Those Who Kill

You have to be worse than them.

Aired: Season 1 aired March 3rd–May 18th, 2015 on A&E and LMN
Genre: Crime, Drama, Police Procedural, Thriller
Network: A&E; moved to Lifetime Movie Network for ep. 3
Series Creator(s): Glen Morgan

Cast:

Chloë Sevigny … as Catherine Jensen (series regular)
James D’Arcy … as Thomas Schaeffer
James Morrison … as Frank Bisgaard
Bruce Davison … as Howard Burgess
Omid Abtahi … as Jerry Molbeck
Kerry O’Malley … as Mia Vogel
Anne Dudek … as Benedicte Schaeffer
Michael Rispoli … as Wilkie
Dino Rende … as John Schaeffer
Kyle Bornheimer … as Paul
Kathy Baker … as Marie Burgess
David Dale McCue … as Pittsburgh Police Officer
Shannon M. Hart … as Attorney

Status: Canceled by A&E due to low ratings; Season 1 out on Region 1 DVD & VOD.

Overview
Memorable Catherine Quotations
Said of Those Who Kill
Those Who Kill Series Trivia
Critical Reception
Those Who Kill Online


Spoiler Warning: Please be advised that this page is meant to be a comprehensive overview of a TV episode or -episodes and is likely to contain critical spoilers as to the various story-wise outcomes. If you’d like to remain spoiler-free as to what happens in the episode(s) in question, we suggest you not read any further.


More photos in our Those Who Kill gallery


Overview

From Lifetime Movie Network:

As a freshly minted homicide detective, Catherine Jensen has garnered a reputation for overstepping her boundaries in her unrelenting pursuit to solve Pittsburgh’s most gruesome murders. Motivated by her past, including the disappearance of her brother and the suspicion that her stepfather is a serial killer, she often finds herself emotionally connected to the victims she’s investigating. Jensen enlists the help of Thomas Schaeffer, a forensic psychologist who has a tumultuous relationship with the police department, to provide insight into her cases and her personal investigation into her stepfather. He too finds himself deeply connected to each case, but often through the killer, which proves to be a hazardous undertaking. The pair shares a skewed sense of judgment that often puts them, and sometimes even their families, at risk. As these two captivating yet flawed characters come together, their bond often rescues them from their individual demons but may be the source of more harmful tribulations.

Chloë Sevigny stars as Catherine Jensen, the series’ ambitious and brilliant homicide detective with a dark family history.

List of Episodes:

Chloë Sevigny appears in the following episodes of Those Who Kill:

Season 1 (March 3rd–May 18th, 2015)

Episode 1.01 “Pilot”
Episode 1.02 “The Way Home”
Episode 1.03 “Rocking the Boat”
Episode 1.04 “Sunday”
Episode 1.05 “Souvenirs”
Episode 1.06 “Always After”
Episode 1.07 “A Safe Place”
Episode 1.08 “Insomnia”
Episode 1.09 “Untethered”
Episode 1.10 “Surrender”


Memorable Catherine Quotations

Quotations coming soon/not available.


Said of Those Who Kill

Select quotations regarding the show from Chloë Sevigny and her co-workers:

Describing her character Catherine Jensen:
“Catherine is actually very similar to my character in Hit & Miss. She’s very shut down, she’s um… She’s trying to find some peace in her life, she’s not very good with relating to other people and um… You know, she’s just trying to solve something that happened to her when she was younger so she can find some peace.”
TVweb interview, March 6th 2014

Describing her character Catherine Jensen:
“Part of the mystery of the show is her character and what’s revealed about her past and how she deals with it. She is in a very dark place, and she’s trying to figure out how to climb her way out of it. She had something horrible happen to a loved one when she was smaller, and now it’s been her life mission to avenge his death. She’s just like one-track mind, very focused… though she does get distracted by some men. Of course. [laughs] Duh. Desmond Harrington who was on ‘Dexter’ is one of my love interests, which is not too shabby. [laughs] But what I liked the most about her is she comes from this kind of punk rock background — she had grown up going to all these hardcore shows, and you see her in a punk bar. I think it’s interesting that this girl who was such an outcast growing up then joins the police force. I think that happens often with people who feel no kinship anywhere.”
Yahoo.com interview, March 3rd 2014

On how and why she got involved in the show:
“With Those Who Kill, they approached me and said they were interested in me playing this part and sent me the pilot episode. And I read it and I… I went in and met with Brian Grazer and all the other producers and some of the writers involved, and they talked me through the season and what they wanted me to do, and… You know, at first when I read the pilot I thought it seemed a little procedural, but they said, ‘No, we really want this to be a character-driven story’, and they told me a bit about my character’s backstory and what she’s going through. And it just sounded like something I’d like to explore.”
TVweb interview, March 6th 2014

On her initial hesitation to join the show:
“I was a little trepidatious. […] [It] was an existential crisis question: ‘Should we be putting more violence out there into the world?'”
NY Daily News interview, March 2nd 2014

On how she prepared for the role:
“In preparation for this, I watched the first season of ‘NYPD Blue’ with David Caruso and Dennis Franz, just as inspiration. I was like, ‘How am I going to get through all the crime solve-y stuff?’ Because I kind of find that a little… but with doing so little, they brought so much to those characters. I was like, if I could do something kind of half-way between what those two guys were doing… [laughs] They were so brilliant. It was such a brilliant series. I blew through that whole first season when I was in Pittsburgh. They were so good. It was really controversial when it first aired, and then famously, Caruso left… he’s just so cool on it. And Franz is cool. They were just so effortless. So I was trying to mimic their performances on ‘Those Who Kill’… I was like, ‘I’m gonna be a cool detective.’ [laughs]”
Yahoo.com interview, March 3rd 2014

On looking to go more commercial with the show:
“I thought this was like more commercially viable which would be more of a surprising choice for me to make now in my career. If I was just doing another weird, arty, indie movie, it would be more expected. This is kind of like, ‘Whoa, she’s playing a cop — who would’ve thought that?’ You know what I mean? [—] I was just feeling a little bit of like a stalemate [with my indie reputation] and I felt like I needed a little jolt of something. I was hoping that this could provide that. I’ve never been the lead on a show. I’ve never been the lead in a movie.”
Yahoo.com interview, March 3rd 2014

On her favorite episode:
“The fourth episode is my favorite. This might not be very interesting to your readers, but it was kind of worth doing the entire season just because I do have this one scene where I have this 10-page monologue in a basement, explaining the story of what happened to me when I was small. Just getting to do that anywhere on the big screen or the small screen… it’s a rare opportunity. I’m really excited for that one. When I went in and they pitched the show to me and told me what they wanted to do with it, that was one of the things they were talking about — having different moments in each episode where it’s not just following along with the crime.”
Yahoo.com interview, March 3rd 2014

On a production pet peeve:
“My hair. […] They kept on curling it, and I was like, ‘I’m not going to be getting out my curling iron every morning before I go fight crime!'”
NY Daily News interview, March 2nd 2014

Co-star James D’Arcy (Thomas Schaeffer) on working with Chloë:
“Chloë [Sevigny] was already on board, by the time it came to me, and I just think she’s such a fantastic actress. I was really excited about the possibility of working with her. I don’t always make smart movies, but it’s one of the best moves I’ve ever made because I loved working with Chloë. [—] I just knew that [the show] wouldn’t be what it potentially might have been because she just doesn’t make those choices. She operates from such a unique place that I knew it wouldn’t just be a standard television show. Beyond that, I am thrilled to report that I thought she was an extraordinary human being and I adore her. It just worked out great. I’ve managed to go nearly 20 years now without ever having to solve a crime, or get somebody off for a crime they’ve committed. I’ve never been a lawyer or a police officer. So, some of the dialogue was really difficult for me. It became less and less so, but I didn’t understand that whole other area of acting, that I was totally unfamiliar with. And Chloë has never played a police officer before, so the pair of us were really trying to discover it together. I hope that we didn’t make a lot of the more obvious choices.”
Collider.com interview, March 10th 2014


Those Who Kill Series Trivia

Those Who Kill is based on the 2011 Danish series Den som dræber. Like Those Who Kill in the U.S., the Danish series lasted only one season.

Those Who Kill was filmed entirely in Pittsburgh, PA, where the show was set.

• According to Chloë, she was approached by the producers of the show for the role of Catherine. She did not audition for the part.

Those Who Kill was canceled by A&E after just two episodes because of poor ratings and reviews. The remaining eight episodes of Season 1 aired on Lifetime Movie Network.

• According the Chloë, her favorite episode to shoot was episode 1.04 “Sunday”.

• After the cancellation of the show, series creator Glen Morgan revealed what would’ve happened to Catherine after the Season 1 cliffhanger finale. In the finale, Catherine storms the house of her stepfather a shotgun in hand, thinking he is molesting a young boy he’s watching for the evening. Shots are heard outside the house and the episode ends. In July 2014, Morgan told Post-Gazette the following about the planned continuation: “The young boy was staying at the house that night and he was accidentally injured in the shooting. […] The judge [Catherine’s stepfather] knew that they were onto him and they knew that he knew that they were onto him so for several episodes it would have been him messing with them by trying to destroy their lives.” According to Morgan, it was not his choice to end the season in the open-ended way it did, and chose to come out with what he had planned for the show because he didn’t want to leave the fans with an unresolved cliffhanger.


Critical Reception

Those Who Kill received largely negative reviews upon its March 2014 premiere and fared poorly in the ratings on A&E. Although Chloë Sevigny was mainly praised for her lead performance, most critics felt the premise of the show was unnecessarily grim, too conventional and lacking in excitement and the characters predictable and thin. Viewers who watched the show were generally more positive however, often commending the show for its quality and strong female lead as well as the overall chill factor.

Rating: Internet Movie Database: 7.2/10 with c. 2,500 user votes counted
Rating: MetaCritic: 54/100 metascore, “Mixed or average reviews”
Rating: Rotten Tomatoes: 29% positive reviews (“Rotten”)

Excerpts from professional reviews:

“The first episode of Those Who Kill seemingly has all the right ingredients. Penned by creator Glen Morgan (The X-Files, Millennium), it’s got dirty, rusty Pittsburgh steel town backdrops, an enigmatic homicide detective who spends quiet moments with her cigarettes, and an academic profiler whose mind occasionally gets lost in his ‘work.’ The usual things one would expect from a grim, sadistic show about serial killers. Elements that, in the right hands, could actual elevate a show out of the grime and into something a bit more lyrical. But Those Who Kill just sort of sits there, flat, with very little to draw us in other than our own fascination with creepy TV psychos. By the end of the episode, we’re given a somewhat substantial explanation as to why Sevigny’s Catherine Jensen is so determined to catch predatory crazies, but her overall lack of characterization leaves her still feeling like a blank. [—] On the plus side, there are a couple of surprising moments when the show steps say from the norm. Some twisted turns that let us know that not everything on the show is going to follow a checklist. But Those Who Kill is so cold — like a corpse on a slab — that you barely buy the normal human interaction, much less the insane crimes of the killer.”
– Matt Fowler, IGN

“Yet if the trend had any life in it whatsoever, then that life is slowly being leeched out by endless repetition. Filled with talented people both behind the scenes and in front of the camera, A&E’s new Nordic noir remake Those Who Kill is a needlessly grim slog most viewers will be able to fill in the blanks for from memory. [—] Those Who Kill borrows this structure, more or less, spending a little time making it seem like it will be about the identity of one particular killer, before revealing his identity about halfway through the pilot. There’s a larger game Those Who Kill is playing, though, and it’s only revealed at the very end. Sadly, that’s about the only thing interesting or unexpected in the pilot, and it’s so heavily foreshadowed from scene one on that most viewers will have guessed it as soon as they get a good look at the protagonist’s apartment. Said protagonist is Catherine Jensen, played by Chloë Sevigny. Sevigny’s television work hasn’t always been perfect, but it’s tended toward the adventurous, and her work on Big Love is one of the finest female performances ever aired on television. That makes it all the more depressing to have her pop up in such an ultra-generic role here, one that she can’t liven up, no matter how hard she tries. Catherine is scrappy and resourceful, until she needs to play damsel in distress, and her character description is basically Clarice Starling with all edges completely removed.”
– Todd VanDerWerff, The A.V. Club

“The surprise-filled plot of A&E’s ‘Those Who Kill’ will put you on the edge of your seat, and Chloë Sevigny’s performance will keep you there. Television doesn’t really need another cop show, but there is always room for one more if it’s well crafted and graced with winning – and, in this case, disturbing – performances. That’s what you’ll find when “Those Who Kill” premieres Monday night. [—] The pilot episode is noteworthy because of the care show runner/writer Glen Morgan (“The X-Files”) takes to avoid standard crime-story templates. So many cop shows follow a pattern: A killing happens, the investigation follows, one detective is usually ahead of his colleague, the killer is found and the end credits roll. With ‘Those Who Kill’, Morgan upends the template. The “who” in whodunit is revealed relatively early, but that doesn’t mean the suspense is over: Far from it. [—] Sevigny continues to be unlike any other actress working in film or TV. Her face is all but immobile, as if every emotion has been Botoxed. Her half-lidded eyes move furtively, seeming to take in every detail. She reacts to other people with barely perceptible changes in expression – the slight upturn of one side of her mouth. She all but floats through various scenes of “Those Who Kill,” seeming to register little, and then exploding with rage or fear. As has been the case in so many films and TV shows, Sevigny is the most compelling reason to watch ‘Those Who Kill’, but if the scripts remain as carefully crafted as that of Monday’s pilot, Sevigny will have found a vehicle worthy of her singular skills.”
– David Wiegand, SFGate

Awards & Nominations

Those Who Kill has not received any awards or award nominations.

Chloë Sevigny Online

Please note that the opinions expressed below are all 100% our own, not those of Chloë Sevigny or anyone affiliated with either her or the rest of the cast or crew.

Perhaps expectations were too high for a quality drama network like A&E. Perhaps critics were expecting something more “avant-garde” from Chloë Sevigny. Perhaps A&E accidentally sent them a Season 14 episode of CSI and their small minds just got confused. I don’t know. I frankly don’t care. All I can say is, don’t believe what you read about the show, because Those Who Kill is one of the most brilliant, unsettling and thrilling shows to come from an American network in more than a decade. Where the negative attitude towards the show came from I don’t know, but make no mistake: With its stellar performances particularly from Chloë Sevigny, James Morrison and Omid Abtahi, and the single most disturbing killers and killings I have ever seen on mainstream TV, Those Who Kill was and is one of the most intriguing and addictive, simply one of the best police procedurals ever to have been on TV, and of the modern-day crime dramas is surpassed only by True Detective, The Shield and A&E’s Longmire. This is fact. Sorry.

Seriously, though, where is this lifeless, conservative and “done-to-death” show critics spoke of back in 2014? In a Golden Globe-winning actress’s incredibly strong and nuanced portrayal of a lead character? In the strong female lead that is Catherine Jensen? In the terrific chemistry particularly between Chloë Sevigny and Omid Abtahi (and, as the season progresses, James D’Arcy)? In the unpredictable and non-formulaic progression of the series’ murder cases? Or, speaking of the series’ cases, perhaps in the sickest, most terrifying and thrilling kills to ever have featured on TV? Maybe someone can tell me how any of this in any way compares negatively to any of the other procedurals the U.S. had to offer at the time: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and its bastard spinoffs; NCIS; The Mentalist; Criminal Minds; Bones… Please do make your argument in detail, because I genuinely don’t see where among these Those Who Kill in any aspect goes wrong.

But that A&E canceled the show is one thing. Networks are not charity organizations and need to make those decisions when they are not getting the numbers they need (though how much of a chance can you say the show really got with just a two-episode “run”, but okay). But although the critics probably really weren’t feeling the show, the reaming it received from them was still completely unnecessary, and it was their vicious reviews which really killed the ratings and the show — not the show itself or the network who pulled the proverbial plug on it. I read in an interview with series creator Glen Morgan that he felt “humiliated” by the dismal reviews and ratings of Those Who Kill. Personally, though, I’m more humiliated by the glaring bad taste of the Castle-fanficing American TV critic. (I need to go chill somewhere.) -Admin

Our rating of the show: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Our rating of Chloë’s performance: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Those Who Kill Online

Below are some Those Who Kill-related links that may be of interest to you.

Those Who Kill official site
Those Who Kill on IMDb.com
Those Who Kill on MetaCritic.com
Those Who Kill on RottenTomatoes.com
Those Who Kill on Wikipedia.org

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