Emmy Episode Analysis: Can the “O.J.” Men Steal a Supporting Actor Victory

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut in “Better Call Saul” for episode “Bali Ha’i”

jonathanbanks_bettercallsaulIMDB Synopsis: Jimmy finds comfort in familiarity; Kim receives a life-changing proposal; when he is threatened, Mike finds himself pushed to the limit.

Between this show and “Breaking Bad,” it’s hard to find a character with more goodwill than Mike Ehrmantraut. Despite being a rather stoic figure, Jonathan Banks has managed to get nominations for both show as the character and remains a fan favorite. This episode does a good job of showing the two sides of Mike. His tough side is expertly apparent as he outsmarts a pair of thugs in his apartment and manages to take them down singlehandedly, despite them being half his age. On the other side, he is sweet, doting and caring with his granddaughter in a later scene at a pool. Banks shows a good amount of range, but it’s nothing compared to episodes he has submitted before and lost to. On top of that, there are no real fireworks that will make voters stand up and notice.

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in “Game of Thrones” for episode “No One”

Game-of-Thrones-Season-5-Varys-and-Tyrion Brienne arrives at Riverrun. Arya seeks shelter. Jaime meets with Edmure Tully. Cersei challenges the Faith. Sandor Clegane hunts for revenge. Tyrion faces the consequences of earlier decisions.

Two time Emmy winner Peter Dinklage is looking to tie Aaron Paul for most wins in the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama category this year. Too bad there simply isn’t a whole lot to his episode submission. There are only two major moments that Dinklage takes part of in the episode as Tyrion Lannister. He has to wish goodbye to his travel companion Varys. The two of them have shared some fun banter in the past and their goodbye was affecting. From there, Tyrion gets drunk with some of his allies and they joke around. They are all sparkling moments, but hardly Emmy winning. Still, Dinklage had one of the weakest episodes last year and still won due to the popular vote. The only difference, Kit Harrington was the big story of the show this year and will probably suck up the “Game of Thrones” love.

Kit Harrington as Jon Snow in “Game of Thrones” for episode “Battle of the Bastards”

Game-Of-Thrones-Jon-Snow-season-6-episode-9-Battle-Of-The-BastardsIMDB Synopsis: Jon and Sansa face Ramsay Bolton on the fields of Winterfell. Daenerys strikes back at her enemies. Theon and Yara arrive in Meereen.

Coming back from the dead really suited Jon Snow, played by Kit Harrington. The popular character got even more good material to work with, reuniting with his half sister and staging the takeover of his former home of Winterfell. This is Harrington’s first nomination, but his episode selection, the much lauded penultimate episode, could get him the win. The episode shows Jon Snow’s heroic side as he takes on the villainous Ramsay Bolton who had captured his younger half brother and raped his half sister. He leads his army into battle, only to watch his younger half brother die in his arms. It’s a ferocious, emotional and engrossing episode in which he commands. The rooting factor will go a long way in getting him the win. As the standout of the most nominated show of the year, the odds are looking in his favor, despite never being nominated previously.

Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper in “House of Cards” for episode “Chapter 44”

House of Cards

IMDB Synopsis: Claire advises the VP Donald Blythe on dealing with Russia. Further investigation of Lucas Goodwin dredges up his accusations against Frank.

Michael Kelly’s nomination last year was one of the smartest decisions as his character of Doug finally got the spotlight he deserved. While this season overall was stronger in quality, I wouldn’t say Kelly got the material he had previously to earn his nomination. With that said, Kelly sure picked a stunner of the episode. In one scene when confronted with an adversary, the previously calm Doug snaps. He tackles the man and holds a glass over his mouth, choking him. It’s a powerful and shocking moment that stands out from the crowd. Still, if last year’s episode, which concentrated nearly solely on him, couldn’t get him the win, he’s out of luck this year. Still, “House of Cards” had a great nomination haul so you never know.

Ben Mendelsohn as Danny Rayburn in “Bloodline” for episode “Episode 210”

ben-mendelsohn-bloodlineIMDB Synopsis: Marco scrambles to get Eric immunity. Nolan recalls meeting Robert. Meg and Kevin turn against John, who pursues the one man who can alter his fate.

A highlight of the first season, one wondered how “Bloodline” could keep going once Danny was killed at the end. The show smartly kept Mendelsohn on the show in flashbacks. Much like in his submitted episode, Mendelsohn does a great job of deepening the inner life of Danny and outlining his motives. One of the strongest scenes in the episode comes as Danny comes to his Father (Sam Shepherd) asking for money to start a legitimate business. His Father gives him an ultimatum: he will give him money for either his child or his business. Not ready to bet on himself or his success, Danny decides to have his father pay for his kid and not start over in a new business. Mendelsohn’s work is strong, but quiet. This likely puts him near the bottom for the win, especially as “Bloodline” doesn’t seem to have caught fire with the Emmys.

Jon Voight as Mickey Donovan in “Ray Donovan” in “The Kalamazoo”

raydonovan_101_1550.R-001IMDB Synopsis: Ray is adrift from his family, estranged from Ezra, and his latest celebrity client is a nobody with tawdry sense. But after he’s called to the funeral of a close friend. A wealthy family enlists Ray their kidnapped son. And he finds himself enmeshed with an entirely new class of people. Meanwhile, a retired Mickey stumbles upon a new enterprise. Unforgiven by Ray and rejected by Bridget, Abby encounters a new friend on the streets of Los Angeles. Running the fite club has given Bunchy confidence in certain arenas, but when it comes to collecting membership dues from an intimidating troupe of luchadores, he loses his nerve.

Mickey has always been a sort of larger than life character in “Ray Donovan.” He’s almost a tonic to Leiv Schreiber’s seriousness, to liven up the mood. This episode finds Mickey interacting with a little girl at his complex while her mother is taken off by her boyfriend/pimp to work, seemingly against her will. It’s a good play to showcase an episode where Mickey comes across more likable than usual. Jon Voight gets plenty of fun scenes and has a dramatic knockout to close out the episode. However, in terms of spotlight, the A storyline with Ray and his family proves to be more engrossing and Voight’s seems more lightweight. Jon Voight is a revered senior actor, which gives him a certain stature in the race. However, he missed out on a nomination last year, showing his reverence with the TV academy might not be what it seems.