THE PERFORMER |: Giancarlo Esposito
SHOW: |: of Netflix Kaleidoscope
THE EPISODE |: “Pink. 6 months after the theft” (January 1, 2023)
THE PRESENTATION |: For much of the Netflix heist drama, Esposito’s Ray, aka “Leo,” was an unstoppable force, a man fueled by his pursuit of revenge against the person who stole so much from him.
But in “Pink,” one of the two heist endings, Esposito gave us a Ray who retreated to Ohio with Ava to enjoy some peace, yes, but who also slowed down his Parkinson’s disease. He struggled through PT in the pool. He went down hard when the fit came home. “I want Ray,” Ava said to her lover as she calmed him down and picked up the next big bill. But the misguided organizer laments in response. “Ray is long gone.”
Ray: did He’s got some gas left in his tank, though, as evidenced when Bob and his thugs break into the Ohio hideout and demand the 411 from Stan. Here, Esposito showed us that Ray’s mind was still razor sharp in places, calling not Stan, but, as we would later learn, the Feds to make Bobby take a big fall.
But two of Esposito’s final scenes were: FaceTiming daughter Hannah (Tati Gabriel) then visits incarcerated Graham Davis aka “Roger Salas” (Rufus Sewell), ending his POTW-worthy outing.
“I wanted to see you to know I’m still here, still going,” Ray told Hanna, hiding his symptoms. “And also what I had to say, the choices I made… I did a lot of things wrong,” he admitted, “but all of them, I’d like to you, I didn’t have it.” When Hannah then introduced her newborn daughter to “Papa,” the look on Esposito’s face told us that whatever life held next for Ray, this was a man whose heart was full.
Then when Ray came face-to-face with Graham, the contents of whose impenetrable vault he helped disappear. You’d think it would like this a lot to say. But Ray only had a few words. Mainly about his late wife, whom Graham had most likely let die so many years ago; “Could you have saved him that night?” The tone of Esposito’s voice made it clear that no payday could erase that loss.
HONORABLE MEMORY |: Ginny and Georgia introduced stars Antonia Gentry and Brian Howe to their long-awaited showdown in the sixth episode of Season 2, and in turn pushed both actresses to new emotional depths. When Georgia discovers that Ginny is self-harming and witnesses the physical evidence about her child, Howie is taken aback by Georgia’s reaction; shock, hurt, confusion, sadness, anger, horror, guilt. You name it, Georgia felt it as she struggled to come to terms with the idea that her “special, miracle baby” had hurt her. Meanwhile, Gentry leaned into Ginny’s heartache over her own actions as she broke down in Georgia’s arms. Throughout the ordeal, there was also an undercurrent of calm in the actresses’ performances, as now the truth has finally been revealed, allowing mother and daughter to come together. Gentry and Howie made the belated moment a perfect moment not only for their characters, but for viewers as well.
HONORABLE MEMORY |: It’s no surprise to anyone that Helen Mirren is the queen of her craft (as well as, you know, The Queen) this week though 1923 was a beautiful reminder of her versatility as an actress. As Kara feared her injured husband would act on her wounds, Mirren showed us the Dutton matriarch at her lowest point, physically throwing herself to the ground and crying out of Kara’s raw fear, as well as the grief of losing her nephew John. But Mirren also gave us Kara at her most unapologetic, squaring the characters’ shoulders with steely intensity as she walked into a Livestock Association meeting and announced that it was all about to go. his way from now on. What a versatile force! And what fun to watch.
HONORABLE MEMORY |: George Jones experienced a kaleidoscope of emotions throughout George and Tammy, but it wasn’t until the country superstar sobered up that Michael Shannon was able to produce his best work. In the finale, we once again saw the many layers of a complex man, as his continued drinking nearly prevented him from recording. When George/Shannon finally laid down the track “She Stopped Loving Him Today,” the actor evoked a sadness that felt like a punch in the gut, with sunken facial expressions and unwavering shaking. He promised Tammy he would “make it right” and he did as the pair embarked on their final tour together years later. Backstage, Shannon exuded a swaggering charm that could always make George’s former lover laugh. But after failing to convince him to run away with her once again, his eyes told a different story. A story about an old man who reconciles with a runaway.
Which play(s) knocked your socks off this week? Tell us in the Comments!