Good Behavior found its shining star in Michelle Dockery–and completely blew our minds.
There aren’t enough adjectives to articulate how flawlessly Michelle Dockery conveyed the complexity of her character, Letty. For a character that has battled the inner workings of her mind, addictions, and desires, Letty has been a whirlwind of complexity. The second season of Good Behavior has been a testament to the journey Letty has taken, be it an endless string of hotel cons or fighting to create a life with her son.
In every scene, act, and moment of Good Behavior we found ourselves addicted to Dockery’s every movement as Letty. This sophomore season highlighted the endless limits of her talent as she tackled a character that went from fighting for her family to the depths of darkness courtesy of an acid trip. As a person, Letty is beautifully flawed and such a complex character to take on. She possesses the ability to self-destruct within moments while clinging on to the hopes and dreams of a perfect life.
At many points this season, we feared we had lost the Letty that was finally on the right track. As she stumbled in and out of the darkness, she always found her way out, largely in part to her other half, Javier (Juan Diego Botto). Their tumultuous, yet necessary love story laid the groundwork for this season and highlighted Dockery’s best work yet as Letty. We found ourselves engrossed in the danger their love exuded, and with Dockery’s ability to bring us in, it threw us for a loop episode after episode.
Whether it was Letty channeling her inner drag queen or figuring out how to get away with murder, there is no doubt in the world that Michelle Dockery is Good Behavior’s scene stealer.
Dockery’s passion and commitment brought to life Letty’s desire to be a good mother.
While the first season tackled Letty’s journey to regain custody of her son, Jacob (Nyles Steele), this season illustrated their journey together as a family unit. Watching Letty’s struggle to be the best version of herself for the sake of her son, Jacob, was gut-wrenching, commendable, and so emotional. Particularly, the moments where Letty caught glimpses of her bad influence rubbing off on Jacob. It was in those moments that Dockery completely submerged herself into the reality of Letty’s situation, a mother whose crime-ridden past may never actually leave her. The simple nuances of worry, concern, and maternal love were illustrated through Dockery’s phenomenal performance.
Letty: I need to ask you for something. Jacob should be with you.
Estelle: Don’t worry. I barely touched his room.
Letty: I keep picturing this life in my head, where the three of us are this happy family and it just…never works.
While Letty’s end goal was to include Jacob in her and Javier’s fresh start in life, she found herself in a constant internal struggle over it. Was she good enough to be a mother or would her and Javier’s addiction to a dangerous lifestyle always get in the way? This back-and-forth translated into one of the most heartbreaking moments of the season as she ultimately made the decision to let him go..again. In a moment of absolute despair and defeat, she handed the responsibility back to her mother, Estelle (Lusia Strus). Watching this scene unfold proved to us yet again that Dockery’s talent knows no bounds and is always a hop-skip-jump away from absolute perfection.
Letty and Javier’s love story reaches addictive heights as the two struggle to make sense of their relationship–but you know who made it work? Michelle Dockery.
Watching Letty and Javier over the course of the season was satisfying, frustrating, and magical all wrapped into one huge emotion. The season started off with them together, a bit out of sync, but nonetheless, together. Watching Dockery channel her inner Letty was magical to watch on screen as the character embarked on a journey to create a new life for her family. This performance was only enhanced with her on-screen partner in crime, Juan Diego Botto, who deserves praise for his outstanding performance as Javier, the ever conflicted hitman/boyfriend.
Together, the two spewed perfection as a couple while simultaneously breaking our hearts at any mention of a breakup. Letty’s biggest struggle was her relationship with Javier and the notion that together, they were worse than apart. Bringing that sort of sentiment to the screen was an effortless task for Dockery who displayed every emotion known to human when dealing with her feelings for Javier.
While the season started out strong for this couple, Letty’s fears and doubts pushed her to ultimately walk away. However, with the Good Behavior gods on our side plus an epic acid trip later, the two found their way back to one another. This scene unfolded a flood of emotions both for us and the characters as they realized they truly do belong together. Thanks to Dockery we may now understand what it truly means to be in love. And after all, who doesn’t adore love stories?
Letty’s journey down the rabbit hole proved to be Dockery’s biggest and most successful challenge yet.
Dockery’s ability to simultaneously take on multiple emotions and behaviors was demonstrated many times through the course of the season. The greatest example, however, lay in the episode after Letty had walked away from Javier and Jacob. Hands down, this was Dockery’s best depiction of Letty to date as she had to channel her addictions and downfall in a way that she never had before.
Reverting back to the life she once knew, Letty found herself back amidst the conning, drinking, and drugs, aka a complete and total bender. This ultimately led her down a path that eliminated her last remaining shred of good Letty. It was in this episode Dockery dug so deep to understand the mentality of an addict who has nothing to live for. However, she balanced this lost hope with a delicacy that ultimately brought Letty back to her senses. A huge kudos to the writers for giving Dockery an episode to display the limitless potential she carries as an actress. Never has someone played a character that is so emotionally diverse yet at the end, reminding us she’s just human.
Final Verdict: Michelle Dockery inspires a lead that taps into the deepest levels of human emotion we have ever seen.
Good Behavior unapologetically reveals dilemmas that are simultaneously unique and relatable. While we do not all lead the lives of cons or hitmen, we all do feel despair, defeat, love, and triumph–and Good Behavior illustrates just that. Better yet, Michelle Dockery delivers on a shining platter what it truly means to be a flawed human being. This poetic structure defines just how impactful the show truly is.
Michelle Dockery exceeds expectations in her portrayal as Letty, sucking us into her rollercoaster of emotions and erratic behavior. The perfection in her acting is amplified with a phenomenal supporting cast that doesn’t lag behind in her footsteps–somehow managing to match every scene she shares with them. The beautiful synchronicity of the cast, story, and writing allows for Dockery to shine as bright as she does.
It is only a matter of time before the world recognizes Michelle Dockery for the phenomenal, talented actress she is–and when they do, we shall be here saying, we told you so.
Good Behavior is now available on TNT On Demand!
Michelle Dockery’s radiating performance of Letty shines through as one of this year’s most captivating and underrated--leaving us all in awe of her unlimited talent.Watching Michelle Dockery portray Letty’s complexity this season has been a cinematic journey unlike another–and we are holding out hope for more. Be sure to check out our reviews, roundtables, and much more on TVAfterDark!