I have to admit there are plenty of things about “The Killing” that I simply did not see coming. I did not see Linden’s final act on AMC coming, did you? Nor did I foresee Holder becoming the clean-cut career man. You did not see Holder and Linden’s aborted first kiss coming, did you? Did you imagine the tree house? (Our fan group DID!) I did not see all of the grief I would feel watching Ray Seward writhe from the noose, did you? And loving a character on “The Killing” not named Sarah Linden or Stephen Holder? No, I certainly did not see that Bullet coming. When I tuned in to the first episode that April night during Season 1, I really did not see ever loving a television show, especially its fandom, like I loved “The X-Files.” I did not foresee an Emmy-worthy performance from a redhead NOT named Gillian Anderson completely capturing my imagination and attention. I did not see grimy, ex-narco cop Stephen Holder emerging from behind his one-liners and sad eyes to become the romantic hero and leading man, did you? I did not see how much fan group interaction we would get from the amazing team from “The Killing”- Executive Producer Mikkel Bondesen, Writer Eliza Clark, Billy Campbell (Darren Richmond), Kristin Lehman (Gwen Eaton), Eric Ladin (Jamie Wright), Jamie Anne Allman (Terry Marek), Seth Isaac Johnson (Denny Larsen), Katie Findlay (Rosie Larsen), Elias Koteas (James Skinner), Hugh Dillon (Francis Becker), Peter Sarsgaard (Ray Seward) Bex Taylor-Klaus (Bullet), Julia Sarah Stone (Lyric), Amy Seimetz (Danette Lutz), Aaron Douglas (Evan Henderson), Gregg Henry (Carl Reddick), Max Fowler (Twitch), Ben Cotton (Pastor Mike), Ryan Robbins (Joe Mills), Cate Sproule (Kallie Leeds), Jenn MacLean-Angus (Jennifer Skinner), Jewel Staite (Caroline Swift), and Benjamin Charles Watson (Rayna). Every single one of those people interacted directly with our fan group on Twitter about “The Killing,” even when its own network, AMC, remained largely silent. See that coming? What other fandom has that degree of company buy-in, so to speak?
Even if I could have expected cast and crew to enhance the impact of “The Killing,” I could never have imagined the impact its fans would have on my life. No, I did not see #TheKillingFam coming. I did not see that I would find a dear friend and sister for life in a fellow X-Files fan who would become my partner in crime, designing and managing this website, our Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. I did not expect that since the day we created this website, not a single day has passed when I have not heard her encouraging words on the telephone. Regardless of what AMC thinks, Melissa Maxey, you are still my BFF. We made new friends and gained leverage every week with “The Killing,” going from zero followers on Twitter in May 2013 (@TheKillingonAMC) to almost two thousand absolutely diehard fans and over 10,000 tweets today. Our fan group is dynamic, composed of smart fans, lawyers, doctors, writers, artists, from all walks of life in every area of the country. Every Sunday night, we talked East Coast to West Coast about “The Killing,” texting, blogging, tweeting, and chatting until the wee hours of the morning. During the week, those same fans, now my sweet friends, called one another to check on children by name, supported one another through dating, marriage, divorce, job loss, and health difficulties, and generally built one another up at every opportunity with hundreds of miles between us and only a television show as the underlying foundation for our friendship. I did not see that coming, did you? When I spent a few days in the hospital with a major blood clot, my “Killing” family bombarded my iPhone with calls, texts, and emails to check on me, to pray for my recovery. When I left my television on AMC to watch “The Killing” because I noticed that talented actress from HBO’s “Big Love” in a preview, I knew immediately that Veena Sud and company truly created something special. I suppose I just could not foresee how special, how personal their creation would become to me. Regardless of what AMC was thinking or what happens with Fox Television Studios, we can all attest to how inherently precious this collaborative creation called “The Killing” became for us, and no network edict can steal that joy from our group.
We started this fan group composed of many fans of “The X-Files,” and then “The Killing” quickly gained a cult fandom of its own. I did not see that coming, did you? Fans of “The X-Files” will tell you: We do not give up! We want to believe that “The Killing” will find new life on another network (Yes, we’re looking at you, Netflix. Oddly enough, many of us rehabbed from “The Killing” finale with “Orange is the New Black” and talked at length about how “The Killing” would be better served on a network like Netflix where cast and crew might have more creative flexibility). We will continue to promote Twitter campaigns to pressure other networks to pick up “The Killing” until we receive confirmation that all hope of Season 4 renewal is officially gone, and we invite you to continue to participate to help us promote #TheKillingFam. Please follow us on Twitter at @TheKillingonAMC and visit this website for information to help you learn how to maximize our trending potential on Twitter. While we await another network pick-up for “The Killing,” help us honor the quality of “The Killing,” its cast, crew, and fans, by thanking the members of #TheKillingFam that made it real for you, those people that even the lovable know-it-alls that identified Skinner as the Pied Piper from the first episode on Season 3 could not hope to see coming. We understand your fury with AMC: They cancelled our show twice, seemingly left promotion to cast, crew, and fans, slated the show against cable giants like HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “True Blood” and Showtime’s final season of “Dexter” only to quietly complain about ratings, premiering it on a date beyond the Emmy eligibility deadline for 2013 and burying its dismissal until late the evening before 9/11 rightly dictated all media attention. Even though the X-Files fans among us may see a greater conspiracy against “The Killing,” we have made the choice to adopt an attitude of optimism and gratitude, and we will direct our fervor positively to promote #TheKillingFam always. That is a choice I could not see coming, one that does not come naturally to this lawyer, but frankly, thankfulness is never something I have come to regret in my life.
Thank you, Veena, for inspiring us to reflect on and even to change our attitudes about women, motherhood, homelessness, friendship, love, justice, life, and death in one hour of television a week for ten blissfully short weeks.
Thank you, Mireille, for bringing Sarah Linden, the center of this story, to life complete with all her complications, requiring every one of us to actively waiver between whether we wanted to protect her or to condemn her from moment to moment every week and then wondering what that impulse means about our own integrity.
Thank you, Joel, for persistently encouraging us to remember that not everything is as it seems in this life, that even the drug addicted, dirty cop can be redeemed by friendship, love, and commitment. In the example of Detective Stephen Holder, we know that, even if we never see Season 4 of “The Killing,” Detective Sarah Linden was never beyond redemption.
Thank you, #TheKillingFam, for reminding me that unlike Sarah Linden, I have a compelling reason to stop running, and I recognize it. So, if you ever need Chinese food, someone to find you on the bridge when you are lost, or somebody to help spring you from the psychiatric hospital, call me. I will come running and complain later to you that I did not get there fast enough. If you are a member of #TheKillingFam, I know you would do the same. And that, I just did not see coming.