This Week’s Most Noteworthy Performance by an Actress

July 20-26
The Unlucky One” | Graceland
Serinda Swan

Graceland’s debut season didn’t do Serinda Swan’s abilities as an actress justice – while the charismatic and wise DEA agent’s scenes always brought a lively spirit to the show, it’s this season’s challenges that not only showcase the actresses’ strengths but bring indescribable heart to the character.

Swan played the episode with a full range of emotions as both Paige and “Anika” (with the believable accent). “The Unlucky One” gave Swan the opportunity to  really unimaginable – to say such acts are cruel doesn’t do the terrors justice. Paige’s character has quickly become admirable for her strength and most importantly, her heart. I feel as though while it’s essentially impossible to understand just what Paige was feeling at that moment, guilt sits like a ton of bricks on her shoulder.

Swan’s passionate and profound understanding of the vital cause make its way onto the screen allowing the audience to connect with Paige in ways they hadn’t before. Swan’s performance this week was nothing short of impressive, Paige diving heart first into making sure she gives her all to this case is inspiring on all levels. The heartfelt attachment for the cause and the first hand experience of the horrors the girls go through have already changed Paige’s life and means of operating permanently.

In all of Paige’s scenes with Lina, Swan brought out a wonderful, older sister side to the character with her meticulous acting choices. When they’re lining up for the first buyer, you could see Paige go ahead of Lina, and place her hand back as though to guide and reassure her she’s an armor. Not to mention allowing Lina to climb through the window first followed by monitoring all her moves during their attempt to escape to make sure she’s always safe.

Fundamentally, it was the agonizing jaggedness in Swan’s voice and the torment her body language emphasized that showcased just how Paige’s given her all to the operation. And what left me speechless with Swan’s performance is the fact that though Graceland’s portrayal of sex trafficking isn’t as gruesome as I imagine it be, through Paige’s concerns, she made the audience feel for every single soul in that room even more than they already did. When I finally got done crying –as research on such topics normally leads to sobbing for mankind–, I was more in awe of her performance than ever. The experienced pain showcases the horrors undergone by one of the most vile current issues plaguing our society. Through Paige’s heartfelt care as an agent and her portrayal of a victim, Swan represented every single one of the girls with their strengths and vulnerabilities masterfully. I cannot wait to see where she goes as the episodes progress.

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