Togetherness – “For the Kids” (A-) / series finale
Though I would appreciate it if the Duplass Brothers found a better way to visualize frustration than wrecking a car, this is all naked emotion, real stakes and satisfying payoff. While I would have loved to have seen a third season, because they have so many directions they could go in, this is still a satisfying end to this journey.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Bureau” (A)
The best episode they’ve done since “Hostage Situation,” and might even be better. Dennis Haysbert guest stars as a Holt-like FBI agent to assist in taking down Pimento’s would-be assassin. But oh, the twists and turns and belly laughs.
The Mindy Project – “Will They or Won’t They?” (A-)
It’s going to take some time to get used to this show without Danny (“I’m making eggplant parmigiana. That’s why I used the eggplant emoji.”) but it makes Mindy a stronger character. These next 12 episodes are going to be interesting, so hopefully they don’t just spin their wheels.
American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson – “The Verdict” (A) / season finale
I literally shouted “F— you, OJ!” about five minutes into this finale. I felt that passionately about how he and the defense completely manipulated both the jury and the American public. They never questioned the timeline, witness testimony or motive. They painted the LAPD as both evil and incompetent – it can only be one or the other – just enough to introduce some reasonable doubt, even though it appears much of the jury had made up their minds on the first day of the trial. As one character put it: “They [the jury] talked about this case less than anyone in America.” I will be shocked if there’s a better show on TV all year. This was the most consistently entertaining and challenging drama of 2016, with far and away the best acting you will see on the small screen all year.
The Americans – “Chloramphenicol” (A)
A sneaky bit of misdirection, with the two leads, their contact and their handler, stuck inside the latter’s apartment, all possibly dying of glanders. And they may be too late to stop the killing of Pastor Tim and his wife. But wait! It’s another character, one who’s been there since the beginning, that gets killed. It almost felt inevitable, but that still didn’t lessen the shock when the gunshot rang out. Also, we’ve got Suspicious Stan back, and that’s the best Stan.