Performer of the Week: Bates Motel's Vera Farmiga

vera farmiga bates motel performanceA weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars


THE SHOW | Bates Motel

THE EPISODE | “Ocean View”

THE AIRDATE April 15, 2013

THE PERFORMANCE | If Bates Motel had set out to create a showcase for its female lead, it could scarcely have done any better than this hour. Over the course of the episode, the Oscar nominee took Norma from spitting mad to jumping for joy… albeit jumping on a rug that was about to be pulled out from under her!

First, the actress made it clear that her alter ego wasn’t in the running for Mother of the Year by snarling over Norman’s “devotion.” (Probably made the poor kid glad there was a partition between them, she was so pissed!) Later, she granted his request that she look at him, just look at him, only to have her cast him the most withering glance this side of Medusa. Finally, she conjured up such a head of righteous indignation in proclaiming her innocence to her lawyer that, for a second there, it was easy to forget that she was actually guilty.

Wait, did we say “finally”? Because it wasn’t over yet!

After that, Farmiga totally let loose, responding to Norman’s fears by telling him, “If I’m so damn scary, get the hell out of my car!” — and awkwardly, physically removing him from said vehicle! Then, after a brief respite from her stress upon learning that loverboy Zack has destroyed the evidence against her, Norma was hit with the lowest blow of all: She learned that her savior was — oh, crap — trafficking in sex slaves.

Through it all, Farmiga wasn’t just good, she was, ahem, crazy good.

HONORABLE MENTION | The AmericansSusan Misner, for the tsunami of pent-up anger and grief her put-upon housewife Sandra unleashed on Noah Emmerich’s cheating Stan. Her kitchen-set  catharsis was a long time coming, and Misner made it well worth the wait.

What performance knocked your socks off this week?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. tahina says:

    Vera Farmiga has become one of my favorite actresses..yep, so good she can easily become an obsession to watch. <3

  2. David says:

    Bates Motel is my favorite new show! And Vera is terrific in this, as are all of the other actors. Well written…well acted….let’s hope it lasts.

  3. Sharon says:

    Michael cudlitz on southland season finale. Two weeks in a row of raw and powerful acting.

  4. kirads09 says:

    Yes. She is really good as Norma. Freddie deserves high props for his portrayal of Norman too. Very very good performances.

  5. Mike says:

    awesome choice again this week, she’s been a powerhouse on this show & easily the best part of watching each week

  6. nikki says:

    Good but Catelyn Stark was better. Two weeks in a row and she knocked it out of the park.

    • Mike says:

      Agreed, Michelle Fairley makes Catelyn for me, especially impressive because I hated her in the books, but she makes her likeable. Jamie was also impressive this week.

    • MockingbirdGirl says:

      I like Michelle Fairley, and she does give Catelyn emotional heft that was often absent from the books… but I agree with the article. Farmiga’s ability to change the emotional temperature of the scene on a dime is the more impressive performance of the two.

  7. AT says:

    I actually think Max Brown from BATB should have gotten noticed. He may be on a show that isn’t amazing, BUT he hit it out of the ballpark on this week’s episode. He showed so much emotion and gave a wonderful performance. His presence will be missed on that show.

  8. Danny says:

    Yeah, she was great. I’m glad the show got renewed.

  9. Barry says:

    I completely agree with both of these choices. Susan Misner absolutely floored me. For that moment I was stunned, and couldn’t take my eyes off the screen

  10. Patrick Maloney says:

    Absolutely great

  11. paul says:

    Patrick Duffy playing out the raw emotional scenes of explaining how J.R. had been dying of cancer and had his private detective Bum kill jom to be merciful and set up Cliff Barnes. Knowing that Larry Hangman died of cancer made it all the more believeable.

  12. Frank says:

    Linda Gray of Dallas showing the corrupt Governor no one messes with Sue Ellen Ewing!

  13. Mel says:

    I can’t take my eyes off Vera when she is on the screen. She is an amazing actress, but especially amazing as Norma. WOW! If you aren’t watching Bates Motel you should be. Phenomenal acting by all. Each of the characters are interesting and complex. Great prequel. Hope they can keep the great story telling going for years.

  14. I would’ve given it to Susan Misner plus an honorable mention to the ENTIRE cast of Southland.

    Misner really stole the show this week, even though she only appeared in two scenes. And don’t even get me started on Southland. The fact that the show doesn’t even have a single Emmy nomination (other than stunts, correct me if I’m wrong), is one of the biggest television crimes ever. Michael Cudlitz, Regina King, Shawn Hatosy, Ben McKenzie – absolutely stellar.

    • Charlotte says:

      PREACH IT. The show is incredible, but the last two episodes of this season were gritty and intense. I hope the show is nominated for an emmy (probable snub though), or at least Michael Cudlitz is. Because he killed it.

  15. Meghan says:

    I think if you can nominate Candice from American Idol last week, then surely this weeks performance of the week came from the heroes, volunteers, doctors, nurses, and police in Boston!

  16. Roger says:

    Performance of the week: People of Boston.

    Runner up: Lyndsy Fonseca on this week’s Nikita.

    • George says:

      I agree!!!!!

    • Ashlin says:

      Give me a f#cking break, that’s ridiculously stupid. On top of what you meant being stupid, you do understand that by saying the people of Boston gave a great “performance” they were putting up an act and being insincere?

  17. Dior says:

    By far Vera has won, she is a thrill to watch she makes the show great, we wanted crazy,, we’ll can’t wait till next week!

  18. Eva says:

    I would have given it to Susan Misner too. Her naturalistic approach to acting always appeals to me. That kitchen scene was absolutely amazing!

  19. Ettie says:

    Excellent choice! Bates Motel and Vera are amazing!

  20. Adam says:

    i would have given performer of the week or at least honorable mention to Lyndsy Fonseca. so much emotion from her, throughout the episode, all the near breakdown and full breakdown moments, and when Sean died.

  21. tvguy says:

    everyone from southland? tvline FAIL

  22. Sammy says:

    I’m so glad you guys didn’t opt to praise Michelle Fairley. I was worried because she had a particularly faux-emotional monologue both this week and last. Vera understands that acting is about being truthful, not emotionally manipulative.

  23. Scott says:

    Totally agree. Vera needs to get an Emmy and a Golden Globe. She and the outstanding cast make the show must see. She is brilliant in every scene

  24. luca says:

    Molto bello il blog… per aspetto nuovi post, da troppo tempo che non ci sono aggiornamenti. Vabb, intanto mi sono iscritto ai feed RSS, continuo a seguirvi!

  25. Dory says:

    Tour bus rolling around Hollyweird. I wonder if they’ll notice? Ambitious undertaking. She is an exceptional actress. I give up on The Glades getting any recognition, they barely get promoted. I still like Jim & cast.

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