Last week in television was a pretty legit week in television, I must admit. There were mad twists every which way, and one nice surprise blossoming from the Internet’s inability to track air dates correctly. I do miss Community a fair deal, but the television shows airing now are more than enough to keep my addiction satiated. Especially Game of Thrones, but for the sake of my sanity I don’t review that one (I just rant about its twisted, fantasy politics). Anyhow, let’s begin.
As a nice surprise, it turned out that Californication did air, and the Internet was just lying to me (some streaming sites can be so cruel). The episode, which I got a hold of late, was pretty solid, but with a few snags, most of them having to do with the writers wanting to continue their saga in creating unlikable characters. Levon, Hank’s son, stooped to new lows, showing his surprisingly large member to the hot intern, and in the same scene pulling a “smell my finger” on the hot intern’s current sexual partner. This kid may be the screwiest, worst guy to appear on the show so far, and the logic of trying to make the audience connect with him is not working. Heather Graham, though, as the mother is holding her own, but it seems David Duchovny just doesn’t care anymore. I was hopeful going into this season, but it turns out this new plot development is just another thing to keep Karen and Hank apart, and simply makes for kinda gross television. Let’s hope it improves.
New Girl, though, upped its game a bit last week. The episode focused on Jess trying to throw a perfect school dance, proving that love lasts forever and ever (classic post breakup episode). Every character got to play to the best of their abilities, and there were even a few moments where I laughed out loud, which is rare (*singing weirdly* “banana in the dark”). Winston got followed by young ladies, Cece played bad cop, Nick set off fireworks in a parking lot, and Schmidt initiated a foot race with a leather jacketed youngster. Coach, playing the super chaperone, wasn’t amused in the least. This installment raised the comedy standard a good deal, and dealt with the break-up very, very well, which makes the viewer curious as to what in the name of cheesy romance is going to happen. I’m happier than usual with this quirky show.
Then Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hit a home run, debuting what I believe to be the strongest episode yet, with a perfect mix of action, story, and Joss Whedon-esque witty, touching dialogue. Last week, Skye and Ward jumped ship, Deathlok secretly following the duo, and the rest of the gang met up with Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders is back!) to stop Ward (Skye left a brilliant message at Providence, this detail making the episode really catching in the beginning). Coulson showed a new level of badass, infiltrating the Bus and rescuing Skye from the murderous Deathlok and conflicted Ward (I’m pleasantly surprised at this dude’s acting chops) via a death-defying drop from the plane in a car. So, yeah, epic, and with many notable performances. I especially enjoyed the twist at the very end of the episode, which I refuse to spoil, as it’s completely awesome and I didn’t predict it even a little.
Finally, Elementary was super solid. Last week, we saw who captured Joan at the end of the episode previous, and got a glimpse of Mycroft’s true intentions. Jonny Lee Miller was even better than usual playing an enraged Holmes, smashing phones, living room tables, and nearly his brother when realizing Watson’s life was in his hands (there was a whole ransom plot which went as deep as some massive economic scandal and some murders). After a long season of pretty ok episodes, last week’s installment raised the bar in every category, giving the audience real danger (for once I really didn’t know who was going to bite the dust) and the best performances yet. And, like any good American show, it left an even bigger cliffhanger than the last. Is Mycroft actually the arch-villain of the whole series? That’s a question television writers will have me obsessing over for a week to come. Well played, television, well played.