The Best New Character of the Season and the 10 Best TV Episodes of the Week
1. Boardwalk Empire — Another outstanding episode, as Boardwalk tops the power rankings two weeks in a row. The show is at its best when it centers on its best characters (Richard Harrow, Chalky White, and Nelson Van Alden) and this week, all three played important roles, plus they finally found a useful, fun role for Margaret. We also find out that Nucky does place a priority on loyalty over money, although Chalky doesn’t know that yet. (See Josh’s Uproxx recap)
2. The Good Wife — How much longer will The Good Wife continue to find excuses for Florrick Agos to go head-to-head with Lockhart Gardner? I don’t know, but I hope it lasts for a long, long time. The Good Wife is the show I look forward to watching the most every week, and it looks like Nathan Lane may be sticking around for a while, which is great news for everyone. Death to Anthony Wright Edelman! (See Jo’s Vulture recap)
3. The Walking Dead — It was a hero-making episode for Hershel (and a pace picker-upper for the season), and if you’ve seen enough dark dramas, you probably know that hero-making episodes frequently come before character deaths (Hershel was living on borrowed time, anyway). (See TK’s recap)
4. Homeland — SEE HOW GREAT THIS SHOW CAN BE WHEN DANA IS NOT AROUND, HUH? HUH? HUH? Saul owned the crap out of this episode, and when he locked Senator Lockhart in a conference room and said, “Make me!” when Lockhart asked him to let him out was the best moment of the entire season. (See Cindy’s recap)
5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine — We all thought there was plenty of potential in the series at the outset, but I never thought that the characters in this show had the capacity to be as well-drawn and funny as those in Pawnee, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine is only a sweet, strong romance short of that it at this point. In Andre Braugher, the series has its Ron Swanson, and in Terry Jeffords, it has the best new character of the season.
6. Masters of Sex — The let off the tension pedal a bit this week, and turned to the burgeoning sexual relationship of Masters and Johnson, and the faltering marriage of Barton and Margaret. Like The Good Wife, even on off weeks, Masters of Sex is one of those shows that’s just fun to watch. (See our recap)
7. How I Met Your Mother — How I Met Your Mother has a bad habit of tacking amazingly sweet, powerful moments onto otherwise mediocre episodes, as they did again this week. The scrambled egg-off between Robin and Barney’s Mom? Whatever. The proposal between Ted and The Mother? What can I say? I’m a sucker for big romantic gestures.
8. Sons of Anarchy — I am completely conflicted about the Tara plotline. I was so impressed with her scheming two weeks ago, and I f**cking love that she finally got the best of Gemma and Jax. Likewise, I was disappointed to see it all unravel for Tara, and to see Unser and Abby Lowell shame her for trying to protect her children. On the other hand, under close scrutiny, that plan does fall apart, and the way it progresses felt natural and right for Tara, for Jax, for Gemma, and the series.
9. Agents of SHIELD — Agents makes its first entry onto the weekly top ten list, with what I thought was the best episode of the season so far, mixing a great action sequence with some strong pathos. It was also a great character building episode for Fitz Simmons. I think it’s a strong lead-up to the forthcoming Thor crossover episode (and please let it include the cameo from the mid-credits sequence in The Dark World). (See Joanna’s recap)
10 (tie). Scandal — Can you believe that Scott Foley is trapped once again in a Ben and Noel love triangle? And you know what blows? Noel is going to end up losing out to the jackass AGAIN. When will women learn not to pick the philandering asshole who kills Supreme Court Justices? Also, Lisa Kudrow — as the Democratic Presidential candidate — gave the interview every female politician should give during their campaigns. It was outstanding.
10 (tie). Blacklist — OK, people. What is Reddington’s connection to Generic Attractive Brunette? It is killing me, and Red’s decision to blow up a house he had a past connection to only created more confusion. I read one conspiracy last week that Red may be GAB’s Dad’s gay lover, which weirdly kind of almost makes sense.
(Did not see this week’s Parenthood yet, although I did see Elementary in time for publication this week, and it wasn’t a particularly good episode).