Always the water. A persistent, mood-altering element. The rain on windshields and windowpanes, the running faucets. The ocean, the inlets. The pond where Seattle teen Rosie Larsen's body was found.
I forgot how soggy The Killing is, a squishy sight even given its dark, damp Pacific Northwest setting.
The series, best known for the wrath that its first season finale incited from fans and critics alike, returns for a second waterlogged season beginning Sunday on AMC.
There will be precipitation.
In response to the outpouring of rage after the ambivalent, open-ended Season 1 finale, creator-executive producer Veena Sud promised to make amends: The writers will provide a resolution at the end of Season 2, she said. We will know who killed Rosie by then. After a sprawling, larger story is unspooled, closure will be attained.
"What am I supposed to do in the meantime?" Rosie's father Stan (Brent Sexton) yells at the police in the second-season premiere, as if speaking for all the disappointed viewers.
Unlike most of my peers, I didn't hate the first season's ambiguous ending. In fact, because the characters were so involving, particularly that of homicide detective Sarah Linden, played by Mireille Enos, an Emmy nominee for best actress, I was willing to follow Sud's story ever deeper into the mystery. This is a story about a murky process, not about a definitive resolution. It's deliberately soaked in confusion and misdirection. So I embrace the dilemma.
We last saw Detective Linden preparing to leave town, thinking the Larsen case was closed. She had an inkling that her partner, Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman), might be more than unorthodox and inexperienced; he might be dirty. And then we learned that the prime suspect, city Councilman Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) might be innocent.
As this season begins, the case is back on.
It's still slow. But for those of us who found the intentionally spare and glacial Rubicon intriguing, that's not a problem.
"As you know, the Season 2 structure is taken directly from the Danish series," the producers wrote in a letter accompanying the screeners. "After much thought, based on the reaction from some of you and some viewer response, we decided to stay with the original structure because we believe it is the best way to do justice to the multi-layered, emotionally resonant story we originally fell in love with."
This isn't a procedural with a neat answer at the end of each episode. But it is involving. Viewers might not fall in love, but there is plenty to draw us in, including the moody music and the distinct visual tone.
If it's not soaked in rain, it's a misty night on the waterfront or the view through a fish tank. People soaking wet and dripping on the carpet. Characters reflected in wet windows. Salt water, fresh water. Water, water everywhere.