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The TVLine Performers of the Week: Donald Glover and Maya Erskine

The TVLine Performers of the Week: Donald Glover and Maya Erskine
The TVLine Performers of the Week: Donald Glover and Maya Erskine

PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK | Donald Glover and Maya Erskine

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THE SHOW | Prime Video’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith

THE EPISODE | “A Breakup” (Feb. 2, 2024)

THE PERFORMANCES | Glover and Erskine may have had incredibly gorgeous shoes to fill in remaking Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith, but they took the roles of married spies John and Jane Smith and completely made them their own, layering in a goofy sense of humor and deeply felt heartbreak amid all the gunfire and explosions. The season finale had plenty of action, but the real fireworks were between Glover and Erskine, as John and Jane took aim at each other before reaching a truth serum-induced truce.

In the finale, John and Jane were ordered to kill each other, and Erskine had a devilish glint in her eye as Jane laid a series of lethal traps for her hubby. She and Glover were both impressively athletic as John and Jane breathlessly chased each other through the city, and Glover put his finely honed deadpan skills to good use as John interrogated their poor neighbor Harris, only to find he was just a curious real estate broker. But the highlight came when John finally got the better of Jane and hit her with an injection of truth serum before hitting himself with one too. Glover and Erskine were adorably loopy as John and Jane giggled on the floor together and confessed their secrets to each other. (Glover and Erskine both have strong comedy backgrounds, and this Mr. & Mrs. Smith smartly leaned into that, giving this John and Jane a bond through laughter that carried throughout the entire season.)

John and Jane later learned they were being targeted for death by another John and Jane, and Erskine was achingly tender as Jane nursed a badly wounded John while they hid out in a panic room. (They even told each other their real names!) The finale ended without us knowing if John and Jane made it out alive, but we’re hoping for a miracle, because we’d love to see Glover and Erskine team up for another season of nimble spy adventures.

Scroll down to see who scored Honorable Mention shout-outs this week…

HONORABLE MENTION: Nicholas Gonzalez

HONORABLE MENTION: Nicholas Gonzalez
HONORABLE MENTION: Nicholas Gonzalez

Ahead of its series finale, NBC’s La Brea delivered its most emotional gut punch, and Nicholas Gonzalez made sure we felt every bit of it. In the course of betraying Maya Schmidt and making tracks for the baddies’ detention facility where Eve is being held, Levi learned that Gavin & Co. were about to be ambushed. Levi boldly raced to the scene and successfully engaged Maya’s goons in a firefight. Well, pretty successfully, seeing as he wound up taking a bullet to his gut. As Levi slumped down and bled out, Gonzalez delivered a most moving death scene, wheezing and gurgling while ensuring Gavin knew of Eve’s whereabouts. “It’s OK. I’ve made peace with everything… but you and me,” Levin said. Gavin assured his friend that the affair with Eve was in the past, and they’d always be “brothers.” With a faint smile and a big wince, Levi echoed, “Brothers to the end,” before the light went out in his eyes. —Matt Webb Mitovich

HONORABLE MENTION: Clive Owen

HONORABLE MENTION: Clive Owen
HONORABLE MENTION: Clive Owen

Clive Owen has worn the role of iconic private eye Sam Spade like a perfectly fitted fedora on AMC’s Monsieur Spade, and this week, he showed us several reasons why Spade’s legendary investigative skills get results. He was savagely brutal as Spade questioned a would-be assassin, kicking the guy in the face every time he wouldn’t answer, with Owen projecting a hard-nosed air of authority. Then he laid on the charm when Spade joined his neighbors for lunch, smiling and engaging in witty conversation, even while he was secretly snooping around for clues. Seeing how at home Owen is in this role, it’s amazing that this is his first time playing Sam Spade. It feels like he’s been solving cases for years. — Dave Nemetz    

HONORABLE MENTION: Leo Woodall

HONORABLE MENTION: Leo Woodall
HONORABLE MENTION: Leo Woodall

In One Day Episode 7, Leo Woodall perfectly personified the classic narcissistic jerk we’ve all encountered on a bad date. From the moment he scoffed at Emma’s drink order in the swanky, nautical-themed restaurant, telling her they aren’t at a pub, Woodall effectively pulled back the curtain on the worst parts of Dexter’s character without turning him into a cartoon. Though he was clearly disgusted with much of what Emma said and did, Woodall never hammed it up as looks of disdain only momentarily flashed across his face. When Emma kissed him on the cheek, Woodall recoiled just enough for us to notice, but not so much that we wondered why she hadn’t left yet. Instead of approaching the episode as a bulldozing, mansplaining megaphone, Woodall opted for a sinister aloofness that made him feel far, far away, revealing a certain darkness in Dexter that had been believably bubbling beneath the surface all along. —Claire Franken

Which performance(s) knocked your socks off this week? Tell us in the comments!

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