This was another fantastic week in the world of television. On Sunday, Once Upon a Time reminded us just how wonderful Snow and Charming’s relationship is while setting the stage for a relationship between Emma and the surprisingly sincere Captain Hook. Monday’s Dancing with the Stars convinced me that this might be the most competitive season yet, and Castle upended Beckett’s professional life while showing us that her life with Castle is more stable than ever. Tuesday’s night of TV started off with my favorite Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode so far, and it continued with a strong episode of The Mindy Project and a New Girl episode that made me fall even more in love with Nick Miller. Thursday gave us a funny Parks and Recreation, an intriguing pilot episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, an emotional 200th episode of Grey’s Anatomy, and an even more emotional episode of Glee.
That episode of Glee may have been hard to handle at points because of its raw emotion, but there is no denying that it was the best thing I saw on TV this week. “The Quarterback” gave all of us a chance to mourn the tragic loss of Cory Monteith through an episode that saw the characters mourning the loss of Finn Hudson. The episode was filled with brutally powerful moments: Santana’s confrontation scene with Sue; Sue’s brilliant monologue, which allowed Jane Lynch to show once again just how good she is; Puck’s statement that the dash between birthdate and death date is so small but has to represent a person’s whole life; every moment where you could see the real grief bleeding through the actors performances; and, of course, the heartbreaking moments when Lea Michele was onscreen. You could tell that so much of what Rachel was saying about Finn was what Lea really felt having to bury the man she loved at such a young age. And her painfully beautiful performance of one of my favorite love songs (“To Make You Feel My Love”) reminded me just how strong and brave this young woman is.
The most heartbreaking scene in the whole episode, though, belonged to Finn’s family. Watching Burt, Carole, and Kurt go through his things was such a honest moment of the reality of death and the pieces left to be picked up by the ones left behind. For as amazing as Mike O’Malley and Chris Colfer always are (and they were characteristically amazing once again), this scene belonged to Romy Rosemont. Her portrayal of a mother’s all-consuming grief was so raw and so powerful. The moment when she says she still has to be a parent even though she doesn’t have a child was the moment that completely broke me. I still want to cry just remembering it. Rosemont’s performance in this one scene was better than any performance I’ve seen from another actor so far this television season.
What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?
Castle is the best thing I see on TV every week. Just fantastic!
Your enthusiasm for Castle is just so awesome!
I have to agree, The Quarterback was the best thing on TV this week, even if it was also the most difficult to watch. You could see so much of the cast’s grief for Cory come through, especially when they were singing and that was heartbreaking to watch.
I think the two most heartbreaking scenes for me were the one with Finn’s family that you mentioned and Rachel and Mr. Shue’s scene together at the end. Rachel’s line “He was my person” completely broke me. Lea is a very brave and strong young woman and this episode really showed that.
The moment when she says “He was my person” was incredibly heartbreaking. You could feel how difficult is was for Lea to get that line out because I’m sure that’s what she felt and still feels about Cory. Lea’s bravery astounds me. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to get out of bed after what she’s gone through, but she’s been so strong through a kind of grief I cannot even fathom.
It’s funny, as a parent this scene had me holding my breathe from the moment it began and deep down it was the moment I most dreaded sitting through because of the very visceral emotions I knew it would invoke. For as devastatingly good as that line about being a parent when you no longer have your child was, for me the moment right before when she talks about the news and wondering how do you go on? How do you breathe? was the rawest of truth. I think it every time I hear about the unfathomable reality of losing a child. I thought it this week when the news of Adrian Peterson’s son being beaten to death came to light. How does he do it? How does he find strength in that moment. All week the line ‘but you do wake up and for just a second you forget’ has haunted me. From her breaking whisper to the clinching of her hands as though she is grasping to steady herself in the darkness of that loss. There are a handful of moments on television that I carry because they touch into my personal truth. This moment and Romy Rosemont’s performance will stay with me forever.
I cannot even imagine how difficult that scene would have been to watch as a parent. The moment when she asks “How do you breathe?” was the moment that really got to my mom, too. That whole scene was one where I felt like I couldn’t breathe during it, and those are the best scenes when it comes to showing raw emotion—the scenes that stay with us forever.
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