THE PERFORMER | Melissa Fumero
THE SHOW | Brooklyn Nine-Nine
THE EPISODE | “He Said, She Said” (Feb. 28, 2019)
THE PERFORMANCE | Thursday’s episode of the NBC sitcom was a terrific showcase for Fumero, whose dramatic acting chops were on full display as Amy divulged her #MeToo story.
Determined to find the evidence necessary to take down an investment banker accused of sexual assault, Amy revealed to Jake that her former captain crossed a line and tried to kiss her. He said he felt like he “deserved something” in exchange for her career. Throughout the heartbreaking confession, Fumero’s performance was understated yet effective. Her eyes welled up as Amy expressed doubt that she earned her promotion to detective all those years ago. Her soft-spoken tone captured the broken spirit of a woman burdened by victimhood, whose self-worth was forever sullied by the actions of a man who had power over her and chose to abuse it.
When Amy told Jake that “this kind of stuff has happened to literally every woman I know,” Fumero altered her delivery ever-so-slightly to convey that this issue is bigger than any one person saying “me too.” When she continued, explaining that she was working herself to the bone “to help make it better for just this one woman,” we gained a whole new level of appreciation for the sergeant.
Similarly, with this episode, we gained a whole new level of appreciation for Fumero.
HONORABLE MENTION | Really, the entire ensemble of Documentary Now!‘s wickedly clever Broadway cast recording parody “Original Cast Album: Co-Op” deserves a standing ovation — bravo, Richard Kind and Renee Elise Goldsberry — but we’re tossing our biggest bouquet in the direction of Paula Pell. The 30 Rock and SNL writer brought the house down as her stage veteran character Patty belted out a tune titled “I Gotta Go”… while also complaining to producers that she did, in fact, have to go. (She had a doctor’s appointment to get her eye scraped, you see.) As take after take piled up and the recording stretched into the wee hours, a fed-up Patty took out her frustration on the “pompous beta males” in the booth, with Pell unleashing a riotously funny anger. It was truly a showstopper.
HONORABLE MENTION | As young Project NOAH patient Amy Bellafonte, The Passage star Saniyya Sidney has tugged at our heartstrings time and again, as Amy grapples with her mom’s death and attempts to make sense of the virus flowing through her body. But on Monday’s episode of the Fox drama, Sidney had us grabbing Kleenex by the fistful as Amy revealed the guilt she feels over her mom’s fatal overdose. “I told her I hated her,” Amy softly said to Anthony Carter, detailing the fight she and her mom had before the woman’s death. “And she cried.” At just 12 years old, it’s impressive enough that Sidney can deliver the waterworks on command. Even more remarkable, though, is the maturity and depth she brings to Amy each week, particularly in a scene that rested heavily on her small shoulders.
HONORABLE MENTION | Although Schitt’s Creek‘s Stevie is loath to wear her heart on her flannel sleeve, there was no missing it — or its breaking — when she found out boyfriend Emir didn’t think of himself as her boyfriend. Even if she hadn’t spoken a word, Emily Hampshire, a sly scene stealer since Season 1, would’ve told us all we needed to know with her expression, a mixture of shock and disappointment trying hard to pass itself off as nonchalance. Then, as if she hadn’t wrecked us enough, she showed us how quickly Stevie, who’d blossomed with Emir, once again wilted when, in the wake of the revelation, she couldn’t bring herself to look father figure Johnny in the eye. Simply put, Hampshire crushed it — and us along with it.
Which performance(s) knocked your socks off this week? Tell us in Comments!