The Killing Six Minutes Review. The Killing: Season 3, Episode 10: Six Minutes contained some of the best performances by its actors within the series’ history. The entire season had been leading to Six Minutes and its Dead Man Walking segment. That segment and the actual execution housed the best acting the viewer may have ever seen from Peter Sarsgaard (his fear was palpable and it affected everyone around him). Ray Seward (Peter Sarsgaard) was no saint but in the end even he feared death and the instrument that would be its catalyst. It was fascinating seeing hope and fear running side by side in a person.
The “he can hear you” scene showed a new fear in Seward that had never shown itself until that moment, one of never seeing his son again. Prison guard Francis Becker (Hugh Dillon) using the prison statute against Detective Sarah Lindin (Mireille Enos) the way she used them against him earlier in the episode was wonderful as was his restraint (he never smiled). Then there was the fact that Seward’s son heard his kill rants, the last words of his father that he will ever hear.
These were all examples of how Veena Sud did no shy away from writing this episode dark as were other elements.
The reason for Evan Henderson (Aaron Douglas)’s presence in this season’s narrative was obvious the moment he stepped into deathrow at the beginning of the season. He was to be Francis Becker’s foil, his emotional opposite. In Six Minutes, he became Seward’s backbone and reality cheerleader. Henderson didn’t want to be on the kill team but he turned out to be its most valued member within the space of one scene.
Seward seeing his son on his death walk was touching and unexpected. How Detective Linden knew they would walk him past that window can be grasped through deductive reasoning. Seward turning to the left to see his son and Linden was a one in a million shot. The visible resolve Seward got from the encounter was what his father tried to instill in him when he told him, belatedly, that he was proud of him.
Seward’s morose levity before being hooded was brave but Sarsgaard’s and Dillon’s performance on the scaffold made the proceedings more sad than brutal. Death takes a toll, whether you are dispensing it or receiving it. Becker’s death-dealing bravado instantly fell away in the final moments of his would-be triumph. The viewer was almost shocked that he could not bring himself to hood Seward after everything the two of them had said to each other since Seward came to death row.
There are not many ways to surprise a viewer when it comes to something as straight-forward as a state-sanctioned hanging yet Sud managed to do so. Ever since Seward decided on being hanged, a possible scenario was hinted at but it was always a far shot at best.
Seward’s death is one of the reasons why they shouldn’t show executions on television and why they should show executions on television. If ever there were a deterrent to committing crime, it was what happened to Seward at the end of his hanging rope. The surprise and the appall on everyone’s face drove the impact of the strangulation home with a gurgle.
How many people would commit a violent crime if they saw that they could end up like Seward? Very few I imagine.
This season of The Killing has been full of surprises but if Seward is dead and his wife’s ring was amongst the killer’s keepsakes, Seward was innocent and the real killer is still out there.
Ray Seward becoming a victim is something the viewer never saw coming. On some level, Linden does not want to care about the victims of the crimes she is trying to solve but she does. That is what makes her a good detective. Now Seward is one of those victims, a victim of a crime he didn’t commit, and a victim of the undisclosed killer.
After witnessing Seward’s horrible death, what will Linden do once she finally gets her hands on the real killer?