What I Watched This Week: 21 May 2017

Veep – “Qatar” (B+)
A darker, more cynical, geopolitical episode, with Selina trying to score points by going to war-torn Sudan, then going straight to a conference on human rights where she all but endorses female genital mutilation, just to be part of a deal on mineral rights involving China and Qatar. It’s Selina at her least human, but the show still manages to be hilarious, especially with Jonah (aka the Colossus of Choads) getting engaged.

Silicon Valley – “The Blood Boy” (B+)
The show resets once again, with Gavin signing over his patent to Richard, but leaving with his business acumen and funding after being humbled. This is the show at its most nakedly emotional (even if one character is totally faking it) and it’s an intriguing wrinkle to a show that knows how to hit its beats.

Twin Peaks
“The Return: Part 1” (A-) / limited series premiere
“The Return: Part 2” (A-)
Both exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure. I just watched the original series for the first time this winter, and Fire Walk with Me soon after, and I still don’t think it helped me understand much of anything I saw. Yet even after 26 years, there’s so much awe. Even now, there’s absolutely nothing like this on TV. Sure, there are weird shows that march to the beat of their own drum, and shows that expose the seedy underbelly of idyllic small towns, but not like this, not with this level of visual storytelling, with a cast this big, with its unique vision.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
“The Bank Job” (A)
“Crime and Punishment” (B) / season finale
Well, it certainly made sense to pair these episodes up, but I’m not sure how I feel about such a dramatic cliffhanger for this show on an arc that literally began the week before. The finale is funny – certainly with Jake unintentionally confessing to crimes right as the judge walks by, and with Terry’s glamorous past – but feels too clever for its own good. Perhaps the fifth season will justify such a huge upheaval.

The Americans – “The World Council of Churches” (A-)
Tough positions lead to a lot of bad decisions, just as things may have been looking up. Everyone’s in a bad place ahead of the season finale, which better resolve this cliffhanger right away.

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