What I Watched This Week: 19 May 2019

Game of Thrones – “The Iron Throne” (B) / series finale
For a casual fan, it was mostly satisfying. Though it’s clear this season was too rushed for all the emotional beats to have their maximum impact. Sansa may have been the most “deserving,” but Bran as the King is the best compromise. There never would have been peace with Sansa as ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. She still gets her throne, but her land is a bit smaller. That works better for everyone, I think. Jon ends up exiled for doing the right thing, which seems about right. Really, the only character shortchanged by this finale is Brienne, who prints the legend on Jaime, leaving out his complete lack of backbone. But the idea that everyone would get what he/she wants or deserves was always foolishness for a show like this. I’m glad I never got truly invested, because I don’t see how a devoted viewer can walk away from this finale happy. But for me, it was just fine.

Barry – “berkman > block” (A) / season finale
Like Robert De Niro in Heat, Barry could have made a clean getaway. But his rage at someone who had wronged him overtook him, and it could be his downfall. In his desperate hunt for Fuches, he goes back to what he knows best: killing people. A lot of “innocent” (if you can use such a word for underworld types) people die at his hand, including his own students. He’s almost honest with himself, but he still couldn’t confess to Janice’s murder, pinning it on the Chechens. Sally couldn’t be real either, turning her honest showcase into a crowd-pleasing bit of overacting. She could have had success on her terms, but chose the easy way out. Barry and Gene may both be free, but now they both know the truth, and it may lead to their mutual destruction.

Killing Eve – “Wide Awake” (B+)
The show moves in a disturbing psychosexual direction, as Villanelle’s mark likes to watch… everything. The finale should be explosive, as Eve’s colleague in the psychology department and her ex-teammate both warn her not to go to Rome for her own safety, and she ignores them both, because of her insatiable desire to be closer to Villanelle. But the latter’s bloodlust has claimed a victim close to Eve, though not one she necessarily will miss.

The Lonely Island Presents the Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience (B)
This surprise release isn’t quite on par with their best work, but it’s frequently hilarious. The accompanying album is actually better. Only some of the visual gags improve upon the genius songs.

Fleabag – Season 2 (A average)
I thought Barry had it in the bag to be my No. 1 show again. But then Phoebe Waller-Bridge came along and broke my heart. The show’s writing is truly next level, and so is her performance. Like Barry, it’s also grappling with whether people can truly change. Unlike it, I think the show, while ending in a bittersweet place, believes it’s possible.

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