This week in television got off to a strong start with another character-driven and emotionally-charged episode of Once Upon a Time on Sunday. That was followed by a Monday night that featured the first “30” of the season on Dancing with the Stars (Congrats, Elizabeth Berkley!) and a Castle episode that featured Joshua Gomez in the perfectly-cast role of a time-traveler. Tuesday’s New Girl and The Mindy Project were both laugh-out-loud funny, and Wednesday’s Nashville was a roller coaster of emotions as Rayna struggled to sing again. Thursday may have been sadly lacking a new episode of Parks and Recreation, but it did give us one heck of a twist on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and Lisa Kudrow’s first appearance on Scandal.
From a fantastic New Girl scene featuring the word “Batmanmobile” to the revelation of Anastasia’s identity on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, there were a quite a few moments that stood out this week in the vast television landscape. However, the best of the best came from last Sunday’s Once Upon a Time, which once again reminded us of the brilliant talents of Jennifer Morrison and Ginnifer Goodwin. Emma’s grief-stricken and angry breakdown over Neal and Snow’s horrified realization that she has no idea how to comfort her daughter were two standout moments of emotional power in a season already filled with emotional scenes. Both Morrison and Goodwin excel at grounding their characters in honest emotions, and this scene’s power comes from the vulnerability they each give their performances, a vulnerability that keeps this fantasy show anchored in very real moments of human drama.
This moment was so important for both of these women—Emma needed to admit to all of her complicated feelings surrounding Neal in order to find the closure she’s been denied for over 11 years. And Snow needed to admit that she is struggling to be a mother as much as Emma is struggling to be a daughter. This scene was necessary for the emotional arcs of these characters, and it was handled brilliantly by two of the best actors in this incredibly talented cast.
What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?
I was torn by this one. Christine Baranski has been so good thus far this season and last week she had a handful of great scenes as she was being ousted and putting the pieces together about the exodus that led to last nights hour of perfection.
But at the end of the day the moment that most replayed in my head this week was the ever effective, never overwrought Nathan Fillion. “Too Soon” will be one of those moments that resonates with me always. I said it before, I expected the trademark Fillion ‘chapter of emotion’ on his face. Much like when Alexis went off to college or the half dozen times we’ve closed an episode on his face as the elevator doors closed at the 12th. But that desperately sad whisper of unwelcome life altering change was heartbreaking and I loved every second of it.
I love your choice (and was waiting until you left a comment about it on this post!), and I echo your love for Christine Baranski. I’ve followed her career for a long time (because everyone in Buffalo obsesses over the few famous people from Buffalo), and to see her finding such success on such a great show makes me so happy.
Yet another kindred moment. I have adored Christine Baranski for literally decades. She was the funniest thing about the show Cybil when it was on, she delivers one of my all time favorite movie lines in The Ref and I will forever be grateful for the ability and time I took to see her at the Kennedy Center when she did Sweeny Todd with Brian Stokes Mitchell 12 years ago for the Sondheim Celebration. She is in a class all her own.