So, the finale. Wow. I have mixed feelings, though the ending was incredibly powerful.
OK, the bad. Linden and Skinner hooking up? Unearned. I wish, especially given the twist, that we'd seen more of Skinner throughout the season. I totally figured out it was him as soon as they said was a cop, and I wish it had had more of an impact other than, "Whoa, that's going to kill Linden because they just hooked up 20 minutes ago." Yeah, I know they had history, but other than the one forehead touch in an episode (which was a nice moment), I didn't feel like their relationship was developed in the way it should have been to give the ending a huge emotional punch. I was never like, "NO WAY, it can't be Skinner! because I barely knew him.
Also, making Linden dumb to service the plot pissed me off. She should have realized Holder being dragged away by IA right after she told Skinner about her suspicions was fishy! She should not have gotten in the car with him three (or was it two) episodes after her ordeal with Pastor Mike. She should have figured out long before it got dark that Skinner wouldn't have had time to drive Adrian out to the lake house and come back. I can buy some of it was shock, but all of it? Come on. She's smarter than that.
Callie's disappearance more or less being resolved in dialogue felt like a bit of a let down after all the build up. I guess it's meant to illustrate that a lot of these girls just disappear and their families never get any closure, but given that it was a big driving storyline of the season it might have been nice to have more in the way of wrap up.
ETA: Oh, and the ring. I don't think serial killers give their trophies to their family members. Just saying.
All of that being said, there was a lot in the finale that I liked, and I thought the final moments were excellent. I loved the banter between Holder and Linden--they are cemented as one of my favorite duos now. It cracks me up when Holder teases her, and she grudgingly puts up with it. I also love that Holder reconciled with his girlfriend (who I really like) and that he didn't seem to get that one fight doesn't end a relationship (at least not usually). It was sad and sweet and I love how she handled it.
I loved Linden's brief moments of happiness. Her awkward smile is just so endearing. It's almost as if she doesn't quite know how to express happiness and it ends up coming out a bit odd. I love that.
I know I put it in my bad column, but Callie meaning so little to Skinner that he didn't even remember her was heartbreaking, and rang true. Man, I wonder how many girls he killed. Way more than the 21 they found. Also, while the serial killer explaining himself is an old cliche, it didn't just feel like rout dialogue here. I believed it, horrific as it was. I bought it.
And the ending. That ending. I knew about a second before she pulled the trigger that she was going to do it. Holder's plaintive "No, no, no" afterwards was heartbreaking. What happens next? I assume he'll cover for her, because I can't see him not. But I think it's going to eat away at both of them.
There has to be another season of this show.