Penultimate episodes and season finales were all over the TV landscape this week, leading to what was one of the most high-quality weeks I’ve seen as a television viewer in quite some time. Once Upon a Time aired its penultimate episode on Sunday, bringing Regina’s arc to its peak as Emma’s arc hit its pre-finale low point. Also on Sunday, The Good Wife reminded me that there may be no greater group of female characters on one show, and Game of Thrones continued to add more depth to Cersei’s character as her second son was crowned king. On Monday, Castle gave us the conclusion to an arc six seasons in the making as Beckett put the man behind her mother’s death behind bars. And Tuesday presented us with a pair of finales: New Girl‘s cruise ship adventure and The Mindy Project’s ode to romantic comedies. Finally, Saturday’s Orphan Black might have featured Tatiana Maslany’s greatest work yet, and Charlize Theron proved that she really can do everything (except sing) when she hosted Saturday Night Live.
When picking this week’s greatest moment, I was torn between dramatic perfection and pure happiness. The former was found in Saturday’s climactic Orphan Black reunion between Sarah and Helena. It was almost too tense to watch, but I couldn’t look away. And to think that both parties in that scene were played by the same woman made it even more impressive.
But in the end, I chose to reward the moment that brought me the most joy, and that was the conclusion of Tuesday’s finale of The Mindy Project. Watching Danny and Mindy create their own romantic comedy moment was a thing of perfectly imperfect beauty. The references to everything from An Affair to Remember to When Harry Met Sally made me smile, but this was also a story that stood on its own as perhaps the most satisfying romantic comedy to be written in the last few years. It was such a nice feeling to watch the final minutes of a season finale and feel nothing but happiness, knowing that the rug wasn’t going to get pulled out from under me; this was going to end on a good note. The chemistry between Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina was put to such perfect use in this scene, and it was impossible to keep from smiling at Danny’s sincerity when he told Mindy that he loved her and they started talking about how many kids they’re going to have. The road for these two characters isn’t going to be perfect, but if what’s coming next season is anything like this finale, it’s going to be a road I will happily travel every week.
If you want to relive this wonderful moment again, click this (because Tumblr is the best, especially when networks want to hide an episode’s best scenes).
What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?
I have to say that it’s hard to disagree with your logic. It is also hard to make a choice between the apples and oranges that were those two scenes. I have to say I’ve got to give it to Tatiana Maslany. The entire shower scene and Helena’s arrival in the bathroom both her savior and worst nightmare was just astonishing. Her work as Sarah in the horror of what was happening and how she ultimately succumbs to what is transpiring set up what I can only imagine is going to be a colossal battle of the alpha clones. Few shows manage the feat that we have seen in the first few episodes of a second season. Compelling suspense with no clear direction of where the plot is going to take us next. It is a unique gift that Orphan Black possesses and one that leaves me looking at the clock and wondering where 60 minutes every single time.
My honorable mention is the core team that is Castle. I am unabashed in my bias and love for this show and its actors. But as someone who still watches a handful of shows on the other side of 5 seasons no one continues to endear me to their characters more than Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Seamus Dever, Jon Huertas, Tamala Jones and Penny Johnson Jerald. The family they have created could easily default to a handful of reaction shots, walk throughs and generally place it into cruise control. Yet none of those things have happened. So when a major plot thread came to a head last week, we watched authentic reactions, decisions and responses from all of the members of this family. It was heartfelt, dripped of honesty and packed a wonderful wallop in the closing shot as Castle and Beckett embraced. It was all that you could ask for in the payoff of a storyline and there is no better team on TV to have delivered it.