If our Emmy experts are correct that Elisabeth Moss will earn a Best Drama Actress nomination for Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” she’ll need to select one episode to submit for awards consideration. Moss is no stranger to this unique process, having submitted five different episodes of “Mad Men” (2009-2013) for her breakthrough role of Peggy Olson. Alas, she never won an Emmy for “Mad Men” or for her star turn in the miniseries “Top of the Lake” (2013), but that could all change this year. Which episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale” do YOU think best showcases Moss? Participate in our poll below.
Perhaps her strongest episode is this week’s season finale. The now pregnant Offred is brought by Serena (Yvonne Stahovski) to see her daughter Hannah but Serena doesn’t letter her speak to her. Moss’s near hysteria at being so close to the child she had feared might be dead yet not being allowed to talk to her was just riveting. Her denouncement of Serena as evil and going to hell after Serena gets back in the car was also quite good and shows Offred’s growing strength to fight back. We can see this strength manifest later on in the episode when Offred leads the other handmaidens in refusing to stone to death Ofwarren. Moss shows a subtle shift in the episode now that she knows she is pregnant and holds the power.
Of course, the pilot episode provides Moss with some memorable moments, including her shocking participation in the stoning to death of a man. While this episode doesn’t provide Moss with much dialogue, her voice-over work here is superb. At Gold Derby, we’ve noticed that a show’s pilot is always a good option to submit for Emmy consideration as it doesn’t require the voters to have any prior knowledge of the story or characters.
Another potential episode for Moss to consider is “The Bridge,” where Offred is given the task of talking the suicidal Ofwarren (Madeline Brewer) out of jumping to her death. Her sweet encouragement and her trying to give hope to her friend were quite poignant.
“Nolite Te Bastardes” also offers Moss some strong moments as she begins the episode in a state of almost paralyzing depression but then slowly evolves out of it. Moss’ work here as she feigns innocence and flirtatiousness in order to pump the Commander for information is also nicely acted. Meanwhile, flashbacks show Offred at a different point in her life, which allows Moss to play the contrast of what the character was then and what the character has become.
Those are just some of our suggestions, but what episode do YOU think Moss should enter for Emmy consideration? Vote down in our “The Handmaid’s Tale” poll and then be sure to sound off in our world-famous TV forums.
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