TVLine's Performer of the Week: Emmy Rossum

Emmy Rossum ShamelessA weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Emmy Rossum

THE SHOW | Shameless

THE EPISODE | “Iron City”

THE AIRDATE | Feb. 16, 2014

THE PERFORMANCE | Her name says it all. Once again, Emmy Rossum turned in an Emmy Award-caliber portrayal as Fiona’s spiral led to the unexpected and devastating hospitalization of her little brother Liam, after he got into her cocaine stash. The horrifying turn of events landed Fiona in handcuffs, which led to more horrors as she went through the county jail’s check-in process.

The Gallagher “matriarch” is a tough, roll-with-the-punches kind of gal, even in the most dire of scenarios. But stripped bare, physically and emotionally, in front of an officer during an invasive procedure, she couldn’t pretend that she was anything but broken. Unable to hold back her tears any longer, Rossum’s crumbled expression was a cavalcade of emotions: Humiliated, ashamed, scared, guilty. To see the actress’ hands tremble and to hear her voice crack as Fiona begged for her one phone call to check on Liam — have we ever witnessed Fi so fearful and uncertain? — was truly nerve-racking.

RELATED | Shameless Renewed for Season 5

When she finally got to talk to a stoic, but silently furious Lip (the equally terrific Jeremy Allen White), the horrified tears returned as he described Liam’s stable-but-serious condition. Blame and remorse painted across her face, a distraught Fiona was left to plead: “Please tell him that I love him, OK? And I’m so, so sorry. Please. Please, Lip.”

To top it off, she then had to face her siblings in court, donning her jail uniform and her hands in ‘cuffs, as she stood behind a cage-like divider and pleaded not guilty despite knowing the role she’d played in Liam’s accident. Silently staring at the worried faces of her family, Rossum’s eyes were full of shame and regret. It’s no surprise then that when she returned home at the end of the hour to an empty house, she did so with hesitancy and trepidation in her stride and expression.

Fiona has always been good at playing the system to get the bare minimum needed to survive. But in this episode, she became an object of the system, with no control over her circumstances. And while it was a truly ugly and awful situation for Fiona, it brought out the best in Rossum.

HONORABLE MENTION | Consider this our official petition: We want Olympic figure skating commentators Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir in primetime for the 2018 games. Put aside, for a moment, their coordinated outfits (which were fabulous), their youth (which couldn’t have hurt with the younger demo) and their sassiness (remember when Weir said a male skater reminded him of “a hockey player that’s also a really good dancer”?) The most impressive aspect to the two former Olympians is that they know their stuff. Their perfect blend of hard-nosed critique and irreverent fun made NBC’s daytime coverage the best part of the games, particularly when the pair allowed primo routines to unfold without much commentary. Talking heads who know when to keep silent? That’s the sports commentary equivalent of nailing a quad axel.

HONORABLE MENTION | Becoming possessed by an evil Japanese spirit may be the worst thing that’s ever happened to Stiles on Teen Wolf, but as this week’s dramatic episode proved, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to Dylan O’Brien‘s craft. After tricking his friends (and viewers) into thinking he’d returned to his former self, “Evil Stiles” eventually came clean to Scott in a bone-chilling scene that proved O’Brien, 22, is capable of being so much more than merely the show’s comic relief. He’s evolving into a full-fledged dramatic actor right before our eyes, and while we do miss the cuddly Stiles of yore, we’re eager to see just how far O’Brien will take his dark new persona.

Which performances rocked your TV set this week? Sound off below and let us know!

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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34 Comments
  1. kd86953 says:

    Emmy Rossum is a gem. She constantly churns out Emmy-worthy performances. Why she’s never been nominated baffles me.

  2. Philip says:

    I’m glad to see a bit more variety in the shows chosen. nothing against the shows, but there are other worthy shows other than Sherlock an)

  3. Edward says:

    I’m glad Emmy Rossum was recognized because she deserves it for her work in this episode. You may not agree with everything she does but when she was in that jail things got real really quick and you couldn’t help but feel for her.

  4. dude says:

    Love Emmy and Dylan! Two fine actors.

  5. Shelli says:

    Well done TVLine. After I finished watching the latest episode I was in awe of Emmy’s brilliant performance and hoped she would be a shoo-in for this honor.

  6. Alex says:

    I still remember Emmy didn’t get this last year for the court scene.

  7. EJ386 says:

    Emmy was amazing, but Dylan certainly deserved his honourable mention. Styles broke my heart last episode.

  8. Sara says:

    For the life me, I have never understood why Emmy Rossum and her show don’t ever get recognized by the Emmys. It’s like every other show on Showtime can get something, while Shameless can only get a guest star nomination. Don’t get it.

    • Naomi Mowatt says:

      It was the same with The Borgias, i just hope Shameless doesn’t recieve the same fate (cancelled before a pre-determined ending because of not being recognised and a small fanbase)

  9. Steven says:

    Emmy and Dylan have really been great this season. The plots on Teen Wolf tend to suck, but Dylan always makes the best of bad writing. And the fact that Emmy hasn’t been nominated still hurts me.

  10. MegMary says:

    Agree 100%! Emmy was wonderful! Dylan has always been wonderful! ;) I just love Stiles!

  11. Beth says:

    I love Emmy Rossum! This season her character has been forced to confront the fact that she is just as much Gallagher as her parents, with the cheating and having coke around the kids. That scene was heartbreaking and she deserves an Emmy award look.

  12. Eliza says:

    Agree. Emmy Rossum was really fantastic in the last episode. I also thought Jeremy Allen White was on point too. Two great performances.
    Dylan O’Brien is one of the best (and cutest) beings currently on my TV. Love the guy; think he’s talented and hope he goes far!

  13. HAP says:

    I want to chime is as well about the unfair overlooking of Emmy Rossum by the TV Academy.
    She’s beautiful. She dominates every scene she is in. And for those of you who have never had the pleasure of hearing her, she has a world-class operatic voice.

    • kate'shomesick says:

      She’s gorgeous, a decent actress but in NO way can she even be called an opera singer…talk to a professional (maybe an opera prof.)…she had some training and a nice voice…but her technique is pretty terrible…

  14. Anna says:

    Emmy Rossum makes this show work, IMO. Let’s face it, Shameless earns it’s title, and the characters often do terrible things, but Fiona is the heart and soul of the show and somehow makes us root for this dysfunctional crude family. I can’t believe she has not been at least nominated for an Emmy.
    And Lipinsky and Weir have been fabulous all around. I’m a huge Scott Hamilton fan, but I really have enjoyed this duo a lot. They should get their own TV series.

  15. Allison P says:

    Couldn’t agree more about Emmy, Jeremy, and Dylan. Their performances have me excited for what’s to come in this week’s episodes.

  16. erin says:

    Yes! I even texted my friend after watching and said “Emmy for TVLine’s performer of the week!” It was absolutely heartbreaking and a fantastic performance (as always) by Emmy.

  17. name says:

    Two great choices, indeed, both shows (and both actors) absolutely killed it. I was actually bummed for the rest of the week after day-to-day sucker punches from shows that typically balance drama with humor, but that just proves how powerful the performances were. I’m not even counting on a reprieve this week, all that’s left is hoping that the award season finally brings some bounty for these two (and the whole of Shamelss! Sorry, Teen Wolf)

  18. Bree says:

    I think Emmy Rossum is just fantastic as Fiona, and she was really incredible in this past week’s episode. She definitely deserves recognition in terms of awards and has been long overlooked by the Emmys in particular, and I think it’s good that she’s getting some more critical acclaim. I thought it was great to see Jeremy Allen White also mentioned, because his performance as Lip is outstanding, and he doesn’t even seem to get the critical recognition that Emmy receives.

  19. Doug H says:

    I’m happy that Shameless is on Showtime so I can enjoy it when I want and not worry about DVR in that ridiculous 9pm Sunday night slot… Don’t need to waste DVR when Showtime has it on multiple times and On Demand.. Emmy is wonderful in this show for all she does and quite right this last episode was the best ever and hopefully will be submitted for her as best actress in a drama. Emmy for Emmy is a campaign..

  20. Heathers says:

    Emmy was great, as always. Johnny Weir is disgusting. He needs to choose – is he a man or a woman? What a pig.

  21. meleliot says:

    Emmy was just terrific last week, and definitely deserves an Emmy. I totally wish I could start watching this show again from the beginning without knowing what happens. It is that amazingly original and good, and the title describes the show perfectly – Shameless. You say to yourself, “did they just go there?” Anyone who is not watching should. I agree with other posters that Emmy is the heart and soul of Shameless. You root for her and when she makes stupid mistakes you root for her to overcome. She plays Fiona so well. No matter what she does you can’t hate her. She’s just trying to get by the best she can. I bet she gets the nom this year.

  22. LM says:

    There’s a hole in “Shameless”, and thanks to some bad writing, the show runners can fill that hole. Bring Jimmy back. Some really great stuff could’ve been witnessed between Fiona and Jimmy when she was arrested. Some powerful stuff.

    Jimmy’s MIA. Bring him back.

  23. TVPeong says:

    I agree Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski and Terry Gannon were very entertaining during the figure skating events.

  24. Tony says:

    Great Choices All! Emmy Rossum was fantastic, Tara and Johnny were fabulous, and Dylan O’Brien is the best thing MTV has going for it right now. Good work y’all

  25. Really says:

    Shameless is amazing this year! Emmy Rossum will one day have an Oscar.

  26. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I do like Emmy Rossum. She is fearless on screen.

  27. Lucy119 says:

    I am continuously amazed at the talent of ALL of the young actors in the show – when you can keep up with the likes of William Macy and often surpass him – you should be considered a rare talent – across the board THIS show managed to find the right person for every single role…..even Carl, the youngest – what an incredible actor, every week I am blown away by these young folks and this show!

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