Performer of the Week: Justified's Mike O'Malley

mikeblogA weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Mike O’Malley

THE SHOW | Justified

THE EPISODE | “Decoy”

THE AIRDATE March 19, 2013

THE PERFORMANCE | It speaks volumes about the quality and daring of O’Malley’s work on Justified this season that he’s making such a (wonderful! awful!) impression as Theo Tonin’s slimebucket henchman Nicky Augustine. This is the show, after all, that gave us Margo Martindale as the fearsome Mags Bennett. Its bar for villains is set high. Real high.

Yet, in this week’s exceptional episode, O’Malley made Nicky so skin-crawlingly vile during his misogynistic tete-a-tete with Ava that when she pulled a gun on him, you could almost hear every viewer at home shouting, “Do it! Shoot!”

Perhaps especially impressive is the fact that O’Malley’s performance here is a full-on 180 from the role for which he’s best known: Kurt’s dad – perennial Father of the Year Burt – on Glee. That he can not only make us forget Burt but make us forget Burt and absolutely loathe Nicky is the kind of feat that deserves recognition.

What performance knocked your socks off this week?

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53 Comments
  1. Ruby says:

    He was so evil and especially disgusting with Ava, but I will forever love him for being Kurt’s AWESOME father on Glee.

    • ThatJustifiedFan says:

      Yeah, i have never seen him in Glee, or Glee in general, but he is one bad@ss character in Justified. I remember in one episode this season he calmly talked to an FBI Agent before shooting him in the forehead mere seconds later.

  2. Kelly says:

    I think Lisa Edelstein should’ve been performer of the week on Scandal! She did an amazing job on the show. The table scene between Lisa and Kerry Washington was the best scene that I’ve ever scene between two women in a very long time. Lisa E totally did some amazing acting. To me,I think this is the best acting in her career on a tv show. She deserves the recognition on this one. I really hope she returns to tv soon in a major role. She’s been missed!

    • Sam says:

      I totally agree. I always liked her but i didn´t know she could be that great in drama. She totally killed it. She should have made this list.

  3. Meg says:

    I still prefer Mike O’Malley from “Spill Your Guts.” MO!

  4. Wow says:

    Fantastic show! Fantastic Season! Fantastic choice! Nicky is a d**k! O’Malley deserves the spotlight!

  5. Sory but Patton Oswald as Constable Bob was legendary.

  6. valeriel40 says:

    He’s come a long way since “Yes, Dear!” LOVE him!

    • Ram510 says:

      My thought exactly! I still love watch the reruns of Yes Dear, it never gets old to me

    • Ethel says:

      My thoughts exactly…..what a great underrated actor. Miss him on Glee. I could not believe it was the same actor when I watched Justified. WOW!

  7. Mark says:

    He’s a great actor. I’m glad he’s on a show that doesn’t suck.

  8. kat says:

    I would never have picked him for this tiny part. Even just from this show. Super lame choice.

  9. DarkDefender says:

    Pretty much everyone on Justified was stellar this week. I would also give a shout out the Sandra Oh for Grey’s and Adan Canto for The Following.

  10. Kaulbach Kurt-James says:

    Indeed. Here! Here! Easily one of the best written series on television.

  11. Bender says:

    Best known for Kurt’s father on Glee? What about Yes, Dear and My Name Is Earl!

  12. scorpionglow says:

    Actually I wanted her to set him on fire, but it would have been too obvious after dumping brandy on him.

    • Karen H in NC says:

      My thoughts exactly. With that lighter in one hand….I was so intent on what I thought she should do, I didn’t even see the gun until she had it in his face. I thought. YES…that works for me!

      • scorpionglow says:

        I knew she was armed. I thought “Shooting him might also ignite the brandy, go for it!” It was such an uncalled for set of insults that I know I wouldn’t have been able to be that calm about it.

        I think in the Elmore Leonard aspect of things, she will either be sorry she didn’t do what she felt in the moment or something else will happen. I don’t think that guy is going back to Tonin, except maybe in a body bag.

  13. Amy says:

    Nicky was great, but Rachel Miner deserves some recognition for her last turn as Meg on Supernatural. Naturally, that show kills the female characters with the most personality and keeps the annoying ones around.

  14. Winso says:

    Constable Bob underestimate him at your own peril…

  15. sarah says:

    Yeah he made an amazing show host on Nickelodeon. Haha! Interesting to see that he’s doing different things now.

  16. Talia says:

    Seriously did nobody at TV Line watch the last episode of Spartacus? Manu Bennett is the only actor who should be called the performer of the week.

  17. Rowan77 says:

    I used to really dislike Mike O’Malley. He always played the same kind of schlubby jerk on sitcoms. When he got the role of Burt on Glee, that was the first time I liked him in anything. I don’t watch Glee anymore (it’s just a terrible show now), but I was interested in how O’Malley was going to do on Justified where the bar is raised pretty high. He’s fantastic in it. All he needs is great material and a strong director.

  18. Deion says:

    O’Malley was good, but Nicky Augustin is pretty close (albeit, worse than) to O’Malley’s spy character, Raymond Carter, from the short lived “My Own Worst Enemy”. Based on that, I at least knew how much terrible he could pull off.

  19. Paul says:

    I never would have believed O’Malley had the Chops for Drama after such schlock as Yes Dear but he actually is convincing in the role. Kudos to him and TV Line for recognizing it.

  20. King says:

    Manu Bennett of Spartacus!!!

  21. Tabs says:

    He’s a really good actor.

  22. Dave says:

    The cast of Justified is one of the most underrated right now … everyone was on fire this week … the phone call between Tim & Colton was phenomenal. We’re so used to Olyphant & Goggins being great that we tend to overlook everyone else.

  23. Jess says:

    I’m sure O’Malley was great but I think that Lisa Edelstein should have gotten a meantion here. She totally killed it on Scandal. Every scene with her was beyond awesome, I enjoyed every second she was on the screen. What an outstanding actress!

  24. Laura says:

    I don’t watch Justified but my pick for performer of the week would be Lisa Edelstein. She and Kerry Washington took my breath during their heart to heart with the bottles of wine. What a brilliant mirror scene with Liv & Fitz and the client & her husband that morphed into the best moment two female characters shared on TV in ages. Kudos to the writers and both actresses.

  25. Eva says:

    when I first saw him, I immediately thought of Glee….but the second he started speaking, I forgot all about it. He’s so evil yet so subtle. The screen with Ava was some great acting, but also some great writing. Justified is such a great, yet underrated, show!

  26. tom moran says:

    Patton Oswalt for sure

  27. James Lewis says:

    I’ll may say it when Raylan or Boyd puts a bullet between his eyes

  28. sam says:

    O’Malley was great with Ava and that line as Ava is making her way out the door “OK I see what you like about her” could have been Raylans.

  29. Ivo says:

    For the next week must be Manu Bennett from Spartacus please!!

  30. dizzylucy says:

    I think it has to be a tie between O’Malley and Patton Oswalt, both for their work on Justified. They each had a stand out episode, and have both been great additions to an already incredibly awesome show.

  31. Austin says:

    Joelle Carter really deserves more praise for what has certainly been the most exciting portrayal of a character this season on JUSTIFIED.