AMC Articles By Amy Romine fiction writing The killing the muse TV

The Killing, The Muse, and Me


I was watching the season finale of The Killing last night and there is this intense scene when the cop, Sarah Linden is livid with anger, and she confronts the alleged killer who is a handsome business man running for mayor. The scene was fueled in aggression and emotion and in the middle of it I thought –wow it would be really cool right now if they kissed.

I thought about it afterward trying to analyze my reaction. Part of it I think was that I thought the two characters have had chemistry from the beginning of the show. They are the Alpha Males of the plot. Both have had endured an incredible amount of anguish in their lives, and for some reason I just felt that they fit. When it was revealed that he was the suspect most likely to have committed the rape, torture, and murder of the high school girl I was a little disappointed. My inkling of a possible romance between the two had been dashed away.
The other part of this struck me this morning when I recalled a blog hop question I have been struggling with all week. Is it better to write a good character with an ounce of bad, or a bad character with an ounce of good? This little scene I watched on the killing was like the epiphany of this question.

You have these two extremely complex characters thrown head to head. One represents good, the other evil. The attraction, the intensity of the scene, was spurred on by the build up of the plot to this pivotal scene. It is difficult to summarize if you have not seen the show, but basically the female character confronting the killer is really her confronting herself and her inability to choose happiness over anguish. His rage against her is actually a confrontation with his dead wife, whom he has been mourning for and feels abandoned by. 
 
I thought I would find you here Councilman
I’m busy you can show yourself out
I won’t keep you, I was just curious, when the car was going into the lake and she was begging for her life, how’d that feel?
Get out!
Maybe you felt nothing at all. You fooled everybody, the integrity candidate. Bullshit. That’s why Orpheus, the enchanter, a man incapable of loving anyone since his wife died
What on earth do you think you are trying to do?
He looked for her everywhere—
In other women, in other bodies but none of them were Lily
Stop
None of them were her,
You stop it
They look like her but they’re not
Don’t you talk about her–
Is that why you killed her?
You have no right! For two weeks you have been trying to burn me!
Rosie threatened to tell the whole world who you are,
Burn this campaign
How sick you are
And ruin all of the work I have done. Now when I am so close, the things I have had to do!
Like what? Tell me. (silence) No, what did you have to do?
I did nothing to that girl, nothing. Look at me, look into my eyes. You can see I am telling the truth.

Besides the fact that the Killing is an excellently written show, it is scenes like these that strike the muse in me. It is in this scene where I learned a little more about characters, people, and emotion.  In this scene, while the words are raging hostility,there is something within them that seems to draw them together, who knows what could happen? How would I write it? Could it ever possibly make sense? If I picked up on the chemistry, I have to believe it is there for a reason.  It works, it draws me in, and I love it.

Moral of the story, well, I guess don’t ignore the muse. No matter how ridiculous she seems. By not ignoring her and exploring my reactions I came upon a plethora (I love that word) ahem…a plethora of new insights! 

Here is the Season Finale of the Killing the scene I am describing is at about 34:00 mins. Great show and all are online now through July 13th for watching!

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