A weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars
of them over the years. But nothing could have prepared us for the chilling malice that Ackles brought to Tuesday’s
It all started with Sam injecting Dean with the cure, eliciting animalistic growls from Ackles that made us want to offer him a glass of water for his sure-to-be hoarse throat. There were moments of proud self-satisfaction as Dean questioned Sam’s actions, goading his little brother with a small smirk as he asked, “Which one of us is really a monster?”
Then Dean pulled out the Mary Winchester card, attacking Sam where it hurts most, and things got
ugly. “Maybe it was the fact that my mother would still be alive if it wasn’t for you. That your very existence
the life out of my life,” Ackles said, his voice laced with venom (and pent-up truth?).
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But it wasn’t all just nasty words and gut-punch insults. The face-off evolved into a terrifying cat-and-mouse game – expertly directed by Ackles – through the dark hallways of the Men of Letters bunker as the red lockdown lights flashed. Ackles was truly frightening as Dean, hammer in hand, sought out to kill his brother with unnerving determination and eagerness. We hate to say it, but he seemed downright excited to destroy Sam. With every “Sammy!” that he bellowed, we became more scared.
“Personally, I like the disease,” Dean declared, Ackles giving off just the right amount of glee and crazed eyes. And we certainly appreciated the actor’s small touches, like Dean running his hand through his longer demon locks after he finally hacked his way through the door, evoking Jack Nicholson in
The power and versatility of Ackles’ skill were magnified when the old Dean, cured of his demon state, returned. Gone were the malevolence and disdain, replaced by guilt and worry. If “lean, mean Dean” equals an even-more-awesome-than-usual Ackles, consider us hooked.
‘s fourth season, Victoria Grayson bellowed, “Emily Thorne, I’m coming for you!” But it was Emily Thorne who came for
— and our heartstrings — this Sunday as she stood face to face with her presumed-dead father in a police lineup. Like a true dramatic pro, Emily VanCamp managed to condense the immensity of the moment into a single tear that silently screamed down her cheek until she was forced to speak. That final shot of Emily’s face, lip quivering with a mix of shock and devastation, was nothing short of haunting. (Kudos as well to
‘s music department for providing the perfect swelling soundtrack to Ms. Thorne’s utter heartbreak.)
HONORABLE MENTION | It’s not often that we see anyone on
expose their vulnerable side. That’s why it was especially moving to watch Jimmy Smits’ Nero — one of the most unflappable men in an ensemble of tough guys — break down at the idea of leaving Charming for good. As Nero begged Gemma (an also-stellar Katey Sagal) to join him at his uncle’s farm and abandon the SAMCRO lifestyle, his hardened exterior gave way to utter desperation as he pleaded, “We deserve something better, Gem.” It was a heartbreakingly quiet moment in a season filled with so much death and destruction.
really socked it to poor Ethel this week. In response, Kathy Bates delivered one knockout performance after another. First, she spoke volumes with the way she delivered the bearded lady’s stoic response to her terminal diagnosis: “Well, s—,” she said, as if surprised to find out she wasn’t indestructible. Then, we cried right along with the veteran actress as she allowed Ethel to break down not because she was dying but because her doctor was kind. By the time the so-called freak began settling her affairs (starting with pushing away beloved son Jimmy), the MVP had reaffixed her character’s game face. But the worst — and best — was yet to come. As if she hadn’t had a rough enough day, two-faced Edward Mordrake insisted that she recount the awful story of Jimmy’s birth. The bogeyman wasn’t moved enough (or something) to add her to his “coterie of companions,” but we were so impressed that we fully expect this Honorable Mention to be but a precursor to Bates’ second
TV set this week? Sound off below and let us know!
Bleh,I think I would have chosen Clive Owen.
thank you for mentioning emily & kathy! but what about jesse l. martin or even danielle panabaker for the flash!? they were so fantastic and endearing
I’d give another honorable mention to Tom Mison in Sleepy Hollow. Poor Ichabod Crane went through hell this week, first with the death of his friend, then thinking Abbie had died in his arms, and finally being faced with another lie and betrayal from his wife, this time one he could confront her with face-to-face. In a show that often doesn’t allow the actors much time to convey their characters’ emotions, Mison is always spot-on, and never more so than this week. The scene where he’s cradling Abbie in his arms, helpless to do anything because of course he doesn’t know about CPR (“Oh no, no, no, no, Abbie!”), was absolutely gut-wrenching.
I would’ve given the nod to Elizabeth Henstridge as an “honorable mention”.
Cudos to Jensen especially since he was also directing the episode. He did a fantastic job on both fronts.
Jensen was brilliant. The way he acts as Deanmon is fantastic and I will miss his demonic alter ego.
Thank You for recognizing Jensen Ackles. He is a truely great actor who doesn’t get enough recognition!
And he is masterfull as Demon!dean. Plus the shot of his face when he realized he’s cured was heartbreaking.
I was hoping Amy Acker and Michael Emerson from Person Of Interest would be noticed this week.
You and I are in the same boat. The Root character is usually in “robot” mode, but this week she showed a vulnerability I’ve never seen before and it made me worry for her.
Me too. I feel like this season of POI is being ignored by this site. Shame, the last episode was really good and was praised by critics who took the time to review it.
All the awards for Emily VanCamp! Brilliant performance from start to finish.
I have to admit, I’m kind of bummed that Amy Acker didn’t get. I’m still catching up with this season of S.O.A., but judging by what I’ve seen so far its just deserved. I really can’t comment about Supernatural and AHS, because I don’t watch either of those shows.
It’s about time someone recognizes Jensen Ackles for the amazing performer he is. His DemonDean is wonderful.
Couldn’t agree more with your choice of Ackles this week. He and Jared play off of each other which makes for good theater.
Not to be unkind or rude, but . . . My god . . . Jensen Ackles is just about the worst actor on tv! The notion that you, or any critic with a lick of sense and formal education, would place Kathy Bates BEHIND Jensen Ackles is absurd.
Jensen did double duty this week with both acting two very distinctly different and nuanced characters, but also directing the hell out of a suspenseful and pivotal episode! He deserves all the accolades for not going over the top, instead perfectly modulating his performance to be truly menacing in a calm and deadly manner. He gave us what we wanted in a way that was totally unexpected and fresh! Jensen is one of the most thoughtful, skilled actors out there. He can do it all!
Extremely rude comment from someone who most likely did not see Ackles’ performance this week. I’d like to think that when Team TVLine sits down and thinks about their Performer of the Week awards, they like to, as they say, highlight actors who normally get looked over. Also try and take into consideration the amount of work each actor has put into a character. Yes, we can expect someone like Kathy Bates to be given a character and immediately do wonderful things with them, as she did this week. Ackles, however, has been building up Dean’s character for ten years now, and it really showed in this episode. He’s been turning in solid performances for years, and although Supernatural will never get any really good accolades, this was a very well-deserved reward for him.
Jensen Ackles was FANTASTIC. Glad he was recognised. NOT glad that Demon Dean was cured so soon, this was their most innovative storyline in years and they ended it in 3 episodes?!
The fact that Kathy didn’t take the top honor means the thing is rigged. the freak birth thing, ugh.
I very much agree with Jensen Ackles. For years he’s been tirelessly and mostly thanklessly raising the game on that show, taking what he’s been given and adding layers of complexity and subtext through his acting. Way back in Season 1 episode 5, Ackles played the dual role of Dean Winchester plus a shapeshifter pretending to be Dean Winchester and that shapeshifter is to this day the most haunting one they’ve faced, though others came after. His Demon Dean was truly chilling without being a caricature, his facial expressions, the look in his eyes still contained the sort of complexity he’s always brought to his characters and then some, just applied to a demonic creature instead of sympathetic character or a “bad boy”. He used a very different sort of body language too. Dean always holds himself in a confident way(whether he feels it or not), he’s a natural leader but Demon Dean had this sort of casual confidence and something almost reptilian about him.
I will say I agree Donnarie2 Tom Mison deserved an honorable mention. Ichabod Crane went through a wringer this week on Sleepy Hollow and he was really brilliant in how he portrayed it, from his devastation at the loss(Caroline his “colonial re-enactment” pal) or near loss(Abbie his co-Witness partner whom he clearly adores) of his friends to his sense of betrayal at realizing just how much his wife Katrina had lied to him over the course of their relationship. He doesn’t get a lot of attention in an acting sense but he’s got a tough job each week because in the hands of the wrong person a lot of the lines he needs to spout would be utterly unbelievable and laughable, in a bad way, but he always manages to make it real and believable coming out of Ichabod Crane’s mouth and his expressions and body language are spot on.
Jensen really did kick ass this episode, both in front of and behind the camera. I don’t think he gets enough credit for his talent.
You and i must’ve watched different versions of ‘soul survivor.’ i thought it dragged badly and there was just no intensity to the bunker scenes. i have watched spn since it came out but it’s time to cut it loose. the bad acting, even by tv standards, doesn’t bother me as much as the repetitive plot devices. Demon Dean was the most original idea the show has had in years and they resolved it in three episodes? That was really stupid. And even though the idea was original, it tended to showcase Ackles’s lack of acting chops. Frankly, I don’t think Ackles is quite as bad as Padalecki, but he’s close. I’m sure my comment will be ripped to shred by the SPN Fandom (incidentally, where are they at ratings time??), but I couldn’t be more surprised by your choice this week. Oscar winner Kathy Bates is continually superb on AMH and Jimmy Smits is one of the finest actors on TV. But Jensen Ackles??? Wow. Just . . . well, wow.
If you think they are bad actors why on earth would you spend nearly 10 years watching?
Thank you so much for recognizing the phenomenal but under appreciated Jensen Ackles! He’s always amazing but he’s really had a chance to stretch some muscles with this Demon Dean story! Just wish it had gone on longer!
Kathy Bates and Jimmy Smits were both wonderful!
about time someone recognises jensen’s talent. being saying for years that this hall tactic of constantly dropping his arcs, holds him back as an actor, cause he can’t prove what he really is capable of. to many missed oportunities, hell, pstd, angel vesel/michael, purgatory, pstd, & now demon dean makes the list of dropped arcs. bet moc will have the same fate.
Excellent choice on Jensen Ackles. He was truly terrifying in last weeks episode. When he literally snapped at Sam during the first shot I thought ‘DON’T EVER DO THAT AGAIN’. It was inhuman (which was apropos). Finally the heartbreaking transformation back to ‘old’ Dean was outstanding. A very layered performance.
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