Saturday Night Live – “John Mulaney/Jack White” (A-)
Former writer John Mulaney (creator of some of my favorite characters and sketches) returns to the show as host, and lets his freak flag fly, with hilarious sketches about revenge drag, a musical about diner lobster and an interview about a creepy ’90s sitcom. Bring him back regularly, Lorne.
Two extraordinarily funny episodes as the season (and possibly series) comes to a close. The former takes on multi-level marketers and Amy’s first day as a sergeant, while the latter features a killer guest turn from former SNL star Nasim Pedrad as Jake’s sketchy but affable half-sister, who keeps a bag of glass shards with her to get free meals and casually asks Amy for a Plan B pill. I hope we see more of her (and this show) in 2019.
Silicon Valley – “Tech Evangelist” (A)
The season’s best episode and one of the show’s highlights. A.D. Miles (Role Models) guest stars as the developer of a gay dating site who threatens Pied Piper’s growth simply because Richard outs him as a Christian, a no-no in uber-liberal Northern California. It’s a great recurring gag, and taps on the hypocrisy of even the most tolerant Millennials.
Barry – “Commit… To You” (A-)
Barry learns the limits of the advice he gets. He doesn’t realize the line between being assertive and being an asshole, and that causes everything to spiral out of control. Hader’s so good that he genuinely seems like he can’t understand what happened.
Legion – “Chapter 11” (A-)
The most inventive episode of the season, even if it doesn’t really advance the plot too much. Its ability to give each character their own distinct personae is really remarkable.
The Americans – “Mr. and Mrs. Teacup” (B+)
A mission goes wrong, in one of the show’s best setpieces. But Philip’s money woes grow deeper, and Elizabeth is too wrapped up in her own responsibilities to be a good spouse and shoulder to cry on anymore.
A.P. Bio – “Eight Pigs and a Rat” (A-)
Started as another standard episode, but developed into one of the season’s most clever and heartfelt. Really hoping this show gets a second season.
Atlanta – “Woods” (A-)
Brian Tyree Henry gets another acting showcase in an intense and intimate episode, where even his fans are out to steal from him.