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HomeTVRamon Rodriguez’ Standout Performance in ‘Will Trent’ Season 1 Finale

Ramon Rodriguez’ Standout Performance in ‘Will Trent’ Season 1 Finale

THE PERFORMER | Ramón Rodríguez

THE SHOW | ABC’s Will Trent

THE EPISODE |It Was the 80s” (May 2, 2023)

THE PERFORMANCE | You don’t deliver a freshman season that earns a rare average grade of “A+” without having something really special going on. And for Will Trent, that added oomph came from a stellar cast led by Rodríguez.

Coming out of an episode that saw Will just begin to reel from the reveal that Amanda (Sonja Sohn) had known his late mother, Rodríguez in the season finale took that bombshell and ran with it, exploring a variety of emotions all stemming from Will’s recontextualized abandonment as a newborn.

Rodríguez’s standout work started early on in the hour, as Will tenderly regarded “the first picture I’ve ever seen of my mother.” Yet when Amanda tried to accompany the visual with anecdotes, Will barked, “No, we’re not doing that now!” — so hurt he was that it took Amanda 15 years to come forth with the name Lucy Morales.

Indeed, Rodríguez for most of the finale showed us that Will frankly didn’t know what to do with this new information. Take that gut-punch of a moment when, learning that Lucy had died during childbirth, Will suggested, “So technically I killed her.” Or when he angrily grilled the lead detective on Lucy’s decades-ago murder, for being “sloppy, lazy, dumb, or guilty!” Such intensity.

But then, in a much quieter and unexpected scene, Will whilst poring over Lucy’s case file felt, and we saw, his mother’s tender presence. “I have so many questions…,” he started. “Where were you from? What did you smell like? Did you have a name for me? … I hope I made you proud.”

The powerful hour then closed with two fantastic, yet tonally disparate, sequences.

You had Will informing slithery James Ulster that he was under arrest for the murders of a long list of people, namely “my mother, Lucy Morales.” But when James nearly offed himself with poison? “This is not how this ends!” roared Will, launching into CPR. “Breathe, asshole!”

That was followed by Evelyn (LisaGay Hamilton) informing Will that it was Amanda was the person who found him in a trash can after his birth, and who hoped, yet was legally unable, to make him her own son. This scene was all about Rodríguez’s reactions and facial expressions, as he came to regard steely Amanda in a new light — and then flagged her at the coffee machine to deliver the weightiest “Thank you.”

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

This story originally appeared on TVLine

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