Scott Glenn The Leftovers

Performer of the Week: Scott Glenn

THE PERFORMER | Scott Glenn

THE SHOW | The Leftovers

THE EPISODE | “Crazy Whitefella Thinking” (April 30, 2017)

THE PERFORMANCE | All the way back in December of 2015, Leftovers executive producer Damon Lindelof was looking forward to using Glenn in the HBO drama’s third and final season less like “a relieving pitcher” than “a starting pitcher.” And with last Sunday’s episode, it was made abundantly clear why: When the veteran actor was at last given a turn on the mound, he confidently threw a no-hitter.

Over the course of the hour, Glenn took us along with Kevin Sr. on arguably the most surreal Australian walkabout ever, sneaking onto sacred aboriginal land in the name of “preventing the apocalypse,” revealing to a tribal leader how a clairvoyant chicken had convinced him that only his own singing could forestall a Biblical flood, and railing against the God who put in his path one obstacle (a venomous snake) after another (those pesky authorities). Miraculously, not once did Glenn leave us room to doubt the sincerity of his foul-mouthed character’s out-there beliefs. He even found, along with the courage of Kevin Sr.’s convictions, the humor, cracking that, when the voices in his head had told him to go Down Under, “a little specificity would’ve been nice!”

As “Crazy Whitefella Thinking” drew to a close, Grace decided that the grizzled stranger whose life she’d saved wasn’t the angel she’d at first imagined he was. But we were just as sure that Glenn’s performance — funny and fierce, lovely and loony — was heaven-sent.

HONORABLE MENTION | Power can be one hell of a drug, as coder-turned-CEO Dinesh learned this week on Silicon Valley, and Kumail Nanjiani took full advantage of Dinesh turning into a full-blown tech-bro douche. With overly gelled hair and a smug smile, Nanjiani was riotously funny as Dinesh spouted off nonsense jargon like “mission-focused” and bragged about making a cute tech reporter laugh. But all drugs wear off eventually, and Dinesh’s ego came crashing back down to earth when he learned his video chat service was a massively illegal haven for child predators. Nanjiani showed off an admirable comedic range in portraying Dinesh’s rapid rise and fall, proving that every mild-mannered keyboard jockey has a Zuckerberg hidden inside them somewhere.

HONORABLE MENTION | An especially poignant episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine proved to be a terrific dramatic showcase for Terry Crews, who delivered a powerful monologue not soon forgotten. As a teary eyed Sgt. Jeffords described to Capt. Holt what it felt like to be racially profiled by a fellow officer, we, too, caught ourselves welling up. “When I got stopped the other day, I wasn’t a cop,” he lamented. “I was a black man — a dangerous black man [and] that’s all he could see: a threat.” But even worse than being reduced to the color of his skin was imagining his daughters one day going through the same thing, a fear he made known as his voice began to crack. Crews’ delivery in that moment reminded us that his acting repertoire extends far beyond pec dancing.

HONORABLE MENTION | In American Crime‘s season finale, Janel Moloney‘s Raelyn likely spoke the fewest words of any major character. And yet we felt her quiet desperation all the same, as she realized she had fractured her relationships with everyone close to her. Moloney’s work was at its most moving when Raelyn and Jeanette (Felicity Huffman) attempted to talk through Raelyn’s legal predicament. The actress employed the subtlest of facial expressions — a furrowed brow here, a quivering lip there — to communicate her character’s faux-stoicism (and, ultimately, heartache) about landing herself behind bars and separated from her two daughters. When Jeanette finally left the visitation room, and Raelyn dissolved into tears, Moloney cemented her status as one of Season 3’s most underrated performers.

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

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24 Comments
  1. Fan says:

    No disprespect to all of these awesome performances, however the true performer of the week was General Hospital’s Jane Elliot. The performance in her farewell, as well as the many many years of her tenure was amazing. Let’s give daytime a little love, and especially Ms Elliot.

  2. Toto says:

    OMG, I forgot he existed. I haven’t seen him in anything since Urban Cowboy. Good for him.

    • Ken says:

      Seriously? Have you been living off the grid for like the last 40 years with no tv, or movie theatre, or magazine? Scott Glenn has been in literally hundreds of projects such as the Academy award winning Silence of the lambs.

    • jbj says:

      That says more about you than him, as he was just in The Hateful Eight (2015)…award winning and streaming now on Showtime Anytime.

      • Gregory Begonius says:

        Are you maybe thinking of Bruce Dern? Not every old white guy is every other old white guy, you know.

  3. kirads09 says:

    Thank you. So 100% agree with Scott Glenn – what an episode. Love him as Stick in the Marvel Universe as well. He’s fantastic.

  4. ‪Neil Flynn – The Middle‬
    ‪He was great in that final scene talking about his mom… I don’t think The Middle has ever made me cry this much. ‬

  5. Wes says:

    Floriana Lima on Supergirl this week blew me away!

  6. Simon says:

    I liked Terry Crew’s work this week. However I would have chosen the actor who played Lyle on Better Call Saul. That was a stand out performance LOL. Seriously I think both Henery Simmons (Mack) and Iain De Caestecker (Fitz) from Agents of Shield could have been contenders this week.

  7. Lisa says:

    I also thought Iain de Caestecker as Fitz from Agents of SHIELD was great this week. After Fitz got out of the Framework, the differences in how he played evil Fitz and actual Fitz were really apparent. He did an amazing job.

  8. Martin says:

    Yes for Terry Crews.

    I remember after watching it I said to myself that he had to get mentioned on here. He was so good in that episode

  9. ravynrobyn says:

    My ‘Honorable Mention’ goes to Wentworth Miller in this week’s Prison Break when his character, Michael Scofield, after seven years of torture and betrayal, finally broke down after telling his brother why he had to disappear. His strong shell finally collapsed & showed the agony, fear and regret that he’s had to carry…all alone 😭

  10. LAwoman says:

    Nice to see recognition for Kumail Nanjiani. He was hilarious.

  11. Joey Padron says:

    Happy Terry Crew got an honorable mention. He did great in the new episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

  12. Jim says:

    I can’t believe that Taylor Kinney from Chicago Fire isn’t even mentioned, because he was the performer of the week, without a doubt. His performance was incredible. He had me in tears even before the “major incident” (no spoilers), & I rarely cry. Severide wasn’t my favorite character until this episode. And the end when he’s helping the old lady cope, I’m almost in tears just thinking about it. Did no one at TVLine watch Chicago Fire?

    • Love says:

      thank you very much.. I also thought Taylor Kinney was exceptional this week. Really should’ve had a mention, Had me in tears ..didn’t know he had such range…Iian was amazing as always

  13. Kathy says:

    I thought Scott Glenn was exceptional. He kept me riveted the whole time.

  14. Laila says:

    Floriana Lima as Maggie in Supergirl when she asserts that she helped Alex to be herself.

  15. Rod says:

    Great pick – such a great performance last week on The Leftovers.
    Giancarlo Esposito is back and great on Better Call Saul too.
    Tony Hale was fantastic on Veep too.

  16. Alec says:

    First time I’ve watched every single performance mentioned here and agree 100%! Scandal’s Tony Goldwyn was great too.