September 26-October 2
“Midnight Train to Royston” | Ted Lasso
Juno Temple’s performance in Ted Lasso’s “Midnight Train to Royston” is a long time coming. A subtle exhibition of nuances and range deep into the heart of a character who’s often the world’s cheerleader crumbling right before us in a moment of sheer fear, in a moment where perhaps she herself can’t even figure out all that’s engulfing her.
Temple’s showcase of a wide range of emotions was astounding. We know she’s capable of a fired-up, emotionally heightened breakdown as we witnessed in “Headspace,” and thus, seeing this whole new side of her state of mind is proof of Temple’s stunning skills. In “Midnight Train to Royston,” Temple exquisitely brought to the surface a number of Keeley’s emotions to life brilliantly, starting with her nervous, but unbridled joyous screams, the subtle hints of the details that she is carrying something on her shoulder, the sheer disbelief she tried to cover up when Nate made a move on her, and finally—the confessions, full of so much more than just fear and uncertainties.
In an episode where Keeley also revealed that she once believed she’d end up like her mother (working harder than one should only for a man to take the full credit), seeing this side of her is so brilliant because, much like in last week’s episode, it’s a reminder that women are deeply layered beings. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman, isn’t just the fierce hard worker who’s seemingly got all the correct answers and the right outfits, but Keeley Jones is a woman who doubts and aches and fears.
She knows her brand, she knows how to do her job, and she knows how to hype others up because she values vulnerability, but deep down, as all humans when it comes to our own feelings, it’s hard to be as transparent. And thereby, by vocalizing these fears to Roy, she shows us (as viewers) that this is entirely okay.
It’s normal to feel this way, it’s normal not to have all the answers, and it’s normal to need to rely on others. By virtue of the detail that no one achieves anything alone, Keeley Jones especially understands how beautiful it is to have a great support system. She has always wanted to be that person for Rebecca, for Roy, for Ted, and the team. And even, for Jamie.
Keeley Jones isn’t a woman who turns her back on others because she is a woman who understands the importance of needing guidance. She understands that vulnerability is hard, and she understands that fears are a powerful emotion that demand to be dealt with. I appreciated the word please being said to Roy because that’s what emphasizes the detail that she needs him now more than ever, along with the detail that she really is entirely grateful for him that he is beside her during this photoshoot.
In an episode that required Temple to show more than Keeley told us, every emotional beat was met with a look in her eyes that could be excavated for hours. There are layers and heartaches and so much burning within Keeley, Juno Temple brought them all to light with such subtlety it floored me. It floored me because so much of what she showed was a woman who was confused, a woman who was hurting, and a woman who had so much more left to give, but one who has no idea how to do so at the exact moment.
She was deeply confused and to master that without overdoing it—to show us that there’s so much happening within without saying a single word? Well, that certainly equates to a noteworthy performance, and the final few moments were astonishing to watch. In short, we aren’t the only ones who held our breaths through it. What an episode, and what a performance to showcase that Keeley Jones is so much more than what we see on the surface.