Just when I keep saying that The Killing can’t get any better, another new episode arrives that surpasses the amazing heights of the last one. Tonight’s installment of The Killing, “Six Minutes,” was the most harrowing and emotionally satisfying yet. Even scene, every single moment of this episode, moved with intensity and purpose, right down to the chilling conclusion, where Ray Seward, believed by Linden to be innocent of the crime of killing his wife, hanged there, squirming, his life slowly and cruelly ending in front of our eyes. For a show as dark and gritty as The Killing, this may have been the show’s bleakest episode to date, but the sad tone and difficult material did not take away from the astounding performances of Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, and, especially, Peter Sarsgaard, and the expertly written dram that filled “Six Minutes” from beginning to end.
The majority of “Six Minutes” was essentially a two actor play between Mireille Enos and Peter Sarsgaard. As the two went back and forth with Linden trying to prove Seward’s innocence, they discussed the fear of death, importance of family, and the difficulty of parenthood, connecting on a level that they never had before.The conversations between the two boasted some of the most well-written and well-acted scenes that The Killing has ever produced; with each word uttered or paused shared, we saw the similarities between Linden and Seward, as the line between criminal and detective blurred and the two of them found understanding with one another right up until Seward met his ill-fated, untimely death.
Throughout all of these tragic events, Peter Sarsgaard was simply at his best as Seward. The range of emotions that The Killing‘s team asked him to portray would have been an insurmountable task for most actors, but Sarsgaard rose to the occasion and gave a performance that was at certain times unflinchingly cruel and menacing while at other times being absolutely raw and heart wrenching. It was a tour de force for Sarsgaard, and if those last few moments of perfect tragedy that he unflinchingly illustrated before Seward faced his execution do not warrant him an Emmy nomination, there is no justice in the world of Hollywood.
The Killing has had a complete renaissance in 2013. A series that most critics used to use as a punch line has now become a showcase for amazing performances from extremely talented actors and an examination of the daily battles that we all fight against guilt and regret. Simply put, I can’t praise what The Killing has done in its third season enough, and while I’m excited for the final episodes of Breaking Bad to hit AMC on August 11th, I will really miss tuning in every Sunday to see what Linden and Holder are up to after next week’s sure-to-be excellent finale.
– I mainly discussed Sarsgaard’s performance in my review but Enos and Kinnaman, as always, were phenomenal in this episode, especially in Holder’s scene at the graveyard and in his scenes with Adrian and in the final horrific moments of the episode, where we were forced to watch the shocked, saddened face of Linden witness the death of Seward.
– I really liked how both Linden and Seward acknowledged how he was still a bad guy but that he was simply innocent of only the murder of his wife. Linden wanted to fix her mistake and absolve herself of her sin, instead of simply saving Seward.
– That whole sequence of Seward walking to his execution, but especially the moment when he looks out the window and finally sees Adrian, was some of the best TV I’ve watched all year. Bravo to Peter Sarsgaard and the entire crew of The Killing for those powerful, haunting scenes.