'The Killing' Showrunner Responds to Finale Backlash: 'I Don't Want to Be Kinda Liked'

"The Killing" (AMC)
Carole Segal/AMC

After Sunday's controversial, ambiguous first-season finale of AMC's The Killing, star Mireille Enos told THR, "There has been an Internet revolt!" Some pundits wonder if it won't slow the hot show's Emmy momentum just before Emmy ballots are due (June 24). But in an interview with THR's Kim Masters soon to air on the KCRW show The Business, showrunner Veena Sud says she knows the controversy is a big deal, but she thinks it's terrific.

"I'm flattered," says Sud, "and I guess surprised a little bit. But certainly it's a good feeling to know people are watching and talking about the show. I mean, the last time I felt this personally myself, and saw this type of reaction, was when The Sopranos ended its run [with a shockingly abrupt, ambiguous, mostly despised 2007 finale]. If the show can be in that company, it's a deep compliment."

"The fact that people love us or hate us is a beautiful thing. I don't want to be kinda liked. The fact that someone loves my show or hates my show is great." Sud isn't a big Internet reader, but heard that one thread suggests The Killing is gaining more fans than it's losing from the Season 1 finale.

"There was a very vocal person who said, 'I'll never watch this show again, I'll never ever come back for season 2.' And on the same thread three more people popped up and said, 'I haven't watched this show yet but now I will because you guys are so emotional about it, it's gotta be something to watch.' So that's a great thing."

The very same night that rival Emmy hopeful Game of Thrones ended its first season with some startling surprises but a conclusive narrative bang, The Killing chose to end enigmatically. THR chief TV critic Tim Goodman lamented The Killing's "dubious use of red herrings" and "one last twist and lame cliffhanger."

Sud suggests that those who object to the show's red herrings (like the finale's last-minute revelations that a crucial bit of evidence may be fake, a good guy a bad guy and the bad guy actually innocent) may be looking for an old-fashioned procedural, which The Killing emphatically and radically isn't. "They're complaining that there are too many red herrings?" Sud says. "Well, there's two ways to look at it. Either it's a left brain journey where you're just connecting the dots of who the suspects are or it's more of a holistic journey where a young girl is murdered these are the potential suspects and this is why."

Unlike The Sopranos, which will never resolve the mystery of its last scene, Sud vows to clear everything up. "I want to let people know and assure fans that they will know who killed Rosie Larsen in Season 2."