The Many Sweaters of Sarah Linden
Sarah Linden wears sweaters. Boy, does she wear sweaters! The fact that Sarah Linden wears so many sweaters is good TV because Sarah Linden lives in Seattle and is a detective on the go. Detectives in Seattle wear leggings and tennis shoes and raincoats and SWEATERS because it's a casual place and it does rain all the time* and if you're on a jog and then there's a motherfucking BREAKTHROUGH in your depressing but unbelievably engrossing child murder case then you keep on jogging right on up to the crime scene. And then you keep on working for the next, oh, 72 hours or so without sleeping or eating or, thankfully, changing out of your sweater. This is Sarah Linden.
Sarah Linden is my hero (except for Stephen Holder, who is absolutely, without question, my hero) and something you need to know about her is that she's a private person. She's not one to tell you anything, not a single thing, about herself. The woman is a troubled enigma. But if you pay really close attention, if you really look, you'll start to put the clues together. Ah! The murder isn't the only mystery here, and now you're a detective on the case!
The biggest thing I learned about Sarah Linden while watching The Killing is that her sweaters aren't just sweaters. Or, they are, but it's not just "oh, here's a sweater, let's move on." She has different types of sweaters, and they mean different things. First, she has her professional sweaters. These sweaters are typically (maybe always? I didn't TRACK her sweaters, sorry!!! I don't play by the rules! I solve mysteries MY way!) crew necks. Second, she has her off-duty sweaters. These sweaters are trying to swallow her head. These sweaters have a neck so big, so huge, that she can take a nap inside them anytime she wants (which is actually fantastic, because I have never understood LESS how a character functions given how little sleep they get (I think as the viewer, over the course of a three week case or something, we're made aware of like, 8 hours of Sarah Linden sleep TOTAL)).
This may be confusing at first, because you'll think - wait, but she definitely does wear those sleeping-bag neck sweaters while solving the mystery; I know I saw her poking around a field in a scarf sown to the top of a sweater - and you'd be right! Because Sarah Linden has absolutely no work-life separation and jogs straight from her run to the crime, remember? So the sweaters are key, they tell you what she was planning, what her mindset was, when she woke up (or just stood still in her kitchen for 15 seconds to mark the end of one day and the beginning of another), before she started her solving. They're like a great witness. And I'm like a great detective. Wow. Thank you sweaters, for teaching us about as much as we ever learn about Sarah Linden!
*But not THAT hard. It always looked like someone was standing just off screen hosing the characters down while they stood right outside their warm, dry car, having a heated conversation.