Six Minutes focuses on Linden’s last attempt to save Ray Seward from death by hanging. It was painfully difficult for me to watch — Peter Sarsgaard plays the role with intensity and conviction, and has endeared The Killing fans throughout season 3. As Seward’s popularity grew, so did concern over his fate. I’d previously (half-jokingly) suggested that he deserved his own spin-off show, but as I watched the episode, my views on the matter were drastically altered.
As it turns out, Seward’s death was inevitable, and necessary. The Killing‘s a bittersweet show (several baddies walked away unpunished last season), but let’s face it — these last few episodes continuously toyed with our emotions and feelings towards each and every character. Bullet and Seward had become central characters whose screen-time was only topped by Linden and Holder. We hoped the former would ultimately find and save Kallie Leeds, while we trust the attorney general will grant the latter a stay of execution in order to evaluate new evidence, which would subsequently clear his name and let him reunite with his son. We’d come to respect and fear for them. Alas, this wouldn’t be a truly splendid show if we actually got what we wanted. Fans of the show (myself included) might expect happy endings for all characters, yet that’s not how life works.
Veena Sud knows you care about Bullet and Seward, albeit you probably hadn’t noticed this was her master plan all along — not to inspire sympathy or pity for them, but for us to actively lament their poor choices, suffer through their defeats, and cringe when they find themselves in danger. She has deceived us into loving characters with an enormous X on their backs, only to write them off as we hopelessly watch.
The episode starts with Linden finally meeting with Seward, who’s an inconsolable, intermittently incoherent mess at this point. He snaps at the detective multiple times, although he’s fully aware that she’s his last champion — almost a paladin of sorts — long after his own lawyer has deserted him. His appreciation for this newfound, unlikely collaborator grows as the hours come and go. Becker attempts to sabotage their meetings by locking him up while claiming to be following a strict procedure, however, he fails to notice he chose the wrong detective to intimidate.
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