This Week’s Most Noteworthy Performance: Shohreh Aghdashloo

January 3-9
“Tribes” | The Expanse
Shohreh Aghdashloo

Source: Prime Video

Sometimes This Week’s Most Noteworthy Performance takes a pause here at Marvelous Geeks because well, simply put, there aren’t always performances to discuss. But as we said when we covered The Expanse earlier, having the series now air weekly gives us the opportunity to finally include this remarkable cast in this category. If there’s one cast we can be certain will always deliver excellent performances, it’s The Expanse’s, and that made for an unsurprising decision this week as the episode opened up with Shohreh Aghdashloo’s Avasarala still trying to get in contact with Arjun.

Aghdashloo has been layering the remarkably foul-mouthed politician with exceptional quips and distinct stoicism since day one, but the shift in tone this season has been easily noticeable and entirely heartbreaking. We are building up to something bigger, but it’s a moment like this that shows the audience just how much the character is struggling and Aghdashloo does a riveting job of allowing Avasarala to break while still concealing so much. Avasarala isn’t the kind of character to crumble, at least not quite yet, but Aghdashloo is excellently conveying the raw entanglements of being in a position of power and being a human being. How much could she really do?

She shakes and she holds backs tears all while Aghdashloo makes it her mission to deliver the scene with an organic display that speaks to the character’s backbone she’s developed throughout the seasons.

But no matter how hard she attempted to hold it together, no matter the poise and diplomacy, Aghdashloo’s expressiveness told us a different story. Her physicality attempted to shield the pain, but as we looked in her eyes, we watched a woman at her wits, we watched a woman crumble, and we watched a woman’s heart break. As she attempted to place her necklace back on in order to appear as she once was, we watched and reacted that much more viscerally to her inability to really go back. “Damn it.” With so few words, Aghdashloo displayed the harrowing uncertainties and darkness that now clouds the room. With every tear she wiped away, it was easy to feel the pain she tried to mask. It was the episode’s first scene, but it’s the one we could not stop thinking of even after it ended. And without question, one of Aghdashloo’s strongest moments on screen.

Who was the most noteworthy performer you watched on TV this week?

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