Emmys 2021: 11 Episodes That Could Win These Nominees Gold

Ted Lasso, WandaVision, and Lovecraft Country
Apple TV+; Marvel Studios/Disney+; HBO

The Emmys are getting closer and since nominations have finally been unveiled for the 73rd annual ceremony, it’s the perfect time to catch up on the performances being recognized.

Whether you’re into comedy or drama, this year’s lineup of stars delivered content that is more than worthy of your time. But in case you’re limited on such things as time, we’re helping you out by rounding up some the must-see episodes featuring the nominees and their strongest moments.

Below, we’re taking a look at 10 episodes that could earn their nominees gold ranging from titles such as The Crown and WandaVision to Lovecraft Country and Ted Lasso. Scroll down to see some of the installments and don’t miss the Emmys when they take place on Sunday, September 19.

73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, Sunday, September 19, 8/7c, CBS

Ted Lasso Season 1 Jason Sudeikis Apple TV+
Apple TV+

Ted Lasso, "Make Rebecca Great Again"

(Season 1, Episode 7)

Nominated for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Jason Sudeikis shines throughout the entire first season of Apple TV+’s series, but this installment is a real standout for the performer. The usually delightful coach goes through a rollercoaster of emotions in the episode which sees him travel with AFC Richmond for an out-of-town game. As he deals with the ramifications of his decision to divorce Michell (Andrea Anders), Sudeikis brings plenty of drama to the show through mini moments of rage and a panic attack. It’s the kind of performance that takes the winning comedy to another level.

Hacks Season 1 Jean Smart Hannah Einbinder HBO Max

Hacks, "New Eyes"

(Season 1, Episode 6)

Hacks would be nothing without its fearless lead Jean Smart (who is nominated for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series), but this installment was a definite must-see in the Season 1 lineup. Traveling to a spa-like retreat for some light plastic surgery, the usually cynical comedian Deborah Vance gets candid about her past with protege Ava (Hannah Einbinder). Plus, the episode includes one of the show’s most laugh-out-loud moments when Deborah and Ava trick an overeager nurse with a semi-cruel prank.

WandaVision Season 1 Elizabeth Olsen Paul Bettany
Marvel Studios/Disney+

WandaVision, "On a Very Special Episode..."

(Season 1, Episode 5)

The pieces start coming together for Vision (Paul Bettany) in this installment of Disney+’s first Marvel series as the mystery behind his quiet life with Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) in Westview unravels. While Bettany shines in some of the earlier installments as he embodies sitcom styles of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, but it’s his emotional confrontation with Wanda that makes him a worthy nominee for Lead Actor in a Limited Series.

WandaVision - Season 1 - Elizabeth Olsen and Kathryn Hahn
Disney+/Marvel Studios

WandaVision, "Previously On"

(Season 1, Episode 8)

Elizabeth Olsen brings emotional depth to a character fans first became familiar with on the big screen in her role as Wanda Maximoff, and she’s never shined more than in the show’s penultimate installment. Olsen’s ability to bring Wanda’s grief to life in this revealing episode proves that her nomination for Lead Actress in a Limited Series is no fluke.

Jurnee Smollett in Lovecraft Country - Season 1

Lovecraft Country, "Holy Ghost"

(Season 1, Episode 3)

Jurnee Smollett‘s performance as Leti in HBO’s sci-fi drama reaches various levels of emotion including fear, anger, and a willingness to fight. In this episode, while ghouls of tortured souls bump about her new home, Leti takes action into her own hands when unfriendly neighbors make their opinions known on her front lawn. There’s plenty of reasons Smollett is being recognized in the category for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and this is certainly one of them.

Lovecraft Country, Season 1 - Jamie Chung and Jonathan Majors

Lovecraft Country, "Meet Me in Daegu"

(Season 1, Episode 6)

It’s been a good year for Jonathan Majors who following his nomination for Lead Actor in a Drama Series, made his Marvel debut in Disney+’s Loki. But it’s his performance as Tic in HBO’s series that has struck a chord with viewers. While Majors carries many of the season’s stories, he shines in this episode which dives into Tic’s experience with the military.

This Is Us Season 5 Sterling K Brown Susan Kelechi Watson

This Is Us, "Birth Mother"

(Season 5, Episode 6)

Sterling K. Brown has been a nominee for Lead Actor in a Drama Series before, but his Season 5 work on This Is Us continues to stand out, making him one of the few broadcast TV contenders. If you’re looking for his big moment of the season, check out this episode which sees his character Randall Pearson reach a certain catharsis after digging into his birth mother’s past.

Mare of Easttown Season 1 Evan Peters

Mare of Easttown, "Illusions"

(Season 1, Episode 5)

Evan Peters may have featured in WandaVision as well, but the American Horror Story vet shines as Detective Colin Zabel alongside Kate Winslet in HBO’s dark drama Mare of Easttown. While the actor’s drunken barroom convo with Mare is a fan favorite, his best work comes in the show’s game-changing fifth episode, solidifying his nomination for Supporting Actor in a Limited Series.

Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles and Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in The Crown - Season 4, Episode 6

The Crown, "Terra Nullius"

(Season 4, Episode 6)

There’s no denying that Emma Corrin ruled as Princess Diana in The Crown‘s fourth season, but her finest hour comes in “Terra Nullius.” The episode sees the young mother jet off with Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) to visit Australia and serves as a pivotal moment in their marriage. Along with representing Diana’s unwillingness to part from her new baby William, Corrin embodies the beginning of what we now know as “the people’s princess.” No wonder Corrin’s nominated for Supporting Actress in a Drama.

The Crown Season 4 Gillian Anderson

The Crown, "War"

(Season 4, Episode 10)

Also nominated for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Gillian Anderson‘s role as Margaret Thatcher was riveting and at times emotional, particularly in this episode. After spending much of the season at odds, Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) shows the Prime Minister some compassion following a devastating turn of events. Anderson’s restrained performance is certainly one to behold in this episode.

Julianne Nicholson and Cameron Mann in Mare of Easttown

Mare of Easttown, "Sacrament"

(Season 1, Episode 7)

Everything comes to a head for the residents of Easttown in this pivotal episode, but particularly for the Ross family and Mare’s (Kate Winslet) best friend Lori (Julianne Nicholson). The actress goes through a range of emotions that are so varied, it’s hard to believe she can achieve it in a single episode… but she does. From [Spoiler] having to deal with the repercussions of her cheating husband and their son’s accidental murder of cousin Erin McMenamin (Cailee Spaeny), it’s quite a lot to deal with. Thankfully, Nicholson’s Lori is up to the challenge for our entertainment and a well-deserved nomination for Supporting Actress in a Limited Series.