The Killing: Season 4 Promises Military-School Mystery, Plus Linden's… Mother?

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The Killing
Get ready for How We Met Linden’s Mother — laugh track not included.

Yes indeed, The Killing – which was canceled by AMC, but got a second lease on life last when Netflix ordered a six-episode final season – is looking to cast the role of its lead detective’s mother, a woman described as being in her mid-50s or 60s, with a “startling” physical resemblance to her daughter (played by Mirielle Enos).

Fans of the gritty Seattle-set crime drama know that Sarah Linden was abandoned by her mom as a girl — and subsequently grew up in the foster-care system. According to a casting notice, we’ll learn that the woman has since been living in a completely different world, and that Sarah will find her mother happy, well-mannered and well put-together, having “built a stable life” with a new, middle-class family.

The role is only expected to span “two great scenes,” but will find the estranged mom proving “unexpectedly insightful” about her girl — despite all the years that have passed without seeing one another.

Additional casting notices for Season 4 — including a quartet of series regulars and one guest star — shed some light on the mystery that Linden and her most excellent partner Holder (Joel Kinnaman) will investigate. The series regulars include:

* Linden’s Season 4 nemesis — Margaret O’Neal, a (possibly androgynous) woman from a long line of military types who’s in her mid-40s or 50s and is “the head of an all-boys military academy based outside of Seattle.” Dishonorably discharged from the military “due to her involvement in a questionable incident during one of her tours in the Gulf,” Margaret prides herself on a rigid exterior of strength and discipline, but has “a deeply buried maternal instinct, one she has projected instead onto the troubled academy boys she is charged with molding into men.” O’Neal inherited her job from her father, and her grandfather before him, and it’s all she’s got to hold onto. In other words, don’t look for her to be too cooperative in helping Linden and Holder determine her school’s role in this season’s murder investigation.

* Cameron Stanton, the 16- or 17-year-old “black sheep of his wealthy, well-connected family.” This gentle soul will forge a bond with Linden — perhaps because she sympathizes with his struggle to survive in the “viciously competitive, dog-eat-dog world of Seattle’s best and brightest” and then later in the violent and cruel environment of an academy populated by “troubled boys desperate to please their alpha dads.”

* A.J. Fielding, Cameron’s “charismatic, over-achieving, attractive” classmate, a kid who’s viewed as a leader and a success story, but with a manipulative penchant for taking weaklings under his wing. “There’s a price to his friendship and protection,” according to the outline for Season 4.

* A third academy student, Lincoln, enlisted at the academy “after allegedly attempting to sexually assault a female teacher at his former high school.” He’s described as “a troubled boy” who wears his anger, instability and deeply felt misogyny on his sleeve. “He not only chafes under the rule of academy administrator [Margaret O’Neal] but is openly hostile to any of the weaker and smaller male cadets, anything or anyone perceived as even remotely feminine is to be derided and destroyed.” Did someone say “prime suspect”?

* Finally, producers are looking to cast a pretty female in her mid-20s for a three-episode arc. Kat is described as a smart “girl from the street, dealt a tough hand,” but “surprisingly succeeding at bettering her life” — despite a suspicious view of wealthy do-gooders. She’ll bond with Cameron as a result of their status as “outsiders and lonely souls.”

Excited about these casting notices for The Killing‘s miracle season? Stressed about a Linden family reunion? Sound off in the comments?

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