TVLine's Performer of the Week: Bones' Emily Deschanel

Bones The Lance to the Heart

A weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Emily Deschanel

THE SHOW | Bones

THE EPISODE | “The Lance to the Heart

THE AIRDATE | Oct. 2, 2014

THE PERFORMANCE | Bones fans, think back to Season 1’s Brennan, who offered  scientific rationale in every situation and never encountered a belief at which she couldn’t scoff. Now, consider this week’s episode, in which Brennan nimbly centered her husband as his emotions spun him out of control and delivered a heartbreakingly beautiful tribute to her recently killed colleague, Sweets.

The reason we can believe that both of those Brennans are the same person is that Emily Deschanel is damn good at her job.

RELATED Bones Post Mortem: EP Talks Missing Funeral Guests, That ‘Furious’ Booth-Brennan Fight, Sweets’ Twin and More

Chalk the episode’s success up to the way Deschanel has subtly changed Temperance over the years. It was easy to accept that the formerly emotion-challenged scientist would find the right words to calm an irrational Booth — all the while not giving an inch in her stance that he was acting like a crazy person — because Deschanel tempered Brennan’s frustration and fright with care. The mix of emotions was something the Brennan of earlier seasons would not touched; in Deschanel’s hands now, it seemed as natural to Temperance as cataloging bones or dressing down interns.

Later, as Brennan gave a poignant eulogy for Sweets, Deschanel’s voice broke while pointing out how the psychologist had affected all of his friends’ lives. Her ability to convey Brennan’s grief, love and hope — all at once — was a lovely piece of acting years in the making. Deschanel knows Brennan right down to her osteoblasts, and it shows.

TONY GOLDWYN, JON TENNEYHONORABLE MENTION | Regardless of your politics, Scandal’s Tony Goldwyn clinched your vote as President Grant went off-script during the State of the Union to lay bare the First Family’s heartache. Prompted by Olivia to “be honest” with the country, Fitz spoke of the “unspeakable” tragedy that Mellie and he are still grieving, one that “no parent… should ever have to experience.” Throughout this detour, Goldwyn showed a pained man, not just president, searching for words to possibly illustrate the inexplainable. And with the look he gave as Fitz acknowledged his “amazingly strong wife,” we saw that, no matter what marital muck these two have trudged through, Fitz wept for his tormented wife. Goldwyn then moved us to recall real-world school shootings as Fitz argued, “The right to bear arms seems indisputable.. until the shooter comes,” and a person is left “watching the light go out of [a child’s] eyes. That is when the debate is over.”

POTW2HONORABLE MENTION | Long before this week’s episode of Parenthood aired, Mae Whitman had established herself as one of the series’ most emotive actresses. Still, we weren’t fully prepared for the stirring performance she gave in Thursday’s episode as Amber revealed her pregnancy to Sarah and Zeek. Throughout the hour, Whitman put such a variety of emotions on display — fear, embarrassment, guilt, hope, relief — that Amber’s inner turmoil was almost palpable. By the time Amber confessed her news to Zeek, it only took five words for Whitman to move us to tears: “Are you disappointed in me?” We’re used to getting verklempt while watching the NBC drama, but Whitman’s honest performance ranks among the series’ most heart-tugging.

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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80 Comments
  1. Martin says:

    Tony and Bellamy Young were both just fantastic this week

    • Jim says:

      Don’t forget Jeff Perry as well. From being offhandedly despicable to Olivia to emotionally wounded with the guy from the bar, he really killed it this week.

  2. Jenna says:

    Totally agree with Deshanel. Brennan’s scene with Daisy over Sweets’ bones was poignant, as well. I hate that JFD is gone, but the episode was a moving tribute to his character, thanks in a large part to Emily’s performance.

  3. Lysh says:

    No Sven the reindeer? :)
    Great pick! Emily gave a super moving performance this week.

  4. anon says:

    David was worthy winner too, esp in Bones premier ep, he owned that ep….pity you ignore his hard work like you always do!

    • A says:

      Agree DAVID acted the hell out of Booth both in the premier and the 2nd ep…it was his reaction that sold Sweets death…what a shame tvline didnt or wont recognize David…same ole same ole

      • mee says:

        david boreanaz was robbed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • July Lark says:

          Ya, Deschanel plays whacked out, insensitive to her PTSD suffering husband just fine. Notice how they are all family except Booth? I do, and not liking it in the least.

          • Booth was going to kill a man that turned out to be innocent. He was full of anger. What was she supposed to do?! He wouldn’t listen to anything else but her yelling at him. and Booth is part of the family and if you can’t see that, then I feel really sorry for you.

          • madbengalsfan85 says:

            Yes, Brennan was supposed to step aside and let her husband murder an innocent man because that’s what a supportive wife would do.

            I’m being completely sarcastic, if you couldn’t tell

          • W.J. says:

            Sorry, July — but I think you’ve missed the boat, here.

          • anon says:

            Nobody wanted to see Booth kill anyone but what Brennan said to him was beyond uncalled for: threatening him, throwing stuff at him, screaming like a fishwife all to a man that has PTSD….she could of set him off the rails even worse…she had NO IDEA how he would react with his PTSD… just awful ..tho I did love that Booth called her out on running away, because thats her favorite thing to do when they argue runaway like a spoilt brat but hey the next time B&B fight, I hope Booth shouts and screams at her then threatens to take Christine out of her life and kick her to the curb, fairs fair.

          • Seriously? says:

            Uh, anon–I have news for you–it’s a TV show–they both are TV characters and really don’t exist. Evidently July Lark isn’t the only one who missed the boat. In your case, you didn’t even find the damn water…….wow.

          • anon says:

            I never said anything that wasnt true..she shouted , screamed, threw stuff, threatened to leave & take HER daughter (yes, cos Christine doesnt have a father, snark) all to a man who is suffering with PTSD…she was lucky she didnt make Booth WORSE…..NOBODY wanted Booth to kill but what she said was so out of line…..butt hurt Brennan fans never can stand any criticism of her, newsflash: she isnt perfect, faaaaar from it.

          • Seriously? says:

            Once again anon, these are television fictional characters–keyword, fictional. Booth and Brennan aren’t married in real life because they are FICTIONAL. Christine isn’t their daughter because she also is a FICTIONAL character. David is married to someone else as is Emily. They are actors doing a job. So, all your hysterical rantings, about what a fictional character did or didn’t do, is not only misplaced but pretty far out of it. Perhaps you and July Lark can form a club and look for some reality in life, because your grasp on reality is seriously lacking in your comments, big time…..smdh

          • Sandra Holl says:

            I totally agree with seriosly Emily and David are superb acters acting out a fantastically written script!!!!!

    • monique scott says:

      Agree

    • jo says:

      David is never given credit for his fantastic acting. David creates Booth as a living breathing soul. I feel like Booth is actually a friend of mine. That”s great acting. His facial expressions tell the depth of Booths feelings. He has been over looked year after year for an Emmy.

  5. KC says:

    Mae was the only winner in this bunch.

  6. Yasmine says:

    May I add Stana Katic, she was fantastic.

    • thisismenow says:

      Agreed, This was one of her best performances in a long time.

    • DarkDefender says:

      Stana was great this week.. But the implausibility of her jumping so fully on the doubting Castle bandwagon (he kept her company when he thought she might blow up!!) and not running to the crushed caddy and her attitude at the hospital.. IMHO.. Kinda ruined it.

      • BetiSA says:

        the script has NOTHING to do with her acting. I am not a Stana fan, but she is great on this show.
        IMO Bellamy is out of competition, she is always amazing, she deserves at least an emmy nomination.

        • DarkDefender says:

          It’s not just the script, it’s how committed she played it. And it is just my opinion.. Feel free to disagree. :)

          • Mary says:

            I disagree…IMO, “being commited” with the script you are given, no matter if you agree with it or not, IS showing acting skills:) Isn´t “the perfomer of the week” about aacting?:)

          • lkh says:

            yea–freedom to disagree. Stana Katic–best performance of the week.

        • Scifigrrl says:

          Agreed; Bellamy blows me away with her heartbreaking performance.

  7. Boiler says:

    Excellent choice!

  8. mb says:

    Emily and David both. THey play so well off each other. She has helped him grow and he has helped her grow. Both fine actors.

  9. dks says:

    I totally agree with your performance of the week goes to BONES-more specifically Emily Deschanel. She nailed it! I’ve been watching BONES since the first episode. How she has taken that character and given her such depth has been amazing. Take good writing and a good actress who knows her character and look what happens.

  10. Diane says:

    YES YES YES to Tony Goldwyn….Bellamy Young was also phenomenal

  11. webly3 says:

    Mae is so great. I’m so happy to see her on the list.

  12. Bianca says:

    Another honorable mention: Stana Katic

  13. No doubt that Emily had a great performance this week. David had to come through with some intense moments. There was not a bad scene in ‘The Lance in the Heart’ Well done to all CAST & Crew & Writers! Hope for Season11 of #Bones

  14. I am so glad that someone on Bones is getting recognized for their hard work.

  15. Krak says:

    Where is Tobias Menzies ? you want a performer of the week, it’s him.

    • Alicia says:

      sorry but Tony Goldwyn was much better on Scandal

    • redjane12 says:

      Yep – 100% agreed – He was exceptional as Frank the desperate grieving husband… and then as crazy bastard Black Jack. I am guessing as he was selected a couple of weeks ago, he wasn’t in the running so soon again… Not that he wasn’t deserving, yet again

  16. Alicia says:

    Tony Goldwyn was outstanding as President Fitzgerald Grant on Scandal this week, the speech he gave was so heartfelt and emotional, and the way he delivered it was brilliant … I was waiting for some recognition for his talent since Scandal started because he is one of the reasons that show still exists.

    • Lola says:

      I absolutely agree, Tony is the best thing Scandal has going for it. In my opinion, Fitz is the lead on Scandal. Amazing actor all the way. Always compelling. Never boring. A joy to watch.

  17. Dani says:

    It’s so great seeing Tony Goldwyn getting some love. I ‘ve thought his acting was underrated on Scandal. Hopefully the writers continue to give him some good material to work with.

  18. Matthew Weber says:

    Stana Katic was awesome this week

  19. dmadust says:

    While Tony Goldwyn did have a great performance this week, I felt that Bellamy Young was truly phenomenal. The way she carries her character in such a different way from past season and conveys Mellie’s heartbreak is remarkable. She is such an incredible actress.

    • Lola says:

      I agree, Bellamy is great but Mellie also gets some of the best lines and materials (rape, son’s death, Defiance, Andrew) on Scandal. Throughout season 1 to 3, Fitz was written as a love puppet and a weak president, which became repetitive but still Fitz managed to be compelling with the makeup – break up with Olivia storyline. Fast forward season 4 and just into the second episode people are talking about Tony’s skills as an actor. Imagine if he had better materials to work with since season 1. If you ask most scandal casts who they would like to play, you will hear Mellie Grant. Mellie is written as the most complex character with different layers, and Mellie always deliver.

  20. Sandra Holl says:

    Emily deserves an award for all of her hard work, especially in the last 2 episodes!!! I’ happy that she finally is getting recognition!!! David Boreanaz also nailed it and deserves an award also as does the entire cast and crew of Bones!!!!!

  21. Jenn Carosso says:

    Just reading the words “Are you disappointed in me?” made me cry all over again. Apparently Parenthood and Mae Whitman have hit a new level of tear-inducing; usually I at least need gifs or screencaps for that to happen!

  22. I think you did a disservice to Tony Goldwyn when you didn’t write “no parent, no person, should ever have to experience” because it was a nice call back to Cyrus’ comments.

  23. Sophie says:

    Hayden Panettiere on Nashville, ALWAYS. She’s the show’s MVP, hands down.

  24. I have to agree…Emily was wonderfully emotive and it was about damn time Bones became more like a human being than a robot.. I thought Booth should have rubbed off on her (Bones) several seasons back. I hated her (Bones) superiority and complete lack of empathy in the last few years and almost quite watching. Ms Deshanel is indeed a talented actress. Going to miss Sweets and wish JFD all the best in his future.

    • Brennan was never like a robot. She was able to hide her emotion because it was easier than dealing with them but she’s always been very sensitive and caring person. I can’t believe not everyone can see that.

      • madbengalsfan85 says:

        This!

      • Naomi Peters says:

        In total agreement! I’ve watched Bones since day one–Brennan has always had emotions, (anger, hurt etc.) but, she also has kept them under lock and key. They slipped out every once in awhile. I thought the entire show was fantastic, sad but fantastic. Her eulogy for Sweets at the end was extremely well done–kudos to the writers and the cast.

      • Sandra Holl says:

        I totally agree with you Emily is a fantastic actor!!!!

  25. redjane12 says:

    Tobias Menzies delivered another two-part masterful performance in Outlander first as the angry, desperate husband Frank and later as the psychopath Black Jack.

  26. Elle says:

    Glad to see Emily get recognized once in a while (David too). Brennan is a tough character to portray, but Emily always manages to balance the flood of emotions with the restrained so well.

  27. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    Agree, w/all of Emily D. getting this although sometimes I wanna slap Brennan especially @ Sweets’ send off but at least Daisy wasn’t upset. Overall I really liked how they paid their final respects to Sweets and the song they sang!

  28. Emily so deserves this! David would too but hopefully next time. They are a wonderful team. Best duo on TV for sure, an acting match made in heaven. :)

  29. ... says:

    Meh. All Mae Whitman does on Parenthood anymore is cry.

  30. Linda says:

    An excellent choice for Performer on the Week.

    I have always enjoyed Emily’s portrayal of Brennan. One element that especially intrigues me is the way she uses vocal inflection and “pacing” for lack of a better word, to show the analytical and somewhat sterile approach she usually takes to her job.

    Over the years we have seen that element of her character softened somewhat, although Brennan in the lab working a case remains highly defined and focused, while her personal interactions have softened. She is much more “even-keel” when delivering analysis over remains, and it is evident in her vocal pattern at such times. “Controlled” and detached best describes her character in those situations. And Emily conveys that through her vocal delivery.

    But as Brennan has evolved in her personal relationships, especially with Booth, we are witness to that softer side, and it was never more evident than the scene between Daisy and Brennan in the bone room.

    Other scenes that displayed how her character has changed were the confrontation with Booth over the guns and his plan to retaliate, ands most importantly the final scene of Sweets sendoff. The earlier Brennan of the series would not have allowed herself to become so emotionally invested in another person. She held herself apart because of her childhood trauma and abandonment.

    All in all, a well-rounded performance that takes us through the evolution of Brennan’s character.

  31. greatvonnie50 says:

    there is no doubt Bones “Emily Deschanel & David Boreanaz” were on fire this week they are so believable. I do think that there were some emotions that were real regarding Sweets “John Francis Daley” because he is loved and will be missed by the cast & crew as well as the fans.
    #Boneheads are definitely very fierce and loyal we love our stars as well as our writers, directors, and crew. We know that it takes all of them working really hard to make such a great show. #adedicatedfan

  32. schu says:

    May we be graced with much more Mae Whitman after Parenthood wraps up the show. A top notch actress.

  33. Pat says:

    Most definitely, Emily was the right pick! Anyone, who makes me cry will always get my award as performer of the week. Daisy also, made me cry. I have been a mess since last week and now this week with Bones. Mae Whitman with her scene with Zeek, really tugged at my heartstrings and yes, tears started to flow.

  34. Isobel says:

    I thought both Tobias Menzies and Hayden Pantierrie were great, but I guess they’ve both been mentioned before.

  35. ChicagoDan says:

    Emily killed it with the three scenes: 1) stopping Booth; 2) Daisy and the Bones; and 3) the eulogy. Honestly, as a lapsed Bones viewer, I forgot just how good she really is.

    Bellamy is a gem. I’m surprised they are giving her this level of material, because she always get painted as the witch in the way of Olitz. Didn’t buy TG’s speech at all. Desperate attempt by the writers/producers to shoehorn their political views into the show. There is no causal connection between his son being poisoned by a terrorist and gun control. (Quite a few guns were drawn on the killer at the end of S2 and I believe Grant issued an order to kill Maya.) Oh, and he did murder Verna – perhaps we need ‘pillow control.’ Please keep characters true to their values and core beliefs.

  36. Liz B. says:

    Haven’t seen “Bones” this week (dropped it off my DVR this season-it’s just getting a bit long in the tooth for me). But I like Deschannel and am glad she put in a good performance.
    .
    But I did see Stana on the season premiere (and did wonder why no one ran to the vehicle-maybe they were stunned? IDK) and she did a very good job, IMO.

  37. rainee says:

    Hayden Panettiere and Bellamy Young were absolutely amazing this week. I felt Mellie’s pain when she laid on the floor at the end. Hayden is just a ball of fiery passionate energy.

  38. Pip says:

    Iain De Caestecker for the past two weeks has been incredible, tearing our hearts out piece by piece. Hope to see him get this award shortly!!

  39. LA Hope says:

    For me, Stana Katic definetely was the Performer of the Week… She did a great job in this week´s episode, and really outstanding!

  40. Mary Ann says:

    Totally agree about Emily in Bones, this is the most under acknowledged cast on TV- they all deserve emmies!

  41. Rocky Carroll was awesome.

  42. Betty says:

    Great choice. Emily was great in the episode. David and Carla Gallo were also amazing.

  43. NotBri says:

    I love Emily and she so consistently knocks it out of the park. She was amazing in this week’s episode. And Mae Whitman is just one of the best actresses of her generation. I’m looking forward to what she does when Parenthood is over. She’s my very favorite part of that show!

  44. Stacy Wong says:

    I loved Emily’s performance on Bones because she bought out the emotions well.

  45. Margie W Jones says:

    BONES: The Brennan tribute to Sweets could easily have been the closing of the end of the series. Her statement tied up all the lose ends with her heartfelt message, as her character has come full circle in her science vs. emotions theory.

  46. Jake says:

    Sorry to disagree, but that soliloquy by the Bones character was as forced and out of place as a scene in a show could be. I kept thinking “Who appointed her spokesman for Sweets?” Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Booth to give a eulogy since he worked with Sweets more than anyone? And then singing that stupid coconut song really topped it off – ugh!

    • Adam says:

      Different strokes for different folks–I thought it was very tastefully done and the song tied up the end with the end from when the other intern was murdered. A little something called consistency. Brennan’s character has come a long way from the first episode and her eulogy for Sweets shows her acceptance and change of her beliefs with dealing with people. Sweets worked with BOTH of them and lived with BOTH of them and also took care of Christine, they trusted him. She has just as much right to give the eulogy. Sour grapes much?

  47. chaka ni stana says:

    i BET STANA’S NAME POP OUT IN THE COMMENT SECTION EVERY WEEK LMAO!! PUSH MA MORE