The acclaimed drama is back, and nobody is more excited than the punk legend.
Beginning with last year’s much-heralded pickup and streaming of a new season of the comedy Arrested Development, online entertainment service Netflix has gotten into the business of reviving critically-acclaimed but little-watched—and cancelled—TV series. At the beginning of August, Netflix debuted season 4 of The Killing. A shortened season of only six episodes, the show maintained its cast, crew, and tone, despite the change of venue.
The Killing debuted to moderately high ratings in 2011 on AMC, promising to solve one murder over the course of its season. Instead, it ended the season on a cliffhanger. While the case was wrapped up at the end of season 2, more than half of The Killing’s viewers had abandoned the show and AMC shortly did thereafter, too. In early 2013, however, they had a change of heart, and gave the show a surprising one-season renewal. (It didn’t hurt that series leads Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman had been cast in blockbusters such as World War Z and the remake of RoboCop, respectively.)
But once again, The Killing frustrated viewers—season 3 ended on an incredibly dramatic twist ending and cliffhanger (we aren’t going to give it away) that left a lot of the future of Detective Sarah Linden (Enos) in doubt, if not jeopardy. And AMC didn’t renew the show, which meant it looked like the show would never resolve itself.
Perhaps the most frustrated Killing fan was Patti Smith—the iconic New York music legend, poet, and songwriter who recorded the classic 1975 album Horses and wrote the Bruce Springsteen classic “Because the Night.” According to series creator Veena Sud, Smith was so distraught that she wrote multiple short stories about Linden to resolve the story in various ways, if only to make herself feel better. (Yes, Patti Smith wrote TV character “fan fiction.”)
Smith’s devotion was rewarded. In late 2013, Netflix picked up The Killing for a final season…in which Smith appears in a cameo role, barely recognizable as a doctor in a hospital.