Performer of the Week: Gina Rodriguez

Gina Rodriguez Jane The Virgin

THE PERFORMER | Gina Rodriguez

THE SHOW | Jane the Virgin

THE EPISODE | “Chapter Twenty” (April 27)

THE PERFORMANCE | We can’t remember a television character we’ve rooted for harder than Jane the Virgin‘s titular mother-to-be, and the latest twist on her path to parenthood — she now intends to fight baby daddy Rafael for sole custody — only pushed us further into her corner.

The haunting blend of fear and exhaustion in Rodriguez’s voice as Jane poured her heart out to Alba in Monday’s episode served as the perfect example of how the Golden Globe winner commands her audience. Her natural charisma has built Jane into an accessible source of joy, but this scene — in which Jane voiced her concerns about facing the future as an unexpected single mother for the first time — reminded us how easily she can turn on a dime and break our hearts.

Rodriguez’s unexpected, unbridled displays of passion — which have occurred several times throughout Jane‘s freshman season — are like mini anchors that ground the otherwise-surreal comedy.

Still, even in her darkest hour, Jane maintained the underlying strength Rodriguez has brought to the character since Day 1; she may be down, but she’s never out.

Game Of ThronesHONORABLE MENTION | Last Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones could’ve been titled “The Maiden Fair Laid Bare,” thanks to Gwendoline Christie‘s heartbreaking performance. The actress’ quiet monologue about how mean boys ruined Brienne’s coming-out ball — “I realized I was the ugliest girl alive, a great, lumbering beast,” she spat — spoke to the way the character views the world, and the way she softened when remembering Renly’s kindness gave us a view of the lady knight we hadn’t seen before. “He saved me from being a joke,” Christie said simply, staring into the campfire, guard dropped, the lady knight’s reverence for her slain lord slowly giving way to determination as she vowed, “One day, I will avenge King Renly” (and we vowed to be there for every single minute of it).

Dallas Roberts SVUHONORABLE MENTION | As the villain-of-the-week on Wednesday’s Chicago P.D./Law & Order: SVU crossover, Dallas Roberts made our skin crawl — and we mean that as a compliment. Throughout the two-hour event, the actor kept an unnerving level of creepiness and ghoulish delight simmering underneath the surface of his serial rapist/arsonist/murderer Yates. (In case you couldn’t tell, he was a really bad guy.) You could practically feel Yates’ hunger for the awful things he planned to do in his face-offs with Lindsay… until it finally did him in during his own trial. Horrific as it was to watch, Roberts was nothing short of mesmerizing.

Which performances knocked your socks off this week? Hit the comments!