TV's 10 Best Non-Romantic Duos of the 2010-11 Season

Just as we were giving up hope, after a few weeks of lackluster episodes, that The Killing would live up to our high expectations, it came back strong with one of the most powerful hours of TV we’ve seen this year. The series, which has been criticized for failing to adequately develop its central character, homicide detective Sarah Linden, put all of its subplots on hold and focused solely on Sarah and her successor, Stephen Holder, dealing with a shocking development in her personal life. The episode got us thinking about our favorite — non-romantic — duos of this past TV season. Your Flavorpill editors’ (spoiler-packed) top ten is after the jump.

Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder, The Killing

In the beginning, it looked like the Linden-Holder dynamic would be pretty simple: She’s the intelligent, competent detective who won’t leave her post until she finishes the job; he’s the twitchy former narc who comes on a bit strong in questioning persons of interest and looks like he may be nursing a meth habit. But in the past few weeks, they’ve been on much more equal footing. As she bungles her impending marriage, loses control of her son, and reveals that she grew up in the foster-care system, we learn that he’s in recovery, has a family of his own, and actually cares about the woman who doesn’t trust him to do her former job. Last night, we saw these troubled characters come together in a moment of crisis, and that made for The Killing‘s most compelling episode in weeks. — Judy Berman