Westworld Premiere

Performer of the Week: Westworld's Louis Herthum

THE PERFORMER | Louis Herthum

THE SHOW | Westworld

THE EPISODE | “The Original” (Oct. 2)

THE PERFORMANCE | For the better part of Westworld‘s premiere, Herthum’s Peter Abernathy seemed just like the harmless set dressing he was designed to be: a robot just affable enough to seem human, yet not interesting enough to warrant concern for his welfare. But when Peter’s programming started going haywire and he was hauled in for a diagnostic, Herthum’s performance transformed into a thing of versatile beauty.

Seemingly effortlessly, Herthum — in the buff, no less! — carried Peter through wide emotional gulfs, starting as an unfeeling, misfiring automaton struggling to obey orders. But when Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Ford instructed Peter to access other versions of his programming, the warmth we’d witnessed in Delores’ dad spread across his face like a sunrise, his eyes alight as he spoke of the daughter he loved.

But those thoughts of how Peter had to protect Delores made the farmer agitated and worried, with Herthum’s features twisting into panic and eventually freezing in a rictus of fear, awaiting Ford’s next command. When it came, and Peter went truly rogue, he alternated between tearfully raging against his creator and eerily chuckling as he spouted snatches of verse that sounded like veiled threats. The scene was a study of what an immensely talented actor can do with his face and body language alone, and it made us hope that Peter gets taken out of cold storage real soon.

unnamed-1HONORABLE MENTION | As Transparent‘s real noodge of a Jewish mother Shelly, Judith Light is a reliable source of comic relief on what can be a dark, heavy show. But the Season 3 finale, “Exciting and New,” allowed Light to spread her wings — and man, did she soar. She was heartbreakingly hurt when Shelly’s adult kids didn’t want to spend time with her on the family cruise she set up. And she flexed her live-theater muscles (a two-time Tony winner, you know) as Shelly performed her one-woman show, “To Shell and Back,” highlighted by a funny, touching, ultimately triumphant rendition of Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in My Pocket.” As long as Light’s on Transparent, everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine.

performer-of-the-week-candice-pattonHONORABLE MENTION | There was something magical about Barry and Iris’ brief courtship during The Flash‘s alternate timeline, and the soulful Candice Patton deserves a lot of the credit for the swoon-worthy scenes. In the changed existence, Iris barely knew the titular speedster, but that didn’t stop the pair from having a kismet-like meeting that filled a nagging void in the reporter’s life. The actress was full of bittersweet longing for that intangible connection as Iris tried to comprehend the strength of her feelings for a relative stranger. In the end, she could only come to one conclusion: “This is what love feels like,” she marveled. We, too, had an epiphany involving the L-word – as in how much we loved Patton’s heartfelt performance.

performer-of-the-week-amy-mortonHONORABLE MENTION | We never had any doubts about the talents of seasoned theater veteran Amy Morton, but the actress took her Chicago P.D. character to another level during a particularly brutal episode. Not only did Sergeant Platt suffer an unexpected and violent beating, leaving her hospitalized, but she also lost her father to the assailant and then took it upon herself to avenge his murder. Barely recovered from surgery, she went after the killer with the full force of her anger, before breaking down in Voight’s arms. It was a horrific time in Platt’s life that brought out a vulnerability not often seen in the tough cop. It also further cemented Morton’s status as one of the Chicago-verse’s most arresting performers.

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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  1. dfdfbjdfbjdfbjdfbjdfbj says:

    Well deserved.He was fantastic. Westworld is off to an amazing start.

  2. myrcellasear says:

    Candice was amazing this episode! So glad she’s finally getting the material she deserves, and I hope it continues.

  3. Ian says:

    Some hammy writing in the 2nd episode, but yes, I felt like the relationship between Peter and Dolores was the most touching thing about the premiere, culminating in that interrogation scene when he was so afraid for her. I was teary myself when he was decommissioned. He did a heartbreaking job. I want to see Dolores remember and save him.

  4. Alexis says:

    Candice was mesmerizing in the Flash season 3 premiere. I’m happy they’re finally recognizing how talented she is and are giving her more to work with. I really hope we do see her journalism drive the plot this season

  5. Quinten says:

    In my opinion, Iris’ story and character development started off a little shaky and I wasn’t a huge fan when the show first started. But man has she become one of the best characters on the show and the actress seems to know her so well. They really did a great job utilizing her in season 2, especially in the second half. And from the looks of it, that’s gonna continue. And man, I wasn’t a fan of the whole Barry/Iris ship at first either…but at some point you just can’t deny the chemistry. One of the better couples in the Arrowverse in my opinion

  6. Micaela says:

    Thanks for highlighting Candice performance in the premiere Michael. It was so good to see Iris front and center, I hope this is an indication of things to come and not another one off episode.

  7. JunkieCentric says:

    Finally, Candice and by extension Iris aren’t being put in the corner and are both being allowed to take their rightful place’s places as the leading lady’s and what an improvement that has on the show and the overall feel. Her potential is limitless.

    Glad I’m not the only one who loved how bittersweet and moving Candice played Iris in her scenes. Really liked what was done with not only her in Flashpoint but her relationship with Barry.

  8. webly3 says:

    Judith Light nailed the finale of Transparent! I watched it this week and was so moved by her performance throughout the season.

  9. Louis Herthum was utterly fantastic, and I also hope he is taken out of storage very soon!

    Surprised to see Candice listed, if I’m honest. I’ve never been a fan of her work on the show (to date) and I also don’t think she has any chemistry with Grant Gustin. Still, I’ve yet to see the S2 finale/S3 opener so I’ll be happy if my opinion is changed by a great performance.

  10. AJ says:

    the Transparent finale was such a great episode for Judith Light, she’s the best. I think Zazie Beetz in Atlanta was fantastic this week too.

  11. Joey Padron says:

    Happy Candice got an honorable mention. She did great in season premiere of The Flash.

  12. Ingrid says:

    Candice was the highlight of The Flash premiere for me, she was amazing from start to finish and I can only hope the writers continue to give her this much and this kind of material.

  13. bluji says:

    Happy to see Candice Patton up here, she did amazing.
    Outside this list, I found AJ Cook’s performance in this week’s Criminal Minds very touching.

  14. flashfan2 says:

    Glad to see Ms. Patton (Iris) as an honorable mention. She is fantastic and has great chemistry with Mr. Gustin (Barry).

  15. Katie says:

    Candice shined this week. I look forward to the Flash writers actually capitalizing on her talent this season.

  16. Gabby says:

    Awesome to see Candice as one of your honourable mentions she’s a wonderful actress who I hope will finally get her just due on the show. I throughly enjoyed flashpoint her performance being one of the highlights. I can honestly say I wasn’t expecting her to be such an integral part of the episode based on last year especially the fit’s half so I was pleasantly surprised hopefully this is a sign of big things to come for her and the show.

  17. Paula says:

    Candice is hands down, THE BEST ACTRESS, on #TheFlash. We, her fans, always knew she could deliver if given scripts that allow her to show her talent and range. Greg Berlanti did in 2×13 Welcome to Earth2 and Zack Stentz did in 2×21 #TheRunawayDinosaur, and to start S3 the FlashWritersRoom kept it up in FlashPoint and Candice blew it out of the park.
    Her talent enhances Grant’s talent and their chemistry is the stuff of Legends. This lady is bound to go far if given a chance to shine through great scripts with a strong badass yet loving vulnerable Iris.
    Can’t wait to see how she amazes us in S3 and beyond.
    Hoping the show capitalizes on their amazing Leading Lady’s talent and write her as the legendary Ace reporter who Iris is known as in the comics and also continue to use her mindboggling chemistry with her Leading Man Grant Gustin to show WestAllen become the DC Comics Power Couple fans adore.
    If they do, we as fans of #IrisWest #WestAllen and #TheFlash are in for a treat and an unforgettable series.
    I’m psyched LOL

  18. Tamara says:

    Candice performance definitely stood out in the Flash season 3 premiere. It was the perfect balance of charm, strength and sadness in portraying Iris in the new world Barry created. She’s able to bring such emotional intensity to her character and it’s mesmerizing to watch. The best dramatic actress on the CW. Very excited to see her career go far, especially in film.

  19. Joey says:

    So happy to see my recommendation from the Westworld recap was taken to heart. Louis Herthum was utterly amazing.

  20. So glad to see Louis Herthum getting the love. That last scene with Peter, Ford and Bernard was breathtaking and I’ve watched it over and over.

    And then to watch a seemingly lobotomized Peter walking into cold storage with tears in his eyes at whatever Bernard had whispered to him made me tear up and shiver at the same time.

    Fantastic performance!

  21. Carni611 says:

    I’m surprised that I really did enjoy Westworld, I only checked it coz of Thandie Newton but ended up loving. I’m glad to see Candice Patton steal the show, I believe that she will blow us away. Thanks for writing the piece on her.

  22. Nilani says:

    I’m so happy, Candice Patton’s acting talent doesn’t go unnoticed. She delivered a well rounded performance in the premiere, and her chemistry with Grant really shone through. Not to mention her bright, beautiful smile lighting up the screen <3 I look forward to Westallen, and hopefully this season finally delivers an arc of reporter Iris West hard at work at CCPN.

  23. Erica says:

    Candice Patton does a spectacular job in all of her scenes but I’ve gotta say, she was so magnificent in the season 3 opener. We didn’t get to see her as much during the first half of season 2 so it’s wonderful to see her even more already this season. Keep it up, @the writers/producers/team! Candice is a wonderful actress and I’m always captivated when I watch her on screen.

  24. Lisa V says:

    I’m so happy to see Candice Patton listed as an Honorable Mention in this article. She’s a talented, yet underrated actress. It took almost three seasons, but The Flash’s leading lady is finally being utilized as a leading lady. Hopefully, it’s to her full potential and season 3 ushers in Iris West as the iconic reporter she is. And Barry Allen/Flash and Iris West can be portrayed as the iconic DC power couple that they are.

  25. HAP says:

    I know there has been a whole bunch of positive hoopla surround Westworld, but I tuened it off after 20 minutes.

    • That’s too bad. I had a bit of trouble with it starting out too. By the end, I watched the whole episode again and “got it” and I think it’s fantastic. It’s worth watching again.

    • Lord Coffee says:

      Well, good for you on missing some terrific acting and thought provoking content. Well done! But Westwood isn’t a show for those with short attention spans so just as well you bailed.

  26. LAwoman says:

    Louis Herthum’s performance was heartbreaking. I hope we’ll see him again.
    Being de-commissioned and stored can’t be the end for him!

  27. CLV says:

    I’m so glad to see Candice getting the well deserved praise. She shone in the premiere. She was fun, funny, cute, adorable, had agency, delighted and made us swoon, and in the final 5 minutes tear up. She and Grant have unbelievable chemistry. Loved their scenes. She did great. Hope to see more of her in the rest of s3 & beyond

  28. Lynnee says:

    Thank you for the honorable mention for Amy Morton… she is so talented and lights up the scenes on Chicago PD

  29. arial2 says:

    Louis Herthum also plays Omar in the Netflix show Longmire! Great actor, great in both roles.

  30. Rem_Marshall says:

    I’ve just watched the pilot and it was sensational. But when I saw this actor, I thought “Wow, this guy has to be the performer of the week”. But I was like “probably not, he has only two scenes”.
    Well I was wrong. Pure talent !

  31. ashtonslife says:

    He deserves this and an award. So stellar. I am sad he hasn’t gotten more screen time.