Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (A)
A terrifying exposé of the cult, which started out as the brainchild of a legitimately troubled sci-fi writer that now is a protected religion run by a sinister tyrant who abuses his members. It may only scratch the surface of what’s gone on and continues to happen, but it’s a frightening introduction.
Community – “Queer Studies and Advanced Waxing” (A-)
The best episode of Season 6 thus far. Jim Rash, who’s already positioned himself as this season’s MVP, turns in his best performance to date, wrestling with his token promotion to the school board while also being an actual inspiration to many Greendale students. All that’s before we even get to the Whiplash parody with Chang as Miles Teller and guest star Jason Mantzoukas as J.K. Simmons.
The Americans – “Stingers” (A)
Only The Americans would have the biggest reveal of the season come two-thirds of the way through the episode, then make it an unbearably tense final act, even though nothing actually happens. Most shows would have saved such a big moment for its penultimate episode or finale. Nope. We still got four left.
American Crime – “Episode Two” (B+)
An improvement over the premiere, but there’s still some dreadful dialogue courtesy of creator John Ridley (an Oscar winner, no less). “It’s not a hate crime if it happens to white people.” UGH.
The Simpsons (Season 8) – “The Old Man and the Lisa” (B+)
Manages to humanize Mr. Burns, the series’ greatest villain. It’s also another shining episode for Lisa, with both her and Burns playing right into their natures: Lisa as the optimistic do-gooder, Burns as the selfish opportunist. “Look, there’s a can.”