Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Into the Woods” (B+)
A more modestly entertaining episode after weeks of straight killing it. Boyle, Peralta and “Fun Terry” head out to the world’s saddest cabin, owned by Matt Walsh (the comedian, not the reprehensible blogger). It’s pretty standard “getting lost” shenanigans, but these are pros so they’re great at making this material work. Amy’s presentation is pretty worthless, though it does pair her with Gina. But it’s Diaz and Holt sharing a moment of honest-to-God emotion that really elevates this episode.
Fargo – “The Gift of the Magi” (A)
The balls on this show. Take the most intense scene to kick off the show, then let the effects permeate everything. The violence might be grisly, but it always serves a purpose. Every single scene in this episode is absolutely vital, every performance hit exactly right. And that ending. I’m glad this is the only drama I’m focusing on this fall. Everything else would pale in comparison.
The Mindy Project – “Jody Kimball-Kinney is My Husband” (B+)
Garret Dillahunt is a national treasure, and the series is finally using him to his full potential. He’s a riot as Jody, whose libido knows no bounds. He has a great not-quite-friends, but not romantic relationship with Mindy, and they use each other as fake spouses. It’s nothing spectacularly original, but their heartfelt epiphanies in the shower (don’t ask) actually works like gangbusters.
The Muppets – “Pig’s in a Blackout” (B+)
Kermit has a full-blown mental breakdown and simply can’t relax thanks to Jason Bateman (perfect in the show’s best cameo yet) constantly bugging him while on a meditation retreat. The studio feels his loss as literally everything goes wrong. The crew and Kermit both learn to need each other, but it’s a hilarious trip to that realization.