The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (11/15 – 11/22)

This week in television started off strong on Sunday, with a powerful pair of Once Upon a Time episodes, a true test of Jake and Amy’s relationship on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and the introduction of Vanessa Williams on The Good Wife. On Monday, Dancing with the Stars asked its contestants to perform three routines, Castle further explored the shifts in both the Castle/Beckett and Ryan/Esposito dynamics, and Jane the Virgin showed Mateo’s growth and how his family grew with him through a series of time jumps. Tuesday’s episode of The Muppets featured a budding romance between Scooter and Chelsea Handler, and The Flash reminded us all why Barry has the best dads on television. On Wednesday, Nashville added some new obstacles for Deacon and Rayna to overcome and broke all our hearts when Avery sang Will’s new song. And this week’s Saturday Night Live was its most entertaining episode of the young season.

Even though there were plenty of great moments on television this week, it’s been seven days, and I still can’t stop thinking about Once Upon a Time. Everything about “Birth” was the best thing I saw on TV this week—the twists, the complexity, and, especially, the performances. Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue were at their very best throughout the hour, allowing me to get lost in my emotions without ever once stopping to think about simplistic concepts of who was “right” or “wrong.” Those two actors are such an important part of this new fairytale love story we’re all watching unfold every week. And it was their incredibly vulnerable work that allowed this tragic chapter in Emma and Killians’ love story to resonate as fiercely as it did.

However, I think one my favorite things about this episode was the reminder to hope even in dark times. From Operation Light Swan to Killian telling Emma he loves her no matter what she’s done, there were hints that no matter how bleak things might look, there is still forgiveness, healing, and a happy future to look forward to. And at the center of all those hopeful moments was the scene in which Emma chose to let go of the darkness and light the flame that would make it possible. Emma’s fear of allowing herself to start planning for a future with Killian felt so relatable, because who hasn’t been afraid to actually start working toward a future that you know might not work out or might get taken from you? But what made that moment so beautiful was watching love conquer fear and, by extension, darkness. Their love was strong enough to light the flame that was meant to defeat the darkness. And if that doesn’t give you hope that their love will be strong enough to conquer the darkness once and for all, then I don’t know what will.

Once Upon a Time is a show about hope, and I love that, even in an episode that felt almost unbearably sad at times, there were still so many reasons to hold on to hope. Love is stronger than darkness. And that’s a message I will always believe in.

What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?

4 thoughts on “The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (11/15 – 11/22)

  1. I’m with you, nothing beat “Birth” on OUAT for me. Modern Family was fun though and it gave me a nice relief from the angst and emotion…my poor old heart can only take so much! LOL Thanks so much for the constant reminder of the parts of the episode that are meant to give us hope and a belief in the power of forgiveness and true love.

    • I’m always happy to remind people to hope! 🙂 And I heard that Modern Family was great last week (with quite the ending!). I’ll have to catch up On Demand ASAP.

  2. “Birth” was the best episode I saw on TV last week but it would be a slow week in TV if I only had one show to discuss.

    On a lighter note, every moment of Rafael being a dad on Jane the Virgin is fantastic. He’s just a really attractive father and him singing with Mateo in class was all kinds of adorable. Any time he is with Mateo, I root for him to get together with Jane eventually. Of course, prior to Jane being mad at him, the same was true for Michael 😉

    For the episode that stuck with me the most afterward, that honor once again goes to You’re the Worst. I’m pretty sure this show would be less painful if it crushed my heart, OUAT-style. This was just a good week for complex characters because both Gretchen and Jimmy were wonderfully complex and in a situation where neither was right.

    Gretchen’s depression is making her feel absolutely nothing and she’s pushing Jimmy away as a result and it is working very well. It can be hard to date someone who is clinically depressed. It’s totally possible and I will fight anyone who acts like it isn’t or that you’re beyond caring about if you won’t get help (a popular theme in comment sections this week) but it takes the right people and to some extent, the right relationship to make it work. Jimmy’s not that person and doesn’t know how to be in that kind of relationship. So when Gretchen told him to leave her alone, he kissed another girl. This girl has been great and he has fun with her and she’ll listen to him when Gretchen isn’t able (which he doesn’t understand) and I completely get why he kissed her. But every bit of it hurts. I’m sad for Gretchen and I’m sad for Jimmy. Having been the person who was pushed away and left one person and stuck around for another, this storyline is hitting so close to home. There’s not an easy answer and there shouldn’t be. It’s incredibly hard to watch but I love what the show is doing so much even while it is emotionally destroying me. I am terrified going into the final two episodes because I care about these characters so much and there is nothing more exciting as a fan.

    • How is it possible for my heart to be breaking for two characters on a TV show I’ve never watched? You did such a great job articulating what’s going on with You’re the Worst, and now I’m a mess of emotions about characters I don’t even really know.

      And on a happier note, can we please talk about hot dad Rafael forever? Seriously, him doing the hand choreography for Mateo was PERFECTION.

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