Rami Malek Performance

Performer of the Week: Rami Malek


THE SHOW | Mr. Robot

THE EPISODE | “eps1.3_da3m0ns.mp4” (July 15)

THE PERFORMANCE | Throughout the acclaimed (and already renewed) freshman drama’s early weeks, Malek has impressed as Elliot Alderson, a cyber security whiz who finds himself tempted by the mission of an elite hacker group dubbed fsociety. But until this week, Elliot had always been coolly in control of his environs, be it handling the demands of his day job, navigating hookups and would-be romances or manipulating (in a well-meaning manner) his shrink’s life.

With the last line of morphine snorted up Elliot’s nose, however, Malek was sent down a wild rabbit hole, the actor’s performance making us glad to tag along for the ride. For the first beats of Elliot’s withdrawal, he managed fine enough, laying out for his fsociety brethren a plan to humanely sabotage the data facility dubbed Steel Mountain. Then… the brilliant mind began to melt down not unlike the mag tape he fried on a hot plate, allowing paranoia of passersby and worse to set in.

As Elliot went through his motel room detox — at the demand of his colleges on the eve of their ambitious attack plan — Malek employed the usual sweaty twitchiness associated with such a scenario. It was when Elliot started dissociating (further?) from reality, hallucinating the episode’s next several acts, that his portrayer took his work to a new level, daring us to not look away when the addict (seemingly) took a grim new plunge with his habit.

In the end, Elliot found his way back to reality, regaining lucidity in the motel room he in fact never left to score dangerous drugs. As Malek depicted that climb off the proverbial ledge, Elliot feared/lamented that he was forever alone. But then he realized that Mr. Robot, of course, was still with him — for better or for much worse.

caitlin-fitzgerald-hmHONORABLE MENTION | In the third season premiere of Masters of Sex, Caitlin FitzGerald — robbed this week of the Emmy nod that she so richly deserved — took Libby from hysterical (after Henry’s accident) to heartsick (over casualties of the Civil Rights Movement). But the scene that clinched the underrated actress this Honorable Mention was the one in which her fraying character crawled into Virginia’s bed, tacitly acknowledged the ongoing affair and then shocked her rival/co-parent — and, frankly, us — with a kiss. “I always wondered what it felt like with you,” she admitted. Bittersweet, subtle and sublimely sad.

rookie-blue-peter-mooneyHONORABLE MENTION | Since his introduction three seasons ago, Rookie Blue‘s Nick Collins has been something of a mystery, but Thursday’s episode finally unmasked the officer’s tragic backstory in a standout hour for his portrayer Peter Mooney. Even though we never thought Nick would actually kill the man whom he believed was responsible for his parents’ death, Mooney’s performance was haunting and frightening, yet somehow understated, as he confronted his past. During an intense rooftop exchange, the actor showed us what he’s capable of, leaving us craving and praying for more Nick-centric installments. And the boy can longingly stare like nobody’s business.

Which performances knocked your socks off this week? Tell us in Comments! 

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. Lisa says:

    Mr robot is so underrated. More people should be talking about it

    • Alexa says:

      The first thing I did after falling in love with this show about 5 minutes into the pilot was tell all my friends to check it out asap. Critics have been raving Mr Robot and that usually makes me wary but OMG this show is something special.

  2. Rita says:

    Rami Malek is soooo good in Mr. Robot. I am LOVIN the show!! Another favorite role of mine was when he played “Snafu” in HBO’s Pacific..Those eyes, his ability to convey emotion with out ever uttering a word thru those beautiful eyes..

  3. A says:

    i dont watch RB so i dont know about the actor but i agree on the other two choices. & is it only me who thinks that Mr. Robot is not real & its like in the film Fight Club?

    • Bwhit says:

      No it’s not just you, I totally think that. Whenever Elliot is with him in public, no one else acknowledges Mr. Robot or looks at him.

    • Reba42 says:

      I agree! Mr. Robot is totally a figment of Elliot’s imagination. It’s just the sort of “twist” that seems perfect for this show.

    • Wouter says:

      LOL @ “is it just me….”

      The show basically throws it in your face every scene he’s in.

      • David4 says:

        Yeah. I thought every scene shows us that he’s dreaming.

      • KatsMom says:

        Yeah, exactly. Especially when Elliot walked into the fsociety HQ with his new plan and everyone stepped aside and deferred to him like he was in charge. It’s obvious he is in charge. I guess it’s not that obvious to everyone though because we were a couple episodes in before my husband noticed it. :)

    • Mike M says:

      Which is another aspect I feel has been heavily “borrowed” from Dexter… (his Harry visions) along with a continual narrative from the lead character as to what is (or he thinks is) going on in his mind. Have to laugh at the review stating “Elliot had always been coolly in control of his environs…” he hasn’t been in control of anything at all yet so far, apart from Mr Robot, he’s a drug addict for goodness sake. Example: Falling (or being pushed) off a bridge is in no way the act of a person in the slightest bit of control.

  4. Bwhit says:

    I’ve been waiting for Rami Malek’s turn for this. I’m loving him as Elliot and the show has been a big surprise this summer. I think all three choices this week are spot on!

  5. Tahoe Mike says:

    Still hard to see “Steve Dibiasi” as a computer genius.
    I do agree that Caitlin FitzGerald got robbed, she is so good in Masters of Sex.

  6. I think Roger R Cross should have won Performer of the Week for last night’s Dark Matter, or at least an honorable mention for Dark Matter’s Jodelle Ferland.

  7. nate says:

    Kristen Kreuk!!! When cat went off

  8. julia says:

    If anyone was robbed of an Emmy on MoS, it was Lizzy Caplan not Caitlin FItzgerald.

  9. Rami has impressed me from the show’s start. Fantastic actor. I agree with all three performances.

  10. IMHO says:

    Great show and Malek is superb wise choice.

    • Jax&Juice's Girl says:

      DAMN I missed this episode due a power outage!! Anyways Rami Malek is doing a great job playing Elliot……I feel for the guy and i’m glad he chose Fsociety….he knows what he’s doing. I really like this show a real SURPRISE hit!

  11. Shira says:

    So glad you acknowledged Caitlin FitzGerald on Master of Sex. The combination between the brilliant subtle writing and her acting made her performance this week and the episode itself into a little masterpiece. It was smart, thought-evoking and poignant.