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In Patriot S1E8 at about 48:00 the character Detective Agathe Albans (played by Aliette Opheim) plays rock-paper-scissors against John Lakeman, a suspect in a murder she is investigating.

During the game her hand is trembling. Was this intentional? And if not, is it a noteworthy failure for such an experienced film actress?

I ask because this series is built on extremely dry, deadpan humor with a lot of long close-ups on the actors.

I can only think of one reason her trembling would be intentional: Detective Albans explained earlier in the episode that rock-paper-scissors is not a game of chance. She has never lost, and she complimented one opponent for lasting a dozen rounds. By the time she encounters John she strongly suspects he committed the murder she is investigating. Him beating her would add to her suspicions that he is skilled enough to (almost) get away with murder.

But there are many reasons that suggest it was unintentional:

  1. Detective Albans is an utterly unflappable and stolid character. She stares people down without so much as blinking. Trembling is out of character, and inconsistent with her performance to that point.
  2. The framing of the scene does not seem designed to draw attention to it. My co-watchers did not notice it until I pointed it out.
  3. Her hand is trembling from the very beginning of the game, when she has no reason to believe John will be able to match her. It would make more sense for her to grow anxious as the game wore on without her winning.
  4. The actress has played the game on screen other times on the show and her hand was never noticeably shaking.

But ... Can a 35-year-old actress who has already shot many episodes of the series approach a set nervous enough to have her hand trembling?

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I think she was nervous for the shot. Swedish actor that has to shoot a 4 minute scene with a complex pattern would unsettle anyone, and on top of that, she had to remember her lines at the end. Probably took multiple shots to take. Great show.

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  • You make another good observation I hadn't listed: The length of the scene, which IIRC was by far the longest single shot for her in the entire series. I don't imagine the crew readily laughing it off if you slip up three minutes in.... – feetwet Apr 18 at 16:41

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