Shows Watched: 29
Honorable Mentions: 30. “Bored to Death,” 29. “Saturday Night Live,” 28. “Enlightened,” 27. “Hart of Dixie” 26. “Hell on Wheels,” 25. “Man Up” 24. “Psych,” 23. “Chuck,” 22. “Once Upon a Time,” 21. “The Walking Dead,” 20. “Beavis and Butthead,” 19. “Raising Hope,” 18. “Dexter,” 17. “American Horror Story,” 16. “Up All Night,” 15. “Top Chef,” 14. “The Office,” 13. “New Girl,” 12. “Survivor,” and 11. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
There is no number 10 this week because I didn’t feel like any of the Honorable Mentions were good enough to rank that high. The top three shows of the week were phenomenal, and four through nine were good to very good, but the rest were shades of lackluster. I sorely missed “Happy Endings.”
A few notes about the Honorable Mentions: What’s going on with “Dexter”? What was that all about? They basically took some time off of from the current storyline to (poorly) revisit the Trinity Killer, with a special appearance by the Ice Truck Killer. I thought it was a wasteful, filler episode, but at least it was better than “Hell of Wheels” and “The Walking Dead.” “Chuck” was better this week, which actually made it watchable. Meanwhile, just as “Hart of Dixie” was beginning to win me over, it fell on its ass with a late Halloween episode. “Survivor” has also hit that rough patch in the season, where one side picks off the other until they turn on each other, the novelty on “Beavis and Butthead” is wearing off quickly, and I didn’t even love the “Sunny” episode despite a promising premise.
What’s the consensus on “Hell on Wheels”? I’ll give it another episode, but if our readers start to bail, I’m jumping ship, too. The Swede was great, but one slow-moving AMC show per night is quite enough for me.
The Week’s 9 Best Episodes
9. The Good Wife: Two things were particularly great about this episode: 1) Kalinda got a lot of screen time and more opportunities to express some bi-curiosity, and 2) I really love the actress who plays Eli Gold’s daughter. Her name is Sarah Steele, and she was phenomenal in a little, mostly unseen Nicole Holofcener film last year, Please Give. Also, they are putting the screws to Will Gardner, and it’s fun to see how collected he remains even under this amount of pressure.
8. The League: Is this urban foraging a real thing? Yobogoya!
7. Boss: Focus turned this week to Ben Zajac, who has become quite a compelling character on the show, plus he sleeps with Kitty O’Neil a lot. When Tom Kane finds out his personal aide is screwing with his Governor’s candidate, however, his scalp may actually pop off of his head.
6. How I Met Your Mother: A game-changing episode, and a banner episode for Courtney and the other Robin/Barney shippers. It also explains why Barney and Robin have been stringing along somewhat boring partners all season: To add another dimension to their reconnection. It’s looking more and more likely that Robin will be the bride at the end of the season, although I’m sure they’re going to put us through the wringer until we arrive.
5. Parenthood: I’m terribly conflicted about this episode. On the one hand, I’m elated that Seth did actually pull his shit together, and the birthday cards at the end of the episode brought the waterworks. I’m also glad that he left, which you would think would remove any obstacle between Sarah and Jason Ritter. But, she kissed Seth. But, Sarah is self-destructive. But, you know she’s going to tell Jason Ritter she kissed Seth. Also, where are the Crosby/Jasmine shippers? And why aren’t you pulling your hair out about this recent turn of events with Dr. Joe?
4. Homeland: Well, that episode threw us for a loop. Holy Sh*t. [Spoilers] So, Brody is not the POW that turned? But is he covering up for the man he claimed to kill? Or did he not know that he didn’t die? Intrigue! Sex! And Crazy! Another solid episode of “Homeland.”
(Tie) 2. Parks and Recreation and Community: Fantastic episodes of both “Community” and “Parks and Rec,” and perhaps what makes them even more remarkable is the fact that they were not stunt or gimmick episodes. They were just solid, straight up eps that typify the series, and after a slow start to the year, “Community” has seriously picked it up in recent weeks. You can see the GIF-heavy recaps here.
1. Sons of Anarchy: [Spoilers] It wasn’t what happened to Tara that made this such a fantastic episode, although I’m a little disappointed that she wasn’t killed, and even more disappointed that her hand is busted so now she’s an even more useless character. What made this episode siiiiiiiiing was that bare-knuckle scene between Clay and Gemma, and the fact that Gemma is now going to use Unser to take down Clay. Or try. The cycle repeats! I can’t wait to see how this season unfolds, but I have no idea where this show can go next season because somebody has got to die: Clay, Gemma, Unser, or Jax, and the show won’t be the same without that person.
The Weekly Poll
What was the best episode of the week (pick 3). I’ve also included three shows I no longer watch, “Fringe,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “Prime Suspect.”