TVLine Performers of the Week: Walton Goggins and Ella Purnell

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THE PERFORMERS | Walton Goggins and Ella Purnell

THE SHOW | Fallout

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THE EPISODE | “The Beginning” (April 9, 2024)

THE PERFORMANCES | Both Walton Goggins and Ella Purnell clearly had tons of fun with their respective Fallout roles, as the ruthless Ghoul and do-right Lucy. But the finale found each of their characters (or a pre-apocalyptic version thereof) confronted with very serious, horrible truths, paving the way for outstanding performances.

In scenes set before The Bomb, Goggins’ Cooper Howard very begrudgingly used the listening device given to him by Moldaver to eavesdrop on wife Barb, as she attended an important meeting at Vault-Tec, with Bud and bigwigs from corporate allies. Whether taking deep breaths, visibly wincing at what Coop was hearing, or quietly cheering on Barb to do what was right, Goggins conveyed his character’s tremendous anxiety.

Barb, however, would not set her colleagues straight as they debated how to sell vaults for a hypothetically apocalyptic future, proposed ways to use the fallout shelters as “test” labs in success. Instead, she flatly proposed to guarantee results by “dropping the bomb ourselves” — and in that instant, Goggins made us feel the blood drain from a shellshocked Cooper’s body.

Lucy’s journey in the finale was similar, as she arrived with Wilzig’s severed head at the Getty Observatory, where Moldaver was waiting with a caged Hank nearby. Lucy spoke about how she considered stuffing a grenade into the artifact, to exact the ultimate revenge against those who kidnapped her dad. Moldaver, though, would proceed to reveal ghastly truths about Hank — namely, his hands-on role in bombing Shady Sands, to which his wife Rose had retreated after discovering his lies and fleeing their Vault.

Purnell, with her super-expressive eyes, reflected Lucy’s disbelief, then horror, as this new version of reality cemented in the heroine’s mind. As she came to realize that the skeletal ghoul seated at Moldaver’s table was, in fact, her mother.

Perhaps the best part of the work done by Goggins and Purnell in the finale is that Lucy’s gut-punch of an epiphany, after which she allied with the Ghoul to, among other things, go find his family, set the stage for a Season 2 we now know we are getting.

Scroll down to see who scored Honorable Mention shout-outs this week…

HONORABLE MENTION: Maya Rudolph

HONORABLE MENTION: Maya Rudolph
HONORABLE MENTION: Maya Rudolph

Maya Rudolph shined in this week’s Loot when a “horny as s–t” Molly (Sofia’s words, not ours) attended a meditation retreat in order to recenter her, uhh, “cravings.” But when a studly Benjamin Bratt showed up, her plans to reset were thrown out the window, setting up the actress for all sorts of outrageous antics. From her giddy, flirty facial expressions to her over-the-top sexual moaning and groaning during breathing exercises, Molly was an overly randy fish out of water. The comedian delivered plenty of riotous one-liners (“It’s Christmas morning and Mama’s got a big ol’ package under the tree!”), as we chuckled through Molly’s shift in demeanor from pre- to post-coitus. Bratt may have brought undeniable charm, but Rudolph was the one who had us rolling. — Nick Caruso

HONORABLE MENTION: Rebecca Wisocky

HONORABLE MENTION: Rebecca Wisocky
HONORABLE MENTION: Rebecca Wisocky

Leave it to Ghosts star Rebecca Wisocky to make us laugh and break our hearts all within the span of a short 21-minute episode this week. The versatile actress was just as adept at delivering nonchalant zingers like “I used to always say you could never have too much morphine, but apparently, that is not correct” as she was at bringing unexpected emotional depth to her buttoned-up character’s backstory. During a tender confession, Wisocky skillfully conveyed Hetty’s desperation and regret as she opened up about her struggles while she was alive, her failures as a mother and why she took her own life. It was no easy task to deliver such a sensitive and significant moment in a half-hour comedy, but Wisocky proved that finding the delicate balance between humor and heart is her superpower. — Vlada Gelman

Which performance(s) knocked your socks off this week? Tell us in the comments!

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