Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    May 31, 2013
    80
    It’s a bit of a rarity, an intimate, sprawling, and at times touching procedural that makes the networks’ versions of the genre look like simple board games.
  2. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    May 31, 2013
    75
    The biggest disappointment about The Killing's surprising return is its strategy for cheating death: by dialing down the ambition, by becoming more conventional. Still: It's good enough. And for this show, that's a strong step in the right direction.
  3. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    May 30, 2013
    75
    This is the closest thing to a fresh start the show is going to get, and there are some promising developments here suggesting this could ultimately be a more rewarding viewing experience than The Killing 1.0.
  4. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    Jun 3, 2013
    70
    A year after the Rosie Larsen case ended, this new chapter is compelling enough to earn some fan forgiveness.
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    May 31, 2013
    80
    The first episode took a little while to seem real, but, as Holder would say, I was feeling it before long. Like Linden, I was drawn back in.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    May 31, 2013
    80
    [Holder and Linden are] fascinating to watch as they work around Holder’s lazy partner and strong new characters who include a brilliant psychopath about to be executed.
  7. 50
    As was the case with the first two seasons of The Killing, this new one takes its sweet, sweet time getting going, and as it slowly gains momentum, it carries itself as if it's the greatest series in the history of American television, single-handedly reinventing the police procedural for the 21st century.
  8. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    May 29, 2013
    100
    So far, so great.
  9. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    May 29, 2013
    83
    Good, compelling, creepy start.
  10. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    May 31, 2013
    88
    What hasn't changed and what matters, is Mireille Enos's sodden, unshakable integrity as a detective who could outlast a pack of bloodhounds. [10 Jun 2013, p.48]
  11. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    May 31, 2013
    60
    I'm reluctant to lose my heart again, much less encourage anyone to follow me down what could be a dead end. And yet I'm intrigued.
  12. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    May 31, 2013
    60
    It's too soon to say if the show will again employ a bounty of red herrings, but the show's penchant for plot holes persists.
  13. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    May 30, 2013
    70
    It is finally unshackled, plot wise, from the far better Danish version of the show and should be able to pace itself in a more effective and gripping way than it did it the past.
  14. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    May 31, 2013
    75
    The performances are spot-on, of course, but Enos and Kinnaman were never the show's problem. Quite the opposite, in fact. Retooling the show with the murders solved at the end makes The Killing deserving of a new lease on TV life.
  15. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Jun 3, 2013
    75
    It's effective, finely realized genre work from a notoriously dark and idiosyncratic director and it speaks directly to the show's reenergized interest in exuding its own distinct personality.
  16. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    May 31, 2013
    40
    While it’s great fun to have Holder back--you could make a TV show out of him just walking and talking and it would be fantastic, because Kinnaman is so compelling--the Seattle street urchins at the core of the murder mystery are almost unbearable to watch. The acting, writing and scenarios for the latter are all mediocre.
  17. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    May 31, 2013
    50
    The creators take a fresh start, but cling to the sepulchral atmospherics that too often take the place of narrative. The series is still suspenseful, but the dread that once again follows Sarah through damp forests, deserted tenements and shadowy, rain-washed streets diminishes with overuse.
  18. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    May 31, 2013
    70
    It's too early yet to know if the writing can avoid the pitfalls of the "Who Killed Rosie Larsen?" story, but this is off to a promising start.
  19. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jun 3, 2013
    58
    That initial heat from Season 1 has been lowered to room temperature. Kinnaman continues to give The Killing a pulse. But he can’t do it alone, and at this point merits a new, more vital vehicle in which he can really gun his engines.
  20. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    May 31, 2013
    75
    It relies on excellent work from Enos as the dark, damaged Linden and Kinnaman as the slightly lighter Holder to carry us along even when the plot seems to be stagnating.
  21. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    May 28, 2013
    40
    Beyond the central duo’s initially sparsely connected threads and the splendid addition of Peter Sarsgaard as Ray Seward, a hollow-eyed Death Row inmate, much of the narrative meanders--so slow, bleak and dreary, it’s difficult to muster much interest as to when (inevitably) it’s all going to begin to intersect.
  22. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    May 31, 2013
    70
    The new Killing appears to have taken a sharp turn from the kind of emotional life that enriched the last season, with its drama of a disappeared daughter. In its portrait of family grief, beautifully nuanced to the end, the series landed a dramatic punch more potent than that of the key question, "Who killed Rosie?" Itself a mystery of considerable power, and one that the latest chapter of The Killing will have to go some way to equal.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 118 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Jun 2, 2013
    10
    Excellent premiere that is heading in a far better direction as compared to season 2! Mood remains paramount; it is a very blue show, temperamentally and visually. The Seattle we see here is a kind of parallel Seattle, darker, rainier, more mountainous, less American than the actual city. (Because it is Vancouver, to begin with.) For all the establishing-shot flyovers of the city, whenever we are on the street, we are somewhere else, a fundamentally poetic place whose soggy decrepitude has a vaguely post-apocalyptic feel. Full Review »
  2. Jul 11, 2013
    6
    This show is all about the mood. There is a constant uneasiness and unsettling quality to the show (similar to movies like Silence of the Lambs and Seven). This is done mostly with the visuals (locations, cinematography, lighting). Great locations and great camera work really help sell the grimy, dark tone of the show. The story of season 3 seems to be playing to that quality even more. Overall, it's a darker storyline. Overall, however, the show is just too slow and dull. Outside of Holder, the characters are just so bland. Most of the characters are generic and have the same dull, depressed personality. It's basically like they tried to stretch out a Law & Order episode into an entire season...but they didn't add enough interesting things to fill in all that extra time...so what you're left with is just a very long, slow-moving episode of Law & Order. Full Review »
  3. Jun 17, 2013
    1
    Hardly any suspense, street kids subplot is disjointed, characters not so compelling even though their respective situations are hard up and sad. Death row subplot is mostly just there for the gore effect. Not the tension between Holder and Linden, and between Linden's head and heart that were present last season are just missing here.

    I'll probably stick with it for next couple episodes to see if it gets more interesting. But, here's my verdict on episode 3: I got up midway thru and finished the dishes in the kitchen. Yawn.
    Full Review »