TVLine's Performer Of the Week: Damian Lewis

Episode 309A weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars


THE SHOW | Homeland

THE EPISODE | “One Last Time”

THE AIRDATE | November 24, 2013

THE PERFORMANCE | As far as interventions go, Brody’s accelerated transformation from withered, defeated heroin addict to lucid, able-bodied warrior was one of the more painful and graphic in TV history. We weren’t quite sure who we felt more sorry for — Brody or Lewis, the latter of whom was astonishingly — and, at times, frighteningly — committed to making his alter ego’s journey appear as real as possible (a process that clearly began long before the cameras started rolling on the episode, as evidenced by his shaved head and palpable weight loss.)

As Brody’s caretaker warned Saul, “It’ll continue as bad as this or worse for three days.” And he wasn’t kidding. Among the more harrowing beats of Brody’s detox: That shower sequence (during which Lewis literally bared himself to the audience), his hallucinatory reaction to the experimental withdrawal remedy, and his bloody suicide attempt and subsequent face-off with Saul.

Physical demands aside, Lewis was also called upon to deliver some huge emotional moments — namely his reunions with ex-lover Carrie and (to a greater degree) daughter Dana — and he did not disappoint. There was the heartbreaking scene where Brody first laid eyes on Dana outside the dive motel that now employed her. The moment he realized she wanted nothing more to do with him.  And then, during the ride back to the base, his heart-tugging confession to Carrie that he’s coming back from his dangerous overseas mission alive for her as much as Dana.

Fans have complained about the lack of Lewis in Homeland‘s first nine episodes, but the Emmy winner packed a season’s worth of standout moments in “One Last Time.” Regardless how Brody fares in Iran, we’re declaring Lewis’ mission accomplished.

HONORABLE MENTION | The Mentalist‘s Simon Baker (like Person of Interest‘s Kevin Chapman, below) left us gasping as Patrick Jane was handed an opportunity for satisfying and deserved revenge. Jane at long last confronted he who was known as Red John. Pinning down his prey, Jane asked McAllister if he was sorry for killing his wife and daughter 10 years ago. McAllister responded yes — as well as indicated that he was afraid to die — yet his fate was a fait accompli. The camera lingered on Baker’s face as Jane choked the life out of his longtime foe, displaying a mix of released frustration, relief, and maybe a hint of horror at what he’d done.

HONORABLE MENTION | POI‘s Chapman — aka our previous Performer of the Week — delivered a compelling encore as Fusco was afforded the chance to take down Simmons, the HR henchman who executed Carter. As reminded via Fusco’s flashback “confessional,” the police detective is no stranger to serving up lethal if morally questionable justice, but here he confirmed his new sense of honor, partly in tribute to that which Carter had stood for. Sure, Fusco got his brutal licks in — bandaged hand and all — but in the end found an even greater glory in parading the most wanted (and, ultimately, doomed) killer into the squad room.

HONORABLE MENTION | Previous HM co-recipient Joseph Morgan earned our admiration again for his incredible work in Tuesday’s The Originals, which found his centuries-old hybrid, Klaus, facing off against Marcel and his army with feral anger. After the Original took back his throne as the King of New Orleans, Morgan showed off an uncharacteristically vulnerable side of Klaus, who broke down while confronting his siblings for not standing by him. Morgan gave a tour de force to be reckoned with, and proved once again that he is the real deal.

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. Paul J. Reedy says:

    Simon Baker and Kevin Chapman were excellent choices as both are flawed characters we love to root for. Their respective performances were each Emmy quality work.

  2. Erica says:

    Joseph Morgan really amazed me this week. I knew he was good but that scene was so powerful and unexpected after everything that happened in that episode. It made me tear up with him

  3. Jenny says:

    Damien Lewis, well deserved!!! Loved Joseph Morgan too.

  4. Dan Sorenson says:

    When I saw Joseph Morgan grinning in triumph I thought he would make a great Joker in a new Batman movie.

  5. Anonymous. says:

    Damien Lewis is a great actor. However, to be honest (I’m my opinion), Simon Baker really deserved performer of the week.

  6. Ram510 says:

    Joseph Morgan was beyond excellent this week! It’s too bad more people aren’t watching, it’s unfortunate that he’s not on one of the other big networks.

  7. Dave says:

    Joseph Morgan has always really impressed me as Klaus and in this particular episode he was phenomenal.

  8. Cindy says:

    Kevin Chapman has without doubt earned himself an Emmy nomination if not a win. Brilliant work.

  9. Mark says:

    No,just no to Damian Lewis. That was a ridiculous over the top performance on an embarrassingly bad show that was had one of the worst nose dives in quality I’ve seen in recent tv herstory

    • cas says:

      Obviously you have no idea what a person who goes through withdrawals experiences otherwise you might know that Damian Lewis actually did quite well. I thought he must have known someone or researched it. Then I read an interview yesterday where he confirmed he had done some research and interviewed people who were in recovery to get a better understanding of what someone experiences and goes through. So no it was not over the top.

  10. Daye says:

    Kudos to Simon Baker! The range of emotion he showed in that killing scene was mesmerizing! At the end, he looks as if he contemplated suicide. So great to see Baker do his thing when he has the material to work with.

  11. Leigh says:

    All dudes.

  12. Elle says:

    I think Jim Caviezel really shined in this week’s episode. It was heartbreaking.

    • spmsmith says:

      I agree. Not to take away from Chapman or anyone else – Chapman was amazing – but Caviezel did so much with just his eyes and his voice in his brief scenes. I think the problem is that Caviezel is a marvelously subtle actor – he conveys a greal variation of thoughts and emotions with very minute gestures. It’s not showy, so it doesn’t get recognized the way it should.

  13. mspenn1013 says:

    Kevin Chapman has got to earn an emmy nod for these last two episodes….

    Simon Baker was as always fabulous as well.

  14. Kevin Chapman really deserves, but Jim Caviezel also did pretty great job and an heartbreaking performance on this week episode.

  15. bonesfan says:

    James Spader’s performance this last week in The Blacklist was one of the best I’ve ever seen on a TV show..I simply can’t believe he’s not even an honorable mention.

    • Nick says:

      Agreed. I was totally expecting him to snatch the Performer of the Week this week, but he deserved at least a Honorable Mention. He’s definitely the star of the Blacklist and in last episode he was simply marvelous. I hope Dembe’s alive btw…

      • Amy says:

        I agree about James Spader. That scene in the box when he told Donald that he wasn’t going to be beaten because he wanted to sail, drink wine, feel the warmth of a woman, smoke a cigar, and sleep like he did when he was a boy…just once…was Emmy worthy.

    • Deb M says:

      I completely agree. As someone who has never really been a Spader fan, i can honestly say he has really blown me away on this series, but never as much so as the final scene in last week’s episode between him and Dembe. When he started shouting at and violently shaking Ressler, trying to make him wake up, my heart just broke into a million jagged pieces. But it was when Dembe told him he was okay, and said, “Goodbye my brother,” you saw all the air leave Red’s body, then they started chanting together. Guys i’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about it. I feel like i should find James Spader and profusely apologize for ever doubting his acting ability. An honorable mention is the least that performance deserves IMHO.

    • Kim R says:

      Agreed! :)

  16. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Hey, good for Damian Lewis. I’m glad to see he finally got one of these.

  17. Shawn says:

    Seriously…no Jack Huston/Richard Harrow? Easily the most shocking and heartbreaking moment in Televison this past week.

  18. Daisy says:

    Shame The Blacklist is so underappriciated at this site. This weeks episode was excellent and James Spader was at his absolute best. That speech about sailing, drinking wine and wanting to sleep … just brilliant. And finally Diego Klattenhoff had a chance to shine too. Cannot wait for part two, I heard it’s just as good as part one.

  19. The entire cast of Person of Interest, who knocked it out of the park this week.

  20. The Beach says:

    Dayum. With Brody’s withdrawals and Ressler’s (The Blacklist) gunshot, I had more than enough pain and misery for the week.

  21. Jen says:

    Seriously, no Tom Mison?! He totally broke my heart when Ichabod learned he had a son and in the final scene of the episode.

  22. Kaitlynn Smith says:

    Reblogged this on Friends, Waffles, and Work and commented:
    I completely agree! This was the best episode of the season for Homeland, but it was Damian’s best episode of the entire series, which is saying something since he’s been phenomenal the entire time.

  23. David4 says:

    Homeland has a plot this season?

  24. Reblogged this on The previously on theory and commented:
    Concordo pienamente con la disamina dell’interpretazione di Lewis. Le sue doti recitative sono davvero eccezionali e non fa che dimostrarlo nei suoi diversi lavori, da Band of Brothers a Homeland. È chiaro che dietro ogni suo personaggio – e ad ogni dimensione di questo – c’è un lavoro di ricerca e studio impressionante. E questo riesce ad oscurare anche gli inaspettati cali di trama della serie – tra cui il magico rehab che non sta nè in cielo nè in terra.

  25. redjane12 says:

    No disrespect to TVD/The Originals but I hope to see Joseph Morgan given the chance to show to broader audiences how his undeniable screen charisma is backed by serious acting chops.

  26. Kim R says:

    James Spader for the win! :) The delivery of every incredibly written line was so well done. He is like no other. The list of things he wanted to experience again was spellbinding. I hope he and the show get some notice when awards season comes around.

  27. Andreia says:

    Joseph Morgan is brilliant ! He is really talented .

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