4/4/13

The Killing . . .

AMC's The Killing (canceled yet now back for a third season in early June) is one of my favorite TV shows of the recent past. Much like many of my other TV shows of the recent past, is not really "about" what it claims to be "about."

For those who missed seasons one and two (don't worry - no spoilers here) The Killing is the story of the investigation in to the murder of a 17 year old girl, Rosie Larsen, who lived in Seattle, Wash. The show picks up the morning after the murder in early October . . . just weeks before the city will vote for Mayor. The investigation quickly gets twisty-turny as everyone from Mayoral candidates, to Rosie's teachers, to even her own family are suspects. There are back stories from the Polish Mafia to Indian Casino corruption to statutory rape by a high ranking official. There's murder and suicide and mental ward lock ups and custody suits and paternity questions. It gets nasty. But it is EXCELLENT (in my never humble opinion) because it is so twisted and complex and dark and light and hopeful and sad . . . much like life.

I choose today to blog about The Killing because I've just finished a re-watch binge of Season 2 on Netflix and it struck me just how differently I watch each episode knowing how each story arc will end, what each character will and will not do, how everything will net out (those things that DO net out - they leave plenty of juice to squeeze in Season 3) and, of course, who DID kill Rosie Larsen.

Not to get all deep on you (fret not, dear reader, I'll probably be back to boob and older-woman lust posts by the end of the week) but it made me sort of think about life. There's no way Stan and Mitch Larsen knew their daughter was going to be killed in early October. Yet we learn they had been estranged from her for months before. There's no way Stan Larsen knew that Rosie knew of a secret between them (I told you no spoilers) yet she did. There's no way the Larsen family could be any more dysfunctional than mine at the start of Season 1 but, as Linden (the lead detective and center of the show) remarks one point - they only SEEMED normal. There's no way any of us know anything that's going to happen or how it is going to happen. As one character in the show even points out . . . "If you want to make G-d laugh, tell him your plans."

But we make plans. We set goals. We interact with our family, friends, colleagues, wait staff, bell clerks, postal delivery people, strangers, and foes in a way that implies we know the dynamic, balance, right- and wrong way, and intentions of every person and interaction. We all too often act like we went back and re-watched Season 2 of our days and nights and then went through them with that knowledge. We do it anyway. We do. Every day. I am doing it now in my job search and my stahled divorce. In my parenting and in my eating and exercising. In how I treat my family and friends. In how I don't treat them.

I sat on my couch at 1 AM this morning and realized something. I'm EVENTUALLY going to find myself in a situation of true jeopardy. I'll be in a situation, like Stan Larsen, where he's got a dead daughter, an unhelpful/lost to mourning wife, a sister-in-law at home, an older son stomping birds to death on the playground, a younger son deep in depression, a business in jeopardy, a debt to be paid, a friend gone, a prison sentence looming, and no one to turn to and no one for relief so he'll simply shout "Do you think I want to be here? Do you think I don't want to leave?" But I hope, like Stan Larsen (and PLEASE, if you're listening, Universe's Forces, don't allow me ever be anywhere NEAR his actual situation) I'll shout that out, swallow hard, exhale deeply and say "Get in the truck!" and drive the kids home and start making dinner.

I hope. I fear (quietly) what I'll really do is tell the situation to "Wait right here." and I'll run home and fire up my Roku and Netflix and try to watch what comes next to make a better decision now. Luckily (?) I won't have that option.