'The Killing' finale ratings really are here

The ratings for the first season finale of AMC’s The Killing are…

Actually, we changed our minds. We’ll tell you how the finale performed next season. How do you like that? Aren’t you surprised?

We kid. Not all of us can get away with messing with TV fans like that. Many viewers were infuriated with Sunday’s finale that refused to reveal who killed Rosie Larsen after being teased with red herrings all season. EW’s own Ken Tucker was disappointed, and AOL’s Maureen Ryan called it the worst season finale ever. As for the numbers, the episode came in above average — 2.3 million viewers, though still down aways from the show’s giant premiere.

Been thinking about the finale controversy. AMC and showrunner Veena Sud didn’t necessarily get themselves into trouble by choosing to continue the Larson storyline into season 2, but by keeping that fact so tightly under wraps that their decision became the season finale’s biggest shock. Viewers want to be surprised by what happens inside a story, not by the structure of the seasons. If what happened Sunday night was last week’s penultimate episode, nobody would complain. Or if AMC had told the media to let their readers know ahead of time the finale would not solve the case, fans would still grumble, but they probably wouldn’t be throwing around angry terms like “bait and switch.” Viewers love to be tricked by a smart story. On Sunday, they felt tricked by the network. Of course, if season two comes back at full strength next year, the network could prove that all the whining simply means fans are passionate about the show and that the strategy, though infuriating to some, was effective.

Read more:
‘The Killing’ producer defends finale, talks season 2
Did ‘The Killing’ finale satisfy or frustrate you?
Is ‘The Killing’ the new ‘Heroes’?

Comments (117 total) Add your comment
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  • Esta

    RoSie LarsEn, for one….

    • JANE

      I think all 2.3 million viewer are taking to the message boards. Could we have a Jericho peanut situation on our hands?

      • Cindy

        Explain please?

    • Sam J

      The reviewer on the NYTimes website said the killer WAS revealed last night. I read his article feeling stupid, like I didn’t get the episode. He thinks Richmond did it and it was revealed last night. He writes some viewers may feel there is a 0.00007% chance Richmond DIDN’T do it. After visiting IMDB and EW, I feel less stupid than the NYTIMES.

    • rerun

      It was just bad because I wanted to be done with the show and know who killed Rosie. But now I am done with the show and will find out who killed Rosie from word of mouth.

      • done with the killing

        same here. i am just done with the show. the writers don’t really know how to weave all the possibilities together to create the suspense and – i don’t know what to call it. all i know is i felt like the writers thought we were a stupid audience so they just tossed whatever crap they could.

        AMC’s stock will plummet with this show. Yes, AMC, you CAN do wrong and you did with this show. Get a new showrunner and team of writers.

      • VivianBrodine

        The final episode was disappointing and I will not be watching the show next season. I thought it was lackluster and the acting was bad enough that leaving us hanging was not a good choice.

    • Mike

      I thought the season finale was absolutely terrific. Loved the cliffhanger ending……

      • justin

        i completely agree. i thought it was a terrific way to end the season and i’ll definitely be watching the next.

    • Oddly random name

      I wonder why there are so many positive supporters of the finale on this website?

      And why do they keep using talking points like…noone ever promised the finale would wrap it up…challenging tv and the word bravo…

      Ha ha ha…AMC…you can’t unring this bell no matter how sad this covert pr plan is. NOONE is going to watch your show next year. Cut it loose before it sinks your brand.

      Bravo AMC!

    • Roger

      How could anyone be done with this show because of the finale? The show had outstanding acting and writing all season long. I loved the finale and it left me wanting more. Count me in as one that will be back.

      • Elizabeth

        I was in a state of shock for awhile..then realized that I loved the ending and the challenge of going over the entire season in my mind to figure out who really did kill ROsie LArsen…I watched every episode..enjoyed the acting very much…no one can fault the acting by the lead characters at all…..can’t wait until next season..now lets get on with MAD MEN…

      • Jeremy

        Yes it was. I had watched all of season one on Netflix… I love this show!!!!! I got my DVR set up to record all episodes. This show just has slot of twists, which makes a GREAT show!!!!

    • Lincoln

      I think Rosie Larsen killed herself.

  • James

    I never read anything about it being solved this season, so I thought the finale was really amazing. Watch it for what it is, geez. Losers.

    • Michael

      No kidding. I thought it was great.

      • mstrox

        Agreed – I had no expectations that it would be solved.

      • Jeremy

        I agree 110% too!!! ‘The killing’ is an Amazing show!!!. Two thumbs up…way up!!!!!

    • ugh

      ditto. people wouldve been pissed if it was case closed shut and dry.

      • wino

        nope, it wouldve been nice to see a resolution…of some sorts. i thought it was a cheap trick.

      • krayzeman

        The finale was great! Im glad we dont have another Twin Peaks on our hands where we get the payoff the first season then the next season you have no interest. I was always wondering that if the did solve the mystery this season what are they going to do the next?? All the folks cryin on the messages boards that they weren’t satisfied are gonna be the SAME ones that come back next season. I bet…lol

      • joeyjojo

        “Im glad we dont have another Twin Peaks on our hands where we get the payoff the first season then the next season you have no interest”

        That’s not what happened in ‘Twin Peaks’. In ‘Twin Peaks’, they didn’t solve the murder at the end of the first season, so some fans vocally complained and the others just stopped watching. The network forced them to solve the mystery early in season 2, at which point even more people stopped watching.

      • haley

        NO, we wouldn’t have, because they promoted this as being the American version of the danish series, where there’s a new murder mystery each season. THAT’S what interested me (I was a huge fan of Prime Suspect). Here’s the difference…I will watch a whole season of a murder mystery, long enough to be satisfying (more than law and order and criminal minds, which are wonderful but I’d love to see longer storylines over several weeks), but not so long that it drags out and gets pumped full of filler plotlines that are lame and don’t make sense. The writing got increasingly worse over time, and the plot became more and more unbelievable.

      • Roely

        Patrick,In case you didn’t notice, we’re now open for buniesss at !Have a look and feel free to order a free swatch kit if you’d like to see what the fabrics look in person.Dave the 7RL Team

    • kaydevo

      So, if viewers who invested 13 hours to an increasingly uneven show criticize the writing and plot path, they’re “losers?” What’s your problem, dude? I became very frustrated as the show floundered, turning the main characters into the most inept cops ever. But I stuck with it, hoping it would get back to being as good as the pilot. No such luck. It’s just not maintaining my interest enough to keep watching as it drags along. My criticism is totally valid, thank you very much.

      • chuck

        No, you’re not losers for criticizing the way it ended. But is sounds like early on you discovered the show wasn’t going the way you thought it was supposed to. My recommendation? You should have stopped watching then and there. I agree with James. Wasn’t the least bit disappointed. I honestly didn’t see any of it coming except for Belko trying to kill Richmond. Otherwise, intense, edgy and surprising. I loved it and can’t wait for Season 2. Bravo Veena Sud!

    • Mo

      I respected your opinion as just being a different one from mine until I got to the “losers” at the end, and then it lost all validity because all of a sudden you sounded like a cranky baby instead of a reasoning adult. Personally, I found the show tedious. I cared about Rosie in the beginning, but then she got lost in all the red herrings and the cops’ side stories. By the end I was watching just for the resolution, and judging from comments in other Killing-related posts, so were a lot of other people. If they had announced ahead of time that the culprit wouldn’t be named, their ratings probably would have been much worse. And no, people who have different opinions from mine aren’t losers. So there.

    • Carrie Ann

      I agree. People are totally overreacting. It’s just a TV show, and I don’t recall any promise that the murder would be solved this season. I think the finale set up a very interesting second season.

      • haley

        You don’t? Hmmm…they promised ipads to the people who correctly guessed the murderer on the suspect tracker, and promoted it as being based on the danish series which solved a new murder each season. They may not have directly said it would be as such, but they certainly misled people.

      • Sofia

        The show is wonderfully amazing!!!!. I’m hooked…now a fan!!!

    • Diogo

      Agreed, I loved the finale and I’m really glad there will be more The Killing! And they gave us a real clue – Holder is not who we thought he was…

  • Peter

    “Okay, Jack and Locke have opened the Hatch! They’re looking down into it, and……WHAT?!”

    • Jen

      My thoughts exactly! People raved over Lost’s confusing finales (even when it seemed the creators didn’t have a club), so what’s the problem here?

      • kaydevo

        The problem is the difference between the two shows: The Killing is a long way away from the quality of Lost. I’m a very patient viewer, and my patience is worn pretty thin with The Killing.

      • Aaron

        Because Lost didn’t have a single, driving mystery that they promised to solve in the finale. The Killing did.

      • Peter

        Actually, I was remembering the outrage over the way season one ended.

      • Heather

        Aaron’s right. The problem also is that is an example of a finale cliffhanger. The hatch wasn’t even introduced until halfway through the season and then it was only a minor story until the end. The small cliffhangers last night, like Holder and Belko, were fine. It’s the fact that the murder mystery ended up being a season long cliffhanger that’s driving people nuts.

      • haley

        What kaydevo and Aaron said. The Killing started off great, but became increasingly bad, leaving me just hanging on for the payoff of who did it. And a murder mystery is a horse of a different color…there really is a time limit on how far you can take it. Murder mystery fans are a discriminating bunch. Toy with us, start writing sucky plots and unrealistic garbage after hooking us, we’ll just flip to the back of the book to see who did it and never pick up another from that author. It’s the same with a show like this…yes, I’ll watch the first episode of the new season, but if it looks to be another 13 episodes of hand wringing and bumbling detectives who would be fired in the real world, I’ll stop watching, and keep the blogs on the back burner just to pop in and see who did it when they finally reveal it.

    • SusanR

      I couldn’t put my reaction into words until I read your post. That is exactly the same as the Hatch.

    • quangtran

      The difference between shows like Lost/Twin Peaks and The Killing is that those shows had qualities beyond their main mysteries. In the case of The Killing, people were hoping for an awesome reveal justify a long string of crummy episodes, and are outraged becasue it didn’t. It’s been a season of mostly nothing.

  • mstrox

    The problem is, if the network confirmed “You will not find out who the killer is,” then Richmond’s arrest would not have been as effective when it happened, nor would their “twists.” Sort of a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t thing, I guess.

    • bamalam


  • Joe

    Worst finale ever.

    • Jane

      Maybe………..I’m still left wondering what could have been after Angela read Brian Krakow’s love letter in the My So Called Life series finale…….

    • Ellen

      Joe, you must be too young to remember a season finale of “Dynasty,” which I consider the worst finale ever. At the end of the episode, terrorists invaded a wedding in the fictional “Muldavia” and gunned down all the wedding guests. It looked as if none of the main cast could have possibly survived, only to find them walking around in the season premiere a few months later! Rubbish.

      As the reviewer said above, I think this would have been good as a penultimate episode, with the mystery being cleared up by the end of the finale. I didn’t hate it, but I did feel cheated.


    I kept thinking that they said it would be solved by the end of the season. But the more I think about it, it was that someone will be arrested and that did happen. I was disappointed but then I love the anticipation.

  • Rosie

    I think it would be cool if the councilman did do it… and Holder was just trying to make sure that he didn’t get away with it.

  • Mike

    Not surprising the finale ratings were up. People were expecting a resolution to a mystery they’ve been watching for 12 weeks.

  • Brett

    I thought the episode was great, and I thought the episode before it was great, it was the 5 before those two that were a total bore and infuriating.

    • Prince william

      They could have deleted the middle four episodes and not lost a thing.

    • JD

      Umm “Missing” (episode 10) was possibly the best episode. But I agree after episode 5 it really kinda dragged till the last 3.

  • sherman

    I think listing your show’s promo line as: Who Killed Rosie? implies that you will learn the answer.

    They can come back next season but don’t expect me to watch anymore. I’m done.

    • wino

      good point.

      • Demit

        ugh it was SOO GOOOD. i’m glad though that i had read a bunch and was acltluay tipped off about the flower beforehand so i could handle the end revelation. even though i had figured it out i was still screaming!we need to get together dude this is unacceptable btw

    • Carrie Ann

      Yes, the show’s promo line, not the season’s promo line. The show is not over yet. It’ll continue for at least another season and I’m guessing there’s a whole lot more to Rosie’s death than just who the killer is.

    • MAS

      Let’s imagine next year’s promo – Who killed Rosie – we promise we know! OR We may actually tell you – who kille Rosie… really the options are endless.

      • Ellen

        I like it, MAS! Or they could simply go for, “Find out who killed Rosie Larson – or not!” Or “Watch Season 2 to see if the bumbling detectives can actually eliminate a suspect!”

  • DEXTERthinks

    I thought the finale was fantastic. I would rather have the new questions posed answered than anything. I thought it was brilliant and a great way to get the next season started….

  • Al

    To avoid making lazy people frustrated you often have to write down. The look on Sarah’s face sitting on the plane after the phone call… The odd look on Stan’s face… is almost perfect writing as we are drawn deeper into emotional turmoil. Look at it this way, it took Lost 5 seasons to drop viewers into the same place.

    • kaydevo

      This show has some of the worst writing and pacing I’ve ever seen. The detectives don’t know how to do their jobs, their ineptness has caused physical injury to people, and in real life, they’d be facing lawsuits over it. Linden telling Mitch the cops were about to arrest Bennett, visiting Richmond 3 times for flimsy reasons… no real cop would do that. Their boss doesn’t seem to do anything but nag and deny them warrants. The mayor would get sued too, for smearing Bennett and should’ve been accused of interfering in a murder investigation. Yes, it’s TV, but if the story’s not grounded in some kind of reality, it will not be very good.

      • hhu32

        I like how you can’t watch The Killing because it is unrealistic, but still praise the quality of a show like Lost. I think The Killing is a more coherent, well-acted show than Lost. I’ve been following all 13 episodes and even though some of them are better than others, I’ve never been disappointed. The characters are interesting, the actors great and the storytelling keeps you guessing what will happen next – that’s pretty good qualities for any show.

      • Simon Jester

        I agree. I watched LOST for 7 freakin’ years and STILL never got resolution to some of the questions raised.

      • haley

        hhu32, the reason for that is the appeal of The Killing was that it was SUPPOSED TO BE gritty and realistic. For it to then go on to have absurd plot lines and odd fillers is what made it bad (really, she was missing a plane every time she turned around, and her kid emails murder pics to the press? They cause two people, if you consider the councilman, to be hurt? No one noticed that Rosie was gone for hours every night hooking at the Casino? Holder doesn’t realize that his “photoart” can be discovered with just one phone call, or when the toll booth reads the paper and realizes people think they gave them the pics?) The characters aren’t interesting at all…with the exception of the grieving family…that was well done, in my opinion. But Linden is one dimensional, always scowling and looking puzzled, Holder is horribly skeevy, almost a cliche, and the politicians are such caricatures (this one’s the good one, the other guy is the bad one). Just bad writing all around. And tell me this…Rosie got out of the car, at a GAS STATION WITH AN ATTENDANT, but instead of running inside to help and a phone and a live person, decided to run PAST the gas station and available help, and instead run wildly through the woods barefoot…and that makes sense?

  • Meg Gates

    People aren’t pissed that there was a cliffhanger. Heck, all season finales have cliffhangers. What people are pissed off about, (myself included),is the fact that we watched it for 13 weeks, guessing each time who did it. I’m pissed off at the fact that I now have to wait a whole year to figure out if I was right. And I doubt I’ll even remember who I guessed by the time the new season comes on. But viewers just wanted to know if they guessed right or not, and that’s why so many of us are pissed.

  • Morgan

    I don’t know why everyone is freaked out. I like that it didn’t wrap it up neatly. It did its job and left me wanting for more.
    I like TV that breaks the mold. I didn’t want it solved CSI-sytle. I want character development, jaw-dropping-didn’t-see-that-coming moments, etc. It all started with shows like The Sopranos (with it’s controversial ending), 24 (killing Jack’s wife at Season 1 ending), etc. I like smart writing, acting, and a good riviting storyline, and we got all of that!
    Today’s audience is sophisticated and spoilers abound on the internet. Bravo to the creators to not following the formula. I’ll take this any day of the week compared to boring and predictible!

  • filmex

    I’m afraid the producers just drowned the show in the proverbial trunk. It’s as if they had no cognitive experience of American viewing habits.

    Both “Heroes” and “Flashforward” were amazingly gripping in their first months, featuring excellent storytelling. Then, due to the writers’ strike and bad network decision making, both went into extended breaks. They were never the same.
    Their once-rabid devoted audiences simply weren’t there when the shows resumed, and the hiatus they endured wasn’t nearly as long as the one “The Killing” is entering (Spring 2012).

    The excitement and passion the audience has lived now has a year to cool off. It will. People move on, especially the people irked that you couldn’t complete a mystery in thirteen hours.

    It will lose audience share, something almost impossible to replace as people who didn’t watch this season will be reluctant to join in mid-stream, believing it is akin to buying a discount ticket to a play where you take your seat after intermission.

    “Lost” could get away with the breaks, and a continuous story-line because of the plethora of compelling characters, not to mention eye-candy such as Kate and Sawyer whom many would watch running a lemonade stand in the jungle.

    “The Killing” has no such advantage. Enos is captivating, as she was on “Big Love”. Holder is an intriguing trainwreck, but that’s about it.

    Rosie’s mom makes Medea look like Martha Stewart, ready to sacrifice her two boys on the altar of her own grief.

    She does this even knowing her husband is about to go away for attempted murder. And her sister is apparently the twist that got Rosie mixed up with Beau Soleil in the first place.

    Not enough must-see characters to put up with for a nine-month leave of absence.

    “The Killing” will not survive to a third season, and the producers will only have themselves to blame. What a pity.

    • Mea

      Excellent review… and I totally agree.

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