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'The Killing' Season 3 Finale Recap

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Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 3, Episodes 11 and 12 of AMC's "The Killing" titled "From Up Here" and "The Road to Hamelin."\"

After last week's brilliantly written and acted episode, I had high hopes for the season finale of "The Killing." There were still a few loose ends to tie up, but I figured that we'd get all of our remaining questions answered, because if there's one thing that Seasons 1 and 2 taught us, it's that you can't drag stuff out. So I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with last night's uneven finale, even though we once again had another stunning performance from Mireille Enos. Despite my lack of excitement over the episode, it just can't end like this for Linden so I'm keeping my fingers crossed and praying to the TV gods for another season of "The Killing." Anyways, enough babble; here's your recap:

After a run through the woods to clear her mind after Seward's execution, Linden comes home to find Skinner at her door. His marriage has finally imploded and he seeks out his former partner and lover for comfort. Linden is more than happy to give it to him. Meanwhile, Holder has finally stopped his binge-drinking long enough to get it together and he apologizes to his ADA girlfriend. Lucky for him, she's dated more than her fair share of losers and the two kiss and make-up (yay!).

Skinner invites Linden to spend the weekend with him at his lake house, but she and Holder are called to another case. As Holder so poetically puts it, they have a "crispy critter" on their hands: a car was found torched and abandoned with a body inside. After a visit to the coroner's office, Linden and Holder find out that all of the victim's teeth are missing, they were removed postmortem AND the body is also missing its ring finger. Our detectives automatically deduce that the body is Angie's -- the runaway who had originally survived the Pied Piper -- but with Joe Mills still in jail, it can only mean that the serial killer is still on the loose and he's tying up his loose ends.

After comparing notes, Linden and Holder decide that the real killer has to be a fellow policeman. And after visiting the father of the first victim, they find out that Reddick was the family's next-door neighbor for years. Of course it's Reddick! He's not a horrible detective; he's just been leading a murderous existence for years. So when Adrian Seward goes missing, Linden and Holder automatically assume that Reddick has kidnapped him. They tell Skinner of their suspicions and he tells them not to tell anyone until Reddick is found.

So Holder and Linden go to the police station, where Holder is dragged into questioning with Internal Affairs for his earlier altercation with the yet-to-be-located Reddick. Since no one on this series ever picks up their phones during life or death situations, Linden seeks out Skinner who's packing up his stuff at home. Apparently, things got really bad between his wife and him and he's leaving the house for a while. As Linden is leaving with Skinner, his wife and daughter come home and Skinner apologizes to his daughter and hugs her. And that's when Linden and the audience see it: Kallie's ring on his daughter's finger. After a stunning visual sequence (the ice cream truck, kid on the bicycle and sprinkler really worked for me), Linden pulls out her gun and demands that Skinner take her to Adrian.

Except that Skinner never had Adrian; he'd just run away to his mother's grave to seek some comfort. Instead, Skinner decides to drive Linden to his lake house, in a sociopathic attempt to get inside her head. Less than 24 hours ago, the two had been lovers and probably planning a future together and now Linden's finding out that her boss/lover/former partner has been killing young street kids to save them from their inevitably depressing lives -- or so he says. Skinner, however, doesn't want to publicly pay for his crimes and he manipulates Linden into shooting him. And although Holder arrives on the scene to stop her, Linden still fires the final shot to end Skinner's life. And the screen goes black.

Random notes and observations:

Although part of me still wants to be naively hopeful, Kallie's ring on Skinner's daughter's finger pretty much confirms that Kallie's dead. Sorry, Danette. Maybe you can sort of adopt Lyric and permanently get her off the streets.

Out of all the troubled runaways, douchey Twitch is the one who may straighten his life out. Who would've thought it?

Reddick really isn't a criminal mastermind, just a bumbling idiot although he does find Adrian. So he's not a total lost cause.

AMC still hasn't announced if it'll renew the series for a fourth season, but I think they'd be ill-advised not to.

Finally, it's been a pleasure recapping the show for y'all this season and hopefully I'll have the opportunity to do it again for season four.

So, what did you guys think of the season finale? Let us know in the comments below!

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