Emmy episode analysis: Merritt Wever (‘Godless’) is a brash, rabble-rousing widow in ‘The Ladies of La Belle’

Merritt Wever returned to the Emmy race with a Best Limited Series/Movie Supporting Actress nomination for Netflix’s “Godless.” It’s the first time she’s competed since her surprise victory as Best Comedy Supporting Actress for playing the good-hearted nurse in “Nurse Jackie” in 2013, a role for which she previously contended in 2012. In “Godless,” she’s cast against type as Mary Agnes, a brash widow in a town where almost all of the men have died in a mining accident.

In “The Ladies of La Belle,” Mary Agnes wrestles with an all-or-nothing offer when the Quicksilver Mining Company arrives to discuss the future of the mine. She finds their proposed deal to be suspicious, and encourages her fellow women to fend for themselves. Yet she’s overruled by the rest of the townspeople, who want men to return to their town.

SEE Merritt Wever (‘Godless’) on female-centric series: In a traditional western, ‘there probably wouldn’t have been a part for me’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

Can Wever win her second career Emmy for this episode? Let’s dive into the pros and cons:


Wever has proven she’s a master at the surprise Emmy win, as evidenced by her victory for “Nurse Jackie.” So while our racetrack currently has her ranked in third place with odds of 11/2, don’t be surprised to see her sneak past the competition.

Penelope Cruz and Judith Light are currently holding first and second place rankings respectively for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” The two could easily split votes, paving the way for a victory from Wever, Sara Bareilles (“Jesus Christ Superstar”), Adina Porter (“American Horror Story: Cult”) or Leticia Wright (“Black Mirror”).

Mary Agnes, the rabble-rousing, tough-as-nails widow encouraging the townswomen to make it on their own, is indicative of this feminist western’s best qualities. If voters want to reward the show for its unique achievement, a win for Wever or co-star Michelle Dockery in lead might be the best place to do so.

SEE 2018 Emmy predictions slugfest: ‘Versace’ stars Penelope Cruz and Judith Light need to watch out for Merritt Wever (‘Godless’) [WATCH]


“Godless” underperformed at the 2018 Creative Arts Emmys, winning just one prize (Best Main Title Theme Music) out of six possible bids. Might it do the same at the Primetime ceremony?

Wever is the only contender in her category who already has an Emmy on her shelf (unless you count Light’s two victories at the Daytime Emmys for “One Life to Live”). Perhaps voters will want to spread the wealth a little bit.

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Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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