Part 4: Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama
Alfie Allen, Game of Thrones: 13–2
For Playing: Threon Grevejoy. Pro: Managed to get through the Battle of Westerfall, and died a noble death — which is better than most. Con: Like a lot of actors in the final season, Allen submitted his own episode instead of the series, and it rewarded him with a nomination. That may, however, have to be enough of a triumph.
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul: 6–1
For Playing: Mike Ehrmantraut, the steely eyed head of ‘security’ for Gus Fring. Pro: Every reason that applies to Odenkirk applies just as much for Banks, if not more. His work as the efficient, rationalist Mike has been one of the great accomplishments of the Breaking Bad-verse. But this season, as we saw him deal with the head of constructing the superlab, and find him forced to execute a man he who was almost purely innocent, featured another of his finest hours. Con: Banks always seems to get outshone by a brighter sun, and this year, sadly, seems just as likely.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones: 6–1
For Playing: Jamie Lannister. Pro: One of the greatest villains of a series that had many, Jamie’s chickens came home to roost in just about every possible way in the final season. And even after everything, his death gave the only sympathy we had for him. Con: He’s never had much luck in this category, and even though it would make sense to share the love a little, how often do the Emmys do that?
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones :9:2
For Playing: Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf brother of the Lannister clan. Pro: Even for those of us who don’t like Game of Thrones, Dinklage has by far been the highlight of it. Honest about his depravities, he alone seemed willing to admit his failings near the ends, and was rewarded even though he didn’t want it anymore. Con: Eight nominations, three awards — I’m one of Dinklage’s biggest fans, but isn’t this enough?
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul: 6–1
For Playing: Gus Fring, the ‘Chicken Man’ of New Mexico. Pro: Saul has always done a great job at giving origin stories, and we saw a lot of Gus’ in Season 4. His breaking ground on the superlab, his revenge on Hector Salmanaca were mixed with new material, as we saw how ruthless he could be even to those like Nacho, who had helped him. Plus his monologue at Hector’s bedside was his finest moment so far. Con: Much of Esposito’s best work was tied into Breaking Bad; will a single episode best encapsulate his skill?
Michael Kelly, House of Cards: 13–2s
For Playing: Doug Stamper, chief of staff at the Underwood White House. Pro: Even when this series was faltering, Kelly’s work playing the Underwoods most loyal soldier was some of the greatest television this series would produce. His final confession to Claire was a great moment. Con: All the problems Wright has, Kelly has as well. I think the nomination will have to serve.
Chris Sullivan, This is Us; 7–1
For Playing: Toby, Kate’s loyal husband. Pro: The funniest member of the group had his hardest season yet, going off his meds to help Kate have a baby, his wife ending up in the hospital prematurely, and his baby more than two months premature. Any of which would be high points for a season. Con: Sullivan’s nomination probably came as a shock even to the most loyal of fans, who no doubt expected Justin Hartley here. Like Moore, Sullivan will probably have to accept the nod.
PREDICTION: I really want Banks to win — he’s been owed a trophy since Wiseguy, but all signs point to the Hand tapping Dinklage one last time.