The Following – “The Reaping” (D+)
This show just isn’t satisfying any more. It’s stupid and the violence doesn’t serve any purpose. It’s just an ugly, pointless show. (But of course I have to see what happens the next two episodes. Yes, I hate myself for that.)
The Americans – “New Car” (A)
Everyone has to deal with the consequences of their mistakes. Henry’s tearful plea with his parents that he’s still a “good person” is the most devastating moment since Phillip found Emmet and his family dead in the hotel room. This is just an eviscerating episode. Can’t wait to see how they channel this into next week’s episode.
Community – “Basic Sandwich” (A-) / season finale
Incredibly meta, with Jeff maintaining a false(?) confidence that because they’ve rebuilt Greendale, it can never close again. Chris Elliott proved himself to be a terrifically weird guest star as usual. Bring on the sixth season and the movie.
Hannibal – “Su-zakana” (A)
The show shifts back to its original form but the murder the FBI is trying to solve goes far beyond a typical case-of-the-week. Guest stars Jeremy Davies and Chris Diamantopolous are tremendous as the wounded animal caretaker and his manipulative social worker. It’s genius, gut-wrenching parallelism.
The Americans – “Behind the Red Door” (A-), “ARPANET” (A)
This show has plunged into the heart of darkness of the spy world, and it may be claiming Phillip, who has always been my favorite character. This show has just gotten better and better, to the point where the Russian dialogue is often more compelling than the English dialogue.
Hannibal – “Hassun,” “Takiawase,” “Mukozuke,” “Futamono,” “Yakimono” (average: A-)
The detour into courtroom drama was a little more pedestrian than this show can do, but the rest has been aces, with a slow burn featuring the return of Miriam Lass and the death of Dr. Frederick Chilton. Bloody brilliant, indeed.
The Simpsons (Season 7) – “Team Homer” (B+)
The second-best bowling episode the show has ever done (after “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder”). It still packs in plenty of laughs, mostly in the form of sight gags. This is Season 7, so pretty much every episode is golden.