TVLine's Performer of the Week: Claire Danes

Homeland Season 2 Interrogation SceneA new feature in which we spotlight the past week’s shining star

THE PERFORMER | Claire Danes

THE SHOW | Homeland (Showtime)


THE AIRDATE | October 28, 2012

THE PERFORMANCE | Yes, CIA analyst Carrie Mathison’s sitdown with would-be terrorist Nicholas Brody did span more than a quarter of an hour. But it was the quality of those 15 continuous minutes, more than the quantity, that left every single viewer realizing they had laid witness to one of TV’s great moments.

Steering the gripping face-off was Danes’ compelling turn as Carrie, who used her heart as well as her head in helping Brody release his burden of dark secrets. Alternately she appealed to the war hero unsettled by his awkward reentry into society, the family man who in the end chose coming home for dinner over an act of terror, and the man she had previously made clear she loved and mayyyybe obsesses over.

Ultimately, it was a human drowning in lies who succumbed to her grilling. “Wouldn’t it be a relief to stop lying?” Danes’ dynamic snoop posited. “I could say, ‘Brody, I want you to leave your wife and children and be with me.’ It feels good! Try it.”

Throughout the Q&A session, Danes’ face registered measured disgust for a traitor, compassion for an emotionally wounded warrior, incredulity at the lies lobbed her way, occasional hints of madness (“Alone at last!”) and wide-eyed horror upon hearing a new attack on America was in play.

TVLine’s Performer of the Week aims to spread the wealth and, yes, Homeland‘s Morena Baccarin was our inaugural honoree. Yet a tour de force this riveting must be paid its due. Because yes, Carrie, it felt good indeed.

Whose performance knocked your socks off this past week?