The Killing Post-Mortem: Peter Sarsgaard on Ray's 'Cosmic' Guilt, 'Flawed' Sense of Heroism -- Plus: The Scene That Made Him 'Black Out'

Frances Becker (Hugh Dillon), Ray Seward (Peter Sarsgaard) and William "Billy" Henderson (Aaron Douglas) - The Killing _ Season 3, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Carole Segal/AMCWARNING: If you have yet to watch tonight’s installment of The Killing, back away from this URL and head to a different TVLine story. Everybody else, proceed freely!

Just when you think The Killing can’t get any more harrowing, along comes “Six Minutes,” a stark, meditative episode focusing on the countdown to the (possible) execution of possibly innocent death-row inmate Ray Seward (Peter Sarsgaard), and the effort to exonerate him by Det. Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos), the very woman who helped convict him.

Before we get to our in-depth Q&A with Sarsgaard, let’s do a quick recap of the action:

The entire installment takes place within the walls of the prison, opening with a shot of a hooded figure being draped with a noose and plummeting through the floor of the gallows — but it turns out to be merely a test run with a plastic dummy. “We’ve got 12 hours, gentlemen,” bellows prison-guard Becker. “The clock starts now.”

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Linden arrives at the jail shortly thereafter, asking Seward to examine the four unidentified rings found in the Pied Piper’s trophy collection to see if any match his murdered wife’s. Sure enough, our dead man walking identifies the used wedding band he bought for Tricia for $30, and Linden uses the new bit of circumstantial evidence to try to convince the attorney general to postpone the execution. The catch is, if she leaves the prison grounds, she won’t be able to return and probe Seward any further. Also in the bleak waiting room are Seward’s son Adrian and his foster mother, hoping for an audience with Ray before his sentence is carried out.

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Seward and Linden engage in a pas de deux that ranges from confrontational to tender, from twisted to philosophical. Primarily, Linden tries to convince Seward to meet face-to-face with his son, while also trying to get more answers about whether he killed his wife or if he’s somehow protecting the guilty party. At one point, Seward declares himself a monster — he beat Tricia in front of Adrian; he crushed the prison chaplain’s jaw, so the man will have to feed through a straw the rest of his life — but Linden argues otherwise. Still, when Linden runs into Adrian and the boy admits that, in fact, he did see Seward in the apartment the night his mom was killed — the boy had lied earlier to avoid getting his dad in trouble — Linden is sent into a freefall*. “Why were you in that apartment that night? Why can’t you just tell me?” she pleads to Seward. “If you didn’t kill her, then what are you hiding?” But Seward remains enigmatic as ever. He says he’d planned to skip town, but went back to the apartment to get Adrian — wanting his child to have a boundless and happy life. But upon arrival, he found Tricia dead, and that’s as much as he’s willing — or able — to share.

Linden uses her remaining time with the convict to make the case for why he needs to take an audience with Adrian. “Don’t leave without letting him see you, know you. He will carry that with him every time he looks in the mirror — the broken parts of you. Because you never let him see the best part. I know what it’s like to never have that,” she says. But right after Holder helps Adrian fix his cowlick in the bathroom, the clock runs down, and Becker announces that it’s too late for any additional visitors. Seward roars with rage and anguish, but Linden reminds him that Adrian is right outside the door, that the boy can hear them, and that he should focus on the thought of the trees outside his window.

We cut to a scene where the prison guards outfit Seward in a diaper, slippers and a jumpsuit, then lead him down the hallway toward the execution chamber. Seward begins to collapse under the horror of the moment, and it’s babyfaced Henderson who becomes the bulldog: “I will put you on that board! Is that what you want? Get up and be a man. Walk! Walk!” But then, right before they reach the gallows, Henderson stops the procession, Seward looks out the window, and there are Linden and Adrian, staring up at him like lights in the limitless darkness. And then it’s up the stairs of the gallows, where Henderson places the hood over the panicked prisoner (because Becker freezes up and can’t do it). Asked for any final words, Seward declares, “Salisbury steak’s not steak. It’s ground beef.” Then, he turns serious. “No, let’s get this show on the road, warden.”

Levers are pulled, the floor opens up under Seward, and he drops. Except he doesn’t die instantly. He hangs there, writhing, guttural sounds emanating as he struggles against death, until eventually, silence falls.

(*When Linden learns that Seward was present at the scene of the crime, she races to leave the prison, but an inebriated Holder snatches her keys and demands she see the situation to its conclusion, wondering what happened to her in her life that always makes her hit the exit before there’s a chance to get hurt. And then, using humor to wash away his near-miss kiss attempt that Linden deflected last week, he adds, “I’m not gonna try and kiss you again, Linden. Keep dreamin!”)

And now, for a Q&A with Sarsgaard…

TVLINE | Did you know Ray Seward’s full arc when you took this role, or did you base your decision on the Season 3 premiere script alone?
I knew the whole thing. I didn’t know all the details, but I knew where it was going.

TVLINE | I kept thinking, or at least hoping, that Ray was going to get a reprieve, or an extension, because it’s pretty clear he was not guilty of murdering his wife. But no, they actually end up hanging him!
One thing I liked about [the story arc] was that nothing was going to be perfectly solved. For Ray Seward, in his heart, he believes he’s guilty, even though it appears that he’s not guilty of this crime. On a deeper level, he feels like he’s guilty — guilty of being a terrible father and a terrible husband and a terrible human being. And that was something [executive producer] Veena [Sud] and I talked about from the very beginning. One, I didn’t want to play the character forever. But two, in terms of the issue at stake, it’s going to affect people very strongly — knowing that a quote-unquote innocent man is being killed. That’s the thing everyone always gets upset about with the death penalty. For me, I’m also upset that guilty people are killed via the death penalty. I don’t believe that anyone should be killed. Period. By the state or by people.

TVLINE | Tell me about the pivotal moments of the episode: Becker telling Ray that, because of a state mandated guideline, he’s not going to see his son before he’s executed; Ray walking down the hallway to the gallows; and then Ray ascending the platform and being hanged.
Oh God. The first thing we shot [for the episode] was the hanging, actually. But the part where I find out I’m not gonna see my son, it’s honestly a mixture of feelings. I know in the episode it looks like anger and grief, but there’s also a part of Ray that’s too scared to see his son. What’s he gonna say to him? Would it even be good for his son to see him after all these years?

TVLINE | Based on Ray’s interaction with his own dad a few episodes ago, it’s easy to understand the reluctance.
Exactly. Ray is thinking, “You don’t need to be touched by this at all. I want this to never have been a part of your life.” But of course it’s going to be. And as far as the walk down [to the gallows], he’s just trying to find the strength to do what he needs to do. It felt like I was in a Greek tragedy at that point, that this was some trial by fire I had to go through. I wanted to do it in a way that was strong, in a way that I kept my humanity, that I didn’t just turn into a f****** quivering mass of emotion.

On the walk right up to when I see my son [outside the window] — I was working a lot with my breathing, because your breath is obviously one of the first things that gets to be dysfunctional in a situation like this. It’s the thing that brings out a lot of feelings, and it’s a thing you can use to stifle a lot of feelings. So it turned out I was holding my breath quite a bit during that time, and I blacked out during one take — moments before we got to that window. I was holding my breath being a very intense actor. [Laughs] I definitely approached this episode with the idea of how we as a society execute people — and to honor that, I wanted to really, fully play it. I figured, “It’s a sprint — I’m not gonna have to do this but for a couple of days,” so I really tried to go for it, really put myself in the given circumstances, and be there absolutely 100 percent in every single moment. And it turns out I’m somebody who would’ve held his breath and blacked out for a moment. [Laughs] But after I finished that take, I was like, “All right: You’ve got to settle down! A good actor is not someone who actually hurts himself while he’s working. That’s not a sign of good acting. Nobody cares.”

TVLINE | What about the moment of seeing your son out the window, standing there with Linden?
My son emboldens me. I get a lot of power from him. But none of that is filmed in sequence, so the thing about this episode is knowing that you can be emboldened one moment and be weak the next. It’s not a perfect arc of any kind. And I knew that in reality, my feelings would be flying off the wall the entire time we filmed anyway, so I didn’t worry a whit about emotional continuity.

TVLINE | With the actual hanging, our worst nightmare gets realized: It’s not an instantaneous death. What was your reaction when you read that in the script?
I really thought Veena was going for the jugular in a great way. [Laughs] It’s a fantasy to think we can kill people in a way that’s painless. A lot of people who want the death penalty might not care if a person experiences pain; they might even want the person to experience pain. So I don’t know how many hearts and minds this episode changes — and it’s a different situation if it’s your daughter who was murdered.

Obviously the anti-death penalty movement focuses on innocent people being killed rather than guilty ones. But even when you “euthanize” people through lethal injection, it’s not a perfect, fun-filled fantasy ride. The truth is, there’s not a humane way of doing it — mainly because the buildup to it is inhumane. The idea that you’re going to die on such-and-such a date, that someone is going to kill you, it’s inhumane. For people who haven’t had that drilled into their heads, maybe that last little beat at the end [of the episode] will do it.

TVLINE | And like you pointed out, the fact that the person knows he’s walking to his own death is a pretty brutal reality.
It’s horrible. I remember seeing, right before we filmed, the Chinese executed this guy and they filmed a lot of it for national television. He was a drug dealer who’d been convicted of killing people on the river. They steady-cammed him down the hallway toward the execution chamber — and I actually watched a little piece of that. What was interesting about that guy was how contained he was. That’s the other kind of person, the one who can’t believe what’s about to happen.

TVLINE | Did you do a lot of research into the experiences of death-row prisoners, watch a lot of that kind of footage?
Just a little bit — because at a certain point it becomes just like voyeurism. I just wanted to touch base with it. The first movie I ever did was Dead Man Walking, so I visited death row on that movie and stood outside during an execution and met families on both sides. I’ve got some experience with it, but in the end, as an actor — we talk about our research — but the real research comes from your own heart, your own body, your own mind.

TVLINE | The frustrating aspect to Ray’s death is the complete lack of answers. He never truly explains to Linden why he was in that apartment, why he’s been reluctant to speak the truth, whether he’s protecting anyone and if so, who it is he’s protecting. What’s that about?
Story-wise, why Veena does it is that it leaves open the question of whether this person is in some way guilty; he’s apparently not guilty of having killed his wife, but he may be guilty in other ways. Does it matter in terms of us killing him?

For Seward, he feels he’s guilty on a cosmic scale. With him not answering those questions, it’s a form of anger and futility. He has the wrong idea of what it means to be a hero and a man: You don’t plead, you don’t beg for forgiveness, there are no excuses, and if you’re going to be grand inquisitor on me, you can absolutely go f*** yourself. “I’m guilty!” It’s like a child — that’s the best way to understand Ray: “But if you didn’t do it, why are you acting like you did?” It doesn’t make adult logical sense. It’s emotion-driven.

TVLINE | Do you have an urge now to go off and do a light comedy?
I have a deep urge to go do a movie where I shoot the right people. [Laughs] No. I have a deep urge to do a movie that’s not rooted in reality too much. That sounds very appealing.

For more on Peter Sarsgaard’s journey playing Ray Seward, including what it was like to work opposite Mireille Enos, click here.

What did you think of Sarsgaard’s final act as The Killing’s Ray Seward? Are you shocked that his character was put to death? Any theories on how Season 3 will wrap up next week? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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96 Comments
  1. Kevin says:

    If Emmy nominations were a month later, Sarsgaard, Enos, and Kinneman all would be on the list and at the very top after this episode. And the show would be at the top of the best show list. I was amazed by this episode more than any other of this series. Should be a primer for all drama writers out there. Cannot wait till next Sunday’s 2 hour finale. And praying it comes back in 2014.

    • The Beach says:

      So true. Unfortunately, Emmy voters often have short memories and go with more recent shows. Here’s hoping that is not the case in this instance. It’s hard to imagine another actor more deserving of a “guest” Emmy than Sarsgaard. Enos and Kinneman performances on this show are so subtle that they often get overlooked in favor of lots of wailing, over-the-top acting.

    • Jan says:

      The first thing I did after watching this episode was to recheck Emmy nominations for Peter Sarsgaard’s name. I agree he, along with Enos and Kinneman and the show, should have been there. Maybe next year (crossing fingers).

    • redjane12 says:

      True – but especially Saarsgard has been incredible every single scene

    • Pat Lewis says:

      I love this show! It’s something about the tortured souls of the characters that I find enticing.Most people believe they have to always be happy and project a positive image which is so unreal.Peter killed that last episode.I started crying when it came on with the fake hanging and I kept saying that’s not going to happen! The scene when he wasn’t allowed to see his son was hard but when he saw him through the window and manned up was amazing! Enos and Kinneman are soul mates and compliment each other.Best show ever! I’m looking forward to the next season but please let’s leave troubled teens
      alone. This season was hard on me! It’s so sad to think about children so lost.

      1

      • Eve says:

        I completely agree. This whole season really made me depressed; not sure if this is a good or bad thing. The teenagers and Ray honestly had me crying for a good 2 hours. While season 1 and 2 had me on my feet from anticipation and excitement, this season really surprised me and I… I just cant haha

    • R says:

      Walter White was sweating bullets after watching this.

    • so sad this show is GONE

  2. S E C says:

    I hate that they killed Seward. I was really hoping it would not turn out that way. I don’t even want to watch the finale.

    • S E C says:

      Okay, now that I have had the chance to calm down, I changed my mind, I will watch the finale. I am still sad that Seward is out of the picture! What a gut wrenching ending!!

  3. Katie White says:

    The ending made me want to vomit. Especially when he started to writhe around.

  4. Enri says:

    Wowza! What a great episode! I agree with Kevin all 3 were award worthy.

  5. Angie_Overrated says:

    That was gut wrenchingly good. I hated watching it, but it’s because the writers and actors nailed their job descriptions. They wanted us to squirm, and squirm we did.

  6. Joey says:

    Good and sad episode. Joel, Enos, and Peter did great in the episode. I hope they will get nominated for Golden Globe and the show too for a great season.

  7. jenferner8 says:

    They could have saved him but by putting him to death it packs a better punch. I loved Peter in this role! I was already a mess from last few episodes but this one, Linden, Holder and Ray had me in tears almost from the start. I completely lost it when Ray looks out the window and sees his son.

  8. allie says:

    fantastic. I wish it was going on for several more episodes because there is no way this is going to be resolved next week. I am so thrilled with this season but I hope others don’t expect a quick resolution!

  9. DonDraperSaysWhat says:

    I hated that the counter-weight ended up being wrong and Sewards fears were realized then that he had to struggle for another six minutes. You could see it on everyone’s face in that scene, even Beckers. It was such a cruel end for a character we are still left unsure about, which makes this incident very compelling. Good Job The Killing, I look forward to the finale now.

    • It ended up being 15 seconds, tops, but it FELT like six minutes. It felt like hours. The look of horror Linden got on her face when she realized the drop hadn’t snapped his neck was about the same look on mine. When I watch a show, a good show, regularly, I watch once, then again with the CC on (not deaf or legally hearing impaired, but I spent half the 80s growing up with a Walkman on and blasting) so I can catch anything I missed, etc. I actually couldn’t stand to watch this again. The only time that happens (before) is when an episode was so stupid I just delete it after one watch. I’ve never felt that it was too much for my central nervous system to take. I thought about watching it to include how long it did take for him to die in my reply to you, then felt sick at the idea. Jesus. That was brutal.

  10. Roadcat says:

    This episode was mesmerizing and heartbreaking. Both actors made you come into their world and become part of it. If anyone doubts that the death penalty issue is not so easily confronted they need to watch this. There it is in your face and you MUST confront it because Mirelle and Peter made a human connection and so did we. I cried during this episode and I felt the pain of both characters. Most people would never see an execution nor would you see how it affects the corrections officers or family of the inmate or as in this case, a police officer trying to do the right thing. This show MADE you FEEL deeply, right into your gut – right into your deepest part of yourself and they made you confront the reality of Ray’s execution without glossing over the details. It was one of the best hours of TV I have ever watched.

    • The Beach says:

      This was brought out so strongly when hardass Becker couldn’t put the hood over Ray’s head.(It also made me doubt he is serial killer)

  11. tahina says:

    Best drama, episode and awesome performance by all main actors. No words can describe what I felt the last minute. ):

  12. Adam says:

    I watched but didn’t catch the bit where he told Sarah that he went back but found his wife dead…that information in this article and the second to last question about why he wouldn’t just tell her what really happened makes me wonder if the adrian killed her?

    • Adam says:

      But I did think it was a phenomenal episode, is it coming back next year? I love it

    • Alichat says:

      I don’t think Adrian killed his mother. I believe it was a cop….most likely Skinner or Reddick. I think Sarsgaard explained it well above, as did his character in the show, why he wouldn’t just tell her. Seward, to an extent, feels he belongs there, and to have to answer that he had some moment of hope…..a moment of optimism…which was dashed upon finding his wife’s dead body, is to admit weakness. But also, as he said, it’s anger driven. ‘I deserve to be here so what does it matter why I was there?’

    • Jen says:

      Obviously Adrian didn’t kill his mom! It’s the work THE serial killer. And that wasn’t Ray Seward & it’s also not the cab driver. It’s someone from the police station, since they planted all that evidence on the cab driver (what’s his name?). Mark my words.

      • 182Vet says:

        Exactly, the killer of Seward’s wife is the same man who killed OJ Simpson’s wife and Ron Goldman. In the police world he’s named SODDI – “Some Other Dude Did It” but in the truly ridiculous cop-hating world of Hollywood/Vancouver it’s the evil cops who are the real killers – so you’re probably right

        • Liberal Elitist says:

          I’m surprised there are more people on here ranting about liberal Hollywood’s take on the death penalty. In reality, since 1973, 142 on death row have been exonerated. Considering the difficulty in getting a conviction overturned, one can only imagine the number of innocent men who have been executed for crimes they did not commit. Who is saying that the cops are evil or malicious? They are humans, just like the lawyers who prosecuted them, the judges who oversaw the trial, and the juries that convicted and sentenced them. Humans make mistakes.

          • 182Vet says:

            Obviously you don’t live in Washington. There are fewer than 10 people on death row and in REAL life, not REEL life they get DECADES of appeals and oh, BTW, they are not dragged to their execution as their family watches,
            If you are moved by the acting or storytelling fine, but this storyline bears as much reality as a sci-fi show.
            For the record there have been 35 men on death row “exonerated” ( as in shown to be innocent unless you consider OJ or Zimmerman “exonerated.”
            Studies show 68% of ALL death sentences are reversed, usually on incomprehensible technicalities.
            And finally the prison staff (who in real life tend to be anti-capital punishment) are portrayed as sadists, maybe what the show runner thinks from BC what America’s prisons are really like.
            Or read the comments here that have many posters convinced a cop is the real killer, an increasingly common TV trope in these sorts of stories, and pure fiction.
            As I said, if THE KILLING had stayed true to how a killing devastated and changed Rosie’s family, THAT would be something new.

          • Alichat says:

            182Vet – I think you are over generalizing with this statement. “And finally the prison staff (who in real life tend to be anti-capital punishment) are portrayed as sadists, maybe what the show runner thinks from BC what America’s prisons are really like.” There is only one prison staff member I have seen on the show that would be defined as a sadist, and that’s Becker. Henderson does not fit that definition.

          • MrMank says:

            I spent two months in jail for a DWI, 3 years ago. Yes, I was absolutely guilty and yes, I deserved it. That having been said, the majority of prison staff that I’ve seen are TOTAL sadists! And there are some I’ve met who seem to have a heart. If anyone reading this is a CO and I’ve offended them, I apologize. I mean, I get it. A job like that HAS to blacken your soul, somewhat. All-in-all, I found the dynamic between Becker and Henderson, and between them and the prison inmates to be spot on. Very well written and acted.

        • CR says:

          The 142 I referenced was in terms of the US not the state of Washington. Although Washington still has the death penalty, in reality only 6 people have been execute while on death row. I’m also fully aware of the difference between being ACQUITTED and being EXONERATED. I’m so over the discussion of the Zimmerman case but since you brought it up, he would have never faced the death penalty in the state of Florida. He was charged with 2nd degree homicide. There is a fundamental difference in reversing a penalty and exonerate a prisoner. Those 142 were found innocent, and had they been railroaded to the death chamber, their blood would have been on the hands of the American justice system. I get that this show is meant for entertainment, but it doesn’t hurt to be thought provoking as well. This season has shown how killings can devastate the lives of the family. Seward’s wife was murdered, and he ultimately died from a wrongful conviction. I would say that was pretty devastating. As far as the rest of the victims, the were considered throw-aways, there is not really anyone who mourns for them which would be another point they are trying to make this season. If you read interviews on the inspiration of this season, Veena Sud studied the Green River Killer cases and was astonished that so many woman could disappear and no one noticed. The show is not called the mourning and why would anyone want to watch that for 13 episodes.

    • CR says:

      Adrian would have only been 9 years old at the time. How would a 9 year old have the strength to cut through a woman’s throat to the point of nearly decapitating her?

    • Tenney says:

      Adrian didn’t kill his mom. It would appear based on the previews that they are now leaning towards a cop being the killer. I’m leaning toward Reddick. Seward mentioned during his talk with Linden that he used to beat his wife in front of Adrian. I wonder if the cops were called after one of the beatings, which is how the cop came in contact with Sewards’s wife. Something happened between Seward’s wife and the cop, which led to her death or the cop was a killer anyways and thought he could easily kill the wife and frame Seward?

      Not sure how it’s all going to end but this past episode was one of the best hours on TV. I was on the edge of my couch and actually cried during the whole hanging scene – from the walk to the gallows to the actual death. WOW. spectacular acting by everyone in those scenes.

    • jenferner8 says:

      I’ve been thinking that for a few episodes. It occurred to me that if Adrian killed his mom and Ray somehow knew that that might be the only real reason for Ray to be in the position he’s in (or was in). I’m curious to see if anything with Adrian’s character comes to light in finale. He may be more like his grandfather then we know.

  13. Okey Proctor says:

    It was soooo messy!!! It kept going places I didn’t want to go. The ragged ending was as good as the old “In Cold Blood”. Man these are top notch actors!

  14. Sara says:

    Riveting episode! So glad the series was renewed. Is it possible the son killed his mother? Who else could he be protecting unless there is someone who might harm his son? Baffling…..maybe we will find ouit.

    • Jen says:

      Ray Seward doesn’t know WHO killed his wife. But he did go back to the apartment, see her dead & then he ran away. He feels tremendous guilt over leaving Adrian there. He was not a good person at all BUT he also didn’t kill his wife & he obviously loves his son. The person that killed Adrian’s mom is THE serial killer that killed every other woman. It’s not Ray & it’s not the cab driver, it will be someone from the police station.

  15. Alichat says:

    This was an amazingly compelling episode. From Seward and Linden’s conversations to Holder’s rain of beer on the cemetery to Holder’s scolding of Linden for trying to run away. That walk to the gallows was awful and overwhelming. Impressive, just impressive.

  16. Sisyphus says:

    The KILLING has squandered the opportunity to smash the “police procedural” by bringing ambiguity to the dark corners of men and women’s souls and the petty and gross injustices.
    In Seasons 1 & 2 we saw many guilty people walk away with no accountability for Rosie’s murder.
    But this year’s trope-packed diatribe against the death penalty jumped the shark.
    Written by the European show runner who clearly sees the American justice system as acted by Canadians as barbarians. There is the usual isolated “guard with a heart of gold” and a justice system in the alternate reality Washington state utterly indifferent to fevered pleas by the chief investigating detective and significant physical evidence.
    The government is faceless and seemingly uncaring of Seward’s actual guilt.

    But worse we are led to believe that it doesn’t matter of he butchered his wife (a crime for which it would be extremely unlikely he’d get the death penalty in the real Washington.
    Seward CHOOSES the brutal option of hanging over the medicalized alternative of
    lethal injection presumably so we’ll all condemn the state’s brutality.

    But most unforgivable, a sin that I hope needs a REAL cancellation this time, is that in
    Season 1 we saw the real effects on the family and friends of a murder victim,
    As to Seward’s crime we get only the deliberately-ambiguous hollow-eyed son who
    we are led to believe will turn out just like Seward for no other reason than a heartless state.

    A disappointing and predictable episode.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Nothing about that episode felt predictable or like it was jumping the shark. There was a guard with a heart of gold? Are you sure we’re watching the same show? And we are led to believe it doesn’t matter if he butchered his wife? The show I saw delivered one of the most powerful hours of television I’ve seen in my life.

      • 182Vet says:

        As long as you realize this is escapist heart-tugging predictability, fine.
        There are several actors from Battlestar Galattica, the pervert cabbie was one, the “good-hearted” prison guard drafted onto the execution team the other.
        Maybe next year there’ll be a politically-motivated serial killer who is sentenced to 22 years in. Scandinavian lockup?

        • Tony Etter says:

          I love BSG, you know the cabbie has been in some good stuff? Hell on Wheels, Falling Skies, BSG, This

    • eileen says:

      Trying to litter your comment with “big words” does not make your incoherent rambling an intelligent critique.

      There are several mistakes in your issues with the show. For instance, Linden was not the lead (not chief investigating detective) on the case, the first time or now, nor was there substantial evidence. Like Holder explained, all they have is he convicted killer’s word about the ring, and later a photograph that MAY show her wearing it. That is quite a stretch.

      Also, part of the beauty of this season is the lack of family mourning the loss. It speaks to the loneliness and isolation of these kids left to live on the streets. Danette’s guilt is taking the place of the Larsen family’s mourning. I thought both are captivating in their own way, and after watching two seasons of mourning, it was time for a different struggle.

      This season is totally different in many ways, but I still feel it is a stellar show, with some of the best acting on tv.

    • CR says:

      How is Ray Seward’s story not part of the effects on family members of the victim? He was her husband for crying out loud. Police almost immediately hone in on the spouse since the majority of the time they are the culprit. I don’t see how a man wrongly accused being executed isn’t relevant to you. As I stated in above response, the story was chosen because the bulk of the victims would not have people who would have noticed they were gone and therefore not grieve over there loss.

    • The person who made these comments is incapable of forming a rational opinion. Low empathy with an obvious, xenophobic discriminatory attitude towards non-Americans and a disturbing blind faith in the justice system that’s disguised as some sort of twisted patriotism.
      .
      I’m for the death penalty. I think we should treat rapists worse. I think they should be beaten at regular intervals, if not executed. But that does not mean I want to see it, or that anyone should want to see it. Regardless of guilt, inflicting violence on a real human being, killing them, is too horrific for those of us who are not psychopaths. Craving and enjoying such carnage makes you as much a monster as those you damn. The show brilliantly displayed how very human and vulnerable these characters are and to not see that based on ignorance and a nearly sexual devotion to the very concept of the death penalty is downright disturbing.
      .
      A police procedural. What a crock. If you want to watch a show where the government is always your best friend and the police catch bad guys who are quickly convicted and sentenced to death off-camera and everyone feels good about it and themselves, watch TV from 50 years ago and leave the rest of us with human feelings alone. No one’s forcing you to watch something that’s this much over your head.

  17. Jeremy says:

    Why hire Elias Koteas if not to play a killer? Unless he is a red flag for the heavy-set cop. But the second I saw Koteas on the first episode, I said out loud to myself, “he’ll turn out to be a killer somehow.” Tonight I caught myself wondering if it’s Holder. I know that’ crazy and would be terribly upsetting. However, why was Bullet’s entire murder not shown? The last thing we saw was a car pulling up to observe Bullet. Why would Bullet get into some dude’s car? Unless it was Holder.

    • CR says:

      I’m completely with you on this one. I know I lot of people think it’s Reddick, but if he were the killer, I think he would have injected himself in the case, not try and pass it along to another detective. Skinner would have been able to plant the doubt in Linden that made her go crazy in the first place. He would have access to the case files do be able to plant evidence in Mill’s storage and move the preachers car to the trainyard. He was also rather adamant about Linden leaving Adrian alone. The 3 year resting period could be due to his wife finding out about his affair and keeping a more watchful eye on her husband. Why would Seward prank call only Skinner and not Linden as we saw earlier in the season? Why wouldn’t Skinner want to be present at his execution?

    • Eyesore says:

      Gibberish. Bullet didn’t just get into the car. She fought back. Thinking Holder is the killer is just you being a smart Alec. Right?

  18. kim says:

    I think this was the most emotionally draining episode yet. There are absolutely no silver linings this season.

  19. Jeremy says:

    Great points! It has to be Skinner… only it seems too predictable for this show – don’t you think? Their series finale swerves are usually fairly out of left-field. And Koteas is always typecast as a creepy weirdo.

    There are two other cops, as it were – Becker, and the guy from Battlestar Gallactica. Seems extremely unlikely, but why the odd backstory with the son and wife?

    • 182Vet says:

      Because we all know the cops are usually the REAL killers

    • Meghan says:

      Their killers are sort of predictable though. I suspected the person from the first case (trying to keep it spoilerfree, folks) while watching season 1.
      The circumstances are less predictable, but not the killers themselves.

  20. CR says:

    I was going to put off watching this episode, because I knew how it was going to end. It was pretty obvious to me after the episode where Becker told his son about what it takes to hang a man, that he was going to screw up the execution by making Seward suffer for as long as possible. The title was also a dead(no-pun intended) giveaway. I guess the masochist in me won out, because I watch none the less and ended up pissed off even though I knew what to expect. Sarsgaard is undoubtedly going to receive award nominations for his stunning performance of a man of many contradictions. Menacing and heart-wrenching, loathsome and sympathetic, I riveted by every minute he was on the screen. I only watched this season because I’ve always loved Sargaard, and he didn’t fail one bit in this role. As a whole, this season has change my mind about The Killing, but we’ll see if I still feel that way after the finale.

  21. Mateo says:

    Two theories, 1 the killer is Becker. It’s almost too obvious which is the only reason that it might not be him. Here’s some direct evidence: His wife complains that he doesn’t come home at night. He seems to be particularly cruel to Seward. He sees Adrian and finds ways to deny Seward see him (twice). Adrian may just happen to be the only person who can ID him in killing his mom. Also the show makes a hobby of ruling people out when they are suspected by Linden and there hasn’t been any inkling or reason for her to suspect.

    Theory number 2: There is a slight possibility that Seward is still alive at least at the start of the next episode. It seems very unlikely that he can be saved, but the episode is called “6 minutes”. Obviously the show wouldn’t show him writhing around for 6 minutes, but why even make that a part of the plot? Why let him die after less than a minute after very clearly saying that it will take 6 minutes for him to be strangled? Why not say “If I don’t die instantly I’ll suffer longer”?

    Definitely not stated as eloquently as I’d like but I’d like to hear thoughts.

    • Scangela T. Foxx says:

      If he somehow survived that, it would be pointless as his neck would most likely have been broken. I like your point about Becker denying Seward access to Adrian out of fear of being recognized. Let’s just hope we get answers in the finale.

  22. Janet says:

    That was one of the worst hours of television I have ever seen. Nothing made sense. It was just the writers trying to score an Emmy nomination without actually writing anything of substance.

  23. Brett says:

    I thought it was an “okay” episode, but nowhere near as well made as the devastating ‘pastor-kidnap’ episode. The dialogue tonight was ridiculously ‘on the nose’, the circumstances muddled- but not in a dramatically satisfying way, and even the performances were uneven. Still, I am loving Season 3 and look forward to a Season 4. The leads are amazing, best pair of leads on television.

  24. Jeremy says:

    Disagree – I thought tonight was *possibly* the best episode of the series thus far.

  25. KC says:

    I thought last night’s episode was amazing. It was a bit all over the place in terms of topic and emotion, but I felt like that’s very true to the final hours of someones life. The range of emotion that Enos and Sarsgaard played was unbelievable – from anger to sympathy to guilt to appreciation to even a little bit flirty….they did a great job. And Sarsgaard’s portrayal of the fear of his imminent death was incredible….it started a few episodes ago with the panic attack after being weighed and continued right until the end…very powerful stuff.

    I think Seward had to die…because as Sarsgaard said, while he might not be guilty of this crime, he isn’t really innocent either.

    As for the “who did it” finale we are in for. I have to say I will be pretty disappointed if it is Skinner or Reddick. And honestly even Becker or Henderson. It would just seem too much of a stretch. I mean we’re talking about a guy who cuts through people’s necks and cuts off their fingers…a sick serial killer…I don’t buy that any of those guys could just turn into this evil guy at night. Especially Skinner and Reddick…why would Skinner allow Sarah back on the force knowing she would stop at nothing to uncover the truth, if the truth was he was guilty? And wouldn’t Reddick want to be more involved with Holder and Linden to influence the case as much as possible if he were guilty?

    I am going to predict the long shot – Linden’s ex-boyfriend that worked on the ferry. He has popped up a couple of times randomly for no real reason. He would have had access to the case file because it was at her house. Him being with her was part of his sick twisted plan as he knew how tormented she was over the Seward case. Longshot, I know….but it would be a lot more pleasing than any of the men mentioned above…

  26. KC says:

    Oh, and also, am I the only one who thinks that Adrian’s tree house story Seward told Linden might have something to do with the case and why Adrian draws the trees over and over?

    • AshleyRae says:

      ”I ain’t acting DRUNK, I am DRUNK”.-Holder.
      God i felt bad for him………….going to the grave site of ALL ’18’ victims and throwing beer cans at them? Anyhow i SERIOUSLY thought linden was going to get seward out and somewhat dodge his execution. And that son of a BITCH becker wouldn’t let him or adrain see each other?! Although i was kinda happy when seward got to see him through the window w/linden next to him on his way to die………WHICH was hard to watch i’m still NOT convinced that seward killed her. Sarasgard did one HELL of a job playing him.
      I can’t wait for the FINALE cause now holder is gonna be on reddick’s ASS for being the last person BULLET talked to before her UNEXPECTED DEATH! and is that burned body with the missing finger(s) turn out to be kallie? This has turned out to be the BEST season EVER for the killing i HOPE this show is back with a season 4!!!!!

  27. kim says:

    Seward said he built a treehouse for his son in the park and that Adrian loved the treehouse. Could this be what Adrian is drawing? Maybe the body dumpsite being there is only a coincidence?
    In the preview for the final episodes doesn’t the burned up car look like Danette’s car that Joe took. Wonder if the hand is Kallie’s?
    I still cant stop thiking about the cuts and blood on Bullet’s hand in the diner.

  28. Brad says:

    I have a feeling that he’s still alive and the execution will be postponed due to the miscalculation (or that’s what I’m hoping)

  29. Jeremy says:

    The vagueness of Seward’s guilt is the entire point. The death penalty is a moral abomination, regardless of innocence or guilt. That’s the entire reason Peter Skarsgaard signed on.

  30. Carrie says:

    That was an intense episode. Very well-acted. I was very impressed. Probably the best episode of the whole series thus far.

  31. jimbo says:

    Wow. That’s all I can say about that episode.

  32. Lisbeth Slander says:

    Wow, wow, wow!! I was furious about the Emmy’s snubbing Parenthood’s Monica Potter but I found myself last night asking “Why hasn’t Enos WON an Emmy?”
    Last nights episode was a master class in acting by all involved.
    I was holding out a sliver of hope that they’d cut the rope and let him live, that look on Linden’s face when she realizes he didn’t die should be enough to get her some awards love.
    Cannot wait for next Sunday.

  33. Linda says:

    I love this show…I hate this show for making me care about people who don;t exist and crying over their deaths..I will spend the whole week thinking about that scene when he is hung….imagining it is my death too.

  34. MovieNic09 says:

    I am enjoying everyone’s theories on who the killer might be. I cannot give a definite answer yet as to who I think it is. For me, everyone has some sort of a shady position that makes me think they could be the one. As much as I thought it was Becker, I don’t think it is anymore. I also don’t think it’s Henderson. It may end up being Skinner but I think it’s too obvious. Remember how in last week’s preview you saw Adrian say it was him I saw, we all assumed it was one of the cops in the prison. Now in this week’s preview you saw Holder saying he had access to everything which makes us think it has to be a cop. They could just be throwing us off again. I definitely don’t think it’s Reddick – he’s just a guy who hates his job and is only doing it to get a pension. He has no interest in how this case plays out. He’s just there when he needs to be. He’s too lazy to be this calculating of a serial killer. Maybe it’s one of the kids, like Twitch or Lyric. Either way, this show keeps me guessing and I’m loving it.

  35. jim says:

    What about Twitch’s parole officer?

  36. Jeremy says:

    Twitch’s parole officer – yes. Good possibility – he was super shady. Though why would he rape a dude but kill the girls? A little odd. Could be Twitch though he doesn’t seem sophisticated enough.

    • jim says:

      Ok.Twitch is too young to be involved with those bodies they found in the pond. He was probably in jr high.He is however involved with the latest bodies found.I think twitch makes his money leading girls to the killer.

  37. kim says:

    I totally agree with you Jim!
    It’s not the po po! It’s the PO! Do we really need anymore proof that he victimizes his wards? He would have some access to police info and is also directly involved in the street.
    Who really knows what Angie told Bullet (it is feasible that a scared junkie girl on the run might lie for a little free dope) Bullet also had a PO (maybe the same one) so she might have gotten into a car with him. If she in fact got into a car, we dont know what transpired, only the end result!
    Ray Seward was in prison prior to his murder conviction, he would have had a PO too.
    It seems logical. The prison guards would be too coincidental, Reddick or Skinner seem almost too obvious and I just don’t want to imagine Holder as a monster!

  38. Sara says:

    Well, I figured out last season’s killer was Rosie’s aunt but didn’t know until the end why. Right now it looks like that boyfriend who had access to Sara’s paperwork in her home might be the one.Also the episode ended abruptly and we did not see any sort of “tidying up”. Remember the pawned ring? Someone without much money would have bought it. I think Seward said he paid $30 for it. Puzzling to me….

  39. Dave says:

    I love The Killing, but I am a little lost on a few things. First, why was Raymond Sewart introduced anyway? The only two connections I am seeing are through Linden. 1) She put him away and 2) She found the dump site that came from a picture that Adrian had drawn.

    So I conclude that Adrian drew the site because he was there. If that’s the case, then why did we go through Ray’s time on death row where we were lead to believe he was innocent? Ray obviously wasn’t protecting Adrian when he went away as he was too young to have killed his mother, so is there perhaps another character close to both Adrian and Ray that has not been introduced.

    Does this make sense? Raymond’s story just seems like an unrelated story.

    • Meghan says:

      The guards are probably involved somehow. We wouldn’t care about them if Ray wouldn’t have been introduced.

  40. NedPepper says:

    This season of The Killing a masterpiece. The acting is superb. Enos’ Linden is one of the most fully realized characters on television. Emmys all around for this season. I can’t remember being this emotionally affected by a TV show in a long time.

  41. Zoey says:

    Agree with comments above – best one-hour of acting since final episode of “Southland.” And now, the question: How did Bullit’s body get in the car Mills stole from Danette? Remember, he was hiding in the storage unit.

  42. kim says:

    Actually Bullet’s body was found in Mills’ taxi at the storage bin.
    IMO Twitch put it and also planted the box of rings there to frame Mills for his PO in trade for money and maybe a clear release from parole or probation.

  43. Janet says:

    I was thinking that it might be someone related to Seward, like a brother or something. The father said he was proud that Seward didn’t rat on anyone, so it makes me think that Seward was following some code that prevented him from telling the full truth, even to Linden.

  44. Connie says:

    What about Twitch’s parole officer? I suspect Lyric and somebody, i.e., maybe she is related to the killer. Overall, so many different paths to walk with all of the theories. Lots of trees to think about too. I have also thought about Linden’s former boyfriend/psycho- he is around water, knows the area… his background anyone? At first I thought Skinner but with writers seems too obvious. When I first saw Twitch I noticed his eyes and my eyes do twitch
    sometimes.

  45. Eyesore says:

    I’m reading all the possible killer theories and it makes me love the show more. Except for the holder theory, all of you have valid points. The PO using kids like Twitch to lure girls in is a god one. Reddick being the killer is a good one. Lindens creepy ex is a good possibility too. I thought about him a couple of times

    i love that there are so many ways this can play out. Outstanding show!

  46. Libby says:

    This has become my favorite show. it’s true, tv has better acting than films now. And this ensemble is marvelous. Ms. Enos et. al are truly a gift to watch. Saarsgard deserves huge recognition for his gritty, multi-layerd character. I will be riveted next week. BTW, Enos is quiite a find. She is compelling in every scene she’s in. Hope to see much more of her in other projects.

  47. Jonboyblue says:

    Great interview, Peter! And phenomenal acting! You really blew me away in this role! It was deep and one we would have definitely studied in drama class at Yale! Very impressed. Appreciate your insight on how you got to the meat of your character. Hopefully we will see you soon on “Inside The Actors Studio”

  48. Hamaoka Kei says:

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