'The Killing' Recap: Biting The Bullet In 'Reckoning'

Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 3, Episode 9 of AMC's "The Killing," titled "Reckoning."

My heart broke on Sunday night. The second Linden started searching the Pied Piper's trophy box, I knew things weren't going to end well. And as Linden pulled out Bullet's necklace and then raced downstairs to stop Holder from opening the trunk of Mills' cab, I couldn't help but get teary-eyed. In "Try," we got a stellar performance from Mireille Enos as Pastor Mike's hostage; but in "Reckoning," it was Joel Kinnaman's turn to shine as Holder dealt with the aftermath of Bullet's murder.

One of the reasons "The Killing" is so enthralling is that the writers have created these really damaged detectives struggling with their inner demons. And as they investigate murders and come in contact with families and loved ones searching for answers, the underlying theme might as well be, "This could be me." Life is about choices, y'all, and what seems like an unimportant decision can send you down a path where your life gets turned upside down. Anyways, you guys aren't here for my philosophizing, but my recaps, so let me not delay that any longer.

"Reckoning" opens with an exhausted Danette putting up missing Kallie flyers in her neighborhood. When she arrives home, someone's in her house, and she has the desperate hope that it's Kallie. Unfortunately, she comes face-to-face with her child-pornographer ex, and Mills beats her up and takes her money and some of his camping equipment for a quick exit. But for once, Danette has the good sense to immediately call the cops and Linden and Holder are called away from the school, where they're waiting for Adrian to get psych clearance to speak to Linden. After finding a smoldering cigarette butt (does EVERYONE on this show smoke?) in Danette's storage unit, Linden realizes that Mills is still around and the two detectives run throughout the building looking for him. Unfortunately for Linden, Mills finds her first and he begins to beat and strangle her. Luckily, Holder isn't too far away and he's able to subdue and cuff the suspect -- but not before he and Linden give him the thrashing he deserves.

It seems that the entire Seattle PD shows up to investigate the storage unit, and when Reddick uncovers the trophy box, there's another reason to celebrate. Except that Linden finds Bullet's necklace, which sends Holder on a downward spiral as he deals with the guilt and regret over his last moments with Bullet. He breaks up with his ADA girlfriend, and when Linden shows up at his apartment to console him, he tries to kiss her, a move that Linden firmly but compassionately rejects (sorry, Linden and Holder shippers, but those two making out would've increased the creepiness factor of Season 3 about a hundred-fold).

Holder's on edge the entire episode and an ill-advised trip to the coroner to see Bullet's body ensures that he finds out that Bullet was calling him all night and Reddick was logging the calls. He shows up at Reddick's home and pummels the guy, and for once, I felt bad for the loud-mouthed detective, especially since Holder delivered the beating in front of Reddick's wife and daughter. Oh, Holder! And we thought partnering up with Linden again was going to be bad for your career move as a sergeant.

Going back to Linden, she finally has permission to speak to Adrian, who tells her that he was able to see the killer in his apartment because his mom left the Christmas tree lights on. After he positively IDs Joe Mills, Linden is certain that the case has been solved. At the police station, she gives Skinner the good news, but then runs into Danette. A casual conversation with her reveals that Mills was in Alaska during Tricia Seward's murder, so he couldn't possibly have killed her. So folks, we're back to square one on the Seward murder.

With less than 24 hours to go until his hanging, Seward is not handling his impending death well. He can't get ahold of Linden and even mocking Becker and the prison guard's screwed up homelife doesn't provide him with the twisted joy it once did. An extra hour in the yard finds him on his knees, begging for forgiveness, but all he gets is mocking from Dale, who's been faking his religious conversion to mess with the heads of his fellow death-rowers. Poor Seward.

And poor Becker. Speaking of choices (my philosophizing isn't in vain, y'all), making the wrong one really can send you down the wrong path. His home life gets that much worse when he comes home to find out that his son has shot a gentleman visiting his wife. This made me think of the scene earlier in the season, when Becker mocked Seward for being in prison and taking after his own lifelong criminal father. In his own way, Becker's son is following in his father's footsteps, but not in the way Becker wanted.

As for the teenage runaways, their numbers are dwindling -- we only have Twitch and Lyric left. Lyric delivers the goods news that Twitch is off probation and can travel to LA. But he has a change of heart and decides to put down the deposit for the apartment so that he and Lyric can have a home. It was a touching moment, yet one tinged with sadness since, though these two can start a new life, many of their friends are unable to.

So with only two episodes left, we sit on edge waiting to find out the truth about Tricia Seward's murder. What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments below!

"The Killing" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

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