The Killing: Season 1 (2011)



Critic Consensus: The Killing is a slow burning mystery with an eerie, mutli-dimensional story propelled by thoughtful writing, believable characters, and realistic horror, even if its season finale was unsatisfying.


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Air date: Apr 3, 2011
Air date: Apr 3, 2011
Air date: Apr 10, 2011
Air date: Apr 17, 2011
Air date: Apr 24, 2011
Air date: May 1, 2011
Air date: May 8, 2011
Air date: May 15, 2011
Air date: May 22, 2011
Air date: May 29, 2011
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This adaptation of a Danish-TV hit crime drama brings an addictive brand of whodunit from Scandinavia all the way to Seattle, where workaholic homicide detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) is assigned to the murder of teenager Rosie Larsen (Katie Findlay). As evidence slowly turns up, Linden drifts further and further from a plan to retire to California with her fiancé, while the grief felt by Rosie's parents and family is shown at heartbreaking length. Entering the fray are a street-wise partner for Linden named Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman), and politician Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell), whose mention of the case in his mayoral campaign proves to be just the beginning of the race's involvement in the investigation. The first season covers a two-week period in which rain is constant and red herring is the never-ending fish of the day, as suspects and evidence are presented with an ambiguous brilliance leaving viewers as puzzled as Linden and Holder.

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Critic Reviews for The Killing Season 1

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (22)

The disparate detectives of The Killing may have their own means and methods of getting to the bottom of this. But the overall air of believability is palpable from the start. All the better for taking a deep breath and diving right in.

Apr 3, 2011 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Killing marks another bull's-eye for AMC in presenting complex, literate, well-crafted television.

Apr 3, 2011 | Full Review…

The prologue practically functions as a schematic diagram of all the police procedurals - with their virtuous investigators and their quasi-necrophiliac tone - that The Killing seems to deconstruct and reassemble on a higher plain.

Apr 3, 2011 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Killing is emotionally spare and atmospherically dank.

Apr 3, 2011 | Full Review…

The Killing is your basic Law & Order murder mystery - the step-by-step investigation, the list of perps that expands with each new piece of evidence, the "aha!'' and "really?'' twists.

Apr 3, 2011 | Full Review…

The Killing is the least prepossessing, an eerily quiet, yet compelling and complex, tale of the way the murder of a teenager affects the lives of many people.

Apr 3, 2011 | Full Review…

The Killing is intentionally slow, and doesn't provide any of the usual staples of the genre as high-octane relief. No gun battles, no car chases - just cops doing their duty, politicians looking for ways to spin things.

May 15, 2018 | Full Review…

From the start of the pilot episode, we can see that The Killing is no ordinary crime drama.

Nov 19, 2015 | Full Review…

The fact that The Killing is nothing like other crime dramas on American television is a welcome relief. After all, between multi-city franchises and tired formulas, they are beginning to blend woefully together.

Nov 19, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It's more televised crime novel than traditional TV cop show.

Apr 3, 2011 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Killing: Season 1


Super Reviewer


Super Reviewer

An excellent slow-burning first season with compelling characters, great acting, immersive dreary atmosphere, and a deeply emotional focus that separates this show from all the other cookie-cutter CSI/Law & Order wannabes. The over-arching mystery involving Rosie Larson murder is compelling but it sometimes falters due to one or two over-the-top red herrings and brief hiccups in internal logic. The S1 finale is also an unfortunate mark against an otherwise really good season due it's frustrating cliff-hanger ending. Fully recommended for those who like dark and gritty crime dramas.


Super Reviewer

A real slow burner if there ever were one, which is positively a compliment. Where most crime dramas cheapen the loss of human life to a series of clue-whoring detective shorts, The Killing takes a long-sighted and unflinching look at the deep emotional toll murder takes on all those in proximity to the deceased. I'm not always a fan of the writing, Linden is hardly likable, and there is a real dearth of happiness; but by and large, Season 1 of The Killing is excellent.


Super Reviewer

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