Recap Season 3 Of 'The Killing' Before Netflix Releases Season 4 Of The Whodunnit Mystery

The notoriously rain-drenched crime drama that aired for three seasons on AMC is back this week on Netflix, despite AMC having canceled The Killing... twice . Sure, the show may have dragged out the Rosie Larsen mystery one season too long. Sure, it might delight in its own soggy misery a bit too much. But fans of quality acting and compelling female characters should be thrilled that Netflix gave the show a chance to wrap up its story with a final run of six episodes, all up for binge-able viewing this Friday.

Rosie Larsen and her overly-prolonged investigation are (thankfully) a thing of the past. Season 4 will focus on a Killing at an all-boys military academy, whose headmistress is played by guest star Joan Allen. Don't quite remember where we left off at the end of Season 3? Do you forget exactly what happened to Detectives Linden and Holder? No worries — I'm here with a refresher course to get you primed for the final season. So take this chance to debrief yourself on The Killing's most recent case, just in time to dive into its final mystery.

Ray Seward

Season 3's case-of-the-season revolved around a serial killer who abducted and murdered young female prostitutes off the streets of Seattle. A connection was found between the active investigation and an old case of Detective Linden's when it was discovered the killer was taking trophies from his victims. That old case revolved around Ray Seward (guest star Peter Sarsgaard) who was convicted of murdering his wife Trisha. Linden was responsible for putting him away, but when she realizes Trisha's finger was broken and her ring was missing just like the murdered prostitutes, she begins to second-guess Seward's guilt.

It turns out Seward was, in fact, innocent: Trisha was murdered by the serial killer, who was actually after their son Adrian. (Adrian had seen the killer disposing of bodies while playing in his treehouse.) Linden realizes Seward's innocence too late to stop his execution. Seward is hanged, although his neck doesn't break, and he's left to strangle to death painfully.

Stephen Holder

During the course of the investigation, Linden's erstwhile and foul-mouthed partner bonded with one prostitute in particular, the spunky Bullet. The tomboyish lesbian found herself embroiled too deeply in the case when she hit the streets looking for her abducted crush, Lyric. Bullet's probing brought her into the crosshairs of the killer, and Holder was devastated when he found her body stuffed in a trunk.

Although Linden and Holder's relationship has (refreshingly) never been about romantic tension or will-they-won't-they drama, some viewers had wondered if anything intimate might ever blossom between the partners. The writers teased this contingent when a distraught Holder leaned in to kiss Linden as she comforted him, but it was more a confused expression of grief than a proclamation of love. Linden gently pushed him away, and their relationship has remained platonic since.

Sarah Linden

As for our protagonist, she had the mother of all shocks when she realized the serial killer she'd been looking for all season was actually her former partner (and former lover) James Skinner. She made the connection when she glimpsed one of the killer's trophies — a victim's ring — on his daughter's finger. Skinner killed Trisha Seward all those years ago, he killed seventeen prostitutes, he killed Holder's friend Bullet... and, believing that he had also finally killed his intended target Adrian Seward, Linden shoots Skinner in the stomach.

However, Holder discovers that Adrian is, in fact, still alive — Skinner had been bluffing, hoping that Linden would kill him in retaliation. Holder tells his partner this, urging her to put her weapon down. But despite the knowledge that Adrian is safe, Linden can't forgive Skinner for his horrific betrayal, and she puts a bullet in his head.

And so Season 3 of The Killing ended with both Seward and Skinner dead, Holder bereaved, and Linden a killer herself. What will the consequences of this cliffhanger be? Will Linden and Holder solve their last case?

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Images: AMC (4)