Above: Lady Sif in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD
Last week was another full scheduled onslaught of my favorite television, and as such I was a very happy camper. However, it didn’t have quite the same verve as the explosive week before, which is fine, I suppose. I guess that is what happens when one’s favorite shows disappear then reappear, expectations are made and broken. As these programs are reaching their season and series finales, though, it’s clear that each has epic plans that hopefully won’t fall flat.
How I Met Your Mother was surprisingly decent, with a more complex storyline than the episodes preceding it and a few super fun cameos from characters almost forgotten (The Captain and Boats Boats Boats together at last). We finally figured out why Lily changed her mind about going to Rome, and where she’d gone after that large-scale word brawl. Sure, a few minutes into the episode I was pretty secure in my prediction for the twist at the end, but the writing and performances were silly and enjoyable enough for me to forgive an obvious narrative turn. Marshall’s decision to finally go to Rome after all was actually pretty touching, and turned out to be the one thing I didn’t predict. Though this plot was fun (the Mosby Boys struck again for some reason), Robin’s mother reappearing was kinda a let down.
New Girl was, for once, not that wonderful. Coach was featured rather heavily, as a coach (Coach Coach was kinda funny), but as a corollary to Jess becoming vice principal then hiring, then firing, the poor bastard. The writing wasn’t as clever as usual in the Jess storyline, and Curtis Armstrong as the principal is sometimes a bit too creepy. Schmidt, though, got sued and Nick and Winston had to fill in has his lawyers (Winston loves procedurals). Nick, as usual, was bumbling but ultimately had his redeeming moment, and Winston may have been the highlight of the episode as a crazy lawyer partner character. Cece has all but vanished from being important, and that is kinda disappointing.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was weird. Lorelai, an Asgardian temptress/succubus appeared on earth and tried to sex herself up an army. So, naturally, Jaimie Alexander’s Lady Sif also rode the rainbow bridge to Earth to catch the (at times) obviously acted seductress villain. And of course, because sex was the main theme, the whole romance between May and Ward became a problem, which was ultimately not so well executed. Coulson’s brooding throughout the episode about T.A.H.I.T.I. was much more badass than anything in the main arc, and his decision to reveal to Skye more about the treatment set up an even bigger reveal. I can’t tell you what it was, because it was right at the end of the episode, and was pretty epic (and, as much as I hate to admit it, Whedon, a surprise). I can say this though, that Ming-Na Wen really is the star of this comic book action series. She could probably even tussle with Black Widow if she felt like it (do I hear a spin-off series in the future?).
I can’t stop loving Community so very much. Last week, we met Annie’s brother, a very bearded thirteen-year old who says the weirdest stuff, and learned more about Rachel (played by the rad Brie Larson), Abed’s girlfriend. Annie and Abed, feeling the void Troy left when he decided to sail away on Pierce’s boat, competed in a horrifyingly dated VCR board game to win the right to force Anthony (the brother) or Rachel to move in (this was a brilliant plan that, of course, blew up in both Annie and Abed’s faces). The highlight of the episode was watching Abed and Annie losing their minds to the most complex VCR game ever devised. In a separate plotline, Shirley, Jeff, and professor Hickey found a stockpile of unused chemistry textbooks. As Shirley and the rest are usually on the precipice of crime anyhow, this inspired a drug-trade spoof that was super damn fun. Lots of tying people to chairs, raised eyebrows, and choosing profit over friendship. So, what we’ve come to delightfully expect. Watch till the end also to see Abed do an adorable thing.
Elementary was awesome because for once it was a head-scratcher of an episode. The murder that sparked the narrative was brilliantly written and shot, and opened up a Pandora’s box of bioinformatics intrigue and questions of scientific ethics. Also, the episode, called The Hound of the Cancer Cell, was a really sweet play on The Hound of the Baskervilles, and probably made some classic Sherlock nuts grit their teeth in rage and acceptance (can’t deny it was a good episode, purists). As usual, the back and forth between Holmes and Watson was spot on, Sherlock showing a bit of his playful side at certain moments and Joan digging into the badassness that comes with being a detective. On a side note, Sherlock and Detective Bell also had some great moments (I do so enjoy some good ol’ fashioned reconciliation between protagonists). American television really does know how to give an audience a sublime bromance (wasn’t the Sherlock and John Watson thing one of the original literary bromances?). Anyhow, the episode was pretty damn fantastic and a great way to end a decent/pretty sweet week of television.