The Good Wife – A-
Alicia is having a perfectly nice Sunday in bed with Jason when she is visited by her mother (who was Madoff’d), her brother, Eli, that weird guy with the dog, all intent on ruining her one day off, when Alicia is subpoenaed for Peter’s mystery indictment. Eli finds that he can listen in to the grand jury hearing via the air vent in a handicapped stall, and as usual, his scenes bring the best joy. In a minor, more irritating plot, the internal shuffling at the office continue as Carey continues his long-term transformation into Logan Huntzberger with the help of David.
– Katherine M. Hill
The Walking Dead – A-
It’s a classic blood-and-guts TWD which slaps you right and left and pulls you along with a mixture of numbness and adrenaline. Rick leads the Alexandrian Crew on a brutal raid of the Savior compound as the lines of good guys vs. bad guys becomes further blurred. It’s an episode of near-total darkness with just a few sprigs of sweet flowers budding up through the cold dystopian concrete. And we still haven’t seen HIM.
– Jason Thurston
Madam Secretary – A
Some refugees from Libya end up in Italian waters, and there’s only a few hours for the U.S. to help them; Mdme Secretary wants to save the refugees, but the President says no, because it’s not his responsibility. It’s nice to see someone, even fictional, do _something_. Eventually she gets the President, and an opposing Arizona senator to accept the refugees. (Meanwhile, all this time, the critics have lauded the show for its on-point eyeglasses, but no one told me the show has the strongest coat game since _Scandal_.)
– Katherine M. Hill
Bob’s Burgers – B
While the potential demise of the family’s omnipresent, yet rarely central, couch should be directly in the Bob’s Burgers wheelhouse, and it’s a terrific Louise episode, and a decent one for Gene, but alas the story never quite comes together as the Belchers bounce from home to Sofa store to oddball punk band whose gimmick involves furniture destruction.
– Jason Thurston
Downton Abbey – A
At its essence, for all its posh airs and elevated accents, Downton Abbey is a soap opera — an exceptionally good one, but a soap opera nonetheless — with the roller-coaster of betrayals, tragedies, and emotions. After six years of following the Granthams and their downstairs employees, as corny as it is, fans deserve a happy ending, and the Christmas finale of the long-running program delivers them (for the most part) in a manner that both makes sense and fits the Downton universe — from Mosley and Spratt to Mary, the Lord, his puppy, and, in the most pleasant turn of events, Edith gets to punctuate it all with a dream wedding. #TeamEdith. There’s weddings, new love, old love, engagements, babies, cakes, friendships, deus ex second opinions, forgiveness, reunions, wisecracks, and an almost impossible amount of action and joy — even a tender pre-New Year’s kiss between Cora and the Dowager Countess. Let’s close it all out with the words of newly lucky Edith: “I suppose this is all really happening.”
– Jason Thurston
Girls – B+
Points for all the girls standing up for themselves (well minus Marnie) this ep. Shoshanna takes center stage during most of the episode where we see she has found a place she belongs – Japan. She is crushing it at work, has new bffs despite a slight language barrier, a new work crush and a place where her style fits in. She is totally killing it until she gets canned. She is packed and ready to go back home to her long-distance boyfriend who offered to take care of her when she makes a bold decision to stay put and tough it out because that’s what makes her happy. Good luck on finding a visa and a job but that’s not important right now. Hannah managed to find the only guy in the world who despises porn (yay) and keeps naked pics of exes instead. Hannah freaks out (rightfully so?) and gives him crap about it. She ends the episode by deleting all his phone photos and uploading one of herself. Jessa and Adam are still trying this “friends” thing. They hang out to watch Adam in his latest part of a TV series and she is super supportive which of course makes him kiss her. She rebukes him in the name of being a friend to Hannah and leaves. Glad Jessa redeemed herself in the name of girl code even if it might be only for this moment. Marnie is off in “Equa- dor” which she pronounces so douchey you remember how annoying and delusional she is. Have fun on your honeymoon because real life marriage is no walk in the South American jungle.
– Navani Otero
Togetherness – A-
I was starting to get annoyed with this theme that the guys rule this season and ladies drool but this episode shifted from all that. After Michelle admitted her affair to Brett last week we are launched into the whirlwind of the repercussions. We soon find the two most together people on the show are now the ones in need of some care and luckily Alex and Tina immediately step up into action. Alex finally catches up to Brett who is running amok literally after barfing all over the bed. Brett refuses to go back home so Alex scoops him up in his car and heads to the airport – Detroit or Cancun? He makes an executive decision to head back to their hometown of Detroit, pays for the tickets and pushes a battered Brett along in a wheelchair to make their flight. Meanwhile back at the ranch, Tina is launched into mommy mode – cleaning the sheets, cuddling and comforting Michelle, offering her a valium to sleep, you know all the good sisterly stuff. And even though Tina’s car is left wrapped around a pole right outside the house, in this moment she is happy that for once Michelle is a little worse off than her. She lets Michelle sleep in and takes care of the kids, with an offer of help from Christy – who we all forgot was still actually there. Tina denies her help with changing diapers (why???) and they get into a cat fight. Back in Detroit, Alex and Brett are having a Blues Brothers moment reinventing themselves and living out the hipster dream partying on the town including a run in with Brett’s old flame. She comes on to him and although you might think he has every right to proceed he finally accepts the reality of his life and announced he is indeed married. Alex and Brett finally square off about Alex ignoring his calls for so long and like bros do they immediately make up. They decide it’s time to go to Brett’s house to dig up a time capsule. The letter the young versions of Alex and Brett write to their future selves is so friggin touching it makes you believe in humanity again and so does their friendship, which proves to be the best part of Togetherness.
– Navani Otero