Brent Sexton Brent Sexton

Cheers to Brent Sexton for his shattering performance on The Killing.  

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The veteran actor, who played a sheriff on Justified and a sheriff wannabe on Deadwood, is walking a dangerously thin line between the right side and the wrong side of the law as Stan Larsen, the emotionally tortured father of murdered teenager Rosie on AMC's top-caliber mystery (now that Justified has wrapped its season, The Killing stands as the best drama currently on the air). An ex-gambling addict and bagman for the Polish mob, Stan has wrestled with his desire for "Vengeance" — the title of this week's excellent episode — against his daughter's alleged murderer, Muslim teacher Bennett Ahmed (Brandon Jay McLaren, a face to watch). The theme seemed especially relevant in light of Osama Bin Laden's killing — and even more eerily apt considering last week's episode of The Killing briefly overlapped with breaking-news coverage of that story.

Yet it's Stan's grief, not his rage, which makes Sexton's work so powerful. His regret that he wasn't able to protect his girl, his pledge to safeguard his surviving sons, his desire to stay on the straight and narrow — and reignite his love life with his all-but-catatonic wife, Mitch (Emmy frontrunner Michelle Forbes) — it's all so painfully real. You may not have known Brent Sexton's name before, but after watching him on The Killing, you'll never forget his haunting, haunted face.

Do you agree Brent Sexton is killing it on The Killing?

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