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JUN
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2 YEARS

'The Killing' Premiere: Linden and Holder Embark on a Brand New Mystery (Poll)

AMC's revived drama returned Sunday for its two-hour Season 3 opener that introduced a slew of new characters and a new case. Will viewers keep tuning in?

The Killing Season 3 Premiere Mireille Enos - H 2013
Carole Segal/AMC
"The Killing"

[Warning: Spoilers from the season premiere from The Killing.]

The Killing returned Sunday with a new case, but this time it's not one victim -- it's several.

It's clear from the onset that the revived AMC drama, which has had a rollercoaster two seasons, is starting anew. The only returning characters from the first two seasons are Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Detective Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman), with a brand new cast of supporting players, including the menacing former cop turned death-row inmate Ray Seward (Peter Sarsgaard). Since walking away from detective work, Linden has spent her year moving on, now working at the ferries, cavorting with a younger boyfriend and smiling a lot more. But it's only a matter of time before that ruse dissipates.

STORY: 'The Killing': Peter Sarsgaard on the Rosie Larsen Case, 'Contrived' Endings and Season 3

It takes less than 15 minutes before Holder is reunited with his former partner, Linden, his lazy street drawl permeating the walls of Linden's new life. Holder informs her that there are a string of murders in Seattle, still rainy and gloomy, and Linden's connection to Ray may be key to finding the serial killer who's been targeting homeless street kids. But no matter -- the seed has been planted. It takes Linden a while, but she ultimately starts on a journey to find some answers, resulting in a haunting final image when she comes across more than a dozen body bags tossed haphazardly into a lake.

Since season three kicks off with a new mystery, here are some of the biggest questions introduced in the two-hour premiere. Plus, take The Hollywood Reporter's poll.

1. Is Linden back on the case?

The simple answer: yes. But will Holder and Linden become partners again? That's a far more complicated question.

2. Where is Kallie (Cate Sproule)?

After failing to land one of three available beds at the local Beacon Home, Kallie -- from a broken family; troubled mother Danette (Amy Seimetz) can barely take care of herself -- roams the streets after declining Bullet's (Bex Taylor-Klaus) bed pass for the night. She's also in possession of a ring Bullet considers invaluable. Kallie is last seen getting into a nondescript car later that evening, and when she doesn't meet Bullet at their usual spot on the bridge the following morning, Bullet searches the city -- Kallie's mother's home, the police station, their usual hangout -- to no avail. While others seem to believe that Kallie will turn up, Bullet's less sure. The allusion of the ring is significant, as Holder and Linden have inferred that the killer at large likes to take the female victims' rings postmortem as trophies.

STORY: How 'The Killing' Came Back to Life

3. Who is Ray Seward?

A former cop convicted of killing his wife, Ray is now on death row -- a few weeks away from execution. It's not apparent just how dangerous Ray is until a meeting with a priest during what seems to be an atonement for his sins. (Really, it's not.) Later during a meeting with his lawyer, another piece of information about Ray -- who has one last appeal he can bring to the governor -- is sussed out: He has a 10-year-old son, Adrian, who continues to draw an ominous forest surrounded by water. (It's his drawing that leads Linden to the body bags in the lake.) "There's still time to be a father to him," his attorney reasons. That prompts Ray to opt out of the usual lethal injection and instead choose death by hanging. "So that way when they kill me, they'll hear it," he says maniacally. The possibility that Ray may not have killed his wife surfaces when Linden compares details of the current string of murders to that of Ray's wife. His wife's ring suspiciously went missing, and when Linden visits Ray to find out what he did with said ring, he fails the to give specifics, leading Linden to question his true involvement. Also, Ray manages to have a prison guard do his bidding when he asks to speak to his lawyer -- really, it's to call Linden's ex-supervisor, James Skinner (Elias Koteas) -- to formally invite him to his execution.

4. Who is Twitch (Max Fowler)?

Another down-and-out teen, Twitch, has aspirations of becoming a model and actor in Los Angeles. But for the moment, he's stuck in the grime of Seattle.

Notable quotable:

  • "Serenity, sounds like a stripper's name." -- Holder's girlfriend, played by Firefly/Serenity alum Jewel Staite, of his chest tattoo

Now that you've seen the season three premiere, will you continue to tune in to the rest of the season? Take THR's poll below:

Is Ray Seward truly innocent? How will Linden and Holder's working relationship be affected? Can Twitch and Bullet be saved?

The Killing airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on AMC.

E-mail: Philiana.Ng@thr.com
Twitter: @insidethetube