TVLine's Performer of the Week: Morena Baccarin

Morena Baccarin in HomelandA new feature in which we spotlight the past week’s shining star

THE PERFORMER | Morena Baccarin

THE SHOW | Homeland (Showtime)

THE EPISODE | “State of Independence”

THE AIRDATE | October 14, 2012

THE PERFORMANCE | Say what you will about the plausibility of Brody being tasked with running errands for Abu Nazir, his absence from the veterans dinner organized by his long-suffering wife afforded her portrayer her meatiest material yet. As the reality slowly sank in that her husband was going to miss the big event, she careened from concern to anger to disappointment, all while demonstrating remarkable restraint.

But it got even better, and so did Baccarin. When Jessica took the stage to notify the impatient crowd (which included the VPOTUS!) that the evening’s star speaker would be AWOL due to “car trouble,” the former alien queen of V absolutely dazzled. First, she showed us her character’s embarrassment and fear. (Her voice was literally trembling, that’s how palpable her emotions were.) However, that anxiety quickly gave way to unexpected confidence as Jessica began delivering her own impromptu remarks, a candid reflection of the oft-forgotten plight of military wives, many of whom are ill-prepared for what’s in store when their spouses return home from combat. The crowd was eating it up, and frankly, so were we. Baccarin conveyed nary a false note as Jessica went from completely mortified to wholly empowered. And for that, we salute her.

Whose performance knocked your socks off this past week?

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36 Comments
  1. Reva says:

    Morena’s performance was good, but Claire Danes was incredible this week (and every week)

    • ben says:

      Danes and Lewis were at their usual high water mark in this episode, but I thought Morena Baccarin and Mandy Patinkin both truly knocked it out of the park. Honestly, this speech, and the scene where Saul had his diplomatic bag searched, are both Emmy-worthy pieces of acting. Fantastic.

      • ben says:

        Also, am I the only one who doesn’t think the Nazir thing was far fetched? My impression of this entire season is that Nazir would gladly sabotage Brody’s political career – that he is not fond of the fact Brody believes he should have some control over his actions – and that giving him a menial task to do should be a stark reminder that its Nazir, not Brody, calling the shots. To me, it not only seemed believable; it seemed inevitable.

        • Irishgirl says:

          I think the only plausible and believable thing about that is, as you said, it was for Nazir to exert control over Brody and dig him deeper into his web. What’s totally implausible is that he’d have Brody pick Bassel up. Brody is pretty much one of the most recognizable people in the US right now. He may want to sabotage Brody’s career and family life, but I doubt he wants him to draw suspicion to himself or get caught.

    • I don’t think she was all that great, either. I mean, she was okay, but I actually thought she was better last week when she found out about Brody being a Muslim!

  2. Shelby says:

    Jessica Capshaw/Sara Ramirez. Their last scene had me in tears.

    • kavyn says:

      I think they acted it well, but my problem with it is that the anger Arizona has is really out of character (especially since Callie really had no choice). I get that she’s pissed that she lost her leg, but she acts like Callie did it on purpose just to ruin her life. It was pretty obvious that Callie had no other choice but to cut her leg off considering Arizona was crashing and about to die.

      • Sue says:

        Yeah, you would think as a doctor Arizona would understand why she had to do it, honestly I would of proffered she would of died instead its just so out of character.

        • kavyn says:

          It’s even more stupid because Callie didn’t want to do it. She was working on a solution and then got interrupted by Alex in the middle of an incredibly important surgery to tell her that her wife was crashing and about to die if they didn’t do anything.

  3. Agree Claire Danes is the best. Baccarin is ok in minor roles.

  4. Jason says:

    She’s always good. Jessica’s reaction when Brody’s faith was revealed was also well-played. Giancarlo Esposito was a powerhouse on Revolution this week.

  5. emma says:

    ian somehalder (do not miscredit him just because he’s on tvd), everyone from homeland and american horror story, anna torv, and andre braugher!

  6. emma says:

    and giancarlo esposito, how could I forget???

  7. Lisa says:

    Giancarlo Esposito, Claire Danes, Jessica Lange, Mandy Patinkin, Ellen Barkin, Neil Patrick Harris, Sara Ramirez, Sandra Oh, Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, and even Lea Michelle are just a number of the incredible actors that are constantly at the top of their game week after week. This is a golden age for television where the limits seem few and far between. I’m definitely loving every second of it.
    Sorry for any misspellings, I didn’t feel it necessary to look them up

    • Lisa says:

      oh and of course Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Anna Gunn all deserve shout outs for their acting on what I consider the best show on tv.

    • Adam says:

      I agree with all of these but Ellen Barkin. I cannot stand that character. I’ve tried The New Normal two episodes since the pilot (which I suffered through the whole thing of) and had to turn off the program both times once her character came on because she would just enrage me into a rant.

    • Kelli says:

      You had me until you mentioned Lea Michele. But all the other actors are absolutely remarkable and don’t get enough credit (minus Danes and Lange, who everyone constantly praises, but the others are so underrated!)

  8. Trina says:

    Sandra Oh pretty much any week on Gray’s Anatomy – her naked in the bathtub recounting of the week of hell the team went through before rescue is master class acting – pathos, terror, and agony.

  9. StupidPeopleShutUp says:

    New Normal is unwatchable.

  10. AJ says:

    For me, the best PotW would be Charlie Hunnam. There is a lot of talent on TV these days, but I really loved him in the last episode, particularly in the revenge scene.

  11. cjeffery7 says:

    OMG yeah her shaky voice!! it didn’t feel like acting, it felt like the real thing, and it probably was to a certain extent OMG INARA you are so awesome! further proof of morena’s epic acting skillz. she can play, convincingly, a futuristic space escort, an evil alien queen, and a war widow/wife to an unbeknownst-to-most-terrorist. ALL THE PRAISE

  12. Gil says:

    Sara Ramirez / Jessica Capshaw, they were incredible in the shower scene,
    Show: Grey’s anatomy

  13. Mary says:

    Great new feature – looking forward to the next PotW.

  14. Mark says:

    Her and her daughter are my least favorite part of Homeland. Their parts of the episode just draggggggggggggg so much. It doesn’t help that the daughter is one of the worst actresses currently on TV. Such an annoying character. BLEH.

  15. mantua says:

    Victoria Grayson wore the same Valentino dress when she gave her big speech on the same Sunday night ! Who wore it better :) ?

  16. Shaun says:

    Maggie Siff

    • Kelli says:

      She is a great actress, but she did nothing THIS week. Her scenes with Charlie always feel the same. I get deja vu’s every time he holds her face and she just stares up at him to mumble something. They get at least one of those in every episode this season, lol. Even Kurt Sutter conveyed more in his one scene than Maggie did in all her 3-4 scenes in this week’s disturbing episode…. She definitely rocked it in 5.02 and 5.03, though.

  17. Kelli says:

    Jimmy Smits on Sons of Anarchy was awesome this past week. So were Wanda de Jesus and Katey Sagal (what else is new there, though.)

  18. Marie says:

    I don’t know why everyone is listing all these other actors. This is not a yearly “award”. There will be many, many actors featured in this column; I’m sure they’ll all land on it eventually so be patient!

  19. Bob says:

    This show just keeps getting better and better. Not sure how much longer they’re going to be able to keep the Brody storyline going, but it’s definitely TV worth watching.

  20. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I like this idea as a weekly column. Great idea, TVLine! I can’t wait to see who is featured in future weeks! Morena was a great choice for this week.

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