Videogum

Is Detective Sarah Linden The Worst Police Officer On Earth?

Obviously, Seattle’s detective Sarah Linden isn’t the worst police officer in the whole world for one reason: she doesn’t exist! She is a make believe character on a TV show called The Killing. But, OK, can we talk about what a terrible police officer she is? Because it’s kind of getting outrageous. First of all, she allows her partner to use morally questionable tactics like smoking “fake” weed in front of high school students to illicit a confession, but then she also talks about him behind his back, cockblocks him with their boss, and in general doesn’t trust him and prevents him from doing his job. Well, which is it? Either play by the rules, or throw out the book, but you can’t happily let your partner throw out the book and then complain about shoddy police work after the fact. He’s not the one who followed YOU into an abandoned meat factory without a warrant! (There is also the part where she spied on him during an AA meeting, which had less to do with her abilities as a cop and much more to do with her failings as a friend and a human being, but more on that later when we talk about her fiance and son). So, after bungling a federal case by intruding on a potential crime scene without a warrant, she BREAKS INTO A FBI EVIDENCE BOX? Cripes. Meanwhile, when Rosie Larsen’s mother calls her in hysterics and accuses the police of doing “nothing” despite the fact that it has by Rosie Larsen’s mother’s own admission only been A WEEK since her daughter’s body was found, Seattle’s detective Sarah Linden promises her that it will “all be over tonight.” Whoa. Why would you promise that? I didn’t go to QUANTICO, or whatever, and I’m not part of the Blackbriar program, but even I know that you don’t just make promises like that to the families of victims, because what if something goes wrong? Even more importantly: why feed their irrational emotional breakdown? Speaking of the family of the victim, did you ever think perhaps that after Rosie’s father abducted your prime suspect and it was revealed that he had long-standing ties to the criminal underworld that you might want to at least keep an eye on him? See what he’s up to? No? Bad work, detective. You are a terrible detective.

She is also bad at most other things. For example:

She also happens to be a terrible mother. And a terrible girlfriend. Like, this whole “I missed my plane to go to the rehearsal dinner for my wedding, so now what I need to do is wait around for my fiance to call ME before I catch the next plane out there for my wedding”? What is THAT all about? Just get on a plane! What are you talking about? Her kid is sending photos of corpses to all his friends. Cool mom. Ms. Cool Mom. (Incidentally, having your kid send photos of a corpse from an on-going investigation to his friends? KIND OF COUNTS AS BEING TERRIBLE AT BEING A POLICE OFFICER.) And, of course, what I mentioned earlier about completely and unapologetically invading her partner’s privacy by watching his open talk at an AA meeting for way longer than she needed to if the point of spying on him was just to make sure he wasn’t leaking information to the press or buying heroin or whatever. But so here is the thing about all that: if you’re going to be a terrible mother, fiancee, and friend because you’re supposed to be so obsessed with your work, shouldn’t you AT LEAST BE GOOD AT YOUR WORK?!

And why does she seem to think that being a police detective is all about self-entitlement and complaining? Like, there are a lot of established rules to effective police work known primarily as LAWS and you learn about them in Police Academy VII. Why is she constantly baffled by the fact that she can’t just arrest everyone with no evidence and that her boss, the police chief, is hesitant to put his own career in jeopardy and destroy the integrity of the entire department by allowing her to illegally pursue her hunches? Oh, I know why she thinks that: because she is terrible. I REST MY CASE.