GoldDerby has learned exclusively that Julianna Margulies‘ episode submission to Emmy judges is “In Sickness,” the powerful third-to-last instalment of the acclaimed second season of “The Good Wife.” It is a huge improvement from last year’s misstep and, according to our editors and readers, lands her in first place among the six Best Drama Actress nominees.
Last year, Margulies was the frontrunner in this Emmy race after winning both the Golden Globe and SAG Award. However, she lost to Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”), who finally prevailed on her fifth consecutive bid with an overtly emotional episode (“Maternal Instincts”). Margulies bungled by opting for an episode (“Threesome”) in which her character, Alicia Florrick, has a brief, teary confrontation with her hubby about his infidelity. She should have submitted the pilot episode which was a strong showcase for her character.
“In Sickness” was her best choice this year. Alicia is outwitted by a rival attorney (Martha Plimpton) as deals with the emotional fallout of discovering that her colleague and close friend Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) had once slept with her husband Peter (Chris Noth). In the extended opening scene, a shell-shocked Alicia methodically packs Peter’s things into boxes, arranges an apartment for him, and confronts him while forcing him out of his home – again. The actress also gets two more knockout scenes later in the episode, as she breaks down while discussing the separation with her children (Graham Phillips and Makenzie Vega) and then lets loose on her cheating husband.
Ken Tucker (EW) was wowed by her performance: “Once again, Margulies’ frequently mask-like face invited us into her thoughts rather than keeping us out. She plays Alicia as a woman who’s in a constant state of wariness now, never knowing where the next blow is coming from.” Alan Sepinwall (Hitfix.com) agreed, saying that Julianna “acted the hell out of all those scenes this week – Alicia’s conversation with the kids was particularly rough/great”.
While Sedgwick was snubbed by Emmy voters, Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”) and Mireille Enos (“The Killing”) have both submitted terrific episodes that focus almost entirely on their characters’ interplay with one co-star. In “The Suitcase,” Moss shares this two-hander with Jon Hamm and has her best shot ever at a win. And In “Missing,” Enos and Joel Kinnaman are Seattle police detectives searching for her character’s teenage son who has gone AWOL. Oscar champ Kathy Bates is submitting “Innocent Man” while Connie Britton (“Friday Night Lights”) and Mariska Hargitay (“Law & Order: SVU”) have yet to confirm their entries.