Crashing – “Barking” (B+)
Another solid transition episode after the closure of “Yard Sale.” It’s a little inside baseball, but quite funny, and shows Pete’s boundless optimism isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The Mindy Project – “Mindy Lahiri Is a White Man” (A)
The satire is a little obvious, but it shows that Mindy is capable of injecting some creativity and depth into what has become a fun but featherweight series. The move to Hulu has introduced some playfulness (with the season 4 premiere paying homage to Sliding Doors and a Groundhog Day tribute just a few weeks ago), but this is even better than those clever but slight episodes. Mindy gets to learn of all the privileges of becoming a rich, attractive white man with hilarious consequences. It’s feminism with a lot of dick jokes, which I suppose could be the mission statement for the show. Excellent work.
This Is Us – “Moonshadow” (B) / season finale
A messy finale that still has some of the show’s most impressive scenes (that nearly one-take argument is going on their highlight reel). The brief check-in with the kids was wholly unnecessary, but most of the Jack-Rebecca flashbacks worked.
The Americans – “Pests” (A-)
An even better episode, and one in which the actual Americans seem even less like good guys than before. It’s back to stake its claim as the best show on TV, but without any flashy gimmicks.
The Americans – “Amber Waves” (A-)
A brutal episode that doesn’t try to make anything easier for those new to the show. For once, I don’t hate Paige, as she’s trying to strike the right balance instead of just chafe against her parents’ authority.
Crashing – “Yard Sale” (A)
The best episode yet, with huge emotional payoff and T.J. Miller lighting things on fire. What more could you ask for?
Legion – “Chapter 5” (A)
The true nature of David’s disorder comes to light and it’s bloody terrifying. This show gets dinged for its flashiness but I think that ignores just how deep it is. This is a show that is constantly shifting our expectations about reality and the truth. It would seem that’s a deck you can only shuffle so many times, but it continues to work its magic on me.