Barry – “The Power of No” (B+)
Barry is trapped in a prison of his own making. After making the right choice not to kill the head of the Burmese crime family, he’s made his own situation that much worse, because now they know there’s a hit out. And with Fuchs back in town, the tension is that much higher, while Gene is forcing him to confront his dark past. But wait! This show is still hilarious, especially in the many acting class scenes this week. One particular standout moment: Gene asks the class if they wish they could have been “in the shit” with Barry, with two white students enthusiastically nodding and two black students shaking their heads. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, right after last week’s DNA swab gag.
Veep – “Discovery Weekend” (B+)
As always, Selina is her own worst enemy. But throwing a wrench even further into her plans are fellow candidates who know her playbook and how to use it against her. I loved the Rhea Seahorn/Anna Chlumsky visual joke, but the real MVP was William Fichtner as a self-absorbed, closeted billionaire/major donor.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Casecation” (A-)
How did Brooklyn Nine-Nine deliver a better episode about the having-kids-or-not debate than This Is Us? Part of it is feeling like the exact right stakes for these characters and this episode, instead of another emotional obstacle to overcome. But This Is Us also didn’t have Julia Sweeney as colostomy patient/would-be bomber.
A.P. Bio – “Melvin” (A-)
Christopher Lloyd is great in his brief turn as Jack’s feuding neighbor. This episode was just non-stop laughs – from Durbin’s terrible photoshoots to an all-timer classroom scene – and terrific friendship/relationship storytelling with Jack and Lynette.