What I Watched This Week: 14 May 2017

Veep – “Chicklet” (A)
A rare emotional episode as Selina learns her dad died boning his secretary, not of a heart attack on a business trip to Cuba. A relentlessly funny episode from start to finish, with high points being Jonah eschewing a bowtie lest he look like “that old popcorn homo” and Richard talking his way through the mechanics of masturbation (aka “shaking hands with the devil”).

Silicon Valley – “Teambuilding Exercise” (B)
A weaker episode, but still features the show’s patented blend of insults, irony and a ton of dick jokes.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
“Your Honor” (A-)
“The Slaughterhouse” (B+)
The first episode, with Holt’s humorless but horny mom is mostly gold, even if it’s a bit predictable. The latter, featuring invaluable guest star Gina Gershon (see also: Crashing), is a fun competition episode between Rosa and Jake, but also has stakes for next week’s season finale.

The Americans – “Dyatkovo” (A)
Part of the show’s terrific run late in the season. The tables have turned, and now it’s Elizabeth who’s ready to abandon the mission. The whole scene where she and Philip have to murder a WWII traitor they’ve tracked down is some of the most intense stuff the show has ever done.

The Handmaid’s Tale – “A Woman’s Place” (A)
Really goes deep into how misogynistic societies can brainwash women into being complicit in the oppression of other women, while still finding some margin of empathy for Serena Joy. Almost as fascinating is the show’s exploration of the logistics of evil (hiding the less attractive handmaids, long board meetings plotting out terrorism).

The Americans – “Darkroom” (A)
Things get super-personal as Philip and Elizabeth get married for real in a traditional Russian Orthodox ceremony that is the closest thing this show will ever get to romance. And Pastor Tim reveals how much damage he thinks they’ve done to Paige. While he’s not wrong, this sets up a big conflict for the rest of the season, and maybe the rest of the series.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
“Cop-Con” (B)
“Chasing Amy” (B)
A pair of featherweight episodes that still provide some big laughs.

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