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?