In a Hypable Honors first, we have a duo honoree, meaning that one TV partnership is just so epic, we had to make them one, even if their on screen personas aren’t relating well to each other at the moment.
We’ve never awarded one Hypable Honor to two people before, but it just seemed like the right thing to do after this week’s episode of Agents of SHIELD. We also couldn’t overlook the nuanced and absolutely remarkable performance from a Walking Dead alum that had us laughing and tearing up in equal measure.
Check out our picks for this week’s Hypable Honors, and be sure to let us know who you think had the best performance this week in the comments!
Show: ‘Agents of SHIELD’
Actor: Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain de Caestecker
Be careful what you wish for, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans.
Though agents Fitz and Simmons enjoyed a tentative reunion in last week’s episode, it was “A Fractured House” that demonstrated the new reality of their partnership. On the downside, FitzSimmons’ tattered relationship and fractured communications were devastating to watch, as the writers took their story to a whole new level of pain.
But on the plus side, the agony definitely reminded us why we hang on every exceptional interaction between Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain de Caestecker.
De Caestecker continued his exceptional work as Fitz this week, adding a bitter twist to his now-familiar struggles. Juggling righteous anger, self-pity, and seething frustration, de Caestecker sold us completely on the tragic new conceit of FitzSimmons – that being around Simmons actually makes Fitz’s condition worse.
The burden of this revelation was shouldered brilliantly by Elizabeth Henstridge. Glassy-eyed and helpless, Simmons tiptoed around Fitz with the air of someone slinking through a minefield. Henstridge’s performance is chameleonic – what reads as ugly pity on first watch deepens into heartbreaking desperation when the reality of Simmons’ situation is made clear.
Simmons is a woman trapped. She knows that she will damage Fitz whether she stays with him or leaves him – and knows as well that she can never tell him the truth of why she left. When Mack confronts her with this terrible truth, a glimmer of anger flashes through Henstridge’s eyes that fills us in on everything we need to know.
Simmons is mourning. Simmons is guilty. And Simmons, Henstridge silently tells us, is pissed.
It seems impossible to speculate on where the merry-go-round of negative emotion will leave Fitz and Simmons; but there is no question that we will be transfixed with every deliciously-acted loop.
Show: ‘The Walking Dead’
Actor: Lawrence Gilliard Jr.
There is no atmosphere on TV more vile and unpredictable than that of The Walking Dead. Seriously. I’m pretty sure the mortality rate is equal to that of Game of Thrones, which is really saying something. That knowledge makes every moment with our favorite characters precious, since you never know which could be their last.
This week’s episode brought Bob Stookey’s story to an end. Last week, we saw him in an intense stand off with a walker, resulting in him being bitten. Not too long after that, the poor guy was knocked out and came to minus a leg. Which he then had to watch being eaten by the crazy cannibals from Terminus. Not exactly a good day.
Each moment that Lawrence Gilliard Jr. was on screen this week was charged with his character’s determination and strength. From the outset, him screaming “I’m tainted meat!” in Gareth’s face in a moment taken almost frame by frame from the comics, we knew that while Bob may not survive this episode, we will always remember this moment. It’s not often that a character at the mercy of another gets the upper hand quite so easily, but Bob did just that. The moment quickly moved from his impending death to being dropped back at the doorstep of the church.
His character’s budding relationship with Sasha (played by Sonequa Martin-Green) had just begun to really bloom into it’s beauty, but in a world chock full of crazies and corpses, no one is safe. The moments we saw between them this episode were also quite remarkable as Bob’s positivity was ripped from Sasha’s life. It will be sad to move on from here, but no doubt Bob will be a part of this group in everything they do.