of a working class teenage girl possibly have to do with a prominent politician? Campbell explains: “[Her body] was found in a car that was stolen from his campaign. It’s very close to home. It’s like if they found a dead girl in the trunk of Obama’s limousine. It would be not good.”

Two campaign workers attempt to keep Darren’s campaign from spiraling out of control. Kristin Lehman plays Gwen Eaton, a strategist. According to her, Gwen is, “the woman behind the man who kind of keeps his moral compass.” Less upright is the ironically named Jamie Wright, a shrewd campaign manager who will do whatever it takes to make sure Darren wins the election. Jamie’s portrayer, Eric Ladin explains, “He’s a young wunderkind in the campaign world, probably a little ahead of the game as to how young he is. He’s extremely competitive, doesn’t like to lose. He’s sometimes able to blur the line a little bit to get what he wants.” Jamie and Darren have worked together for a long time. “Darren and him have quite a bit of history. They have eight years together. If you look at campaign managers, and anybody in politics, they want to win… and as soon as that happens he’d probably move onto the next job. What you say and what you believe don’t necessarily always have to be the same thing.”

The Parents

When Rosie is murdered, her parents Mitch (Michelle Forbes) and Stan (Brent Sexton) must cope with the worst tragedy imaginable. The working class family was doing their best to achieve the American dream when their world was shattered. Not only do they have to mourn, but they have to cope with having every aspect of their family’s life examined under a microscope.

According to Forbes, Mitch is the one character on the show with nothing to hide. “I would say that my character is the only character without secrets. She’s a very honest straightforward person, which is why I responded to her.”

Sexton revealed in an earlier interview that his character Stan is, “A decent guy. He’s a father. He’s a husband. He’s a business owner. He owns a small trucking company… The birth of his daughter, it’s what switched his life around. It saved him from the possibility of where his life was heading previously. Of course now that she’s gone, that she’s taken from him, especially in such a brutal way, he’s lost everything, the whole dream.”

Katie Findlay, who plays Rosie in flashbacks, revealed her character is not a saintly victim. “Rosie is very much a real person. She’s not this perfect, angelic, oh so sad that she’s gone. She’s a real human being. You get really attached to all of her foibles and maybe a little of her dark side.”

The two-hour premiere of “The Killing” airs Sunday, April 3 at 9/8c.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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