What I Watched This Week: 13 May 2018

Saturday Night Live – “Amy Schumer/Kacey Musgraves” (B+)
A solid episode with no dud sketches is rare enough, but this was just consistently funny, with “The Day You Were Born” and “Graduation 2018” proving to be some of the most hilarious, relateable sketches the show has ever done.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “White Whale” (B+)
A solid penultimate episode with three equally delightful subplots.

Silicon Valley – “Fifty-One Percent” (A) / season finale
Would serve as a perfect series finale. As a wrap-up to an abbreviated but largely successful season (and a major step up from last season), it’s terrific.

Barry – “Know Your Truth” (A) / season finale
The chance of an escape comes to a violent close, with this show echoing Breaking Bad pretty explicitly, with Janice the Hank to Barry’s Walter White. I knew what was going to happen as soon as Janice went to the pier, but it wasn’t any less devastating.

Legion – “Chapter 15” (B)
Um, what?

The Handmaid’s Tale – “Seeds” (A)
As devastating and intense as the show can be, it hasn’t always tipped into full-on horror like it does here. What I assumed was June practicing her part to avoid further abuse is actually the beginning of a full-on psychotic break, exacerbated by a the stomach-churning “Lea and Rachel” ceremony: a mass marriage of drivers and other young men to girls no older than 16. The show also manages to make holy scripture sound bone-chilling (in the mouths of people who abuse and twist it) and uses excellent camerawork to remind the characters and the audience of the secrets they all share.

The Americans – “The Summit” (A-)
The opening scene is shot and scripted like Philip confessing an affair, which makes you feel Elizabeth’s betrayal. But Philip’s decency throws her off her game, as she refuses to assassinate one of her fellow countrymen, lets her contact who figured out her scheme walk away, and even questions Claudia.

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