Does 'The Killing' Need A New Captain?
Fans usually revolt when a showrunner leaves or is replaced on the series they've brought to prominence (think Dan Harmon and Community, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Gilmore Girls or Bill Lawrence and Cougar Town) -- but I have to wonder if The Killing might actually benefit from parting ways with showrunner Veena Sud after Sunday's season two finale.
While The Killing's acting and cinematography have always been universally praised, the storytelling and pacing have continually come under fire. And I'm not only talking about the massively controversial season finale that failed to answer the central question, Who Killed Rosie Larsen? Which was, admittedly, a major marketing mistake.
That aside, there have been countless episodes where Veena led her characters so far off-course, you wondered if she even knew where the path lied. Sure, some segues have strengthened the overall storytelling (a recent example is Linden's temporary psychiatric hold), but the majority of the show's red herrings, random tangents and interrogated suspects have not only been dead ends, but led many to see Linden, Holder and The Seattle P.D. as incompetent to the point of being criminal.
Interestingly, the storytelling actually allows for Veena to be replaced since it's widely known that Sunday's season finale will not only finally resolve Rosie's murder, but also mark the final time we see many of the characters. "They introduce a whole new case at the end of season two, which means the end of [The Larsen Family]," Jamie Anne Allman, who plays Terry, told TheInsider.com a few weeks back. "It's done. Whole new case, whole new cast."
Given that upcoming change, swapping showrunners every other season could actually reinvigorate the show and recalibrate people's expectations for season three. From where I sit, this change could not only be attractive to critics who are wary of following Veena down the rabbit hole once again, but also to any potential new boss, for whom The Killing could function as a 22-episode miniseries.
Will Veena's exodus be announced in the weeks to come? Unlikely. But one glance at the renewed interest in Smash after showrunner Theresa Rebeck jumped ship after season one proves that it might not be the worst idea ever. Especially since the worst idea ever was already used when Bennet's mosque became a centerpiece in season one.