It’s almost comical how obsessed Sarah Linden is with the Rosie Larsen case, so completely obsessed that she constantly blows off her son Jack. Apparently when Jack went missing last season and The Killing’s writers devoted an entire episode to Holder and Linden’s search for Jack — and Linden’s mortal fear that he’d been killed — that didn’t send a message that was quite loud enough to penetrate Linden’s thick skull that she needs to do more than pay lip service to taking care of her kid.
She’s been bouncing this teen around from an apartment to a house boat to crappy motel rooms, telling him they’re moving and then they’re not and then they are and then they aren’t, feeding him food out of a vending machine. She can’t even make boxed mac-n-cheese without being called away from the task by the Larsen case. When Jack called her late at night, and she still wasn’t home yet, to tell her that he was sick, she said, “I’ll be home as soon as I can … I’ll pick up some Tylenol.” We viewers knew that was a lie. She wouldn’t be coming home any time soon, even when her kid has a 103 degree temperature. What’s up with that? Holder seemed more concerned about Jack being sick than Linden did.
Clearly, this woman has commitment issues to everything except to Rosie Larsen. This murder, for whatever reason, trumps all things from her son and a potential marriage, to eating and sleeping. I’m going to give the writers the benefit of the doubt that there’s some psychological reason, perhaps related to Linden’s foster child past, which will explain all of this. I really want some explanation for this behavior other than she’s a crappy, distracted parent.
Then there are the ever-suffering Larsen boys. Their mad-with-grief mom Mitch is off someplace screwing a strange man and stalking a seemingly lost teenage girl who has long, dark hair. She’s been completely incommunicado with her living children. Their escort aunt Terry continues to act like a substitute wife to Stan in her AWOL sister’s stead. (That embrace and kissing session between Stan and Terry was off-putting on so many levels.)
Then there’s their dad, the mob guy Stan who’s been pulled back into the world of organized crime to try to protect what’s left of his family although he’s not sure who he can trust, especially when Alexi Giffords, the kid whose father Stan offed years ago at the mob boss’s behest (then Alexi’s mom dumped him into the foster system) was hangin’ with his now dead daughter and claims that Rosie hated her parents. Stan is a pathetic mess — who wouldn’t be a mess in his shoes — but his needy boys are still there, living under his roof while he’s knocking on their aunt’s door lookin’ for some. And if Stan doesn’t do something to take care of those kids, his irate in-laws are going to sue him for custody. Then things’ll get seriously ugly, what with Stan headed to trial for beating Rosie’s favorite teacher within an inch of his life.
I’m also have difficulty with the Darren Richmond story. In the season premiere, upon learning that he had attempted suicide by leaping off the bridge upon which he’d proposed marriage to his wife (the same night Rosie was killed), viewers felt a great deal of sympathy for the still grieving widower who’s now paralyzed, courtesy of Stan’s suicidal right-hand man. Richmond has been justifiably angry about seeing his reputation sullied and his body wrecked, but to turn his predicament into a political crusade against the incumbent mayor diminishes his character. I don’t want the writers to go to there, to some dirty political fight, even if it does turn out that Mayor Adams was involved in a Beau Soleil/sex scandal.
And seriously, that last line that Alexi uttered, that Stan’s not Rosie’s “real” father … I don’t want to go to there either. Apparently it’s a Larsen family tradition to make sure that not only do you not talk to one another, but to make damn certain that no one with whom you live knows a thing about you or what you’re up to.