TVLine's Performer of the Week: Carrie Coon

Carrie Coon The Leftovers

A weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Carrie Coon

THE SHOW | The Leftovers

THE EPISODE | “Guest

THE AIRDATE | August 3, 2014

THE PERFORMANCE | Say what you will about The Leftovers — it’s depressing, it’s confusing, it’s [insert adjective of choice here] — there’s no denying that it’s offering its cast one golden opportunity after another to shine through the darkness. And when Coon got hers, did she ever run with it.

Already, we’d been blown away by the actress’ understated, naturalistic work as Nora Durst, an object of fascination and pity around Mapleton since losing her entire family in The Sudden Departure. But in this Nora-centric episode, Coon was able to show us more — lots more — and more was even better.

First, there were the horrors of the bereaved character’s day-to-day life (which found her buying her kids’ favorite cereals and hiring a hooker to shoot but not kill her). Then, there were the marvels of her visit to a Sudden Departure-related convention (among them, her enviably sly handling of a sleazy conventioneer and her attack on an opportunistic author). Finally, there was the shock of her breakdown with Holy Wayne and the joy of her second chance with Mapleton’s police chief (Justin Theroux, with whom Coon has off-the-charts chemistry).

Through it all, the onetime Tony nominee made us feel for Nora rather than feel sorry for her. And for this triumph, Coon is beyond deserving of this moment in the spotlight.

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LongmireHONORABLE MENTION | Men don’t come much tougher than Longmire’s titular sheriff, which makes Robert Taylor’s penultimate scene in the Season 3 finale all the more impactful. Having finally gotten to the bottom (or at least so he thinks) of the mystery surrounding his wife’s years-ago murder, Walt brings her ashes to the hillside where they once exchanged vows, declaring, “It’s time to let you go.” And as Martha’s remains were gently released into the wind, Taylor showed us great wave of emotional release Walt felt. All this time, Walt kept his wife “on the kitchen shelf” so that she could keep him “in line.” But now, he needs her to not see what he must do, with regards to Jacob Nighthorse. Taylor’s performance dispatched with an old saw, proving that real men do cry.

Katherine ParkinsonHONORABLE MENTION | Being a Stein isn’t easy and this week The Honorable Woman‘s Katherine Parkinson showed us how hard it is to be married to one. Reluctantly accompanying her husband to yet another Stein business event, Parkinson’s Rachel found herself bearing the brunt of a protestor’s paint bomb. Later, splattered in paint and faced with her young daughter, Rachel snapped, revealing a mother concerned about whether her children, as Steins, were the intended targets of Kasim’s kidnapping. As she asked Nessa whether her plans for the Middle East were worth the lives of her children, it became clear that Rachel has been the tolerant woman.

What 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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14 Comments
  1. Sean D says:

    It could never have been anyone else. She’s incredible.

  2. Raul285 says:

    Kinda facepalm that out of The Honorable Woman cast, you mention Katherine Parkinson against, who is giving a hell of a performance week by week. Nothing against Parkinson performance, but this is Gyllenhaal’s show

  3. Monica4185 says:

    Yes! Perfect choice this week. She rock the acting so hard on The Leftover.

  4. Alienate says:

    Robert Taylor was my pick. Good to see he got H.M. here. That was a powerful scene.

  5. bj says:

    I love Robert Taylor. He’s always good but that scene in particular was very moving. I watch every week and can’t get over the fact that this man, who plays the old westerner so well, is actually an Aussie.

  6. Dean says:

    Yeah that scene on Longmire was heartmoving. Hope season 4 is renewed so Walt knows papa Connelly really killed his wife.

  7. christopher bee says:

    Finally, some love for the fantastic work on Longmire. Robert Taylor, Katee “Starbuck” Sackhoff, Bailey Chase, Lou Diamond Phillips, Cassidy Freeman, Adam Bartley & A Martinez feat. Gerald McRaney… This Cast is wonderfull urban as is the staging, camera and score.

    Love it and please be renewed.

  8. The Beach says:

    I agree with your pick. She was terrific. However, I would certainly give an Honorable Mention to the great Joan Allen’s work in The Killing.

  9. Rebecca Parker says:

    Yes! She was so amazing this week. All I could think when watching this week was “Give this woman an award!” Hopefully this is the first of many.

  10. arial2 says:

    Robert Taylor’s performance this week definitely deserved notice. Thank you for recognizing him. A wonderfully-written show, a great cast.

  11. Eran says:

    Maybe it’s just the picture used here but wowsers; It’s like Carrie Preston and Alyson Hannigan had a baby!

  12. mirvin365 says:

    My vote is for Anson Mount from yesterday’s ep of Hell on Wheels. The scene where Mount’s Bohannon seduces Christopher Heyerdahl’s Thor Gunderson into finally revealing his twisted reality was brilliant. Even though as a viewer you already knew the truth, it was fascinating to watch Bohannon supposedly unraveling, on his knees, while the Swede crowed triumphantly…and as the power dynamic slowly switches you’re left with a stunned crowd, a shattered Swede and Bohannon, as promised, with a song on his lips. So entertaining!!

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