Regina King's Leftovers PErformance

TVLine's Performer of the Week: Regina King

THE PERFORMER | Regina King

THE SHOW | The Leftovers

THE EPISODE |Lens” (Nov. 8, 2015)

THE PERFORMANCE | We know we sound like a broken record, going on the way we do about The Leftovers. But if you watch the show, you understand. And if you don’t, not only should you, but you oughta get used to our praise, because both the drama and its stars are just. That. Good. Take, for example, King’s tour de force this week.

At first, the actress showed us the Erika that we already knew and admired, a woman as solid as the rock that Nora hurled through the window of the Murphys’ house. The doctor didn’t hesitate to warn husband John’s latest victim not to report his beating, nor did she pull any punches when calling her spouse on the real reason for his vigilantism. But as the hour progressed, King revealed that beneath Erika’s tough-as-nails exterior roiled a toxic brew of emotions that was eating her up from inside out.

After a spectacular meltdown at a fundraiser for missing daughter Evie and her friends, Erika sat down with Nora to review the DSD’s questionnaire. But, instead of giving the heartsick mom peace of mind, the conversation only magnified her certainty that she was responsible for Evie’s disappearance — because she’d wished for a way to keep the teenager from being hurt when she left John. “And the next night,” Erika revealed, King’s quivering lip hinting at the enormity of feeling being held back, “my daughter was gone.”

When Nora called Erika’s belief that she had caused Evie’s departure “pathetic,” something seemed to click in her mind. King made her features harder than we’d ever seen them as Erika reduced her neighbor to tears by asking whether her children had died… or departed. So, by the time Erika angrily returned Nora’s rock, we were as shattered by King’s brutally honest work as that window.

POTWHONORABLE MENTION | For the longtime NCIS viewer, Tony’s reunion with Jeanne packed an innate emotional punch. But because of what Michael Weatherly and Scottie Thompson both brought to the table, even someone who wasn’t around for Season 4 had to feel the sting of most every scene. The moment they locked eyes, Thompson made evident Jeanne’s revisited heartbreak, while Weatherly registered Tony’s long-felt regret. Things then got prickly when, in recounting her new life, Jeanne pointedly hailed husband David as “the best [man] I’ve ever known.” But the fact is, there was intense love, once, between these characters, which Weatherly made clear as Tony vowed to make things right by finding David, while Thompson did same when Jeanne thanked her ex, with a warm kiss on the cheek, for keeping his word against all odds. It’s been two years since NCIS brought this kind of emotional, romantic intensity, but it was very worth the wait.

POTWHONORABLE MENTION | If Garret Dillahunt ever wants to choose a single year of his career to exemplify his range, 2015 would be an ideal pick. In the past 11 months alone, he’s played the rage-filled Ty Walker in Justified‘s final season, the brutally simple KD in Hand of God and — our favorite — the genteel rake Jody Kimball-Kinney in The Mindy Project. Tuesday’s episode, in which Jody pretended to be Mindy’s husband to woo an elite preschool director, allowed Dillahunt to showcase that sophisticated-yet-silly thing he does so well. He played the southern obstetrician at turns haughty, harried, hangdog and ultimately achingly human as he realized his pursuit of his sister-in-law was more about one-upping his brother than truly pining for his wife. We know Jody will have to leave sooner or later — Dillahunt is a regular on Hand of God — but here’s hoping the aristocratic doc books a Shulman & Associates return real soon.

Which performances knocked your socks off this week? Hit the 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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27 Comments
  1. flower1petals says:

    Regina King is so underrated. She really opened my eyes with Southland. Such a great actress.

  2. Nick says:

    I thought for sure it’d be Peter Capaldi. Not even an honorable mention? For shame.

    • kirads09 says:

      Ditto! My honorable mention would definitely be Capaldi. When he is trying to talk down both sides in The Zygon Inversion. So extraordinary.

    • Lambsilencer says:

      Yes, he did a fantastic job.
      My choice this week would have been Aubrey Peebles in “Nashville”. The pain over losing Jeff was constantly pouring out of Layla in this episode, all of it felt very real, and the song at the end was pure emotion.

      • ChrisGa says:

        Aubrey Peeples really was stellar on this week’s Nashville. Slowly but surely Layla Grant has gone from being that show’s worst character to being one of it’s best.

  3. yunuem says:

    Matt Davies saying goodbye to Faux Jo on The Vampire Diaries

  4. Shaun says:

    Good choices,Dillahunt does good work everywhere.

  5. LB says:

    I have watched The Mindy Project since it began; thus, I’ve sat through a few, meaningless guest appearances and characters. Garret Dillahunt and Fortune Feimster, however, have been such excellent additions to the show! And yes, Dillahunt more than deserved the nod this week. I hope the two of them get to stick around as long as possible. It helps ease the sting of losing Adam Pally/Dr. P!

  6. darkangel200 says:

    Thank you for giving a shout out to Michael Weatherly and Scottie Thompson! They broke my heart and reminded me of why I loved season four of NCIS so much. They both had said so much with their expressions, and the emotional baggage and complexity of their relationship was heart crushing.

  7. Kristy says:

    Iain De Caestrecker. He may only get a few minutes of screen time every week but this has been Fitz’s season.
    What he does without saying a word, in the scene where he watches Gemma’s video footage and again at the end when they watch the sunrise, is more than some actors do in a lifetime.

    • lauren says:

      Iain was great again but he just won this a couple weeks ago and I like that TVline doesn’t pick the sam people over and again. Kelsey Grammar and the emmys anyone?

  8. Mr. Tran K says:

    Michael Weatherly and Scottie Thompson were both outstanding in one the best episodes of NCIS this season.

  9. Shannon says:

    Adelaide Kane on Reign. She nails it every week but this episode was something special.

  10. spindae2 says:

    No mention for Adelaide Kane? She was outstanding yesterday.
    Also JenMo well executed her scenes last week.

  11. Et al. says:

    Great choice! The leftovers is incredible this year.

  12. Mo says:

    Iain de Caestecker (Fitz on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) was amazing this week. This is his season. What a talent!
    That scene when he was watching Jemma’s video was phenomenal. And he only said a couple of words. Just amazing.

  13. George says:

    Iain de Caestecker of Agents of Shield. The subtlety in his acting in all of his “Chaos Theory” scenes is phenomenal. With his eyes and sighs, he portrayed a wide range of emotions – sad, heartbroken, annoyed, impatient, longing, hopeful, and in love.

  14. liame says:

    Excellent choices. Regina King is brilliant and amazing.

  15. RosyRed says:

    The Leftovers yaaaaaas

  16. quang says:

    Well deserved nod to Regina. I must have watched that Nora/Erika confrontation at least ten times because the acting and writing was so captivating.

  17. Nino says:

    A million times YES for this choice! Regina King, and well the whole cast really, are so good and that scene was amazing!

    I really hope that more people start watching The Leftovers, because it’s the best. :)

  18. OnyxC says:

    Totally agree about Regina King!! The performances on this show are incredible it’s such a shame that more people don’t watch The Leftovers. Best show of the fall season with the exception of maybe Fargo.

  19. trickster says:

    “I am not nothing, I was never nothing!”
    I think Jennifer Morrison should have gotten a mention for the delivery of that one line alone.

  20. Haley says:

    Iain de Caestecker’s performance was great, I would’ve thought he deserves at least an Honorable Mention. He delivered a heartbreaking one-liner again when he asked “Do you love him?” so full of vulnerability and insecurity. Hope he gets a nod in the Emmy’s in 2016.

  21. Mila says:

    I admit I’m disappointed this post did not mention Adelaide Kane. Her performance was outstanding. I didn’t crack at Francis death although I loved the character, it was Kane’s performance. I could feel Mary’s pain and that was Kane’s work.