Performers of the Week: Sons of Anarchy's Maggie Siff and Scandal's Bellamy Young

maggie SiffA weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Maggie Siff

THE SHOW | Sons of Anarchy

THE EPISODE | “Huang Wu”

THE AIRDATE | November 12, 2013

THE PERFORMANCE | If hell hath any fury like a woman scorned, it’s a woman scorned and running out of options. With her elaborate plan to block monster-in-law Gemma from playing a role in the upbringing of her sons a certified flop, Tara found herself backed into multiple corners in Tuesday’s episode — and Siff conveyed her alter ego’s anger and desperation with heartbreaking precision.

The Mad Men alumna had at least a half-dozen killer moments throughout the hour, but three scenes stand out from the pack. First was the visit with drug-addled “ally” Wendy that made Tara fully aware of just how flawed her scheme was. Second was the confrontation with Gemma, during which Tara called BS on her archnemesis’ hypocrisy. “Guess I misjudged you,” she seethed, Siff drenching Tara’s faux grin with contempt. “I didn’t realize you had a line that couldn’t be crossed.” Last — and most notably — was her run-in with Jax — which began with her discovering him in bed with a prostitute and ended with her coming face-to-face with the unrecognizable person she has become.

Standing outside a brothel pointing a gun at the love of her life, a disoriented Tara cried out, “Look what you did to me! What’s happening to me? What happened to me?” You knocked it out of the park, darlin’. That’s what.

Bellamy YoungTHE PERFORMER | Bellamy Young

THE SHOW | Scandal

THE EPISODE | “Everything’s Coming Up Mellie”

THE AIRDATE | November 14, 2013

THE PERFORMANCE | Recently hailed for her performance as a fun drunk, Scandal‘s Young this week got to embrace a gamut of emotions — including a character she never before inhabited, that of a younger Mellie loved by her husband Fitz. Yet soon enough, that sunny tone was darkened by a sinister cloud, when Fitz’s father Jerry drunkenly and brazenly raped his daughter-in-law.

Afterward, Young depicted a steel magnolia barely able to walk steady in the wake of the unspeakable, someone barely to utter the lie she would tell. And then, when the happy news of an awaited pregnancy was tainted by the truth that perhaps bore it? We saw the pain Mellie shall forever conceal.

Life wasn’t much easier in Mellie’s current timeline, as Fitz yet again forsake her. “If you knew the sacrifices that I have made, the things I have given up and the pieces of myself I have given up for you…,” she said to the mate who too often has left her alone. “You make me beg for scraps when I have done nothing but fight for you.” Though POTUS may forever be in the dark about Mellie’s scandalous secret, Young made sure that we the viewers are now all too aware.

tvddoppelgangersHONORABLE MENTION | You’ll excuse us if we exhaled at the end of this week’s Vampire Diaries, because watching Nina Dobrev play not just two, but three characters in one episode was a breathless sight to behold — even in the era of Orphan Black. From empathetic and concerned (Elena) to sassy and defensive (Katherine) to downright crazy and tortured (Amara), Dobrev was a doppelgangin’ machine. And to top it off, her three personalities converged in one scene for the first time — casting a dizzying spell on viewers and solidifying Dobrev as one of the most underrated actresses of her generation.

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65 Comments
  1. Alex says:

    Sara Ramirez as Callie in Grey’a Anatomy.

    • dsrbroadway says:

      I was just about the say Sara Ramirez! Beautiful job in probably their best episode of the season thus far.

      • chris says:

        Sara Ramirez should be performer of the week – she was amazing and Jessica Capshaw should have gotten honorable mention! Those two women play so well off of each other. I hope the networks took note and offer them both their own shows!

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  2. Lynn says:

    Bellamy needs to win all the awards (as does Kerry). She was amazing in this episode. Mellie is my favorite character and I love her so much, and I’m glad we got to find out more about her (even the horrific things). I wonder if Fitz will find out the truth eventually, and if one of the older kids isn’t his (or maybe they’re twins and both aren’t), I hope he doesn’t treat them badly.

  3. Yasin says:

    Nina was amazing in that scene in The Vampire Diaries, so I’m not surprised that she was probably the ones that you guys were debating about. I think Sara Ramirez was brilliant in Greys Anatomy so I was hoping she was going to get the honarable mention. That scene with Travis, even though he had already described it before hand was just executed beautifully. The layers of that scene was just amazing.

  4. Meg says:

    Orphan Black fans are going to lose it with the mention of Nina Dovrev and OB in the same article

    • Amy says:

      I’m an Orphan Black fan. I think Tatiana is absolutely fantastic but that doesn’t mean other actresses’ performances can’t be recognized too. There’s nothing being taken from OB. Nina has been playing multiple characters for years on TVD. *shrug* will never get the need to pit actresses from different shows against each other instead of just giving each the credit they are due.

      • Meg says:

        I say this because in this week’s AA, Ausiello quoted Julie Plec when she mentioned Orphan Black and Nina in an interview and that Nina has been “doing that for 4 years” in reference to playing multiple characters on a show. OB fans went off about how Tatiana is so much better than Nina and to even think about comparing them at all is ridiculous.

        I’m sure Tatiana is a wonderful actress and OB is a great show. But I agree with you; there’s no need to pit different actresses against each other. There are great performances by many different actresses. Nina has grown a lot since her days on Degrassi, and I think she did a fabulous job on this week’s TVD.

        • angel says:

          Every actress has something special. I watch both shows. Nina dobrev in all this years, played human elena, vampire elena, human katherine back in 1484, human katherine in present day, vampire katherine ( that was pretty worse when she appear), elena with no humanity, sired elena, and now amara, she did all this stuff in a different way!!!! Both Tatiana and Nina would deserve of course to go to hollywood and start in movies. They are both greate actresses. they deserve more..I see girls like Kristen steward..megan fox..that are so popular and have so much money but when it comes to acting you want to rip your hair!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • pedro says:

            I’m just gonna add that she also played Katherine pretending to be Elena and Elena pretending to be Katherine, which are naturally 2 more different sides that she portrayed
            About OB, Tatiana Maslany is amazing, her perfomance is breathtaking. That said, Nina Dobrev is amazing too and she definitely is (quoting the article) “one of the most underrated actresses of her generation”.

          • amanda says:

            both tatiana and dobrev would deserve BETTER. i see in hollywood right now so many chicks that makes you cringe lot when you see them on screen

  5. Jason says:

    Nina’s performance was outstanding. Even in the scene with the 3 characters, you could tell the difference between the 3 characters even from a distance. I hope Nina gets the recognition she deserves.

  6. Liana says:

    Honorable mention should’ve gone to Scott Wilson on The Walking Dead.

  7. Beth says:

    Loved Maggie Siff’s performance this week. She protrayed heartbreak, despair and anger and that was just in that scene with Jax. Great choice this week.

  8. Chris says:

    I’m glad Maggie Siff’s amazing performance is being recognized. She truly deserves it.

  9. wrstlgirl says:

    Scott Wilson should be here. Okay Maggie Siff was awesome, don’t watch Scandal but Nina Dobrev???? Excuse me while I barf.

  10. Ralph Hartman says:

    I thought Katey Sagal was more deserving then Maggie Siff this week.

    • Jax &Juice's Girl says:

      I AGREE Katey sagal did an awesome job as well BUT Maggie siff takes the cake on this ep. I also liked Scott Wilson aka Hershal on TWD he was so BADASS trying to take care of sick when he almost died himself!

    • V says:

      Completely agree! Whether you love or hate Gemma, Katey knows how to send chills down your spine. I don’t care how wrong, hypocritical, conniving Gemma was in that scene with Tara, the way Katey delivered “Mommy moved away or mommy passed away” was utter brilliance. I’m so over critics just praising Maggie and Charlie on a weekly basis just bc they’re the characters we should be “rooting for” when Katey and Ron are the superior duo.

      • Jax&Juice's Girl says:

        I get what your saying V i have a love/hate for Gemma but tara is REALLY going on a mental breakdown gem just added MORE pressure by saying that to PUSH her to that limit …….she doesn’t have anybody else to lean on and help. As for clay Ron Perlman always delivers and does a damn good job playing these types of characters. I like him too (Ron) but clay is class A: jackass.

  11. April says:

    They were all so so good… No wonder there was a debate this week. Bellamy Young actually made me feel for Mellie because before this episode I couldn’t stand her. At all. Now I can’t help but admire her strength.

  12. Meg says:

    Maggie Siff is killing it this season. So glad she’s getting some recognition. She gave me chills last week, she was so good.

  13. Xandra says:

    Honorable mentions to Mandy Patinkin and Tracy Letts.

  14. enri says:

    Maggie Siff was amazing this week. Such a range of emotions.

  15. I stopped taking this seriously when you asked your fans who should be featured, and about half of them said Scott Wilson. More said Scott Wilson than Maggie Siff (and I’m a SOA fan as well). Wilson carried this weeks episode, and he didn’t even get your honorable mention, despite a fan outcry. Way to go TVLine. You know just what your readers want.

  16. angelwings says:

    It amazes me how tv line only recognizes the femake talent on Sons of Anarchy. Charlie Hunnam has been astounding in every single episode this season and yet not a word of praise. Predictable, but still sad.

  17. Lucas says:

    Also would give honorable mention to Taraji P. Henson for this week’s Person of Interest.

  18. Fernando says:

    I how about honorable mention to Sophia Bush for just being amazingly beautiful on the Chicago PD promo haha

    But Yes Bellamy deserve it and she does every week, she’s so amazing, her and Kerry are top notch actresses.

  19. Amy says:

    Nina was fantastic this week and I’m happy to see her mentioned. She definitely doesn’t get the credit she deserves. Bellamy Young was outstanding in the last episode so I’m glad she was selected.

  20. Bellamy Young was amazing. When her voice drops low, she gives me the chills.

  21. Tim says:

    Yes, Maggie is the best. Doesn’t even need dialogue

  22. .D says:

    Nina dobrev was just amazing. kudos to her. i forgot is the same actress.

  23. Juan says:

    Bellamy Young was so freaking amazing. Please give her the emmy, cause this last episode is prove of how amazing her acting is. Such a good episode. Also, Sara Ramirez was my second of the week and I’m kinda shocked you didn’t pick her. She was great in this last episode which was my fav. of the season.

  24. Ella says:

    So happy for Maggie. I hope she will finally get a nomination for her always amazing performances.

  25. erin says:

    Sara Ramirez! I don’t usually like Callie but after this week’s episode I think I’m coming around.

  26. Emma says:

    This week for me was all about Bellamy Young and Sara Ramirez, both outstanding really! Neither are my favorite characters from each show but WOW, all the awards!!

  27. V says:

    I think both the writing and acting on Sons of Anarchy has gotten WAY too soapy for me to enjoy it. Maggie is a great actress, but I couldn’t help but laugh at all those moments where she just mumbled to herself. For me, the highlight of that episode where the more subtle scenes, especially the one shared by Gemma and Clay.

  28. clearhaven says:

    That episode of Mellie just made me justify why I haven’t been able to dislike her despite her ‘ways’. I don’t even think she deserves Fitz. He’s a total blind bat, that one. As much as his relationship with Olivia pope is ‘sexy’, I find it distasteful. And it irks me when I see Olivia isn’t herself when Fitz is involved. Probably because I don’t like the idea of cheating anyway. so.. *shrugs*

  29. justin love says:

    Nina Dobrev Is just unbelievable she deseve an oscar right now.. her voice and her look was so different when played Amara

  30. abz says:

    For me this week, Angela Bassett on AHS: Coven was my favorite. Bellamy Young was amazing as always, but those 2-3 minutes that she was on screen were one of the most hilarious scenes of television I’ve ever watch. She’s so badass. I think I’ve watched that rant like 10 times and it’s still hilarious each time. Can’t wait for her next encounter with Lalaurie and Fiona. It’s gonna be sooooooo good,

  31. collectcall says:

    Poor Nina Dobrev. No offense to the Vampire Diaries, because I do enjoy it, but she will never get the acclaim and accolade she truly deserves. She’s been playing the double/triple/quadruple etc. role for years and has managed to fully flesh out her performance for each character that she should have, at least in Season 2, been nominated for an Emmy. She never will be while she’s on Vampire Diaries, which is a damn shame. I also really love Orphan Black and Tatiana Maslany. No need to pit them against one another – both of them are phenomenal actresses who deserve recognition. If it were me, I would have gladly replaced either Connie Britton or Robin Wright (no offense against either of them, I just think Maslany and Dobrev were given better material to work with) for either of the two last year.

  32. In my opinion, Sara Ramirez was outstanding this week. She carried that episode incredibly well. so she’s my choice for performer of the week.Grey’s has really picked itself up after that episode, lets hope they can keep the momentum going now! :)

  33. evababy says:

    This week was all about Taraji P. Henson for me. From a character standpoint, what Carter accomplished in one episode was a balls-out game changer. I like Bellamy Young’s performance as Mellie in general but it was, imo, same song different dance.

  34. crisssbit says:

    Honorable mention to Simon Baker. All his scenes at Jane’s house are simply amazing. Great job!

  35. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I didn’t realize the name of the SOA episode was Huang Wu. That makes me laugh, as it featured…Mr. Wu!!! From Deadwood. Did anyone else catch that’s who played the Chinese crime boss? I guess Kurt Sutter really is a huge Deadwood fan. I spent the whole episode wishing Wu would give us a “Swedgin!”
    .
    And yeah, Maggie Siff was great. I know things won’t end well for her, but I’m rooting for her anyway.

  36. Swift says:

    Mandy Patinkin floored me with his performance this past week as well.

  37. Aftershock5 says:

    I was not impressed with this episode nor Bellamy Young’s performance. Mellie kicked her moral compass so far, only Jesus knows where to find it!! I’m growing tired of her monologues and that throaty threatening voice of hers. I’m at that point either shut up, throw down or walk away!! She’s smart enough to shine on her own, and let us continue to love to hate Mellie! Using a rape (without disclaimer) to gain sympathies for Mellie was cheap and underhanded.

  38. Tania says:

    I’m disappointed you didn’t acknowledge Sara Ramirez & Jessica Capshaw.

  39. Jake says:

    Maggie Siff deserves player of the week. Gemma play’s the same character week after week. Maggie/Tara has to express so many different emotions in this episode. I think Sagal deserves an emmy nomination for her performance for her work on SOA, However Maggie Siff should get credit where credit is do. Katey Sagal has job security, Maggie Siff does not. I have to say S6 of SOA has been so twisted seeing Tara go so dark ,has been heart wrenching. We all know Kurt Sutter modeled the SOA off of a modern day Hamlet.
    Gemma has just become annoying, and hopefully when Jax’s finds out his Mommy dearest killed his father and has been pulling his strings for nearly 30 odd years, he will be man enough to do what he did to Clay. Tara rocks. No way in hell I would want Gemma to raise my kids. Tara should have put Gemma to sleep, when she fell a sleep at the wheel and almost got her grand children killed. Gemma is just plain trash.

  40. jerrired says:

    After seeing Nina this week, I want to take all the awards and give them to her. She so effortlessly switched between three very different characters. And I think it proves your final quote. She deserves more praise than she gets.

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