THE ACTOR | Yvonne Strahovski
THE SHOW | The story of the maid
THE RESULT | “No Man’s Land” (10/19/2022)
THE PERFORMANCE | Whether you love, hate, or just like to hate Serena Joy Waterford, one thing is undeniable: Yvonne Strahovski is so incredibly good in the role. Five seasons in and she is quiet finding new ways to emotionally muddle ourselves in a difficult, complicated part. Praise be! Let’s talk about this week’s episode, shall we?
Strahovski gave a tour de force performance for the entire hour, beginning with the ousted Gilead founder going into labor with her first child. Serena’s desperation, both physical and emotional, was evident in every decision Strahovski made: the plaintive moan as the contractions intensified, the desperation with which she kept her gun trained on June as she swayed, the steel in her voice when she refused to go to a hospital — even if it meant enduring one of life’s most painful processes in an abandoned barn.
This pain emotionally drained Serena and allowed Strahovski to bring out the most human aspects of her utterly hideous character. As an audience, we were spot on with June; One moment she was basking in the powerful love Serena exuded for her newborn son, Strahovski’s tearful smile was beautiful, and the next she loathed her for comparing her situation at the Wheelers to June in Gilead. (We know Serena was exhausted, but how forgetful can a person get?!)
Want to relive a moment of TV perfection? Imagine that moment when Serena proposes that June take little Noah and give him a better life than she can offer. Strahovski’s eyes well up with tears as Serena quietly explains her seriously bad prospects. You know what else is overflowing? Our admiration for how beautifully this actress can act is close to our hearts and our contempt, sometimes within minutes. We’re still not sure what we think of Serena these days, but Strahovski? She’s gorgeous.
AWARD | The esteemed Marla Gibbs reminded us all why she’s a legend and gave an absolutely heartbreaking performance on Thursday Grey’s anatomy, first introducing us to the feisty, funny woman who was once Simone’s grandmother, and then by showing us the confused and frightened elderly woman that dementia had transformed her into. As soon as Simone gently explained to her grandmother that she wasn’t her mother, her mother had died, Gibbs changed her whole demeanor, her face twisting with outrage and a hard-to-witness lack of understanding. “Somebody help!” Joyce called out, unable to believe what she was being told. “Bravo,” cried the audience, once again stunned by the 91-year-old TV icon who’s been a murderer for five decades.
AWARD | Comedy can come from the strangest of places, and this week Documentary now! found it in the rugged mountains of Russia, thanks to the hilarious duo of Alexander Skarsgard and August Diehl. Skarsgard played a 1980s German film director who was making a documentary about the remote region – while filming a CBS sitcom pilot called there Bachelor Nanny. Skarsgard’s characteristic intensity lent itself perfectly to comedy, with the director’s high artistic ambitions taking him to ridiculous extremes. And the hilarity only doubled when Diehl stepped in as an avant-garde comedian who clashed violently with Skarsgard’s director — finding his accommodations inadequate, he held a knife to the director’s throat — injecting a wild, manic energy into an already wild episode. Documentary now! has always been a treasure trove of tiny acting gems, and with Skarsgard and Diehl’s deeply goofy double act, Season 4 is off to a terrific start.
AWARD | Andor‘s Fiona Shaw had us and Cass feeling Everyone things when Maarva turned down her son’s offer to leave town and instead fight the good fight on Ferrix. For one, we were crushed to hear how Maarva had for 13 years avoided the part of town where husband Clem was hanged by Imperial troops. But when I found out about the audacious raid on the Aldhani garrison, “I put on my best coat and walked across the plaza with a smile on my face!” She shared, inspired by how she is now to “hold out here” on Ferrix . Then, when Maarva realized that Cass has “another path” ahead of her, your heart would have to swell as Shaw looked at Diego Luna with admiring eyes. “I’ve never loved anything like I’ve loved you,” Maarva confessed. “But you can’t stay. And I can’t go.” Suffice to say, Shaw made us just as sad to see mother and son part ways as they were.
Which performance(s) knocked your Socks out this week? Tell us in the comments!
https://tvline.com/2022/10/22/yvonne-strahovski-performance-the-handmaids-tale-season-5-episode-11/ Yvonne Strahovski’s performance ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 5 Episode 11