Ray Seward (Peter Sarsgaard) speaks with Det. Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos)… (Carole Segal / AMC )
It’s unpleasant-look-in-the-mirror week on “The Killing,” as Det. Sarah Linden sees what she might have been in Danette, and death row inmate Ray Seward gets a preview of his future.
“Eminent Domain” begins with a panicked Danette rushing into a police station after having apparently escaped Joe Mills. When her unruliness meets the desk officer’s sit-down-and-be-quiet attitude, it ends in her arrest.
That would have been a fine opening, had not Danette’s survival been spoiled by last week’s next-week-on-“The Killing” teaser. “Scared and Running” had a chilling ending, with her in eminent mortal peril from her boyfriend Joe after discovering the cab driver/maker of underage porn had her missing daughter Kallie’s cellphone … and then the promo immediately deflated that tension. Boo.
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But on to the investigation: Linden and fellow detective Stephen Holder are at a hospital interviewing Angie Gower, the redheaded victim who escaped -- minus her left ring finger -- from the unidentified serial killer known as the Pied Piper. Describing her encounter with her assailant, she recalls, “He said he wanted to save me.”
Angie doesn’t ID Joe Mills from a six-pack of mug shots, insisting the man she saw isn’t among the photos despite unethical pressure from Linden. As the detectives leave, the vulnerable Angie says to Holder, “He took the left one. What if someone wants to marry me?”
Holder scolds Linden for her aggressiveness: “Everybody thinks [Joe Mills is] good for it except the girl who actually saw the killer.” And he notes there’s no connection between Mills and Ray Seward, who was convicted on his wife’s murder, which Linden believes was actually committed by the Pied Piper.
A question about Angie: Who delivered her to the animal hospital (where the detectives found her hidden in the last episode) and paid for her care? From what Holder’s regular partner, the cruel-finger-joke-cracking Carl Reddick, tells him about the way the veterinary technician/illicit ER doctor works, the guy wouldn’t have seen whoever dropped her off. But that wouldn’t be the Pied Piper anyway. So who would do that? Who would: a) know about this underground medical operation and b) pay for Angie’s care? Pastor Mike? Angie’s finger was found near his Beacon shelter. She may have knocked on the door, and he might have taken her there -- he has said the teens he works with avoid city hospitals.
In an interrogation room, Danette tells Linden that she barely escaped from Joe. She gives no details, nor does she bear any sign of injury. Linden chides her for not telling the police things sooner, and Danette replies, “You have no idea what it’s like -- to have a kid and be alone and have everything riding on you.” But Linden very much does. And, when her son Jack was living with her, he did disappear for a day (it turned out he was hanging out with his father). Danette begs Linden to find Kallie.
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Ray Seward, who has requested that the state hang him, gets a look at his fate on death row. He wakes to the sound of fabric tearing. It’s coming from Alton Hill’s cell. He quickly figures that his ally is going to commit suicide and tries to dissuade him. When it’s clear Alton is choking to death, Ray is supportive: “Now just let it go, kid. Nothing worth holding onto.” He stares long after Alton is dead.
Adrian Seward’s foster parents, in Seattle PD Director of Special Investigations James Skinner’s office to complain that Linden spoke to the child without permission, say that the incident caused him to regress. He’s sleeping in the closet again, as social workers said was his longtime habit. That sends Linden and Holder back to the old Seward crime scene.
As Linden picks the lock on the apartment no one has lived in since the murder, Holder muses that maybe they’ve been approaching the case wrong: “We’ve been going at it all Copernicus when we need to be Galileo … you feel me?”
Inside, Linden enters the closet where Adrian was during the murder of his mother, lies down -- noticing the glowing star stickers on the ceiling -- and has Holder walk the path the killer would have: Adrian would have been able to see his face.
She takes this information back to Skinner, her old partner (and former lover) with whom she worked the Tricia Seward case, and he’s having none of it: “There’s a difference between following your instincts and following an obsession.” She insists she’s following the evidence, that the 30-year-old Tricia Seward and all the slain teen girls are part of the same case.