The Killing “Beau Soleil”

Posted on June 13, 2011

Let’s just, for shits and giggles, run down the history of the greatest mayoral campaign in the history of the United States, the legendary matchup between Seattle city councilman Darren Richmond and incumbent Seattle mayor, Lesley Adams. They’ll be talking about this one for decades. Since it was a highly unusual election that consisted entirely of wild accusations hurled back and forth between the two candidates, and no actual campaigning, as far as we can tell, this recounting of the tale will be fairly short:

“Dead girl in your car! It’s over, buddy!”
“Pregnant intern lover! Kiss your ass goodbye, Mr. Mayor!”
“Friend of terrorists!”
“Defiler of Native American burial grounds!”
“TEENAGE HOOKER KILLER!!!!!!!!!!”

And… scene.

It’s official. While the show remains impressively moody and occasionally haunting (if very, very moist), the plot consists of nothing but the most ludicrous and unlikely of twists, one right after another. Here we are, at the penultimate hour of the story, the point where a good mystery starts tying the various strands together, when an escort service frequented by at least two of the main characters and employing at least two others, just pops into the story with no earlier indications of its existence at all. Oh sure, we thought Aunt Terri was likely a stripper or something and we even entertained the notion that she was some sort of escort, but to have pretty much the entire investigation come down at the end to this without any warning, especially when there were apparently so many roads leading to it, is just plain silly. Nevermind the weirdness of them checking Rosie’s internet history twelve days into the investigation or how the managed to recognize Terri from her legs alone.

And then, how do we go from there to finding out the identity of the never-before-even-been-hinted-at “Orpheus?” Well! Linden takes a page from her Girl Detective’s Handbook and totally sends a secret accusatory note to “Orpheus” in the hopes that he will…respond to her email … by giving her his full name and address? That last part of the plan is a bit fuzzy. BUT. It’s very important that someone sit at her computer staring at her monitor all night and informing her of what happens while she pays a visit to soon-to-be-mayor Darren Richmond for … some undefined reason. And then! Darren leaves the room so Linden can hear the very loud email alerts he gets in his oddly integrated email setup that has his mayoral campaign emails coming in alongside his hooker-hiring ones! Again and again the ding of doom sounds and the boney finger of justice points to Councilman Richmond! Shocking twist!

Whatever. Here we go: Richmond hires dark-haired escorts who remind him of his wife and instead of sleeping with them, talks to them about his occasional suicidal feelings, such as fantasizing about drowning. Jamie killed Rosie because she either was one of these girls or knew something about Richmond’s big bag of issues. There’s just no way Darren’s the killer. We’re looking at one final red herring in a show that was nothing but them. Maybe our prediction is off, but Darren as the killer is way too easy, especially since AMC is breathlessly informing us that the last 5 minutes of the finale will have all America shrieking with fear and shock. Or something. Can you tell we’re uninvested? Silly, silly show. Even when the performances are great, we’re stuck  suffering through the kind of plot twists you’d see on General Hospital.

Oh, and one final complaint: What a shame that Michelle Forbes’ fantastic performance in the early episodes of the season is such a distant memory in the face of the nasty bitch her character has become.

[Photo Credit: AMCTV]

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