This week in television started with a night of great twists on Sunday, as Once Upon a Time‘s Robin Hood-centric episode brought a major player from last season back into the game and The Good Wife upped the tension in the home stretch by bringing desperate decisions from the start of the season back to haunt Cary, Diane, and Kalinda, while Alicia was devastated by a game-changing political move. Sunday also gave us a strong season premiere for Game of Thrones, during which I was reminded again and again of the brilliance of Lena Headey. On Monday, Disney Night inspired some fantastic performances on Dancing with the Stars. Wednesday featured an episode of Nashville full of emotional moments (especially a realistically heartfelt one between Deacon and Luke) and an episode of The Americans that ended on one of the most shocking reveals in a season full of them. Finally Saturday’s season premiere of Orphan Black reminded me of all the reasons why I love Sarah Manning (and have always been wary of Delphine), and Outlander swept me away with its most romantic hour yet.
I haven’t talked much about Outlander here yet (On Twitter it’s a different story…), but Saturday’s episode was far and away my favorite thing I watched on television this week. It had the sweeping feel of a truly epic romance, and almost all of that was because of the absolutely beautiful performances by Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe. The achingly vulnerable work both actors brought to the table this week deserves all the recognition it can get.
While I loved everything about the trial at the beginning of the episode (including quite possibly the coolest twist in a week full of great plot twists), the last 20 minutes are what I can’t stop watching today. (Literally—I’ve watched them 6 times, and I’m sure I’ll watch them again after I finish writing this.) Those final scenes—from Claire revealing the truth to Jamie through their final kiss—were the kind of romantic scenes that make you put your hands over your heart as tears spring to your eyes, and I firmly believe that kind of reaction to media does the body and soul a world of good. There was such love and tenderness in every moment: Jamie stroking Claire’s hair as she cried in his arms; the way he smiled as he watched her and kissed her in their scene by the fire (especially knowing after the fact that this moment of giving her pleasure and watching her enjoy it was his way of saying goodbye); the rush of emotions as he pulled her back from the stones and held her one last time; and the beautiful, overwhelming joy in his expression when she came back. It was such a perfect showcase for the depth of the chemistry between Heughan and Balfe, which I believe is the best chemistry on television right now.
If you need me, I’ll be on my couch watching those last 20 minutes again and again for the rest of my life—and probably still crying every time.
What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?