Will Trent

Performer of the Week: Ramón Rodríguez

Rodríguez, a previous honoree for his turn in Will Trent’s Season 1 finale, reached new heights this week as Will dug deep and unlocked a childhood trauma. As he recalled his hand in a violent episode that culminated in his foster mother’s death, years of pent-up guilt came pouring out of him, and we as an audience were as riveted as we were devastated by the emotional breakdown that played out before us.

Ramón Rodríguez | Will Trent

This trauma had been eating at Will all year. Throughout Season 2, we’ve watched as Special Agent Trent was haunted by visions of his 12-year-old self. We’ve known it had something to do with an abusive foster father, nicknamed “Sleeveless Jack,” but we had no idea why Young Will had blood on his hands. Rodríguez grew increasingly manic in his portrayal as Will paced back and forth in his living room, pulling at his hair as he connected the puzzle pieces in his mind. He’d hidden Jack’s gun to protect Anna, the only foster parent who ever gave a damn about him. But when Jack became belligerent one night and put Will’s foster placement at risk, Will loaded Jack’s gun and shot him, hoping that would keep this vicious animal from hurting anyone else.

“I wanted to kill him,” Will told his Uncle Antonio, as Rodríguez’s tone became almost rabid. Alas, Will didn’t kill Jack; he merely goaded him. In turn, Young Will suffered a brutal beating. Just when Jack was about to shoot him dead, Anna intervened and fought Jack, who turned the gun on his wife and pulled the trigger.

Ramón Rodríguez - Actor

“She’s dead because of me! Because of me!” Will wailed. “I was a stupid kid! I should have never grabbed that gun!” He was a fellow abuse victim plagued by survivor’s remorse. He couldn’t see that he was a hero in this retelling of an unspeakable tragedy.

With his face scrunched in anguish and tears streaming down his face, Rodríguez had, in essence, transformed Will into that 12-year-old kid again, who kneeled before Anna’s lifeless body and pleaded for her forgiveness. It was a truly remarkable feat.

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

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