The Killing finale is still inspiring a tremendous amount of backlash. Since the finale didn’t quite do what it promised, and left the person who did the titular killing a secret, most critics and fans are feeling betrayed. This is a direct reversal of how they felt when the series started, as it was hailed as the next great mystery show. However, 13 weeks later, AMC’s latest hit will head into Season 2 with decidedly lower expectations.
Warning: Spoilers follow
Since the series got renewed for Season 2 — albeit just a few weeks before the Season 1 finale — it was obvious that some loose ends would remain. But everyone thought that the killer of Rosie Larsen would be uncovered, even if it wasn’t new prime suspect Darren Richmond. Yet although the real murderer had a shocking accomplice, he or she remained in the rainy shadows.
As such, the episode inspired the worst backlash on the TV blogosphere since the penultimate Game of Thrones outing the previous week. But while that show’s fans were divided over the murder of Ned Stark, many more still hailed it as one of the most daring twists in recent TV history, even if the books did it first.
In some ways, The Killing took a similarly radical risk. However, Game of Thrones can still draw on a rich fantasy world, and several more books, to prove that it can survive and thrive without Ned. But this show has less wiggle room, given that it isn’t based on a preexisting franchise and was losing more critical approval as the season went on.
No matter how many Game of Thrones fans jumped ship after Ned’s demise, enough remained to give its finale the series’ highest ratings ever, ensuring its place as cable’s next big hit. Yet can The Killing keep viewers eager to guess who killed Rosie for another full year, after they thought the answers were coming Sunday?
Judging from the critical reactions, it will be a very hard sell. TV.com’s Louis Peitzman called the ending the “disappointment of the year,” while Cultural Learnings’ Myles McNutt predicted that the controversy would “threaten the future” of AMC’s previously unshakable brand.
The only person who really seemed to love the lack of closure wasn’t a TV critic. Michael Moore, of all people, gave his approval on Twitter, stating that critics just “want their pretend world 2 b tied up cause the real 1 is such a mess.”
When The Killing first premiered to rave reviews and fanfare, critics loved that it wasn’t like traditional cop shows. But as the finale proved, sometimes viewers don’t want everything to be done differently. Truly, not every broken rule can meet with a Game of Thrones level of approval.
TV.com- “The Killing’s Season Finale: Disappointment of the Year”
Cultural Learnings- “Hiding Behind the Brand: How The Killing Threatens the Future of AMC”
Michael Moore (MMFlint) on Twitter