Monday night’s Grammy Awards were good for the hot takes cycle but bad for Tuesday’s Boob(s On Your) Tube. They preempted all the good TV. I’m so antsy! It’s been over a week since I saw what was going on with Luisa and Susanna on Jane the Virgin; either of them could be caught in an avalanche or stomped to death by grizzly bears by now!
I don’t know, maybe I’m antsy because MTV released the trailer for Faking It‘s third season and I hate how much I care about Karma and Amy. They pull me back in by the heartstrings every goddamn time.
I DVR-ed New Girl and we can talk about Clea Duvall showing up there in Tuesday’s column. In the meantime, here’s your Wednesday night and Thursday night good, quality TV report.
Thursdays on ABC at 8:00 p.m.
Written by Aja
Meredith is fine, she’s FINE, you guys, and she’s got that ridiculously unpersuasive, bordering-on-patronizing smile on her face to show how fine she is sitting in a therapist’s office on Bailey’s orders. He reminds her that A Very Bad Thing happened to her, and she patiently rattles off her worst: Mom? Dead. Stepmom? Dead. Sister? Also dead. Husband? Super dead. Like all the way dead. BFF? Eh, might as well be. Her point? “Any day that nobody dies — that’s a good day.” Pretty grim, Mere. Pretty grim.
Karev faces off with a precocious 15-year-old bone cancer survivor who is so over it and knows way, way more than any dumb idiot resident in her presence, and certainly more than her own mother, who bursts into tears and has to be comforted by her own child at the slightest little flap of an x-ray film. The cancer is back and has overtaken the girl’s chest, but when Karev proposes the same exact “safe” procedure using titanium plates she’s already turned down at 30 other hospitals before this one, she goes rogue, firing him and enlisting Callie and Pierce in a super cool, bionic 3D-printed sternum-and-ribs getup that’s only ever been performed successfully on a single adult person. Penny and Callie run into one another in an empty corridor and hand to god, I totally forgot that they were a thing. Can you have below-zero chemistry? Well, they do. Penny is literally reenacting ambulance explosions and mumbling about oxygen tanks and cigarette butts and we’re supposed to believe that Callie finds this as charming and delightful as, say, a blonde goddess on roller skates with dimples that won’t quit?! I’m so sure. (Spoiler alert: They eventually make out in a stairwell, which means that I need to book a long lunch with Shonda Rhimes ASAP.)
There are SO MANY GREY-SLOAN HANGOUTS, try to keep up: Pierce adorably keeps hosting kickbacks for Meredith’s sake, even though Meredith thinks they’re crappy and doesn’t want them. Also having a no-chill get-together this very night? Jo, who keeps pushing Karev away after his proposal/moving out/moving back in. It’s all very mind-numbingly boring and so is being around her, because Tuck peaces out as soon as he gets a text from Bailey. On the lez side of the tracks, Richard picks Arizona up because he’s still her #1 wingman, hooray! (“How do I look, do I look hot?” “You’re very hot, can we go now?”) Guys, why does Arizona live with the rakish intern? Is he babysitting? What happened to Sofia? I don’t know what’s going on!
Also, they keep trying to make us care about Maggie’s dalliances with that rakish intern! Or about April and the unsigned divorce papers and how she’s relishing the opportunity to insert herself into someone else’s crisis, firmly planting herself inside of a Riggs-Hunt manwich! I LOVE NEW SOBER AMELIA. New Sober Amelia is sick of everyone’s bullshit and only does what’s best for New Sober Amelia. Hunt loves New Sober Amelia, too, because he at last confesses what we’d all suspected: His sister was in love with Riggs and died on Riggs’ watch, leaving Hunt with the crippling inability to use his words like a big boy. She gives him excellent advice: Get over yourself, manbaby. Have I mentioned that I love New Sober Amelia?
The tearjerker moment in this episode is when the precocious cancer teen stops Karev before her surgery to tell him to take care of her mom if anything happens to her. The young single mom, it turns out, isn’t useless after all, it’s just that she works two jobs to pay for all the hospital bills and keep the good health insurance and they’ve more or less been on their own for fifteen years. Both of them have had to be superhuman strong, but only one of them is the child with life-threatening cancer. Karev says appropriate and reassuring things and Jo realizes, “OMG, the past 48 hours of this patient meeting and firing Karev has taught me absolutely fuck-all about his potential as a marital partner and father, there’s no way we’re ready to get married.” JK, she tells him what a relief it is that her mom left her in a dumpster when she was a baby or whatever, and then she mounts him in the carpool on the way home while Meredith tries not to throw up a little from the driver’s seat. D’aw. Anyway, the girl makes it through the surgery with flying colors and lives happily ever after/becomes Meredith Grey in 25 years.
Speaking of, Meredith wrestled with some hard truths in her final therapy sessions, listing the many reasons she’s fulfilled and has moved on from the loss of Derek — like her kids, her class and her work — though she still self-identifies as a widow. But she isn’t any longer, her therapist counters, and asks her, “So what are you?” She doesn’t know; maybe she wants to be alone, maybe she doesn’t, but she cannot bear to be abandoned. It’s become easier to tell the two apart, but she still has no idea who she is, what she wants, or what to do next. At least now she’s asking questions, which is how you claw your way out of holding on for dear life to letting go and setting yourself free.
It looks like next week is going to be The Bachelor Tell All Special: Jackson Avery and April Kepner Divorce Live on Television! Woof.
How to Get Away With Murder
Thursdays on ABC at 10:00 p.m.
Written by Sadie
This week on How to Confess to Murder: The episode starts ten years in the past. You can tell because everyone’s hair is longer and Annalise is actually pregnant. Although ethnically similar, this team from ten years ago seems to be a lot more chipper than the current one. Perhaps they opted out of the first term murder coverup extra credit assignment. Bonnie is there, of course, but this time as a law student, and she is definitely not the same Bonnie we know in the present. She is more timid, less sure of herself, but she’s quickly gaining favor with Annalise.
We also know it’s ten years earlier because Sam is back. I’ll be be honest with you on this, I hate Sam. I think he’s always been creepy and he totally underlines that fact by talking to Annalise through her stomach almost exclusively throughout this episode. That’s all I plan to say about the guy and that’s about all he contributes.
Back in the present Annalise is cleared to go back to work, and she is totally not excited about it. At the same time Wes goes to the doctor to try and get a prescription for sleeping pills because it’s clear he hasn’t slept in what looks like weeks. The doctor isnt so convinced that’s what Wes needs and he gets up to leave. Either through slip-of-the-tongue or an actual cry for help on his way out, he says she’d be sorry if he killed himself. I want to point out the use of color in this episode: almost all of the scenes with Wes are heavily tinted blue, obviously insinuating sadness or depression. This subtly changes as the story progresses but I’ll get back to that. For now Wes is going to be evaluated and held on suicide watch.
Back in court, the whole team, sans Wes, shows up to help Annalise on her current plea hearing. Annalise wants nothing to do with them, or really anyone in this episode, and breezes by into court. As the plea hearing is underway, The mother of the victim does something incredibly brave. She wants the court to reevaluate the plea arrangement made with the DA in order to try and lessen the sentence against the defendant, Jason. Thats right, she wants a decrease in sentencing because she believes that one more person of color going to prison because of a broken system is wrong. I could only hope to hold my convictions so firm when faced with such a terrible circumstance. Annalise is not happy. This will mean a lot more work and a much greater risk when it comes to her client. Regardless, the restorative justice hearing is set and Annalise finally gets the team out of her way by having them prep Jason for the hearing.
It’s ten years in the past again and I don’t know if that really is Frank’s hair or just some awful wig, but oh man! And he is totally Annalise’s secretary. So his ten=year career path is secretary to assistant to fixer. Basically the same job with three different titles.
Back in the present, Lorel runs off to check on Wes while the rest of the team preps for the hearing. Totally “trying” to be the new Bonnie, Lorel cons her way into Wes’s room, but still clearly needing to finish that law degree because it’s going to take more than a little legal jargon to get Wes off this hold. Lorel reports back to Annalise what’s going on and confronts her about talking to Wes. Annalise, who clearly isn’t taking anything from anyone this episode, fires back and tells Lorel she already has a Bonnie and doesn’t need another one.
It’s ten years in the past and Bonnie and Annalise have a very touching scene. Annalise is having back pain and Bonnie suggests laying on her side. Here there is some vague dialogue between them about Sam, but like I said I don’t care about Sam. We then flash forward to the present and Annalise, in full IDGAF fashion, is in the kitchen with Bonnie and Frank discussing what to do with their current case while eating ice cream straight from the tub. She decides to kick everyone out so she can eat her ice cream in peace.
The team moves on to Oliver and Conner’s place and Asher makes a point in being the dudeliest dude out there. More fart jokes, crude bathroom humor, all that. But just as Asher reaches peak assery, the whole team starts talking about him while he’s out of the room. I assume this is leading into us actually feeling bad for the guy? I don’t know. I mean Asher has had a rough go of it, but I still think he is a tool.
Back at the hospital Wes is completely breaking down and I don’t know how I feel about this doctor. I mean she’s probably right in keeping him there and everything she is saying to Wes seems to be true, but I’m getting a very Stepford wives vibe from her; it’s like any moment now I expect her to start hypnotizing Wes.
Now in the hearing, the victim’s mother does an incredibly amazing thing and forgives Jason for everything, saying she understands where he came from. How he had little choice but to end up this way. If she wasn’t totally being played it would almost seem sweet. She puts herself before the court in order to defend actions that didn’t occur like she thought she did. And as It turns out those last messages sent to her by her son were actually from the defendant.
During Jason’s statements, feeling the overwhelming guilt of being forgiven by the victim’s mother, he slowly admits to everything. To shooting him on purpose, to texting his mother, to letting his friend die. After coming clean, the DA immediately withdraws the original deal and ups the charges to premeditated murder.
Even after all this, the victim’s mother stands by her conviction, her belief that the defendant should be let off with a lesser punishment. She truly believes that sending another young man of color into the system is the wrong way to go.
At the office this intrepid team of murderers discusses the finer points of what proper punishment would be for an admitted murderer. Annalise, again being over everyone’s shit, immediately says what we are all thinking and calls out the entire team on their hypocrisy. I mean, they’ve done countless horrendous things so who are they really to play the moral high ground. Subsequently Lorel drops the Wes bombshell and the team walks out.
Seemingly unfazed by all of this, Annalise goes into epiphany mode and lays out the case precedents to Bonnie and Frank and then in front of the court. Through all of this, the mother of the victim sits behind her hiding a smile. This would not have happened on an episode of Law & Order.
In the midst of all this court drama, the DA offers a plea deal of life without parole, and with little hesitation and against the better wishes of Annalise, Jason stands up and takes the deal, despite protests from the victim’s mother.
At this point Analise is officially over all this
Back in the hospital and the lighting has changed now, seemingly closer to that of the flashbacks, perhaps showing us that things are finally coming to light. Now ten years in the past we see Annalise offering Wes’ mom legal advice, and so now we know Wes’ mom and Wes are under the protection of Analise. There’s still more to find out before we know what’s exactly going on, but it’s clear now that Analise knew of them well before they met Annalise.
Back in the present Annalise finally decides it’s time for Wes to know everything. Everything she has been keeping from him his whole life. She drops the same envelope we saw in the past onto Wes’s doorstep.
After this we see Lorel confess to Frank that Wes shot Annalise (which is probably the fourth confession this episode) and then proceeds to break up with him for the lies and deceit that just seem to fly between everyone in this group. Frank takes this moment to then admits to killing Lila.
In setting up for next weeks this episode concludes with an anonymous email (probably from Philip) showing that someone knows about the events at the mansion and could plan to expose them.
The real question on everyone’s mind is: Where the hell is Eve for all this and what exactly is her connection? My guess is it’ll be a few weeks before we see her again.
Thursdays on The CW at 9:00 p.m.
Written by Karly
Having a third-person perspective can be so rough. One day, or 14 days in a row, you’re watching your faves fall in love by candlelight; the next you’re watching everyone make terrible decisions, make good decisions for the wrong reasons, and make bad decisions for the worst reasons.
But it starts out so great! Clarke and Lexa ride to Arkadia with the body of the Ice Queen on a cart behind them. They smile and adorably argue about who brought the most good to their people. But then it’s all ruined when they come across a graveyard of Lexa’s army. Indra is bleeding out from a gunshot wound. As Clarke tries to stop the bleeding, Indra tells them that Pike and Bellamy attacked the army while they slept, executed all the wounded except for her so that she could deliver a message. This land belongs to Arkadia now.
Bellamy takes at least a semi-pause about their methods when he learns that Pike intends to clear out a nearby village to secure a 15km border around Arkadia. This self-reflection lasts about five minutes until Pike reaffirms Bellamy’s greatest fears. This is the only way they can keep Arkadia safe, because there are bound to be retaliations. Pike has become quite the fascist. He is suspicious of Jaha who returns to spread the Good Word about The City of Light. Also, he takes all the grounders from medical bay and Lincoln, a dissenter, and puts them into internment. He literally uses the word internment, as if he never read a history book. Pike also keeps his massacre secret from the public, except for those closest to him. It’s all infuriating and scary and kind of on-the-nose.
Lexa, on her side, does want to retaliate. She wants to summon the 12 armies to wipe out Arkadia for breaking their coalition and the massacre. Clarke asks for more time. If she can speak to Bellamy and get him to convince Pike, everything will be fine. Even Octavia, who has snuck away to help, doesn’t think this will work. Lexa finally recognizing Octavia, I think, and it’s so cute. They should be war buddies.
But when Clarke and Bellamy do meet again, it is not a good reunion. She’s disappointed in him, of course, but knows he’ll do the right thing (argue for peace). Bellamy instead blames her. They’re already in a war, he says, they’ve been in a war since the grounders murdered 37 of his friends when they landed. Instead of Clarke arguing about the cold-hard math of it all, like I want her too, she feels really guilty. And, I’ll admit, she does need to reflect on her part in this too, but he can’t seriously blame her for all his bad decisions, can he? He does. He handcuffs her to bring her to Pike “for her own good.” There are few sentences that make me as mad as that one.
Octavia is there to free her, though! O takes out the guard, Clarke zaps Bellamy unconscious and they flee back to Lexa’s camp. Indra is recovering and Lexa is pacing in her tent. Unfortunately, Clarke doesn’t have good news. Lexa is ready for her vengeance, but Clarke pleads to stop the cycle of violence. If they’re to have true peace, she can’t march her army into another war. Then she makes puppy eyes at Lexa and Lexa agrees. She did vow fealty after all. She declares that blood must not have blood. My only question is what they’ll do (or not do) when Pike clears that village.
Meanwhile, Jaha is like a street-corner preacher with Alie whispering in his ear about who to recruit. This reminds me a lot of Six in Baltar’s brain in Battlestar Galactica. She’s even wearing a red dress, you guys. Jaha and Alie pounce on Raven, who is in unimaginable pain and has been benched from duty. She’s the most vulnerable, so of course Jaha hands her the magic pill to take her pain away. She does take it and immediately feels better. But at what cost?
Thursdays on Comedy Central at 10:00 p.m.
Written by Riese
Okay even though Heather said Broad City is my favorite show, it’s actually not my FAVORITE show, but I sure do like it a lot. I like how Ilana and Abby are rude and gross and unapologetically horny and also have a stronger relationship with each other than with any dude. I love that the only main dude on this show, Lincoln, is like the only dude on TV that I don’t hate.
Season Three, like the two that came before it, is already weird and funny and controversial and sometimes offensive in a bad way and sometimes just gloriously un-PC in a good way. But one of the show’s storylines was especially present in “Two Chainz”: the story of a bisexual girl in love with her best friend. There was a reference to Ilana being bisexual in the Season Three trailer, but that clip didn’t show up in this episode. (A minor miracle, as often trailers tend to include the totality of queer references while pretending to set us up for more.) Regardless, the opening montage of what the girls have been up to in their bathrooms since we last hung out includes a post-Pride afternoon that finds Ilana necking with a girl in a Pride flag.
When Ilana loses her bike-chain key in the gutter and decides to just fuck it and go to the warehouse sale, and then Abbi suggests that they pee first, Ilana is like, “Oof, smart and sexy. She is unreal, this girl.”
At the warehouse sale, Abby defends herself against a guy who’s opinion she wanted on her shirt who was like, “I have a girlfriend” by being like, SO DO I and pointing at Ilana. THE TEASE, ABBI, THE TEASE.
When Abbi rescues Ilana from getting chained to the back of a trunk, Ilana, washed over with relief and gratitude, comes out with:
Ilana: Let’s get married.
Abbi: What was that?
Abbi: You said something.
Ilana: I didn’t hear what you said.
Abbi: No you said — you said something.
Ilana’s been crushing on Abbi since before Broad City moved from YouTube to Comedy Central, most notably in their 2011 Valentine’s Day episode. This crush has been referenced from time to time throughout the last two seasons, including an episode where Ilana is furious to learn that Abbi kissed a girl in college after promising Ilana if she ever were to swing that way for a minute, it would be with Ilana. In Season Two, we even got an episode where Ilana fell briefly in love with her doppleganger, Adele, thus confirming Ilana’s bisexuality extended beyond her feelings for Abbi. (I loved that episode, you should read the thing I wrote about it.) But 301 laid the crush on THICK, y’all.
”Tell me this isn’t sexual,” Ilana insists after Abbi has finally removed the bike chain from her body. Abbi rolls her eyes and tells Ilana she’s bleeding. That’s what hearts DO, Abbi. That’s what they do.