TVLine's Performer of the Week: Monica Potter

Parenthood Season 4 SpoilersA new feature in which we spotlight the past week’s shining star

THE PERFORMER | Monica Potter

THE SHOW | Parenthood (NBC)

THE EPISODE | “Together”

THE AIRDATE | November 13, 2012

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THE PERFORMANCE | Never one to sit back and let others take the wheel, a cancer-stricken Kristina struggled with needing to be taken care of but not wanting to be seen as a victim. Her internal battle, however, was quickly projected outward when she found herself overwhelmed by the presence of her overbearing-but-well-meaning mother-in-law, Camille.

Venting to Adam over the phone, Kristina eventually blurted out the real issue at hand: “I want my mom. I want my own mom to consider me important enough to get on a plane and come here to see me.”

With just two lines of dialogue, Potter seamlessly transformed her mom-of-the-year character into a scared little girl yearning for the love of a parent. It was a nuanced moment from the actress, who was able to portray heartbreak, anger and a never-before-scene vulnerability with merely a few words and facial expressions.

Potter ended the near-perfect episode with her alter ego coming to realize that she’d had a maternal support system all along. “I know I’m not your mom,” an empathetic Camille told Kristina after gifting her with a hand-me-down “cancer sweater.” “I would never try to replace her. But I love you, Krissy. I’m here for you. I’d do anything for you. Anything.”

Camille’s reassurance gave Kristina everything she needed, and it all played across Potter’s face: relief, appreciation and a lightness her character hasn’t felt in a while. The moment was a comfort for viewers, as well; it made us feel that in the end, everything is going to be OK for Kristina.

Which performance knocked your socks off this past week?